Hill Air Force Base Museum
Are you looking for something to do to entertain the kids in the Salt Lake area this weekend? The Hill Aerospace Museum is a great place to go! It’s entertaining for kids as well as for adults. It’s just minutes south of Ogden. Often, we will take the kids to the museum and spend a few hours- educating them while having fun. And, yes, you could easily spend 3 or 4 hours there without really reading through everything. Oh, and did I mention it’s free?!!!
Hill Aerospace Museum
7961 Wardleigh Road, Hill AFB, UT 84056
Okay, so I’m not an aerospace history buff but it’s a lot of fun to walk around and experience a piece of history at each exhibit. There are eight points of interest that are highly interactive and educational:
- The Beginnings– it begins with the Wright Brothers taking flight
- WWII– highlights of bomber planes and engines of that period
- Dawn of the Jet Age– the start of the fighter jet engines and other jet planes
- The Cold War– more high-tech bombs and missiles
- Keeping the Peace– focus on the Boeing plane and Pavelow helicopter
- Utah Aviation Hall of Fame– the honored members of Utah aviation is amazing
- Women Airforce Service Pilots– the history of how American women got into flying
- American Aerospace Pioneers– highlights designers, scientists and aviators who have made a difference in aerospace technology and military advancements through flight
I like that some parts of the exhibit are hands-on and you can actually touch the parts of the engine or sit in a seat from an older plane. It’s interesting to feel the helmets and uniforms that are set out on display and available to handle. There is even an educational center (Aerospace Center for Education or ACE) for kids or the curious adult to experience a variety of hands-on activities. It encourages thought-provoking experimentation designed to educate and inspire everyone that participates. My kids would spend hours in there if we would let them. Watch history come to life by becoming a pilot (uniform and all) and taking over the controls in a cockpit simulator. There are several table-top experiments and other science-related exhibits inside the educational center.
Our family has been to many similar museums from the Smithsonian, the Pensacola Navy Air Museum, to the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, AZ. Honestly, this is one of our favorites and it’s free!
There’s an outside exhibit that’s just as cool as the inside, so make sure you allow time to walk around. The planes are massive and impressive how aviators flew them with ease.
Over the years, the museum has brought in veterans to speak about their experiences and share stories that pertain to their contributions to aerospace. It’s so much fun to hear them relive their earlier days. There’s usually time at the end to ask questions or talk to them in person.
Restrooms and water fountains are located at the main entrance across from the gift shop and there are also some further into the museum. The exhibit halls are pretty big but there are plenty of benches positioned throughout the rooms to allow resting. There is no restaurant inside, but there are plenty of eating establishments nearby. We usually grab lunch before touring the museum and then get astronaut ice cream at the end of the tour.
The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. excluding some holidays. So, be sure to check the website for additional information on closure dates or for any other questions you have about the museum: http://www.hill.af.mil/library/museum.