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Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Museum

Enjoy A Multisensory Experience At Air Zoo Kalamazoo

Folding Wings

On the surface, it seems like the Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Museum is going to be a museum and in many respects, it is. This facility is dedicated to telling the stories of time, flight, and space.

The museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian and has been voted the Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners and Best Place to Spend a Day with Your Family multiple years in a row.

While it began as a museum with interactive and educational exhibits, it has transformed over the years into a multisensory experience for people of all ages. Air Zoo Kalamazoo is a 50,000-square-foot facility with three different floors to explore. This attraction appeals to people of all ages and stages because of the varied exhibits and experiences that are available.

For those who are interested in the history of flight and the role that aviation has played in our society, there are more than 40 different aircraft at the Flight Discovery Center.

For families with young children who need rides and entertainment in order to keep their kids engaged, there are rides, flight simulators, and hands-on exhibits at the Flight Innovation Center.

In addition to welcoming visitors on a daily basis, the Air Zoo opens its doors to group tours, educational experiences, classes, scouting programs, and more. This facility strives to be a place where everyone in the community can come to make memories and learn more about aviation and aerospace.

Dining At Air Zoo Kalamazoo

Most people find that they spend nearly the entire day exploring the Air Zoo, which means that they need to refuel at some point. Fortunately, the Kitty Hawk Cafe is open on site for quick and delicious meals. Its a fast, casual restaurant with a variety of menu options for visitors, including hot soup, quick snacks, grab-and-go meals, and made-to-order options. Its open most days for the lunch rush.

Th And 21st Centuries

Michigan’s economy underwent a transformation at the turn of the 20th century. Many individuals, including , and , , , , , and , provided the concentration of engineering know-how and technological enthusiasm to develop the . Ford’s development of the moving in marked a new era in transportation. Like the and railroad, mass production of automobiles was a far-reaching development. More than the forms of public transportation, the affordable automobile transformed private life. Automobile production became the major industry of Detroit and Michigan, and permanently altered the socioeconomic life of the United States and much of the world.

With the growth, the auto industry created jobs in Detroit that attracted immigrants from Europe and migrants from across the United States, including both blacks and whites from the rural . By 1920, Detroit was the fourth-largest city in the US. Residential housing was in short supply, and it took years for the market to catch up with the population boom. By the 1930s, so many immigrants had arrived that more than 30 languages were spoken in the public schools, and communities celebrated in annual heritage festivals. Over the years immigrants and migrants contributed greatly to Detroit’s diverse urban culture, including popular music trends. The influential of the 1960s was led by a variety of individual singers and groups.

In a 2020 study, Michigan was ranked as the 13th easiest state for citizens to vote in.

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State Symbols And Nicknames

Michigan is traditionally known as “The Wolverine State”, and the University of Michigan takes the wolverine as its mascot. The association is well and long established: for example, many Detroiters volunteered to fight during the American Civil War and , who led the Michigan Brigade, called them the “Wolverines”. The origins of this association are obscure it may derive from a busy trade in wolverine furs in Sault Ste. Marie in the 18th century or may recall a disparagement intended to compare early settlers in Michigan with the vicious mammal. Wolverines are, however, extremely rare in Michigan. A sighting in February 2004 near was the first confirmed sighting in Michigan in 200 years. The animal was found dead in 2010.

  • : Wolverine State, Great Lake State, Mitten State, Water-Winter Wonderland
  • : adopted in 1835 on the coat-of-arms, but never as an official motto. This is a paraphrase of the epitaph of British architect Sir about his masterpiece, .

More Things To Do In Kalamazoo

Flying Through Aviation History At Air Zoo In Kalamazoo

As wonderful as the Kalamazoo Air Zoo is, its just one of the many great things to do in Kalamazoo. Being situated so close to downtown sets our guests up to enjoy the best this town has to offer. Below, weve included a few of our favorite things to do in Kalamazoo!

  • There are plenty of great breweries to enjoy in Kalamazoo. There are lots of great venues that offer live music, events, and plenty of fun, too.
  • Enjoy some shopping downtown at the historic Kalamazoo Mall. The Kalamazoo Mall was built in the heart of downtown in 1959. The countrys first outdoor pedestrian shopping mall, where youll find charming landscaping and plenty of splendid boutiques.
  • Aside from the Kalamazoo Air Zoo, another great museum to visit in Kalamazoo is the Gilmore Car Museum. This automobile museum is one of the most prominent auto museums in the world, housing more than 300 classic and vintage cars.
  • Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is home to 20th century American sculpture and painting collections. The museum displays works from famous artists from different parts of the world, including an impressive Dale Chihuly sculpture.
  • Looking to spend a bit of time outdoors? Head to the Kalamazoo Nature Center, where youll find over 1,100 acres full of rolling woods and hills. The Lillian Anderson Arboretum, which covers 140 acres of second-growth deciduous forest, pine plantation, swampland, and meadow, is another wonderful place to enjoy a relaxing afternoon.
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    Rides Activities Experiences And More

    Its easy to spend the entire day checking out the dozens of aircraft that are on display in the aircraft exhibit, but Air Zoo Kalamazoo is more than just a museum its also an indoor amusement park.

