The Great Paper Airplane Fly-Off is our exclusive competition for kids ages 6 to 14 awarding a 60-minute introductory airplane flight over Tucson and a tablet for the longest throw for a paper airplane in each age group. It is a fun-filled day featuring:
- paper airplane folding with tips and a demonstration from Ken Blackburn (a Guinness World Record holder for a paper airplane throw),
- pilot “training” including fun on an inflatable obstacle course,
- a NASCAR race car simulator, lunch, snacks, a prize wheel sponsored by Mars Chocolate North America, and more.
Entrants receive a FREE t-shirt and drawstring backpack. Each entrant can bring 4 guests. Everyone at the event is eligible for great door prizes including another Double Eagle Aviation introductory flight above Tucson; NASCAR race tickets; Mars Chocolate North America candies and more. Advanced registration is required and opens mid-November (register early, it fills up!). More information and registration is available at http://greatpaperairplane.org/.
The museum stays open late for this summer-evening program filled with fun aviation activities for kids. Night Wings occurs on the 4th Saturday of June, July and August, and the museum stays open till 9:00pm. Adults only pay $10. Kids 12 & under are FREE. The fun begins at 5:00pm.
Each Night Wings evening features one “main attraction.” Main attractions in the past have been radio-controlled jets, LEGO® Robotics, and a fan favorite, the Physics Factory. Refer to our website’s online event calendar for the special attractions of upcoming Night Wings events close to the event.
There are also 12 to 15 different aviation-related activity stations that will engage children as they learn about flight. In 2014, 174 attendees completed the NASA Exploration Design Challenge earning the official designation of virtual crew on board the Orion EFT-1. Other past programs have included:
- Coloring/drawing contests (a great way to win a family membership)
- Aviation-themed puzzles and games
- Impact craters exploration
- Space food samplings (including ice cream, YUM!)
- Photo ops in the cockpit of the T-33 Shooting Star high-speed jet trainer
- Plane spotting (just like during WWII!)
- Memory game, large scale and aviation-style
- Paper airplanes
- Kite building
- Seltzer-rocket launching
- Straw-rocket creation and launch
The Flight Grill restaurant is open until 8:30pm offering dinner specials, such as burgers, salads, pizza and ice cream.
This is also a great opportunity to see some of the museum’s fantastic planes against a sunset backdrop. It’s a majestic sight that provides unique photo opportunities. For only $4 more you can ride the tram and breeze around the 150 outdoor planes. Night Wings.
Kids! Costumes! Candy! Crafts!
This is “non-scary” Halloween carnival fun for the whole family. The admission price is $10 for ages 13 & older; members and children ages 12 & under are FREE. Night of Fright takes place on the Friday before Halloween from 5 to 9pm. We encourage costumes and offer family-friendly Halloween activities. In the past, activities included:
- Trick or treating
- Pony rides
- Temporary tattoos
- Twix & Wrigley’s gum stick bi-plane craft
- Fishing for prizes
- Baked goods walk
- “Ghoulish” games:
- Eyeball Mini Putt-Putt
- Mummy Bowling
- Halloween "Twister"
The Flight Grill restaurant transforms into the “Fright Grill” for the evening, offering Halloween-themed dinners.
Plus, the aircraft and exhibits in the Main Hangar are open for viewing under ghoulish lights. Night of Fright.
Every year the museum invites Santa Claus to fly in by helicopter to greet the good little girls and boys in Tucson. Families can watch Santa land, sit on his lap, and participate in many other festivities.
To the children’s delight Santa arrives by helicopter around 10:00am. Each family will have the opportunity to visit with Santa. Be sure to bring your camera to take pictures of your child with Santa.
In the past, holiday activities included:
- Writing a letter to Santa and hand delivering it to him!
- Storytime readings (about the "Candy Bomber")
- Ornament decorating
- Petting zoo
- Glider assembly
- Temporary holiday tattoo
Don’t forget to look at the aircraft on display outside and in the Main Hangar, plus in Hangars 3 and 4. The Space Gallery is also a great place to learn about space exploration and see a real moon rock!