Saturday, August 10, 2013

The "Other" Air and Space Museum (and things toddlers say)

I let Brian plan our itinerary today, and when we checked the weather this morning he decided we should stay indoors and try out the Udvar-Hazy Center for the Air and Space Museum that is located in Virginia.  An accompaniment to the Smithsonian museum on the National Mall, this center is likewise a collection of artifacts of flight.

We told Theodore where we were headed, and he was reminded of the time that he went on a date with his Grandpa E to an airplane museum, where grandpa showed him the kind of airplane that his great grandpa used to fly in.  And parachute out of.  And land on the moon.  And would apparently then fly back home in a rocket-ship.  (As far as I know, only the first two of those things are true.  But it was so cool that Theo remembers this about his great grandpa.)

This was a photo of him from that day at the Grissom Air Museum.

But, back to today. Some quick facts first.  Like all Smithsonian museums, the museum was free of charge, but charged $15 for parking.  There are some simulators and IMAX movies that charge for tickets, if you have some older kids with you, but we were not interested in those today.  There is also a McDonald's restaurant available if needed, and family bathrooms located near the entrance.  We were happy to save 10% at the gift shop with our new National Zoo Membership.

Apparently, we came during their Super Science Saturday.  The second Saturday of every month is dedicated toward a specific topic, with lots of extra activities and demonstrations focused on that topic.  Today's was helicopters.  Even though many of the things were too advanced for him, some were right on his level and I really liked how festive the atmosphere was.

 The observation tower overlooks Dulles Airport.
 Helicopters were on hand for the special Saturday session.  We got to watch, feel, and hear them take off and fly away.
 Theo got to "fly" a plane.  Eli wasn't so sure about it.

I really liked seeing all the different planes, especially the ones from our old favorite The Jet Alphabet Book (a book we picked up when we were touring the Midway Aircraft Carrier in San Diego, can you tell my husband is very interested in all things that fly).  These included:

C is for Concorde
L is for Lear Jet
O is for Oxcart (SR-71)

P is for Phantom (F-4)
T is for Tomcat (F-14)

The space section was also interesting, especially since Theo is a big fan of rocket ships.  Seeing the Discovery space shuttle:

Now, Theo's been talking about building Coriander (our dog) a plane.  It will be black and gray and blue and white.  And daddy will help him write her name on it, because he doesn't have a pencil.  And it will be the most best.  And the biggest one of all.  And he will be Cori's driver.  (He's starting to ramble, can you tell?)

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