SoCal Attractions for Kids Who Love Planes!

Take off with us as we explore the best airplane attractions in Southern California! From captivating air museums to exhilarating air parks and annual air shows, get ready for a high-flying adventure!

Editor’s Note: Updated as of February 2024. Be sure to confirm details such as pricing, operating hours, exhibits, etc. with each attraction before attending.

 


 

Photo: Thomas Ornston from Darmstadt, Germany, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Blackbird Airpark | Palmdale

Blackbird Airpark is part of the Air Force Flight Test Museum at Edwards AFB. Discover the world’s only display of a Lockheed SR-71A with its predecessor A-12, along with the once super-secret D-21 drone, and the one and only U-2 “D” model left in the world. The airpark was established to celebrate the awesome history of the Blackbird family of military aircraft. How cool is it to see actual spy planes?!

The airpark is only open on Friday – Sundays, 11am – 4pm. Admission and parking are free. As an added bonus, the airpark is located right next door to the Joe Davies Heritage Airpark.

 

 

Photo: Flight Path Museum LAX

Flight Path Museum | Los Angeles

Located on the airfield of LAX, Flight Path Museum is your ticket to Southern California’s aviation history. See an extensive collection of airline artifacts and flight crew uniforms from around the world. Learn about space exploration history, the legendary Flying Tigers airline, and fire fighting vehicles used at LAX. The museum also offers Flight Path Simulator Training and a research library.

Tickets are $5 general admission, $3 children (ages 12-18), and free for children under age 12.

 

 

Photo: Flight Path Walk of Fame – John K. Northrop Plaque

Flight Path Walk of Fame | Los Angeles

Take a stroll down the Flight Path “Walk of Fame” – a cool pathway featuring over 50 plaques honoring the awesome pioneers and folks who made sure Southern California ruled the skies in aviation and aerospace. You’ll find this Walk of Fame on Sepulveda Blvd. in the Westchester area of Los Angeles.

See plaques dedicated to pioneers like:

  • Sally Ride (the first U.S. woman in space)
  • Katherine Cheung (1st Chinese-American woman to become licensed pilot)
  • John K. Northrop (pioneer aircraft designer and founder of Northrop Corp.)
  • Amelia Earhart (record-setting woman pilot)
  • Charles Lindbergh (first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic)
  • Wright Brothers (world’s first powered flight)
  • Bessie Coleman (first licensed black pilot)

 

 

Photo: Joe Davies Heritage Airpark

Joe Davies Heritage Airpark | Palmdale

Welcome to Joe Davies Heritage Airpark, where you can check out a bunch of cool planes that from the United States Air Force Plant 42. Get up close to 21 retired military aircraft, plus a 1/8-scale model of the B-2 Spirit, an AGM-28 Hound Dog Missile, a B-52, a C-46, and various aircraft components. Guided tours are available upon request.

The park also features picnic tables, some even under the wings of a plane! As an added bonus, Blackbird Airpark is located right next door.

The airpark is only open Friday – Sunday, 11am – 4pm. Admission is free.

 

 

Photo: Lyon Air Museum – Douglas A-26 “Invader”

Lyon Air Museum | Santa Ana

The Lyon Air Museum is located on the west side of John Wayne Airport. They’ve got the real deal with authentic aircraft, rare vehicles and cool memorabilia from World War II. Keep an eye out for special events like Open Cockpit Days happening all year round. Kids will love watching planes take off from the airport!

Admission: $14 general, $7 children (ages 5-17), free for children under 5.

 

 

Photo: Mark Holtzman Photography

March Field Air Museum | Riverside

March Field Air Museum features 100+ historic aircraft and more than 30,000 artifacts on display spanning a century of aviation history. The collection includes historic bi-planes, sleek jet fighters, rugged helicopters, and futuristic drones. The museum also features a children’s activity area where kids can gear up and climb into a cockpit. Their website also has fun activities and worksheets for kids.

Admission: $18 adults (12 years and up), $10 children (ages 5-11), free for children 4 and under.

 

 

Photo: Museum of Flying

Museum of Flying | Santa Monica

Nestled near Santa Monica Airport, the Museum of Flying features nearly two dozen aircraft and the California Aviation Hall of Fame, highlighting aviation visionaries through cool images and artifacts. The museum also features hands-on interactive areas for children with open cockpits of a Convair 240, Lockheed T-33, and Boeing 727. Visitors also get a view of the runway and can even listen in on the control tower radio communications.

