A windswept field featuring a few old planes might not be everyone's idea of fun but if you have plane-made kids, this can keep you (and them) occupied for hours. On display are Vulcan, Nimrod, Vampire, Lightning and other craft plus a SeaKing helicopter and lots more. Whether you have access on to any of them depends on the number of VOLUNTEER staff on duty (go on the 'open cockpit' or 'air ambulance' days if you want to make sure you see inside a plane or two). Many of the craft are currently being restored and if the person restoring them is around that day they will often talk you through the aircraft's history or let you have a peek inside. The bizarre-looking Armstrong Whitworth A.W.660 Argosy 101 is usually open and there are seats inside and a video to watch. Plenty of information panels give you details of the planes you see and you can usually walk right up to the planes and often marvel at how huge they are!
There is a mound with picnic tables overlooking East Midlands Airport's runway so you can see planes take off and land (take a picnic). The mound is next to the perimeter fence and the airport's security guards and fire truck regularly drive past on their rounds and will often wave at young kids!
There is a hanger with a few displays and a cafe selling a limited and cheap range of teas, coffees, ice creams and sweets but not any 'proper' food as such so take your own!
The entrance fee is minimal - I think it's £3 for adults and £1 for children - so this makes it a budget day out but is best for families who can make their own fun and can find the fascinating in everyday or historical objects. You don't need to know much about planes to enjoy a day out here, just wrap up warm and enjoy!
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