It’s a bird its a plane, ok it’s a LOT of planes. Welcome to the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a museum dedicated to all things aviation. From World War II-era planes to an all pink reminder of the founder’s bravery and tenacity, this museum is dedicated to what flies among the clouds. Since we’ve made the family decision to stay grounded this year, seeing planes who have undergone an extensive refurbishment to their original splendor was a quick fix to extinguished vacay plans.
The museum itself consists of two campuses a short walk from each other. The larger of the two is where ticketing lies, and it beckons you to something BIG ahead as you wander through the clouds to the main hall. There you see everything from the F-14 Tomcat( yes from Top Gun) to an SR-71B Blackbird spy plane, which is still unmatched in speed and altitude. Unfortunately, all the rides were closed (COVID strikes again), and there are lots of them, which I didn’t quite expect. In the main hangar, I saw a flight simulator, a flying biplane ride, a balloon racer, a paratrooper jump, and a hot air balloon Ferris wheel, which all look like a blast in the air conditioning.
From that point, you walk through an exhibit with artifacts and interactive components from Guadalcanal. It was fascinating to witness how the museum showcased this as my grandfather was a fighter pilot for much of his military career. The next hanger included a Blue Angel plane and some other wartime feats of wonder before venturing into Space exploration and the new exhibit Artifacts and Asteroids.
This temporary display included artifacts from Star Wars and Marvel along with a rover stimulation as it lands on Mars. Who knew how much equipment is used after the initial blast! Spoiler alert: There was even a beautiful section that discussed Walt Disney’s interest in space and how that is portrayed in films of the time. I’m telling you Disney Magic is EVERYWHERE!
Next, we enjoyed taking the short walk over to the next building where all the refurbs happen. Outside is the local airport with ample seating where you can spend time watching planes land and take off.
Overall, AirZoo was a fun couple of hours. We did it after I got off work and made a short mommy-daughter day trip out of it. Although we missed the opportunity of rides, there was a lot to take in. Of anything, the rides would have offered a way to break up the museum experience overall.
Air Zoo admission is $15.95 for adults and $14.95 for children ages 5 -18, making it one of our steeper adventures. All in all, we had a delightful time and will visit again when its back to full swing!
You can check out all the Air Zoo has to offer online!
Don’t forget to check out my other option for Family fun at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge!