Believe it or not, in the 7 years I've lived in Cincinnati (+ the 4 I spent in Oxford at Miami), I've never made the trek to the Air Force Museum in nearby Dayton. It's not that I haven't wanted to go-- I have. I've just never planned the trip. So when some friends called us and asked if we wanted to join them for the day, we decided to go.
So...there's an Air Force base in Dayton. And there's an Air Force Museum there. With free admission. It's housed in 3 large hangars and there are literally dozens of planes to see. Most of them are military planes. I was a little apprehensive when we first got there and feared that Cate would be overwhelmed and/or bored. Thankfully, she had fun running around from plane to plane with the other kids. I realize her face above is not one of happiness, but she didn't want me to take her picture. Even Brennan enjoyed having so much to look at. With Cate bouncing around from plane to plane, there wasn't a whole lot of time to actually stop and read about them. And there are several planes whose histories I'd like to read up on. The museum houses the plane that dropped the bomb on Nagasaki, for example. One of the planes (from the Korean war, I think) was open so that you could walk through it. Cate loved that!
My favorite part was the small exhibit they had about the Holocaust. I teach the novel, Night, every year and throw in quite a bit of Holocaust/WW2 history with it. This section at the museum primarily focused on the concentration camps being liberated by American soldiers, but they had some interesting artifacts, like one of the Star of David patches that Jewish Germans had to sew on their clothing. Eric's favorite part was the space section, where they house several old Nasa rockets. He's kind of a space geek and went to space camp as a kid. He had fun telling Cate about the different rockets and lunar modules. With the recent end to the shuttle program, we're both very curious to see where the space program goes in the coming years.
It's pretty safe to say we'll be going back. I saw quite a few little boys that were enamored by the planes and I'm sure Brennan will be too in a few years. I'd like to spend a little more time reading about the different displays too. Somehow I missed the B-17 bomber they have there. My grandfather worked on them in Italy and Africa during WW2, so I definitely want to go back to see that.
If you're ever in the area, check it out! It's a great place to spend a day. And since it's air-conditioned, we were able to beat the heat!