Admission: $10 adults, $6 children (ages 3-12), free for children 2 and under. Parking is free.

 

 

Photo: Palm Springs Air Museum

Palm Springs Air Museum | Palm Springs

Palm Springs Air Museum is home to one of the world’s largest collection of aircraft spanning WWII through the War on Terror. Unlike other museums, the hangars here have no ropes, allowing visitors to get up close to the exhibits. Hangars include the Pacific (Navy) Hangar, European (Army) Hangar, Korea & Vietnam Hangar, F-117A Hangar, and the B-17 Hangar which also includes the Youth Exploration Center with interactive activities, F-16 FLight Simulator, and the Gen. Ken Miles Aviation Science Center.

Annual signature events include the Memorial Day Flower Drop (May), Chili Cook-Off/Car Show (October), Snowtopia (December), and more.

Admission: $23 adults (ages 18-64), $21 teens (ages 13-17), free for kids 12 and under (with paid adult admission). Parking is free.

 

 

Photo: CindyN, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Planes of Fame Air Museum | Chino

Explore a collection of over 160 aircraft, military vehicles, and artifacts spanning the earliest days of aviation, including World War I, the 1920s and 1930s, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam War. Check out their Events Calendar for Hangar Talk & Flying Demo days. Don’t miss their Wings, Tracks, and Wheels event happening in May.

Admission: $18 adult, $8 children (ages 5-11).

 

 

San Diego Air & Space Museum | San Diego

San Diego Air & Space Museum is one of the world’s premier air and space-themed science centers with more than 120 aircraft and space vehicles and two million artifacts on display. Exhibits include rare and unique aircraft engines, instruments, models and equipment, as well as aviation-related medals, trophies, art, uniforms and spacesuits. Summer camp, workshops, preschool programs, Little Engineers, and Pilot Ground School are offered.

Admission: $28 adults (12 and up), $17 youth (ages 3-11), free for children 2 and under.

 

 

The Proud Bird | Los Angeles

The Proud Bird sits along the runway of LAX, offering guests a front-row view of planes approaching for landing. It’s a food hall with interactive aviation exhibits, renovated events center, and a children’s playground. Exhibits include Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh memorabilia, X-1 Experimental Rocket Plane, Douglas DC-3 plane, P-51 Mustang, A-4 Skyhawk, and more aircraft. Free aviation tours offered.

The Proud Bird sits along the LAX runway, treating guests to a front-row view of planes coming in for a landing. This spot is not just a food hall, it’s a hub of aviation awesomeness with interactive exhibits, a revamped events center, and a cool playground for little aviators.

 

 

Western Museum of Flight | Torrance

The Western Museum of Flight aircraft and artifacts highlighting Southern California’s aviation heritage. The collection includes numerous Warbirds, aircraft and target drones, piston and jet engines, ejection seats, World War II instruments, and an extensive model aircraft collection.

Admission: $8 general, free for children 12 and under. Located at the historic Zamperini Field.

 

 

Yanks Air Museum | Chino

Yanks Air Museum has a collection of 200+ aircraft at different stages in the restoration process. The collection ranges from early aviation to modern jets, plus drones, helicopters, missiles, uniforms, and aircraft in the boneyard currently being restored. It’s home to legends like the P-4 0Warhawk, F-86 Sabre, F-16B Fighting Falcon, and many more. The outdoor boneyard features acres of projects, engines, and large aircraft.

Admission: $20 general, $10 kids (ages 5-11), free for kids under 5. There’s also kids amusement rides with child admission.

 


 

Annual Air Shows & Events

Antique Aircraft Display Days | Fullerton (Second Sundays)

Wings, Tracks, and Wheels | Chino (May 4-5, 2024)

Wings Over Camarillo | Camarillo (August 17-18, 2024)

MCAS Miramar AirShow | Miramar (September 27-29, 2024)

Pacific Airshow | Huntington Beach (October 4-6, 2024)

Festival of Flight | Long Beach Airport (October)

Central Coast Airfest  | Santa Maria (October)

Apple Valley Airshow (October)

Southern California Air Show | Riverside (April 2025)

Point Mugu Air Show | Naval Base Ventura County (2025/26)

 

 

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This post was written by Kidsguide

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