Families looking for things to do in Yorkshire visit the museum and have a wonderful time, often spending far more time here than they had originally planned. Family visitors outnumber all others whenever we study who comes to visit and how long they stay. But some people worry that if they’re not aviation enthusiasts and military history geeks, they may not find much to interest them. In fact, we find that people who aren’t ardent fans of aircraft or history are often the ones who enjoy themselves the most. Here’s our quick guide on reasons why you should visit the museum, even if you think you have no interest in aircraft!
The Kids Won’t be Bored
Balancing the varied interests of a whole family with the short attention span of young children can be a testing time on family holidays. But with a combination of open spaces, indoor exhibits and a selection of cockpits that they can actually climb into in the Handley Page Hangar, there is plenty to keep young minds busy. We even have our own fire service, with airport firefighting equipment. While some aircraft are behind ropes for safety, others such as our C47 Dakota are nearly always open to the public. Seeing the inside of a WW2 transport aircraft that carried paratroopers is sure to impress them. Make sure you collect our activity sheet from the stewards office as you arrive for a list of interesting things to find and explore.
There’s something for adults of all ages.
Our collection of aircraft spans the entire history of flight. From the very first aeroplanes to military jets, some of which have only just ceased active service. Whether you’re on a day out with grandparents who will recall their youth or you’re a young parent yourself with children, you will be sure to find something that strikes a chord with your own memories.
The new WW1 exhibition explores a period that is not often in the public eye these days, while our collection of Cold War jets will be familiar to anyone who was a child of the sixties and seventies. If you grew up watching the news of the Falklands War and first Gukf War you will find our Nimrod, Buccaneer and Victor jets a familiar sight.
You Can Bring Your Pooch
No need to endure those sad eyes as you leave them at home. Dogs are allowed here and we don’t mean leave them in the car with the window ajar. We’re a dog friendly place and quite happy to let you bring along the hairy part of your family. All we ask is that you keep your hound on a lead and away from the NAAFI canteen and the museum shop areas and of course, pick up anything they may leave behind….
Something to Eat.
Our NAAFI cafe serves a range of meals throughout the day. A combination of snacks, children’s menus and full adult meals means that there will be an option for everyone. And if you really don’t share your other half’s interest in old aircraft, we can offer you cake…
Conquer the Yorkshire Weather
We enjoy some wonderful sunny days here at the Museum. But there’s no denying the British climate can sometimes be a little unpredictable. Bank Holidays seem to be something that the UK weather is a specialist at making random.
One of the things that visitors comment on most often is the variety of things to see under cover. While our more hardy aircraft are outside all year round, the large hangar houses a huge collection of aircraft and other vehicles, while all around the museum you will find interesting exhibitions, from Pioneers of Aviation to Against The Odds Bomber Command and Gas Bags to Super Zeppelins. And of course, the Control Tower is open to be explored, restored exactly as it was in wartime. By the way, we recommend the Weather Pro mobile app, a really accurate source of weather information and great for planning days out.
Bring a Camera. Any Camera.
We love cameras. There are no restrictions on photography here. Whether you’re an enthusiastic photographer, an Instagram addict or you simply wish to catch those moments of the children on your iPhone, we won’t stop you. All we ask is that you are careful around the aircraft and make sure that excitement doesn’t overcome. It’s very tempting to climb on the exhibits for that selfie, but please don’t! Our stewards are there to inform and also keep you safe, so please heed their wishes. Share your pictures with us on social media, we love seeing them. You’ll find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Don’t believe us? Check the opinions of others.
We are consistently ranked 4.5 on Trip Advisor, right alongside all of the other top attractions both in Yorkshire and nationally. Trip Advisor can be a useful tool to plan ways to keep everyone occupied, so take a moment to read some of the reviews that previous visitors have posted.
The Plan Your Visit page gives more details of our opening hours, plus a plan of the museum, admission charges and other useful facts. Don’t be surprised if you find you send more time here than you first anticipated. Old aeroplanes have that effect on people.