Naval Aviation Museum

National Naval Aviation Museum, Picture of airplane

The place is so big, I’m not entirely sure I know how to find the way out—or how to reunite with my kids and husband after a trip to the washroom.  But I just follow the children’s squeals, and I find them again.

Naval Aviation Museum, Two girls stand in front of a statue outside the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida.


M-girl giggles as she goes down the indoor slide at the Naval Aviation Museum, and the three kids start an imaginary mission in the play airplane. They also get to sit in real airplanes, and their imaginations soar as they pretend to be pilots.


Airplanes at National Naval Aviation Museum


The flight simulator looks like a lot of fun, but at USD$20 per person, it’s a bit steep. Plus, we’re not entirely sure that I’d enjoy being a pilot… you know, tight spaces and all. We content ourselves with the free attractions: looking at the several Navy airplanes and jets, learning about the history of the world wars, and watching a video about daily life in space. We also get a chance to sit in some of those real airplanes, too.


Children sitting in an airplane at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida


As usual, when you’re visiting a very large place with children, there’s never much time to take it all in. One day, I’d like to return to the museum and spend the whole day here, really engaging with each display.


US Navy Airplanes at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida


It’s free to spend the day at the National Naval Aviation Museum, and we all enjoyed ourselves and learned more about the world wars. It was also interesting to learn about the evolution of sea planes and the birth of the aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy. I wish I had had more time to watch the full “Heavy Metal” video, all about this topic.


Airplane at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida

For anyone who enjoys military history, this is an excellent place to check out, but I recommend setting aside 2-3 days to really take it all in. The place is gigantic, and we only saw one of the buildings. Although the visit is free, consider budgeting for taking the flight simulator for a spin, and ending your visit at the onsite restaurant if you’re not easily visually overwhelmed. The walls of the restaurant are covered in trophies and military memorabilia, and I found it a little overwhelming to look at.

Have you ever been to the Naval Aviation Museum? What was your favourite display?


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