Got a plane-loving kid (or adult) in your family? New Jersey’s aviation museums are a great choice for a family trip that combines a little bit of education with a lot of fun. Visit one of these four museums to learn more about the planes and pilots who’ve flown during times of peace and war. You’ll get educated on New Jersey’s rich aviation history and learn something new. Enjoy your tour of the Garden State’s aviation museums right from the ground—minus the turbulence and cramped legroom.
Air Victory Museum
Address: 68 Stacy Haines Road, Lumberton
Price: $4 for adults, $2 for children (4-13)
Details: This educational museum is home to numerous engines, aircraft, uniforms and vehicles dating from the first powered flight in 1903 through today. Check out a wind tunnel that was built under supervision by the famous Wright Brothers next to a large-scale diorama of their historic first flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. A corner of the museum features German and Japanese technology that was captured during World War II. Children can explore Kids Port, a hands-on area that focuses on everything from how airplanes fly to space exploration.
More info: www.airvictorymuseum.org or call 609-267-4488
Aviation Hall of Fame
Address: 400 Fred Wehran Drive, Teterboro
Price: $8 for adults, $7 for children
Details: Founded in 1972, the Aviation Hall of Fame houses historic aircraft, air and space artifacts, fine art, photographs and an extensive array of models. View the first American hovercraft and the rocket engine that propelled the X-15 to incredible speed and heights. The museum showcases a custom-built “Fundamentals of Flight” interactive aerodynamics exhibit, along with other new and refurbished displays. Kids ages 8-15 years old can register for the “Dare to Fly” program, a four-hour event taught by experienced pilots and educators. They’ll learn about aerodynamic theory, take a museum tour, build their own gliders and hold a flight competition.
More info: www.njahof.org or call 201-288-6344
Millville Army Air Field Museum
Address: 1 Leddon Street, Millville Airport, Millville
Price: Admission is free, donations welcome
Details: Located at the Millville Airport, this non-profit museum is dedicated to preserving U.S. military aviation history. Ongoing programs and tours educate visitors about Millville’s role in aviation history, along with the history of the P-47 Thunderbolt. Visit current exhibits such as Women with Wings, which details the story of female pilots trained to fly military aircraft so male pilots could be released for combat duty overseas. Or learn about Major Max Whitley McClure, the World War II P-47 Thunderbolt pilot who flew with the “Orange Tails” and trained at Millville Army Air Field.
More info: www.p47millville.org or call 856-327-2347
Naval Air Station Wildwood (NASW) Aviation Museum
Address: 500 Forrestal Road, Cape May Airport
Price: $12 for adults, $10 for children (3-12), free for kids under 3
Details: Naval Air Station Wildwood is a year-round museum located at the Cape May Airport inside Hangar #1. Commissioned in April 1943, it served as an active dive-bomber squadron training facility during World War II. Today the hangar has been restored and transformed into a fun and educational aviation museum. Travel back in time by exploring numerous aircraft, engines, exhibits and hands-on displays. You’ll also find special exhibit rooms highlighting certain aspects of history. Kids can climb a real air traffic control tower or pretend to be pilots with flight simulator games.
More info: www.usnasw.org or call 609-886-8787