Any time of year is a great time of year to go to Michigan’s Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Experience, but this past week, we ended up going right after a snow storm. I love that most of the Air Zoo is indoors, and it provides a fun, entertaining place to visit during all types of weather. The parking lot is close to the main building, so it’s convenient for everyone. As a mom of 2 energetic boys, I am always looking for fun places to visit, especially ones that are near the interstate when we are traveling! My kids get bored during the winter, so this place is definitely on our list for great places to visit. Our boys loved seeing the historic aircraft, and they loved the indoor, air themed amusement rides! It is located about halfway between Detroit and Chicago, so it makes a great day trip for people in those areas.
We had made a quick trip to Michigan for my husband’s grandfather’s 80th birthday. It was great to see family that we don’t get to see too often. As we prepared to head back home, we ended up staying an extra day because of a snowstorm that blew in and dropped 10 inches of snow on the area of Brighton, MI, where we were staying. The next day, on our way back to Wisconsin, we decided to stop at the Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Experience, since my boys hadn’t had a field trip yet this year. Boy, was it a memorable experience!
From the moment you walk into the Air Zoo, you are transported to a world in the skies. You are greeted by a war plane suspended overhead as if in a dog fight, and behind the information desk is one of Neil Armstrongs space suits from the moon landing on display. Our boys were so excited to be able to see the various war planes and other air craft at eye level. They were fascinated by Neil Armstrong’s space suit, loved watching the educational movies about how different planes were used, and they especially enjoyed all of the rides at the Air Zoo! We only stayed a couple of hours, but we could have spent the whole day here.
After you investigate the amazing displays in the lobby, you can get information, a map, and pay to get an admission wrist band from one of the friendly staff members at the counter. The rides are even included in the admission price! As a parent, I love that I didn’t have to pay for each ride individually. They have a coat room where you can hang up your heavy winter coats, as well as bathrooms and a gift shop right off of the lobby. There is also a cafe upstairs in the main building, but we did not visit it on this trip. As you enter the main exhibition hall, you pass through a little hallway, lined with clouds that seemingly transport you from the ground to the air. My youngest son pretended to fly through the hallway, as if he were Superman.
The Admission Prices are as follows:
Adults – $15.95
Seniors 60+ – $12.95
Children 5-18 – $14.95
Children 0-4 are Free!
*They do have a 50% discount for US Military and Veterans, Police and Firemen
*They also have a Group discount of 20% off, but they said to call ahead for advanced booking for groups.
Museums for All (EBT and WIC card holders) can get tickets for $2.00 for up to 6 people
Small children can ride most of the carnival type rides, and adults can ride with their children on some of them as well. My husband and youngest son enjoyed the 3D HD Full Motion simulators. As a full motion simulator, it is able to move in 360 degrees on two axis, and my son said he loved feeling like he was able to pilot the plane, do loopty-loops, and fly upside down! Future Maverick in the making! For the simulators you do have to be at least 48″ tall and under 250 lbs. to ride. There is more info about the simulators on their website, Airzoo.org.
For rides they have the Century of Flight Ferris Wheel, the Flying Circus Bi-Plane ride, Montgolfier Balloon Race, and Paratrooper Jump all indoors. In the summer, they have real Bi-Plane rides available outdoors too! However, I do believe the outdoor plane rides are an extra cost. The pictures below are just a few examples of the planes and experiences available at the Air Zoo!
We had so much fun. I highly recommend that you stop at the Air Zoo the next time you are in Michigan. We had been to the Air Zoo a few years ago, but my youngest was pretty young at the time and didn’t remember it, so we had to go again. It’s a great day trip any time of the year. It’s not far from SouthEastern WI, Northern Illinois or Indiana. If you are passing anywhere near SouthWest Michigan, it’s so worth the trip to the Air Zoo! I love that they have carnival-style air themed rides inside that you can ride even in the winter. It is the cutest place for anyone of any age, and it’s so full of history. My boys loved being able to be so close to so many airplanes and reading and watching movies about the war and how the planes were used. They also have uniforms that the servicemen and women wore at that time and other items of interest. There are hands-on STEM exhibits for kids to do as well. They do have a special section for women aviators and astronauts too. I can’t wait to go back. I feel like the Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Experience is worth visiting multiple times. The Kalamazoo area has many great places to stay and lots of different restaurants. It’s a great place to plan a weekend or day trip, even in the winter.