I probably was not well enough to have taken the kids on an outing, and I spent a significant portion of our time there trying to get coughing fits under control, but we could not resist the day off of school opportunity to hang with the Ethingtons.
We have been here a handful of times previously, but this time we did a few of things we never had before.
First, we just made it to the hands-on demonstration of a Cessna.
The guide tried to explain several concepts to the boys like flicking on the tail light, but they pretended not to understand even the word “gently” as applied to turning the steering wheels.
This was also our first time walking along the skyway which gave me fits of terror with the boys running everywhere that far above a concrete floor.
And the last new thing we tried this time was taking the elevator to the observation tower to watch planes taking off from and landing at Dulles International Airport.
I love this picture because it looks like Salty is reading the sign and pointedly ignoring it.
It was at about this juncture that I thought perhaps the boys were ready for a nap.
The hardest part of this trip was telling Fluff she could not ride the simulators. If it were just Fluff and maybe a parent, okay, I can spring for a simulator, but four tickets? That’s practically half a roll of wallpaper for the new house. I can’t do it. I explained to her on the way, that we were not going to ride rides and told her not to ask me. Of course she still asked and burst into tears when I said no. The moral of the story is never ride the simulators. Never let your kids know they are there. (Except they are really fun, so ignore me.)
Try this outing:
Difficulty Level: Very easy. The whole thing is a giant airplane hanger with wide open spaces, good lighting and great visibility. It also doesn’t get very crowded, so it’s one of the few places I feel comfortable setting 3 peeps stroller-free.
- Although admission is free, $15 parking is mandatory. There’s just no getting around it.
- The giant hanger is too big to cool well, so it can get hot in there.
- The simulators are really fun. The prices are climbing though. Last time they were $6 and $7 per ticket. –Update: up to $9 now.
- The stealth SR-71 Blackbird seems even cooler when you have watched the part of the Transformers sequel where it comes to life as a robot! They used to have that clip playing on a plasma beside the plane, but I didn’t see it this time. Maybe watch it before hand.
- The parking lot is an orchard of blooming pink trees in early April. It’s like two outings for the price of one.
- Kent and Fluffs were thoroughly bored by the IMAX flight movie they watched. You’ve been warned.
- Don’t miss the observation tower near the entrance.
Fluffy Fun Factor (Preschooler rating): Super fun! I love the plane with the teeth. The best part is the rides.