Kid-Friendly Fun at the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum
If you love space and/or planes the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum (or SAC Aerospace Museum) is a must-visit. My son has always been intrigued by planes and learning about historic aircraft. While we were visiting Ashland, Nebraska we made sure to make a stop and we spent a fun morning exploring everything the SAC Aerospace Museum had to offer. The SAC Museum is 300,000 square feet of exhibit space and divided into different sections including event space, education, and more. Here is all the kid-friendly fun at the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum.
The Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum Mission
“The Mission of the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum is to preserve the history of Strategic Air Command, the Cold War, and aerospace artifacts and to inspire learning through imaginative, innovative, and inspirational programs and exhibits.” Learn more about this incredible museum in the heart of the Midwest.
When you enter the building, you will be welcomed by a very large U.S. Air Force plane at the front of the museum in the glass atrium. This is just the tip of the iceberg though! After you check in you will head into one of the two aircraft display hangars offered at the Strategic Air Command Museum. The kids were fascinated by all of the aircraft collection as we began exploring and learning about the history of strategic air command. If you love planes, jets, etc. it is pretty neat! You can take a look at the entire extraordinary collection of aircraft on their website which breaks down the type, mission, name, and story.
I loved how they offered small ladders so the kids could climb up to look inside of the aircraft carrier.
They also offered several hands-on experiences throughout the hangar.
At the top of the hangar was the traveling exhibit area that displayed art and sculptures from Fletcher Benton and Frank Conin. We enjoyed the display that shared Women in Aerospace. There are several temporary and permanent exhibits scattered throughout the SAC Museum.
Before leaving the hangar make sure you stop to experience flight in one of the flight simulators. The kids had such a fun time with this. If you do not want to “fly” a plane, they also offer a rollercoaster option too. This is an additional cost to your admission ticket. Make sure you snag tickets when you enter!
Children’s Interactive Gallery
We absolutely loved the interactive children’s area. I had no idea they had it and was pleasantly surprised when he came across it. The SAC Museum offers educational programs so this is a great fit. It reminded me a lot of the Science Center of Iowa, but it was a great example that some of the principles the kids have already learned about go hand in hand with air command, space, etc.
As mentioned, the SAC Museum has several educational opportunities and special events for children including the Backpack Program. I am kind of bummed we did not see these until the end, but let this be a tip to you … make sure you get one when you arrive! The backpacks are no additional cost. You can check them out when you pay your admission. You will need to have a valid driver’s license to checkout.
The backpacks include STEM activities including Black Holes (Science), Bloxels (Technology), Flight Plan Navigator (Engineering), and Pack The Plane (Math). This is a great additional resource to learn as a family as you explore the museum.
We have been to several air museums including the Fargo Air Museum, but have never come across spacecraft before! The entire space area could have been its only mini museum. The kids were reminded of how gravity worked, loved the aerospace artifacts, and were super intrigued when they came across a replica living room from 1969 when families from across the world watched Neil Armstrong walk on the Moon.
SAC Lunch Cafe
The SAC Lunch Cafe is a great place to grab a snack or lunch while exploring. They are open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The SAC Museum offers a pretty extensive museum store with a wide range of stuff. When we made our visit the kids picked out airplane kits to build on the road trip home.
The Strategic Air Command Museum is open to the general public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 7 days a week and is closed on some holidays including New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving & Christmas. They are open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
28210 West Park Highway, Ashland, NE 68003. Just off I-80 between Lincoln and Omaha at Exit 426. This makes it a super easy stop to stretch your legs and explore if you are traveling.
- Adults: $16.00*
- Senior Citizens: $12.00*
- Active/Retired/Veteran Military: $12.00* (with valid military ID)
- Children: $8.00* (Ages 4 – 12) / Free for Children Aged 3 & Under
- Price for Simulator Rides: $11.00 per ride. If you buy 3 or more there is a $1 discount for each ride.