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Visitors encouraged to arrive early for 'Night at the Air Force Museum' on Nov 1

  • Published
  • By Rob Bardua
  • National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

For one evening only, National Museum of the U.S. Air Force visitors will have a unique opportunity to meet military reenactors, Star Wars characters, and zoo animals; view or sit inside a cockpit; experience virtual reality; participate in kids activities; take a simulator ride; check-out a movie, and much more during “Night at the Air Force Museum” on Nov. 1 from 6-10 p.m.

Visitors planning to attend this free event are encouraged to arrive early, wear aviation-related costumes and enjoy all of the festivities. Below are some tips for planning your visit:

  • Although the event will begin at 6 p.m., the Museum’s Café, Store and Theatre will remain open for visitors arriving at 5 p.m. (or earlier) who would like to eat dinner, shop for an aviation-related gift, or see a film before the event begins. (Note: Event merchandise sold out early last time.)

  • Visitors may enter the museum through the main entrance gate off of Springfield St., or the gate by the Armory off of Harshman Rd. (right turn only through Armory gate). Depending on attendance, visitors may need to park on the grass. However, golf carts will be available to transport individuals needing mobility assistance.

  • All visitors may be screened with a metal detector upon entry. In addition, all bags are subject to search and may be placed through an X-Ray machine. Weapons are not permitted including pocket knives.

  • A limited number of strollers, electric carts and wheelchairs will be available; please consider bringing your own if possible.

  • Aviation-related costumes are encouraged, but all costumes must be family friendly and should not include weapons.

  • For those interested in seeing inside any of the cockpits, it is suggested that you visit those first.

Aircraft open for viewing will include the C-7A; C-133A; CV-22B; F-104C; SR-71; F-117 and Tacit Blue. Cockpits available to sit-in will include the A-7D; F-4D; F-16; FB-111A; and T-38, and the Air Force Recruiting Service will bring two pilot training virtual reality simulators.

Organizations scheduled to participate in the event include the Air Force Band of Flight; Air Force Research Laboratory; Air Force Recruiting Service; Boonshoft Museum of Discovery; Civil Air Patrol; Columbus Zoo; COSI; Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park; RAPTOR Inc; 501st Legion; and 4 Paws for Ability.

From 6-9 p.m., RAPTOR Inc. will be on-hand to cultivate respect for nature by teaching the public about the importance of raptors in the environment. Stop by RAPTOR Inc.'s table to get an up-close look at some local birds of prey; touch interesting biological artifacts; hear the sounds of their calls, and speak to the educators to learn why these birds are supreme hunters of the sky.

A special appearance by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is also scheduled to take place from 7-8 p.m. as they provide an up-close look at some of their animal ambassadors in the museum’s fourth building.      

Activities for kids will include COSI’s “Science Spots” traveling science exhibitions; interactive activities from the Boonshoft Museum of the Discovery; balloon animals; a Bernoulli ghost hunt; jack-o-lantern cornhole; face painting; and a coloring station. Children will also receive candy bags near the Space STEM Learning Node (while supplies last).

Throughout the evening, the Air Force Research Lab will conduct STEM demonstrations and offer virtual reality experiences, and visitors will be able to interact with military reenactors, Star Wars characters, or take a photo in an astronaut suit inside the National Aviation Hall of Fame (located between the first and second buildings).

Artifact displays including rarely seen items related to working animals in the Air Force, from WWI through the space race and beyond will be on exhibit. Visitors can also learn about Air Force mascots through the years, or enjoy the Air Force Band of Flight's Spirit of Freedom ensemble, which will provide a "strolling" performance throughout the galleries.

In addition, the Air Force Museum Theatre will feature a variety of films every 30 minutes from 5-9 p.m., at the discounted rate of $5/ticket. Films being shown include Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag; Rescue 3D; Journey to Space 3D; and Aircraft Carrier 3D.

For more information on this event, visit

Some activities are made possible through the generosity of the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc. (Federal endorsement is not implied.)

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 350 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year about one million visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit                                                     

NOTE TO PUBLIC: For more information, contact the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at (937) 255-3286.
NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, contact Rob Bardua at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-1386.