    These are just a few of the additional activities and experiences that you can enjoy when you visit:

    • Rides The youngest visitors to the Air Zoo often want to spend most of their time on the rides, which include the Century of Flight Ferris Wheel, the Flying Circus Biplane Ride, and the Paratrooper Jump, to name a few.
    • Flight Simulators For those looking for thrills, the full-motion flight simulators are an amazing experience that allow you to see and feel what it is like to be in the air. There are two flight simulators to choose from, both of which are four-minute experiences.
    • Mission Theater Shows Throughout the day, three different shows play in the Quonset hut-style Mission Theater, and each one provides a different glimpse into the space and aviation industries. These engaging and informative shows are the perfect option for anyone who needs to take a break to rest and unwind during their day at the Air Zoo Kalamazoo.

    What Is The Price Of Admission At The Air Zoo Kalamazoo

    Air Zoo members can enter the museum for free. Non-members will have to pay admission in order to enter. Current admission rates are:

    $15.95 for adults $12.95 for seniors over the age of 60 $14.95 for children between the ages of 5-18 Free for children under the age of 5

    Discounts are available for military members and first responders, and there are also discounted rates for large groups.

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    Air Zoo Kalamazoo Exhibits

    The massive Exhibition Floor is home to the many permanent and temporary exhibits at the Air Zoo. Some of the most popular exhibits at this facility include:

    • Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame This permanent exhibit was first created in 1987, and it honors the people in Michigan who have made significant contributions to the aviation industry.
    • Women in Air & Space This exhibit focuses primarily on the women who made history in the aviation industry, with areas dedicated to explorers such as Amelia Earhart and astronaut Sally Ride. People of all ages will enjoy the interactive timeline in this exhibit.
    • Alien Worlds & Androids As one of the largest exhibits in the museum, Alien Worlds & Androids is particularly inviting. This interactive exhibit allows you to learn more about the search for life beyond our planet.
    • D-Day 75: En Route by Plane and Parachute This exhibit, which is designed for people of all ages, allows you to experience what D-Day would have been like for those who were there. Its an eye-opening exhibit thats powerful and informative.
    • National Guadalcanal Memorial Museum This extensive space exploration exhibit covers the Guadalcanal Campaign, one of the bloodiest and longest WWII campaigns. Its known as the geographical and psychological turning point for the Pacific land war.

    These are just a few of the exhibits that visitors can explore when they spend a day at the Air Zoo.

    Ww2 History Comes To Life At The Air Zoo

    Boeing Stearman Kaydet Tour

    FILE Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Museum in Portage.

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Air Zoo History is coming to life at the Air Zoo in Portage. For a decade, restoration teams at the Air Zoo have been working to restore a FM-2 Wildcat, that was lent to them. Did you know that the FM-2 Wildcat was one of the U.S Navys best fighter planes? Playing a big, early role, in helping the Allies win the Pacific theater during WW II. But how the plane was able to get into the hands of the Air Zoo is a story itself.

    The date was December 18th, 1944. Navy pilot William Forbes was training on an Aircraft carrier that was stationed in Lake Michigan. Forbes failed during takeoff and caused the FM-2 Wildcat to roll over the carrier into Lake Michigan. Forbes was ok but his plane was not, as the wildcat sunk 200 ft into the bottom of Lake Michigan. It was not until 68 years later, in 2012, that the plan was discovered and resurfaced. Crews working with the National Naval Aviation Museum found it and then lent it to the Air Zoo for restoration a year later.

    The restoration project is expected to be done in the about 20 months. Then the plane will be delivered down to Arlington Texas by semi-truck, in time for the Museums opening in 2024. The plane was originally slated to be the National Naval Aviation Museum, given its direct ties to the Navy. But due to its relation to the highest military honor, it was felt it would have more of an impact, at the future National Medal of Honor Museum.

