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My Summer Geekcation Recap: Air and Space Museums

Air and Space Museum Shuttle Smithsonian Travel

What's a geekcation? For my Hubby and I it was roadtrip into the USA and Canada to tour 4 Air & Space Museums and a best kept secret, the NASA Headquarters Library!

While I wasn't a huge plane buff (my Hubby is, and now I know sooo much more), I did want to take in all that went into space!

And boy, it was FUN!

Here is the Google Photo album that you can view at your leisure: 

Brenda's Geekcation Album 

Museum Details & Highlights

National Museum of the US Air Force 

National US Air Force Museum

  • Location: Dayton, Ohio, USA
  • 4 Large Buildings and 1 Missile Shelter Display, Outside Air Park with Planes
  • Free Admission and Parking
  • With an App you could get 360 degree views of many of the cockpits of many of the planes! We did not try this feature, as we didn't have US data plans at the time, but it would be neat!
  • You can take a virtual tour of the entire museum right now! While the 4th Hanger needs to be updated in the virtual tour, it is pretty exciting to see them make the effort to have the museum be accessible to those who may not be able to travel!

National Air and Space Museum - Smithsonian (USA) 1

Saturn 5 Jet Nozzles at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC

  • 1st Location: Washington, D.C., USA
  • Free Admission
  • Parking, variable pricing
  • Many, many exhibitions, new and old, to explore!! We were so glad to have friend, collaborator and Intern at the Smithsonian, Sarah Anderson, meet us there to give us a guided tour through many of the areas of the museum and allude to updates and changes planned to make the museum even cooler in the future, like a "What's life on Mars like?" display! We will have to come back to see it again in a couple of years! (Yep, I'm wearing my Serenity dress and did give Sarah her Camille Camera Bag, which she loved!)

Brenda and Sarah meeting for first time in real life, not just the internet-yay!

  • For sci-fi fans that didn't grow up watching the moon landing (like us "young" 30ish year olds), it is super special to be able to actually see and connect with the astronaut's suits, the stories and challenges of the first men to the moon! To actually see it in real life and how they accomplished it all was amazing!
  • The Saturn 5 jet nozzles - JUST. HUGE. MIND. BLOWN. (photo above- under this museum title)
  • I also loved the limited time exhibition of the surface of the moon images, showcased to view as a lovely art gallery display, it was beautiful...so beautiful I forgot to take ANY photos of it!!
  • Honestly, there is sooo much to take in, we barely did it justice in one day! We need to come back!

National Air and Space Museum - Smithsonian (USA) 2

Space Shuttle Discovery at the Smithsonian in Washington DC

  • 2nd Location: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, Virginia
  • Space Shuttle DISCOVERY! (my favourite part)
  • Two huge hangars, Imax theatres
  • Free Admission, Parking $15 USD
  • Again, so, so, so many planes and space displays and so little time in one day! They did also have naval planes on display, like an F-14 Fighter Jet!
  • Remember you can view more planes and space items in my online photo album here!

BEST KEPT SECRET! NASA HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY

Visiting the NASA Headquarters Library in Washington DC

  • Location: East Entrance, 300 E St SW # 1J20, Washington, DC
  • Free to enter, Parking is variable cost on street or parkade
  • 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m Mon-Fri, no appointment necessary
  • Sarah told us about this little gem and we are SOOOO glad we were able to fit it into our schedule!
  • Staffed by amazingly friendly folks, the NASA Info Center will greet you kindly and give you insight into what the program is all about, serve up interesting tidbits about NASA's history and share books upon books free of charge filled with published studies, reports on past projects and documents on specific planes - Chris was in heaven and we took home a box full of books which he has already dug into reading!
  • They also have some CD's with colouring pages and educational materials for teachers and educators to give away-inspiring the next generation to get into science!
  • Their published papers and documents are also available in an online library, if you can't make it down there in person!

Canada Aviation and Space Museum

Starfleet Academy Experience - Ottawa, Ontario Canada

  • Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Admission: $8-$13/person, Parking $6 
  • Added Attraction (only there till Sept 5th, 2016): Star Trek: The Starfleet Academy Experience $12-$18 which includes admission into the Museum as well.
  • As we are avid Trekkies, we did the Star Trek Attraction first-which was an interactive blast!! The stations were set up with all kinds of interactive activities to test your skill for each department, and it was neat seeing the memorabilia and screens with clips from the show you could watch inserted around the areas. It definitely kept everyone involved entertained! I got Command, by the way...
  • The actual museum...a lovely piece of work with a Canadian vibe, one large hangar with classic Canadian pieces, a great engine showcase, and my Hubby's highlight-the Avro Arrow front of the plane piece! There was also the Canadarm and our most recent spaceman's suit, Col. Chris Hadfield. 

Canada Aviation and Space Museum - Ottawa - Avro Arrow

Boldly Go...

Of course, if you are unable to travel, as I am most of the time, I love to travel vicariously through others photo albums or virtual tours to far and away places!  

But be sure, I don't just want to make you jealous of my awesome adventures, I would love to inspire you to make or take your very own adventures! 

Visit your own local Air Museum, art museum or make plans for next summer or a fall vacation to travel some place you've always had a geeky sensation of wanting to visit! (Devils Tower from Close Encounters of the Third Kind is on my Fan-atical Places to Go Pinterest Board!).

I also can't wait to use this trip to inspire more stellar fabric designs and patterns, so stay tuned to Instagram and my Shop for sneak peeks at what might be coming next! (Especially as C4 Comic Con approaches!)

Having fun, as a kid or grown up, is the name of the game, so get out there and live it up earthlings!

Leave Your Comments

Also, let me know which photos you liked best or what you're up to this summer in the comments below. Have you read a good book, visited a new place, gone swimming in a lake, played a new video game, got stung by hornets, I'd love to hear about it!



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