The word amazing is not enough to define the way we preserve our culture and heritage as humans. Museums have been an excellent way to ensure that a People’s rich history is passed on through generations; and the world of aviation has not been left behind. The latter is seen in many parts of the world, but there’s something spectacular about one museum based in Denver, Colorado!
If you’re following, you probably caught the name in the title. Now, Wings over the Rockies Air & Space Museum is the official museum in Colorado when it comes to all things air and space. This facility that was established in 1994 is home to a wide range of aviation exhibits meant to educate the general public – locals and beyond – about the aviation industry in and aerospace endeavors of the past, as well as the present, and the future. It hosts thousands of visitors annually, thanks to the many attractions and exhibits it houses among other factors. Here are some reasons to visit the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum.
1. Learn and Explore
If you are like many people, you’ve probably wondered what the aircraft of the fast looked like, and how they operated. If you went an inch further, you might have been curious about the first few spacecraft, unmanned, and manned. Well, look no further! The Wings Museum is home to over 50 aircraft exhibits, including WWII jets used for operations back in 1938-1944, along with some from the early nineties. The collection also includes general and military birds set to marvel you to the core.
As you learn about these iconic birds, you also get to entertain yourself through flight simulator experiences if you get a chance to visit the 7711 E. Academy Boulevard museum located in Denver. From the Phantom II to the Grumman F and the F-101B Voodoo, you’ll have a lot of historical combat aircraft to view in a day or two. One of the two B-1A Bombers that survived out of the original 4 after the war is located here.
Periodically, educational programs and workshops are also at the facility. These include after school programs, youth programs, and flight training scholarships. As we will see below, this is part of what makes the facility worth visiting by families.
2. Get Entertained
When people hear the word museum being mentioned together with learning in the same sentence, most of them imagine “boring”. Well, the experience here will be a different one, especially for younger adults and teens. Apart from just historical birds, you also get a peek and taste of what some of the modern-day aircraft cockpits look like. This is mostly through exhibits of the Boeing 727-200, United Airlines’ DC-10, and the like. Learning the history of aviation becomes even more interesting as you get immersed in the flight simulator, which allows you to “become a pilot” for a day. Deep fans of aviation will definitely appreciate the aircraft carrier film at the Harrison Ford Theater, often provided as an intro to most tours in the museum.
On this note, it is worth mentioning that Wings Over the Rockies has two different campuses now. The Air and Space Museum is located in Lowry’s former AFB Hanger; the Exploration of Flight is located in Englewood, Colorado on Centennial Airport. The latter campus will largely focus on future-based space galleries, whereas the former will stick to the main goal of preserving aviation/aerospace history and heritage.
3. A Home to Iconic Events
Who doesn’t love events and meetings? Casual or business, they give you the chance to make accomplishments, meet new people, and make new friends. Some use them as an opportunity to strengthen bonds with their loved ones. Well, this air and space museum was actually recognized as Denver’s best event venue of 2016 according to a Colorado magazine on meetings and events. It is frequented by people from all walks of life, politicians to influential businessmen, celebrities, and ordinary people. You never know who you will rub shoulders with during your visit to the museum.
Whether it’s a holiday party, a birthday, wedding, conference, or corporate event, you can always find space to hold your event in Denver’s WORAS museum provided it is not booked to capacity.
4. It Is Family Friendly
Another great reason to visit this museum is that it is suitable for all ages. This means that your curious kids and even seniors can tag along for this wonderful experience. For kids under the age of 3, entrance is normally free. Admission is also free for Wings’ members, along with other benefits. Subscription can be done online or at the facility, with students being the most favored when it comes to the prices. Most importantly, the facility is also disability-friendly, with available wheelchairs upon request.
5. Great Restaurants and Hotels Nearby
When visiting any place for exploration and learning purposes, something might catch your eye and you may have to stay longer than expected. If it’s just a one-day visit, you might stay until late so you won’t make going back home. Well, this may sound pretty obvious, but you will also need to fill up your tummy at some point. After all, what’s a good fun trip without a nice meal or exploring local cuisine? Another great thing about the Wings Museum is that it is strategically located, so you’ll have plenty of options to eat, dine, sleep, or have your favorite cocktail.
And there you pretty much have it! Founded in 1994 and established in Lowry Air Force former base, it is among the most visited in museums in Denver. From students to couples, business associates, employees, and guys who are just a bit curious about the world around them it is indeed a darling to many within and without Colorado’s borders. At least one of the few pointers above should be convincing enough to put Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in your bucket list of places to visit.
Next article in this series: Find out about the Denver Museum of Nature & Science