Located in Portage, the Air Zoo is the perfect place to bring everyone, young and old, for a day full of interactive aerospace adventures. In its 40-year history, the Air Zoo has grown from a nine-plane hangar display to a stunning, world-class aerospace and science education center with over 100 rare aircraft and spacecraft, flight simulators where you step right into the cockpit, indoor amusement park “air” rides, bi-plane experiences, engaging exclusive in-house exhibits, as well as, blockbuster traveling exhibits and cutting-edge educational programs for people of all ages. This year, the Air Zoo will present their newest aircraft acquisition – one of the first ever to be on display — a Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, the U.S. Air Force’s first active military stealth aircraft!
Launching in Summer 2021 is the exhibit, “We Did It! The Riveting Real Rosies of WWII.” Meet the women who answered America’s call to fill defense plant positions in the 1940s and learn about how they were recruited, the many kinds of jobs these women performed in service to their country and the art behind the famous “Rosie poster”.
Explore the new additions to the Air Zoo’s Women in Air & Space exhibition. Get to know some of flight’s first female pioneers including Katharine Wright, the Wright brothers’ unsung but supportive sister, baroness Raymonde de la Rouche, who flew the first female solo flight, Harriet Quimby who made history as the first woman to earn a pilot’s license, and “Brave Bessie,” who was the first black and Native American of either gender to earn a pilot’s license.
The Alien World & Androids exhibit is also a fun opportunity to learn about discoveries in space and the advances in technology that have led to increased possibility of life beyond planet Earth. Through this exhibit, journey to Mars alongside NASA’s Rover robots, get up close with the robots made famous in the Terminator movies, and learn about the everyday use of real robots right here on earth!
Learn about Michigan’s hometown hero, Robert Claire Chandler, an African American aerospace specialist from Allegan, Michigan who served in the U.S. Army Air Force in WWII flying 49 combat missions and later worked for and retired from Rockwell International, the American manufacturing conglomerate involved in aircraft, the space and defense industry, and more.
For more information about all Air Zoo exhibitions, day camps, group and corporate events, hours of operation, ticket prices and more, see AirZoo.org
* In December 2020, the Air Zoo participated in a state of Michigan program (MIOSHA) to assess their COVID-19 safety protocols, processes, and procedures across every square inch of their buildings. They ranked 99.12%, which was the highest grade ever given to an organization! All 300 staff members and volunteers of the Air Zoo are rock stars who are passionate about both the inspiration and the safety of everyone who walks through their doors.
Featured image courtesy of: Air Zoo