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    Explore Aircraft At Air Zoo Kalamazoo

    With more than 40 aircraft on site, youll have the opportunity to see the aviation industry unfold before your eyes. The aircraft exhibit area is broken down into several categories:

    • Early Flight There are five aircraft in this area, including a Montgolfier Balloon and a Curtis Pusher 1911.
    • Golden Age of Aviation With about half a dozen aircraft from the late 1920s and early 1930s, this area shines a light on the best years of the aviation industry. Youll find a variety of aircraft in this area, including a Heath Baby Bullet 1936.
    • World War II This section is the largest part of the aircraft exhibition, with more than two dozen WWII aircraft on display. You can easily spend hours in this area, where youll find a V-1 Flying Bomb 1942 and a Grumman F6F Hellcat.
    • Jet Age In the decades following WWII, the jet age began in earnest. In this section of the Air Zoo, there are nearly 20 aircraft on display, including a Lockheed F-117 and a Grumman F-14A Tomcat.
    • Space When humankind set out for the skies and shot for the stars, the space age began. This part of the museum has an El KaBong to see and discover.
    • Kits, Home Builts, and Civilian Planes This portion of the aircraft exhibit is dedicated to the ingenuity and inquisitive nature of humankind, particularly when it comes to developing aircraft. Some aircraft on display include the Avid Flyer 1983 and the Fokker Triplane.

    The History Of The Kalamazoo Air Zoo

    The Kalamazoo Air Zoo was founded in 1977, and at the time, it was known as the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum.

    The museum was the dream of two former pilots, Women Airforce Service Pilot Sue Parish and World War II Pilot Pete Parish. Their goal was to preserve military aircraft and share the important role that these aircraft have played throughout history, particularly during WWI and WWII.

    An initial purchase of a Beech 35C Bonanza was followed by a Stearman, an AT-6, a Wildcat, and a P-40 Warhawk. In the 1970s, a friend offered them his Grumman Bearcat on one condition that they open a museum to display it along with their own aircraft.

    After the Kalamazoo air museum opened its doors, it grew quickly. Soon, it was known as one of the largest non-governmental museums dedicated to aviation history.

    It wasnt until 1999 that the museum decided to change its name to Air Zoo. The name change was inspired by the many aircraft bearing animal names inside the museum, including the Bearcat, Hellcat, Flying Tiger, and Wildcat.

    As the museum rebranded itself as the Air Zoo, it also began to reinvent itself as more than just an educational museum. Between 1999 and 2003, plans were made to transform the Air Zoo into an indoor amusement park, and a new facility was purchased.

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    What To Do At The Kalamazoo Air Zoo

    Kalamazoo is known for its robust combination of big-city energy and small-town charm. The beautiful Art Deco downtown offers excellent dining, boutique shopping, and cultural attractions. The many colleges in town bring it youthful energy and cultural opportunities that cant be beaten. Its a great town, and the surrounded areas offer plenty of great things to see and do, like the Kalamazoo Air Zoo.

    The Kalamazoo Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Museum is a fascinating place to explore. The Kalamazoo Air Zoo is a world-class Smithsonian-affiliated aerospace and science museum that houses more than 100 air and space crafts and other artifacts. They also offer interactive exhibits, full-motion flight simulators, indoor amusement park rides, plus so much more.

    Inside the Kalamazoo Air Zoo is a nationally renowned Restoration and Flight Discovery Center, where you can watch experts restore planes. Currently, they are working on the restoration of two WWII aircraft recovered from Lake Michigan: The Douglas Dauntless SBD-1 and FM-2 Wildcat.

    Each September, the Kalamazoo Air Zoo opens up cockpits on select planes. The schedule for these events hasnt been released yet, but keep an eye out for more information. Visitors to the Kalamazoo Air Zoo also have the opportunity to fly biplanes with Waldo Wrights Flying Service. They werent able to offer these services in 2021, but it looks like they will once again offer these flights between May and September of 2022.

    Are All Attractions Open At The Air Zoo

    Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum

    Some attractions and experiences may not be available due to ongoing restrictions with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, local guidelines and recommendations are constantly changing, and the Air Zoo is continuing to bring back many of its offerings so that everyone can enjoy the experiences that they have come to know and love.

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    Visit The Kalamazoo Air Zoo In 2022

    There are many exciting things to do in Kalamazoo throughout the year, but one of our favorite places to go when you need a bit of time indoors is the Kalamazoo Air Zoo. Originally called the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum, the Kalamazoo Air Zoo is an aviation museum and indoor amusement park.

    The Kalamazoo Air Zoo is located next to the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport in Portage, Michigan, just a short 15-minute drive from our Kalamazoo Bed and Breakfast. The Kalamazoo House is centrally located downtown Kalamazoo, near many of the towns top restaurants, bars, breweries, shops, and more. Its an exceptional place to stay while exploring all this exciting area has to offer!

    Kalamazoo, Michigan should be on your must-see list this year. Its a city filled with an exciting blend of culture, arts, and outdoor adventure and is undoubtedly one of the best places to stay in Michigan. That is especially true when you stay at our luxury Bed and Breakfast, the Kalamazoo House. Book your room with us today!

    Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Museum

    MuseumKalamazoo County | Michigan

    Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Museum is located in Kalamazoo County, Michigan, United States. Address of Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Museum is 6151 Portage Rd, Portage, MI 49002, USA. Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Museum has quite many listed places around it and we are covering at least 67 places around it on

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