Top 10 kid-friendly activities at the Royal Aviation Museum

Fun takes flight at the Royal Aviation Museum! We have many hands-on exhibits and interactive areas where kids (and kids at heart!) can learn and be entertained. Here are our top 10.

1. Live out your fighter pilot dreams in our Voodoo cockpit
Photo by Joey Senft

The McDonnell F-101B (CF-101) Voodoo was a supersonic, all-weather interceptor employed by the Royal Canadian Air Force starting in 1961. In its day, the Voodoo could zoom higher, faster and further and intercept an enemy sooner than any other aircraft.

Our Voodoo is on display outside the museum, but inside, we have a second cockpit visitors can climb into. It’s a favourite among visitors and makes for a great photo op!

2. Learn about turbulence

Our brand-new wind tunnel teaches visitors how airflow can impact an aircraft’s fuel economy and drag, and cause turbulence.

This 12-foot interactive new exhibit was designed and built by students at the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology. With guidance from two of our volunteers, both retired aerospace engineers, students from three programs spent 500 hours completing the wind tunnel.

Learn more about the project here.

3. Climb inside the Musketeer

Our Science of Flight zone is full of ways to inspire, including our Beechcraft Musketeer trainer.

The Musketeer was used by pilot trainees before they moved onto more advanced RCAF aircraft. The Musketeer trained around 5,000 Canadian pilots before being retired in 1992.

Visitors of all ages can climb inside this aircraft and learn the basics of pitch, yaw, and roll!

4. Test your skills as WWI flying ace

Until August 17, you can “pilot” a First World War biplane and dodge enemy aircraft using motion sensing technology with Ace Academy.

This interactive exhibit comes to us from the Canada Space and Aviation Museum and can be found in the Northern Connections zone

5. Play all day
Photo by Joey Senft

We have two great play areas in the museum. Our Galaxy Exploration zone has a fun, space-themed play structure with a slide, tunnels, games, and more.

For younger children, up to about age three, we have a second play zone with soft blocks and toys.

Let the little ones burn off some energy while you grab a coffee from our café and enjoy a much-needed break.

6. Travel back in time

Take a journey back to the 1960s when air travel was glamorous when you step inside our Vickers Viscount commercial airliner.

Dance down the aisle, plop yourself in one of the oversized seats, and imagine what it was like to fly in a time when everyone dressed up and meals were served on real dishes.

7. Hop on a pedal plane
Photo by Maddy Reico

Ride the runways on one of our custom-made pedal or push planes!

These ride-on toys were handmade by two of our volunteers and debuted last summer, thanks to support from the Carolyn Sifton Foundation.

Pedal plane rides are available on weekends and select weekdays during the summer and are included with admission. Call the museum to find out operating hours for the day of your visit.

Pedal planes may not be available on special event days.

8. Summer Fun Days

These half-day programs start July 2, 2024, and run every Tuesday morning from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm through August 20.

Each program is 2.5 hours long and includes a museum tour, an educational component and hands-on STEM activity, nut-free snack, and supervised playtime outdoors in Aviation Plaza (weather permitting!).

We have two programs to choose from, suitable for ages five through 12. Participants can learn about the four forces of flight, design and build their own aircraft, and more!

See the details and register here.

9. Get hands-on in the Mechanics’ Workshop

Kids love the antique navigation centre and engine simulators in our Standard Aero Mechanics’ Workshop. There’s lots to explore including touchable artefacts and a Merlin engine, just like the ones used in Supermarine Spitfires, North American P-51 Mustangs, and Avro Lancasters—including the one visiting our museum July 16 and 17!

10. Plane spotting
Photo by Joey Senft

It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re watching the busy runways at the Winnipeg International Airport.

Our Observation Lounge, complete with spotting scopes, provides a perfect vantage point to watch the comings and goings of commercial, military, and private aircraft.

We also have some great events planned for this summer you won’t want to miss. Check out the list here.

See you at the museum!


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