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Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, VA 20151
703-572-4118
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$39*
and up
Ranked #1 of 13 things to do in Chantilly
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Miami, Florida
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A museum you can't miss”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington is a museum you can't afford to miss. The three level center has engines, helicopters, ultra-lights, flight simulators, and experimental flying machines including the space shuttle Discovery, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay and the F-22 and X-35 fighters. This place is awesome for everyone who loves everything related to air/space history. If bringing young children keep in mind you'll have to walk or stand for long periods of time. If you really want the freedom to enjoy the entire site at your own pace skip the tour. I will recommend to get to the museum early in the morning if planning to take pictures since it gets really crowded later in the day. The museum has no admittance fee but the parking will cost you $15. Carpooling is highly recommended!

Visited February 2013
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Burke, Virginia
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“FREE! Pay to park”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

Large large space, so expect a lot of walking. Amazing collection of aviation and space wonders, of historical, military and cultural significance. Plan to take your time. Do not miss the observation tower. IMAX shows are usually worth the extra ticket cost. Better for older children who have an interest in the subject matter, and adults.

Visited May 2012
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
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52 reviews 52 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Entertainment for young and old alike!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

The Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly is one of the lesser known but better run Smithsonian museums. Tucked away near Dulles International Airport, it is an enjoyable trip for a family with small children, military veterans, and everyone in between. Tip: The day involves ALOT of walking, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes! Although there is limited seating throughout the center, you'll spend the majority of the day on your feet.

Cost: Admission to the Center is free, but parking cost $15 per vehicle. Admission to IMAX theater shows also costs, approximately $9 for adults. Discounts are available for members.

Layout: The Center is divided into two hangers, the main Boeing Aviation hanger, and the Space hanger. The Space hanger's main attraction is the space shuttle Discovery, and includes displays on satellites, astronauts, and more.

The Boeing aviation hanger is divided into multiple display areas, including World War II aviation, pre-1920s aviation, commercial aviation, and more. Aircraft of import are the Enola Gay, the Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird, (which will particularly delight fans of the Transformers movies), and the Concorde. You can also stop by the restoration hanger and watch staff in the process of restoring older aircraft.

Tours: One of the highlights of the visits are the free docent tours, often led by military servicemen who flew the planes they'll show you. They are knowledgeable, interesting, and funny! If you're not interested in the entire tour, it is easy to "eavesdrop" on tours when they are near aircraft of interest to you.

Food: The only restaurant is McDonalds, which tends to be crowded and noisy, as well as slightly overpriced. Food is also available for purchase in the IMAX theater. For families with young children, it is recommended to pack a lunch, and take a break midday to eat out in the parking lot.

Entertainment: The IMAX theater offers a range of shows throughout the day. These run approximately 30-45 minutes in length, and provide a nice break, (and comfortable seating!), to all the walking. Ask staff members for their recommendations as which show would best interest your group. Some shows can be an absolute bore, while others are fascinating.

Visited April 2013
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Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
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17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Air and Space parking helpful hint”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

Great museum a must see for air and space fans. Parking lot is large. There are about three lanes to pay for your parking as you enter. Do not go in the far left lane if possible. Go as far right especially if they have the far right VIP entrance open to the public. Reason, the far left lane is where they put the trainees and after many visits it just seems to be very slow. Managers in golf carts are frequently stopping by this far left lane talking to the guards checking something and stopping traffic flow. (this parking has been scandal plagued with employe theft)

Go early There are tours just to the left of the large SR-71 aircraft as you enter the bottom floor. If you do not know your aircraft history I suggest a tour. it is free of course.

Look for the one of a kind Japanese and German WW 2 aircraft.

Visited April 2013
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shepherdstown wv
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
34 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Fun for young and old”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

This is the piece de resistance of all aviation displays - everything from first to the latest to the greatest. Large and roomy, there is plenty of room for kids to run wild, enough to keep adults engaged. My only complaint was that the cafe was a McDonald's - surely the Smithsonian could bid out a better class of food service, especially since there is nothing adjacent to this museum.

Visited September 2012
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