Thursday, August 15, 2013

Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre - Sault Ste. Marie

I just want to preface this review by saying that we stopped at the Bushplane Museum on the way back from a nine day camping trip so my kids are looking a little raggedy in these pictures!  I think my youngest actually has gum in her hair at this point.
The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre intrigued me, mainly because I could not figure out how a museum dedicated to bushplanes could stay in business.  I had never devoted even one second of thought to bushplanes before seeing signs for the museum and I bet that is true of a lot of people.  I figured there must be something really exciting about bushplanes that I didn't know about and I was missing out because of that ignorance.  So, off we went to the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre.  Also, if you had told me that I would one day write a paragraph that had the word bushplane in it six times I would have assumed you were joking.
Ready for take off.
The Centre is basically a large hangar full of old bushplanes and some other machines like old timey cars and tractors etc.  They have some other small planes that are not bushplanes which you can also check out. My kids loved that part of the museum.  You can climb inside some of the planes and pretend to be a pilot which was great.   Although, can I just say that pilots are apparently all rather diminutive.  Which leads me to wonder how the Burl Ives looking son of a gun who hosts the bushplane movie managed to fit into that cockpit!  I conked my head three times getting in and out of those things.
The command tower which gives you a pretty good view of the hangar full of planes.
Speaking of movies, they had two when we were there.  One featuring the above mentioned Burl Ives doppelgänger, called Wings over the North and the Wildfires movie that we saw at Science North.   Wing over the North was fine. There is a dog in it who pretends to fly a plane so my kids were happy.  
Flying over Agawa Canyon I believe.
They have several flight simulator type games and doohickeys which my kids also liked.   There is a downside to the Bushplane Heritage Centre and that is what their website calls their "award-winning, hands-on interactive displays".  Almost none of them work!  A bunch had out of order signs on them but at least half of the ones that didn't have signs also weren't working.  There would be a machine with a sign that reads "Lift the flap to hear the roar of an engine" which made no sound when the flap was lifted.  Some of the malfunctioning things looked like they would take about 5 minutes to fix.  There was one that involved a beach ball and a little machine that keeps it in the air but it wouldn't stay in the air because the beach ball was not fully inflated.  So, that was pretty disappointing and really made the difference between being able to recommend the museum and not being able to.   
An example of one of the many non functioning hands on activities. This is a different one than the beach ball one mentioned above.  Maybe I should send them an air pump?
 I would say if you have a kid who is completely mad for planes and you happen to be going through Sault Ste. Marie and you happen to have an hour or so to kill then you should stop by and check out the museum. Otherwise, I would say it is not worth it due to the number of out of order exhibits.  If you go and things have improved post a comment and let me know.

Things to keep in mind:

  • It costs $30 for a family of four to go to the museum.
  • They are open 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. during the summer and 9 - 4 the rest of the year.  
  • Parking is free
  • They have a gift shop but no restaurant.  They do have some vending machines though.

No comments :

Post a Comment