My children have a special interest in aircraft and flying, so we always look for air and space museums when we travel. One of the best we’ve been to is near Atlanta’s airport, the Delta Flight Museum.
Open since 1995, the Delta Flight Museum is located in the airline’s original 1940s-era aircraft hangars in Atlanta, which are designated as an Historic Aerospace Site. The museum tells the story of aviation history from its earliest days to the present and Delta’s place in this history.
The massive hangars contain immersive exhibits and fun activities for children and adults to explore. It’s a must-see museum for any aviation enthusiast!
The museum is located a short drive from the enormous Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. It’s the busiest airport in the world and serves as the main hub for Delta Airlines. If you have a really long layover at the airport with kids, you could definitely fit in a visit to the museum as it’s just a short Uber/cab drive from the terminal.
The hangars are located on the grounds of Delta’s main headquarters. My kids loved driving around this area, watching the massive planes take off and land at the airport just across the street.
Enter the museum and show your tickets (purchase ahead of time here). Be sure to ask for a scavenger hunt booklet! You can also download the Delta Flight Museum AR app on your phone to enhance your visit.
You will enter the smaller hangar to your right to learn about propeller planes. There are many planes to explore, including a restored Delta Douglas DC-3. The interior was closed on our visit but it is usually open.
My kids enjoyed learning how propellers actually worked and how a pilot controls the aircraft.
I enjoyed seeing some of the oldest flight attendant uniforms. How uncomfortable it must have been to wear these clothes!
The kids thought the 1960s mod items were hilarious! The exhibits have a broad range of items that we’ve only seen on shows like Mad Men.
Models of all of the planes were fascinating as well.
The second hangar is absolutely massive with a Boeing 767 open to explore!
There are tons of exhibits to see on your way to tour the huge plane so don’t miss them, including these snazzy uniforms and cockpit!
Go upstairs and enter the Boeing 767 – The Spirit of Delta. The front part of the plane has been preserved and the back half is now an exhibit area. Your kids will love seeing behind the scenes of the plane! They can sit in the seats, play with the seat buckles, open the little lockers the flight attendants use (haven’t you always wondered what was in them?), pretend to be in first class, all things kids will love!
The exhibits are really interesting as well, showing how sports teams use the planes and how the flight attendants prepare the food served.
One of the coolest parts of the museum is actually outside. After you’re done in the big hangar, head outside to the first 747-400 ever built – Delta’s Ship 6301. This truly massive double-decker plane is open to explore, and kids will love sitting in the comfortable first-class seats and even going upstairs to view the flight attendants’ sleeping bunks.
The coolest part of the plane is the back where the interior has been removed so kids can see the inner workings of the plane. It’s amazing to see all of the wires and insulation it takes to get this big bird in the air!
If you have a teen (or adult!) who loves flying, the museum is the only place where civilians can experience a Boeing 737-200 flight simulator. We purchased the tickets for my son’s birthday present, and he absolutely loved the experience! The simulator is located back in the massive Hangar #2 and it is worth the money! The hour-long experience included training from a former pilot and detailed instructions. I got to wait outside and video the simulator as my son “flew” it. He said it was so realistic!
If you love to learn about the history of aviation or your kids are obsessed with planes, the Delta Flight Museum should be on your must-visit list! With so many interactive exhibits, kids and adults alike will have a great time at the museum, and it makes a perfect stop during a long layover at Atlanta’s airport.
- Museum: $15/adults; $10/ages 5-17; free/under 5
- Flight Simulator: $425 for 1-4 people (ages 16 and up)
- Recommended: all ages
- Tour time: 1-2 hours (add an hour for the flight simulator)
- Gift shop located onsite and online
- Transportation: There is plenty of onsite parking. The museum is located about 10 miles south of downtown Atlanta (15-30 minutes depending on the notorious Atlanta traffic). If you’re coming from the airport, the recommended mode of transportation is a cab.
- Dining options: We opted to eat at the Concorde Grille, located in the nearby Renaissance Hotel, so we could watch the planes taxi on the runway right beside the hotel. Other nearby restaurants include Pit Boss BBQ and Willy’s Mexicana Grill.
- Nearby hotels: Renaissance Concourse Atlanta Airport is the closest to the museum but all chains have a presence. Just search for hotels near the Atlanta Airport.
- Nearby attractions include: Porsche Driving Experience, Zoo Atlanta, and Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park
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