The Museum of Flight, Seattle

Do you have to force… bribe… your kids to get some culture in their lives?
I use persuasive coercion on my son, He’s 16, He’s not one for most museums. 

We traveled from Olympia, WA to Seattle on many occasions so that my son could see specialist doctors at Seattle Children’s Hospital. When we would go to the city, my boy would complain about being in the city, he would say he wanted to go to his hospital appointment and then go straight back home.

I don’t know if you have ever been to Seattle, but we aren’t talking about some huge metropolis with endless cars and streets, we aren’t talking Manhattan here. Seattle is a small city, with the feel of being quaint, and with around 700,000 people, it’s not too big. However, that’s not how my youngest son sees it. My son thinks I’m trying to torture him with city life.

 You see, my youngest son is a cowboy-boot-wearing country boy, after a bad experience with crowds in London, he now compares all cities to the fast pace of catching the tube during rush hour. That said, it didn’t stop this momma from telling her son we were going to do something, ANYTHING, and that he needed to pick a Museum or tell me somewhere he wanted to go. After a sound refusal, I let his sister decide. My daughter is obsessed with airplanes and has mentioned wanting to go to the flight museum on more than one occasion. 

Done.

Plans Made.

16 year old continued to complain.

16 year old insists he will wait in the car.

When we arrived and my son started to see that this place wasn’t just about airplanes, when he saw NASA and a 3D space movie offered. He was elated. Isn’t it just funny, mom knows best. I knew that if I physically GOT him to the museum, he would go in, there was no way that kid was going to sit in the car for hours while we look around a museum.

I can only think of one word to describe this place… “Cool“, I mean really really cool! The flight museum covers all aspect of flying, from Space Ships to Airplanes to Droids.

I’m so glad that the flight has improved from this one-man flying apparatus, I can’t see myself flying country to country in this contraption 🙂

I really enjoyed reading about the first woman in space and loved that my daughter was able to connect with this history, especially since she talks non-stop about being a pilot. I am so grateful that my daughter has been born in a day and age, where so many incredible women from history have paved the way for girls to live out their dreams of today.

A representation of Valentina Tereshcova and the seat she would have sat in. Valentina was the first woman in space, and apparently not claustrophobic! 

Keeping in pace with many museums, this one is not different in keeping to a time line. From the very start of air travel to today’s jumbo jets and space station, there are endless opportunities to explore flight. As you can imagine, in order to exhibit aircraft, you need a ginormous building, this museum has two. The first and main part of the exhibit features flight simulators. My teens loved riding in these-metal-boxes-made-to-feel-like-you’re-flying contraptions.
The simulator cost $9 a person, and $7 for a 2nd ride. Beware that your children will emerge thinking there is no need for training, believing flying a fighter jet is as easy as controlling a joystick!

Above Photo borrowed from the Seattle Flight Museum Website
We sat through a movie about the nearly forgotten Cassini-Huygens — Mostly referred to as “Cassini”, Cassini was a collaboration between NASA, The Italian Space Agency & The European Space Agency. Cassini was a space probe that launched from Earth in 1997 and crashed in 2017 on one of Saturn’s Moons. It took several photos, and it’s actually quite moving and sad when Cassini ended its journey. The photos the probe took during its shoot around the sun and through our galaxy are breathtaking. Oh… And Earth is round y’all! 🌍🌍🌍🌍 Cassini got a lot of great shots. Not that I doubted the Earth was round, but you know, in case any Flat-Earthers read. 😁 The movie was only an additional $3 per person, and worth the 40 minutes.

For me, it was very surreal seeing a real helicopter from The Vietnam War, I can’t imagine hanging off of the side of it as you see in the movies. It’s easy to forget our past wars until you’re reminded with such a fierce realism glaring at you.

 

As mentioned previously, the museum is actually 2 MASSIVE buildings, they are opposite each other off of East Marginal Way S. There is a skyway that makes for easy access and connects both buildings. It’s in the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery that houses some of the most amazing large Airplanes, I get all giddy thinking about it. I love flight, and the idea of it… watching planes fly, flying on planes, reading about planes, being on planes– You get my drift.

There is a replica of the Space Shuttle, as well as a lot of the equipment that NASA and astronauts use, again, very surreal. 
 I feel claustrophobic when I see what the Astronauts actually wear, fly in and work in.
For instance, coming back to Earth in THIS. 
I have so much admiration and respect for Astronauts, but I could NOT get in this thing and shut the door!
Space Toilet… Use your imagination.
It was also neat to see The original Air Force One. President’s Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon all flew aboard this flying oval office. Did you know that it’s only called “Air Force One” if the President is on board? Otherwise, it’s “SAM”, Special Air Missons. It’s currently on loan to the flight museum and you can read more about it on the Museums Website.
You are able to walk inside all of the airplanes that are in the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery.
I’m pretty sure this was the best of the best back in the ’60s, but I’m also pretty sure our current Presidents doesn’t sleep on a bunk bed.
And… THE CONCORDE! What a cool trip that would be, flying to London from New York in like, what? 2 hours? Of course, as long as it doesn’t, you know, crash. Most likely why it’s sitting here in Seattle, and not on the runway. Rumor has it, that the Concorde will be flying again, and in-service for an international flight in 2022, apparently Emirates will be taking the reigns.
The Dreamliner is one of my favorite planes to fly on and is one of the aircraft on display, it’s easy to forget how large these crafts actually are when you’re sitting on board comfortably in your seat with a movie playing. The engines are gargantuan! It still amazes me that they can even get off of the ground, much less fly 5,000 miles.
I have been to museums all over the world, I never leave without a mosey through the gift shop, having the opportunity to buy a piece of history and remember your visit is always fun. I’m not a niknak kind of person, but I can’t pass up a mug! I use them & don’t display them, I enjoy drinking my tea from a cup that reminds me of an extraordinary day. The flight museum had so much coolness, from astronaught food to replica planes.
Dried strawberry anyone?
The bigger the tea mug, the better!
There was only one negative thing in this whole place. The Cafe. The food was less than average, expensive and tasteless.  I’m not even kidding– Bring a lunch or eat before you go, I paid $45 for finger food that we didn’t eat.
 

       Entrance free for the Museum is $22 a person (18-64), $19 (65+), $14 (5-17), Under 4 is free.    
                                                            Museum of Flight
                                          9404 E Marginal Way S, Seattle, WA 98108

Expect to spend 4-5 hours at the Museum to see everything, more if you see a movie. There is free parking and the Museum is opened 7 days a week, 10am-5pm. There is free admission in the evening of the first Thursday of every month from 5pm-9pm

Needless to say, my 16 year old son that refused to go to a Museum, had the best time and asked to go back! My 13 year old daughter also wanted a 2nd trip. We have since moved to Texas, but we still have family in Washington, so I see another visit in our future. It was THAT much fun, not a museum that kids only want to visit once.

Aren’t Museums one of the best things about travel?