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“Great Entertainment & Value”
Review of Air Zoo

Air Zoo
Ranked #1 of 14 things to do in Portage
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: With 100+ rare and unique air & spacecraft, amazing interactive exhibits, "hands-on" science experiences, indoor amusement park rides, full-motion flight simulators, a 4D theater, and much, much more, the Air Zoo in Portage, MI is your one-stop spot for educational family fun! Voted the #1 Museum in Michigan by American Towns Media and the "Best of Michigan" website, and also as the "Best Place to Spend the Day With Your Family" and "Best Place to Take Out of Towners", the Air Zoo is standing by to entertain and educate, and truly has something for everyone!
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Food available for purchase, Stairs / elevator, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities, Stroller parking
Allen Park, Michigan
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great Entertainment & Value”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

This is a great family destination. Plenty of education and entertainment for everyone. Great displays and fun rides and simulators. The building was clean and the staff was friendly.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank RayRL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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406 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
36 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Great fun for kids and adults”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

What a great way to spend a crummy weather day on spring break. It really is a remarkable facility for a town like Kalamazoo. If your kids are a bit older,say 5-12 buy the upgraded pass so they can ride all the rides(think county fair). There are several simulators to experience, a small ferris wheel type ride, a rotating balloon swing ride, and a paratrooper power tower type of ride. Our five year old would get off one ride and get right back in line. Teenagers, however, will not be impressed by the size, speed, or quantity of rides, but they will love all of the planes, from vintage trainers to a retired F-14. Our favorite was the SR-71 Blackbird in all its matte black glory, so close you can (and will) touch it. There is a cafe style eatery on site, and a snack and soda stand. The nasa/outer space exhibit is great fun for younger visitors, but a bit weak on content. There is also a very reasonably priced gift shop with prices for all budgets.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank jasonst1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Level Contributor
25 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Excellent and extremely fun for the kids”
Reviewed April 7, 2013

This is perfect to spend a day at with family and learn about history and also have fun riding those flight simulators which was the highlight for the kids in the family. The facilities were clean and the rides they offered were well maintained. The kids kept on going off in their own directions do to their excitement and curiosity looking at all the planes. They also have tour guides that tell you fascinating stories about all the planes and guide you through the zoo. They are recently expanding and adding more areas to the zoo ( maybe a astronomical area), more the reasons why my family and I will be coming back.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank APtraveler T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Level Contributor
35 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“The best attraction in the area”
Reviewed April 6, 2013

Kalamazoo is not Chicago, Detroit, or New York. But it does boast this air museum, which is amazing considering the size of the city. We are locals . We just bought annual passes last week, and have visited three times. If you love the story of flight, vintage airplanes, and war stories, you could spend many hours here if you can tolerate a lot of standing and walking or if you have a wheelchair. The facility and the airplanes are sparkling clean, the docents are knowledgeable and enjoy what they do (husband and grandson got a great tour from Gerry), and there are lots and lots of airplanes both on the ground and suspended from the ceiling, each with its own story. The interior walls of the main area are lined with a beautiful mural around the entire room, also with an interesting story. There are two completely separate buildings so be sure to ask about the East campus. It doesn't seem to be well publicized, not even in the brochure. We drove to the second (east) building from the main parking lot, but it is not a bad walk, maybe 4-5 city blocks. Lighting is brighter in the east building and there are some small, scale airplanes, military jet cockpit simulators (non-functional), and a helicopter cockpit that the kids can sit in. Also a number of aircraft undergoing build and restoration.

I did not notice any wheelchair or stroller rentals in either building, so be sure to bring your own if needed. There is a drop-off area at the main building entrance and a large parking lot that is about a city block walk to the main entrance.

There is an outdoor picnic pavilion if you don't want to eat at the Kitty Hawk Cafe upstairs in the main building. I think the cafe is a bit expensive, ie. movie theater prices. The food there consists of hot dogs, popcorn and nachos, etc. We typically pack a lunch or go to McDonald's for lunch, and then buy snacks at the Kitty Hawk. You can not bring your lunch inside and eat at their tables.

If you have kids they will enjoy 3-4 hours of fun before they wear out or get bored. We bought annual passes for ourselves and the grandkids (age 7 and 8; and a 4 year old who is admitted free). At $29 for the kids and $35 for the adults, this is the most cost-effective option if you are able to visit 3 or more times during the year. Otherwise, general admission is $10 and if you just want to walk around and look at the planes or have a guided tour, this is all you will need. But if you want to go to the 3D theater, flight simulator, or if you have kids, I recommend the $16 ticket which gives unlimited access to everything without having to buy additional tickets. We have gone three times during this past Spring Break week, and although we were a little dismayed by the nearly full parking lot and long line to get in initially, the crowd was well spread-out and the lines for the rides were minimal, except for the 3D movies and the flight simulators. The kids enjoyed repeated rides on everything. There is also a "little kids'" area with 4 grocery store type rides, tables and chairs and flight-related toys. As to the 3D movies, the "Heroes" movie used two curse words, but the "Fly Me to the Moon" movie is G-rated but great for adults, too. The theatre seats drop and air sprays in your face at times (to simulate flight conditions) during the movies but stationary seats are available if you ask. Adults can ride most of the rides with the kids, but the paratrooper (a gentle drop-type ride) is only for thin to average weight people. If you are overweight like me, the safety bar will squash you! I am 5'7" and also fit into the little airplane ride car, but with discomfort.The flight simulator is the most exciting ride, but kids need to be probably 7 or older - there's a height requirement and the thing goes upside-down and is actually controlled by the riders. I have never been to the Air Zoo when all of the flight simulators are operational, so there are typically long lines as this a popluar attraction.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Lonnie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jenison, Michigan
Level Contributor
49 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Kids loved the rides - perfect for a day trip”
Reviewed April 5, 2013

We came here as a day trip from Grand Rapids with our 4 kids (ages 11,8,5,2). We were very impressed with how clean the facilities are and how well maintained all the rides are. Our kids loved all the rides - even the "kiddie" ones and there were enough that even my youngest could ride with the "big" kids. We spaced out the rides a little bit with walking around through the exhibits and then spending time on the rides. We only expected to be here a couple hours - we ended up spending 4 hours there and not even going through everything (we didn't do the simulators b/c the lines were too long).

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank saot14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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