3...2...1...Blast off! The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum will take you to new heights as you journey through the history of aviation and space travel.
Fly through history as you glimpse the 1903 Wright Flyer, touch moon rock, and experience the larger-than-life world of aviation and space travel, only at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The museum has two locations: one in Washington, D.C., and the other -- the Udvar-Hazy Center -- in Chantilly, Virginia. Both locations are home to the largest and most significant collection of aviation and space artifacts in the entire world.
The D.C. location has 22 exhibition galleries that cover the history of aviation, spaceflight, astronomy, and planetary science. Some exhibitions include "American by Air," "Apollo to the Moon," "Early Flight," and "Space Race." To view the full list of current, past, and upcoming exhibits, please click here
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There are also science demonstrations, virtual reality demonstrations, and flight simulators -- plus, you can watch shows in the Albert Einstein Planetarium
and the IMAX Theater
Virtual Reality Transporter
The Virtual Reality Transporter will take you into space and give you a view of Earth unlike anything you've ever seen before through the state-of-the-art motion-based virtual reality ride.
Admission: $12 | $11 with the purchase of an IMAX ticket
Interactive Flight Simulators
The Interactive Flight Simulators will let you test your skills at flying various types of aircraft, such as the P-51 Mustang, F-18 Hornet, F-16 Fighting Falcon, and more! There are four adventures for the ride simulator: "Wings: Flights of Courage," "Destination: Black Hole," "Red Baron," and "Discovery."
Admission: $8-$12 | $7-$11 with the purchase of an IMAX ticket
For additional information on the simulators, please click here
Tours are free and are led by volunteer guides, who will highlight the museum's collection and give the detailed history of air and space travel. The tours typically last 90 minutes; if you have a group of 20 or more adults, make sure you reserve a tour
(at least two weeks advance notice). Student groups (10 or more) can reserve a 60-minute tour here
(at least three weeks advance notice).
Have you been to the National Air and Space Museum? What exhibit was your favorite? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Photos courtesy of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's website and Facebook page.