This morning we visited the Yankee Air Museum for the first time since Memorial Day 2013.
About the Yankee Air Museum
The Yankee Air Museum originally opened at Willow Run Airport in 1981. After a damaging fire in 2004, it reopened in it’s current building in 2010.
The Museum is currently fundraising to Save the Bomber Plant. They have acquired a portion of the historic Bomber Plant at Willow Run. During World War II, the Ford Motor Company made over 8000 B-24 bombers at Willow Run.
Once the Museum moves to it’s new home, it will become the National Museum of Aviation and Technology at Historic Willow Run.
Exhibits at Yankee Air Museum
The Yankee Air Museum features historic military aircraft and artifacts. They also feature an exhibit on the Bomber Plant/Rosie the Riveter. For the kids, there are stations on five simple machines used in aircraft, an exploration station, and toy planes. Check out our Facebook Live museum tour:
Military Aircraft & Memorabilia
There are some aircraft outside the museum. Since we visited on a 15 degree (without windchill) and snow on the ground, we settled for viewing them from our car. Inside the museum, there are a number of planes available spanning from World War I through the Vietnam era.
Rosie the Riveter
Since the museum is located at the Willow Run Airport, there is a section of the museum dedicated to the Bomber Plant and Rosie the Riveter. We had a chance to test out a riveter – it was pretty heavy.
Five Simple Machines
Recently the museum added displays showing Five Simple Machines and their role in aircraft. This was one of my daughter’s favorite parts of the museum. I like how they are injecting both a hands-on activity and a STEM aspect to the museum.
The kids won’t be bored at the museum! They will love the activities in the Exploration Station. At first glance, I thought my daughter and her friend would be too old. But they both loved it. I think they spent at least 45 minutes there.
There are large blocks for building, Magformers, and white board easels.
My daughter’s friend built a ramp with the blocks and then started building Magformers cars to race on it. His mom and I also started building cars to test.
My daughter’s favorite part of the Exploration Station was the Xbox Kinect 360 with flying activities. She loved trying to race the flying squirrel through the course.
Their are several pedal planes for the kids to climb in. They are the perfect size for toddlers and preschoolers. But my 12 year old and her friend both had to give it a shot. Basically her feet fit through the plane.
In addition, there is a Junior Flight Academy. This exhibit was formerly at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum.
Visit Yankee Air Museum
The Yankee Air Museum is on the east side of Willow Run Airport. Their address is 47884 D St, Belleville, MI 48111. Plentiful parking is available on the north side of the building.
Hours & Cost
Yankee Air Museum’s hours are 10a-4p Tuesdays through Saturdays and 11a-4p on Sundays. They are closed on Mondays. Note, they will be closed for annual maintenance from January 8-12. Currently, they have private events scheduled for April 7th, May 10th, and June 9th and will be closed on those days.
Admission is $12/Adults (ages 18+). Children, Military (past and present), seniors (60+), and students with ID receive discounted admission of $8. Children under 2 are free.
Yankee Air Museum Discounts
The good news is that there are Yankee Air Museum Discounts – Michigan Activity Pass, ASTC Membership, and Groupon.
Have you heard about the Michigan Activity Pass? Participating libraries throughout Michigan offer free or discounted admissions to a number of parks, museums, and other venues throughout the state. The Michigan Activity Pass provides you with free admission to Yankee Air Museum. Limited tickets are available. It appears that each of the Ann Arbor branches has 5 tickets per week available. There is a limit of one ticket per library card. I used both my card and my daughter’s card for us to both get free admission.
Yankee Air Museum is a member of the Association of the Science & Technology Centers and offer free admission to members of museums more than 90 miles away. Since we have an Ann Arbor Hands-On Membership, we aren’t eligible for this discount.
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There is also a Groupon for Yankee Air Museum. You can purchase either 2 admissions for $9.25 or 4 admissions for $18.50.
Make a Day of It
We spent about 2 hours at the Yankee Air Museum which was plenty of time for my daughter (age 12) and her friend. With the Exploration Station and pedal cars, even toddlers and preschoolers will have fun at the museum.
We extended the theme of our trip with lunch at The Bomber Restaurant nearby in Ypsilanti. It was the first time we’ve been there for lunch. I enjoyed a Turkey Reuben while my daughter went for her standby of Chocolate Hazelnut French Toast. Their breakfasts are great, so they would also be a great choice before heading to the museum.
Ypsilanti destinations include: