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We’re very pleased to have Lora Shinn of the Washington-based Cascadia Kids travel blog introduce us to the Seattle Museum of Flight.

With more than 150 aircraft, The Seattle Museum of Flight
 is one of the largest air and space museums
 in the world. Located on Boeing Field, not far from where real planes
 are built in Renton, Washington, the Museum takes transportation-obsessed 
kids and their grown-ups over the moon and back again.

Even if you’re
 not particularly enchanted by transportation or planes (like me), the
museum’s exhibits are so well presented that it’s hard not to crush 
over candy-red fighters and a quirky car-plane hybrid.

Fly high and satisfy your aviation fantasies at one of the largest and best air museums in the world, the Seattle Museum of Flight. (via
Look up! It’s a candy-red plane suspended from the ceiling

In the six-story-tall, glass-roofed Great Gallery, dozens of full-size 
biplanes, jet fighters and prop planes hang from the ceiling and seem 
to be flying indoors. More aircraft are scattered across the bottom 
floor. The “Gossamer Albatross” is a personal favorite. This is a
 human-powered plane that once crossed the English Channel.

Play Frustrated Passenger and Grouchy Stewardess (well, it’s more 
dramatic that way) in the interior of the passenger airliner, conduct landings 
and takeoffs from the replica flight tower and battle fierce enemies (like 
bedtime) in the sound-equipped fighter plane.

The Kids’ Flight Zone 
offers a kid-operated hot-air balloon basket and several cockpits to
 sit in; there are also hands-on models to explain how engines work.

 The Red Barn offers
 historical photos, replica manufacturing scenes and vintage tools used 
to create aircraft. I’m not sure whether or not it will impress your
 children; my son (who loves history) thinks it’s pretty neat. The
“Personal Courage” wing focuses on WWI and WWII aircraft and stories.

In the “Space: The New Frontier” exhibit, check out the moon buggy and
board a spaceship, where you’ll find out how astronauts eat, sleep… 
and use the bathroom. Kids in particular love that info, no surprise there.

If you still have energy to spare, go on a tour of the retired
 Concorde and Air Force One, on the Airpark Field. The museum itself 
has been around since 1965, but they’re always adding exhibits and
 planes, so when you return, you’ll find new ways to soar.

Fly high and satisfy your aviation fantasies at one of the largest and best air museums in the world, the Seattle Museum of Flight. (via
Airplane decor is all the rage at Randy’s Restaurant

Eating: Wings Café is 
on-site. It’s OK. Outside of the café, it’s sort of a no-man’s land as 
far as dining goes; this is an industrial area of town. But there’s a
 very funky drive-through Starbucks housed in a shipping container (you read that right). If you like 
retro-era eats, check out Randy’s Restaurant. It’s sort of like Denny’s meets Boeing, with 
vintage plane paraphernalia on the walls, grilled cheese sandwiches on
 the menu, and retired Boeing engineers in the seats. I love this 
place, but don’t go expecting gourmet.

Photo Credits: L. Shinn

Lora Shinn is a professional freelance writer, mom and collector of old dusty things. She was a fourth grade spelling champion but now needs to double-check words in online dictionaries. In her free time (which she never has enough of), she runs the site Cascadia Kids, focusing on the best of family travel in Washington, Oregon and BC. 

Have you been to a great aviation or transportation museum? Share your comments below.

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