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“Candy Elgin, IL”

Peterson Air & Space Museum
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The museum is open to the public even though the museum is on an active Air Force installation. All that is required is for non-military ID card holders and groups to call us or submit a request on our web site a minimum of one day in advance of your visit (between 9 am and 12 pm MST) to arrange for a pass and detailed instructions. A State or federal issued Photo ID is required for all Non-DoD visitors over 18. Drivers will need to have proof of insurance and registration for their vehicles. The Museum preserves and portrays the rich aviation and space history of Colorado Springs and Peterson Air Force Base. From our barnstormer beginnings in the Roaring Twenties, through the daring exploits of our World War II pilots and into the modern space era, our exhibits are sure to capture your attention.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities
Elgin, Illinois
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Candy Elgin, IL”
Reviewed 28 September 2013

I enjoyed the Museum's tour. The tour guides are extremely knowledgeable especially the retired Air Force General. Allow extra time so you may absorb the history, the viewing, and questions. A must see!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank candy m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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111 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Philadelphia, PA
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Terrific museum, a unique collection”
Reviewed 24 August 2013

This is a relatively small museum, but with a very well put together collection, some unique artifacts from the cold war and terrific docents. Compared to some other museums, the number of planes is small. A decent selection of mostly jets, but not huge. The centerpiece is a Lockheed EC-121 (one of the first radar surveillance planes) which you are allowed to board. Our docent gave a very detailed tour of the plane, all the various radar equipment and how it functioned.

For me, the real highlight of the collection were the displays in the hangar from the cold war. There is a training version of the missile launch room from an ICBM silo, a model of the nearby NORAD complex, the nose cone (not the right military term, I know) from an ICBM, and any number of other control stations from and models of other radar or early warning systems. It really has a good explanation of how the cold war defense systems operated. Even my wife, who generally barely tolerates military or air museums, said that she really found it interesting.

The docents are very friendly and knowledgeable. We had a terrific tour and our docent really took the time to make sure we enjoyed the visit and answering my 2 sons' questions (even those only marginally related to the museum).

Security: if you're non-military, you need to call the day before. On the day of the visit, you need to stop at the visitor center before the West Gate of the base and check in before proceeding (allow 20 minutes or so for that). This is explained in detail on the website and wasn't nearly as daunting as it sounded. One phone call is all it took. NOTE for those in rental cars: you will need to give your license plate number on the phone, have it handy.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank S_M0rris0n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Big Island, Hawaii
Level 6 Contributor
258 reviews
135 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 204 helpful votes
“sorry, I just can't recommend it”
Reviewed 4 June 2013

I found the art deco building that it's housed in more interesting than the air display. In fact, the ladies' bathroom is gorgeous. However, I think I would use this "museum" as a great picnic spot. Sit in front of the big airplane and look at the art deco building with Pike's Peak in the background.
If you're military, then fine. However as a civilian the razzmatazz to get on base would only be worth it if the museum were a good one. It isn't. I really hate to say that because I'm SURE that some fantastically lovely people worked hard on it, but they really need to collaborate with some other museums to see what they can do to improve, 'cuz it just wasn't happenin' for me.
The docents are sweet, by the way. I hope they continue.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank wannago2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Palmer Lake, Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Very Interesting”
Reviewed 26 April 2013

Security is very tight plan on at least 1/2 before your scdule reservation to get everyone checked in. Gus our docent was amazing as to the knowledge and information he shared. It helps if you know somethng about planes. We had the opportunity to get inside the large radar plane and to go inside the actual place site where they launch missles. for my friends in Chicago at one point in the 1950's to 1970's there was a nuclear missle buried in Grant Park with 18 more around the city.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank kit52349
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
81 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Wonderful People!”
Reviewed 13 April 2013

When we first pulled up I have to admit I was underwhelmed. The main building is kind of small BUT my first impression was wrong. After watching a short video we discovered that there is an entire hangar to explore plus several planes outside to look at. The best part by far were the volunteers. We were able to get a tour inside one of the planes led by a man who used to serve on that very plane. It was incredible. All of the volunteers were amazing and it really made our trip.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank Jamie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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