My last visit to Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum in Ashland, Neb., was over a year ago to see the new Children’s Learning Center, a permanent exhibit that explores aspects of flight and engineering in a super fun way for kids. That was 2016, so it was well overdue for me to see what’s new at the museum, especially since there’s a kid-friendly exhibit there this winter.
If you haven’t visited Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum with your children yet, read this post!
Temporary Exhibit At The Museum
We returned this winter to see a new temporary exhibit that compliments the hands-on activities at the Children’s Learning Center. “Energy Explorers” helps museum visitors of all ages explore principles of energy, like comparing potential and kinetic energy, how energy is transferred to another form, and the relationships of electrical or
magnetic interactions. The new exhibit is open until April 23, 2018.
It has the look and feel that it’s designed for school aged children, with slightly complicated instructions for my youngest to understand without my help. She’s not a strong reader yet.
I stayed by her side to explain and build alongside her. She spent the most time playing with the magnets and dominos. And this thing below.
She loved firing shots with the air vortex cannon, knocking down cups and moving tiles with the wind energy she created.
My 8-year-old son jumped right into the more difficult areas like the circuit boards, which involved step-by-step instructions on completing a circuit on your own to light a lightbulb or start a fan.
Here’s what’s all in the exhibit:
– Learning and exploring primary sources of energy – nuclear, fossil, solar, geothermal, hydro, wind
– Performing hands-on experiments that test energy in motion
– Testing the power of wind energy with an air vortex cannon
– Discovering where energy comes from through interactive learning on a kiosk
– Testing the transfer of energy using an electric circuits board or hand crank bulbs
– Experiencing conservation of energy through a newton’s cradle
– Learning about magnetic and electrical fields using magnets, snap circuitry, or sound tubes
This is one of the museum’s two annual interactive exhibits that focus on topics in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). I enjoy timing our visits to the museum specifically to see these interactive exhibits, because my children enjoy them so much.
We ended our visit by playing in the Children’s Learning center, walking around the planes, and trying out the flight simulator.
New-To-Us At The Museum
The kids finally got their chance to try out the simulation ride, too. It’s an additional fee ($10 each) and there is a height requirement that my daughter finally reached this year. For observers, it looked like an intense rollercoaster experience, completely with several spins upside down, but the kids loved it.
If you think your kids will want to ride it, buy your tickets at the time of purchasing museum admission. You cannot purchase tickets at the ride.
I walked through “Searching for Humanity: Veterans, Victims, and Survivors of World War II” for the first time during this visit. It’s intense, and definitely intended for adults and children old enough to grapple with the subject matter. The exhibit includes photos, memorabilia and testimony of Nebraska Holocaust survivors, soldiers and others who helped liberate prisoners from concentration camps in Nazi-occupied Europe.
The newest permanent exhibit honoring the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II opened on February 2018. It opened after our visit, so we’ll have to check it out the next time we’re there.
Win Passes To Visit!
I’m working with Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum to giveaway one daily pass for four to visit the museum! Here’s your chance to see what’s new at the museum. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway ends on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. CST.
Must be 18 or older to enter. I was not compensated to host this giveaway or visit the museum.
If you go
Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum
Where: 28210 West Park Highway, Ashland, Neb. (about 30 miles west of Omaha)
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 7 days a week; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve; closed: New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving & Christmas. "Energy Explorers" is open through April 28, 2018.
Cost: Adults, $12; senior citizens, military, $11; children (ages 4-12), $6; FREE for children aged 3 and younger
Extras: Fight simulators, 2D rides are $9 for members $10 for non-members, and 3D rides are $12 for members $13 for non-members.
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