Monday, September 30, 2013

Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum - Hamilton

The CF-104 Starfighter outside the museum.  Those small shadows beneath it are my kids!

The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum is located right by the Hamilton airport and houses dozens of old airplanes that kids (and, um, moms) can climb into and goof around in.  There is also a proper museum with artifacts and information about Canada's military history.  I went with my kids and my dad and it is hard to say who enjoyed it more.  The museum is small enough that little (or old) legs won't get too tired wandering around and you can see it all in an afternoon but big enough that is lots to look at and do.  There are lots of volunteers on hand to tell visitors about the planes and answer questions.
Preparing for take off.  It took about 10 minutes for her to figure out how to get the plane off the runway. 

In addition to the old planes that kids can check out, they also have flight simulators.  My older daughter liked these a lot, in fact she had to be dragged away from them but my younger daughter (who is six) couldn't quite get the hang of it.  She didn't seem to mind that her plane could only do loops though.  It wasn't busy when we went so my kids noodled around on these for quite a while but they do ask that you limit your time on them to about 15 minutes or so if they are busy.

Watching the Avro Lancaster rev its engines. 
There is an outdoor area where they sometimes take the planes to test the engines and various other mechanical type things that remain mysterious to me.  While we were there they had the Avro Lancaster out with the engines running.  My kids got a kick out this even though it was "noisy" as they put it. 
Taking a turn at the controls.
All in all, I liked this museum better than the Bushplane Museum in Sault Ste. Marie.  They are about the same size and cater to the same sort of crowd but the Warplane Museum was better run and organized.  My kids liked both museums so make of that what you will.  You can find the directions and a map here.
Checking out the Avro Lancaster from the soundproof cafeteria whilst enjoying some posicles. 
 Things to keep in mind:
  • The museum is open year round, seven days a week from 9:00 - 5:00
  • It costs about $40 for a family of four to visit the museum.
  • Parking is free
  • The museum has memberships and you can even book flights on some of the old timey air crafts. 
  • They also have day camps and brownie and scout sleepovers and will provide programming that will allow the kids to earn badges.   Kids in the day camps get to go on a flight in one of the old airplanes.  I would like to go to day camp is what I am saying.  
  • They do have a gift shop which my kids liked.  They each picked out a little airplane to take home. 
  • They do weddings!  I can't explain why I think that is hilarious and delightful but I do!

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