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“Kid friendly aviation museum on a comfortable scale on an historic airport”

College Park Aviation Museum
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 23 April 2014

Other reviewers have shared extensive comments on what this charming museum offers so duplication of their contributions is not required. This is my third visit over a period of about 15 years and I continue to be struck by the pleasant human scale of this museum and its focus on programs for children and the exhibition of a collection, both owned and borrowed, relevant to the history of the important airfield which has existed here for over a century. Another nice touch is the explanation of the legendary ERCO concern and its iconic Ercoupe product which was produced on a site very close to the museum. My last visit took place during school break and the building was full of children enjoying the programs available from the museum's staff.

4  Thank denbury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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53 - 57 of 82 reviews

Reviewed 21 January 2014

Went here this past weekend. My niece had a blast here playng with all the exhibits that they have for children. There are quite a few of them. The 3 of us adults all thought the museum was well done and enlightening for older folk as well. Not a huge museum, but just about the right size for spending a few hours looking around, seeing some old aircraft and reflecting on the history of aviation.

Thank Mako13Man
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2013

This was part of my Plan B itinerary since the Washington, DC national park sites were closed due to the Government Shutdown forced by Congress. This stop was one of the highlights of my trip.

Driving into the entrance, I was fascinated to see that the College Park Airport was adjacent to the museum. I stopped there first to have a look-see and to talk airport staff. I also stopped to look at the historic marker. Established in August 1909 by the United States Army Signal Corps to serve as a training location for Wilbur Wright to instruct two military officers to fly in the government's first plane, it is the world's oldest continuously operated airport.

The museum is about 8 miles from downtown DC. It's easily accessible by car and public transportation. It is about 30 miles from downtown Baltimore and 24 miles from BWI airport.

Admissions are inexpensive:
$4 - Adults
$3 - Seniors
$2 - Children 2+
FREE - Under 2

The museum does not have a snack bar or restaurant. Picnics are allowed at umbrella tables on the outdoor balcony overlooking the airport runway. There are also picnic tables back at the area near the main building of the College Park Airport.

This museum may be small, but the quality of planes on display is excellent. The planes were restored and well maintained. Another reviewer Jack L has already listed all planes.

At the time of my visit, there were 10 planes on display and one demo plane for a hands-on experience for youngsters. I especially liked the red 1932 Monocoupe 110, the blue and yellow 1941 Boeing A75N1/PT-17 Stearman, and the yellow 1936 Taylor J-2 Cub.

The second floor allows one to get better views of the planes suspended from the ceiling.

Children will like being able to use pre-cut postcards to make their own rubbings or stampings on the “picture” side of the card. They can explore, touch, and sit in the cockpit of the "Imagination Plane", a blue 1939 Taylorcraft near the far end of the museum. There is a hands-on room to learn about flying and to dress up like a pilot. Youngsters can “fly” in one of the simulators. There are pedal planes outside.

The museum offers special family programs and events throughout the year. Check the museum website as you plan your visit.

The airport runway is just outside the full-length glass windows of the museum. One can watch for take-offs and landings while touring the museum.

Additionally, the museum’s full-length glass windows provide plenty of light for non-flash photography. My best results were with the Natural Light and Scene Recognition settings on my camera.

3  Thank Maurene_K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2013

Wow, the history is amazing. It's the world's oldest continuously operating airport and in 1911, it was the first Army Aviation school. The first U.S. Postal Air Mail service originated here in 1918. I'll let you read the other reviews if you'd like a listing of aircraft. It's small but very well done, to be expected as a Smithsonian Affiliate. The children's interactive facilities and play area outside are excellent and it appears to draw a lot of kids.
We were very glad we took a couple of hours to take it in and it's one place in the Capital area that's not crowded. If you take children, allow another hour or two for them to enjoy it.

Thank TomRuthWilliams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2013

Most of the museum's collection of a/c are early biplanes, up to the mid 30's. The first exhibit will be a replica of the Wright Brothers workshop, followed with the museum's a/c. I counted a total of eleven aircraft. This number should not keep a visitor away.

The aircraft are:
1910 Wright Model 'B'.
Curtiss Model D Pusher.
1912 Bleriot Monoplane.
1918 Curtiss Jenny Mail Plane.
1921 Berliner Helicopter.
1936 Taylor J-2 Cub.
1932 Monocoupe 110.
Boeing-Stearman PT-17.
1939 Taylorcraft-which a visitor is allowed to sit for a photograph.
1937 Ercoupe.
1901 Wright glider.

The Berliner Helicopter was a totally unknown to me and is one unusual a/c. To know what I am saying, a person needs to see the aircraft. One staff member took the time to print information about the Berliner off a web site for me. For the children, are aviation related activities. One group of boys & girls were having a very enjoyable time.

Lighting is very plentiful for photography. Probably one hour will be needed to see all. There is a second story balcony, which allows a visitor to get close to a/c hanging from the ceiling. There are no barriers to any floor a/c. The museum is neat, well organized & laid out. No large crowds. Free parking. Seniors 60 plus only $3.00.The museum is located on the northeast side of Washington D.C. Don't think size, think history & content. A visit is recommended.

Jack L., Syracuse, New York.

3  Thank Jack L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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