My son and I visited the Aerospace Museum of California yesterday. It's located on the former McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento CA.
There is a lot to see for the aerospace enthusiast. The inside exhibits include smaller planes, plane engines, and hands-on machines that children can manipulate. It was mind boggling to see all of the small machines that play a part in making a 75 ton plane fly! Currently, there is also the Art of the Airport Tower exhibit, showcasing beautiful photographs of airport towers around the world.
My son experienced two adventures on the Morphis Simulator Ride: Endeavor - the Space Mission Hubble, and Wings - Flights of Courage. He "boarded" a replica of a small space ship where he saw the movies. The ship's movement mimicked the way a real ship would move if it was in those conditions.
The biggest draw to this 4-acre aircraft museum is their collection of authentic planes and helicopters exhibited outside, some of which you can enter. We went into a helicopter first. My sense of balance was thrown off because the inside isn't level. Instead it slopes upward, so it felt like we were climbing. When we exited, we met a Veteran who accompanied us while we walked around the park.
It was nice to hear stories about some of the aircrafts and where they came from. I really enjoyed learning about the many details that my son and I would have missed if there was no one there to point them out. For instance, the Veteran told us which planes had missiles, versus the ones that held bombs, versus the ones with guns. The plane that sticks out most in my mind was the one that the Veteran told us came from Africa. It had been in battle and was in very bad shape. It was about to be scrapped, but the museum claimed and restored it. It's now in beautiful condition. Most, if not all, of the aircrafts at the park have similar stories.
If you are ever in the Sacramento area, this museum is something you should visit! It's a history, science, travel, and art museum rolled up into one.
Claire Toney is a professional photographer living in Sacramento County. During the week, she homeschools her son who sometimes allows her to photograph their daily adventures.