Ohio’s Best Space and Aviation Museums
By Paola Santiago

Ohio’s Best Space and Aviation Museums

Get yourself to the moon and back without ever leaving the states!

National Museum of the U.S. Airforce in Dayton

Armstrong Air & Space Museum

Nestled in Neil Armstrong’s hometown of Wapakoneta, this museum serves as a repository for anything related to Ohio’s contribution in the aerospace field. Find two full-sized aircraft flown by Armstrong himself, along with Apollo 11 artifacts and authentic space capsules! Be sure to grab a tour guide, their breadth of knowledge for air and space history complements these exhibits which are unique to Ohio.

 

National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

Long a pillar of the local community, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force serves as the world’s largest collection of military aviation history with more than 360 different aircraft on display. Gaze at history-making flyers like the Memphis Belle or the Apollo 15 Command Module. Great for all ages, the museum is both awe-inspiring and interactive.

 

NASA Glenn Visitor Center

Discover what it takes to be a real-life astronaut at the NASA Glenn Visitor Center in the Great Lakes Science Center! From stepping inside a real space suit to testing the launch of a space mission, these exhibits will nurture any star gazer’s air and space curiosity. Don’t forget to check out the Apollo 3 Command Module, Moon Rock, and artifacts from Ohio native, Astronaut John Glenn’s Friendship 7 Mission!

The NASA Glenn Research Center offers a limited number of tours from April-October. See where scientists and engineers develop propulsion, power and communications technologies for NASA.

 

International Women’s Air & Space Museum

Serving as a repository for women’s impact on the space and aviation industry, this museum currently displays permanent exhibitions of beloved flyers like Amelia Earhart, The Mercury 13, and Harriet Quimby the first American woman to get a pilot’s license.

 

Liberty Aviation Museum

Two hangers chock-full of functional planes and artifacts give visitors a unique view into the area’s aviation history — but this museum comes with a twist. Liberty Aviation Museum is one of the few aviation museums in the Midwest that offers visitors a chance to not only see air history but also experience it! In partnership with Yankee Air Museum, Liberty offers rides in historic planes like the Waco Biplane and the B-17 Yankee Lady.

 

The National Aviation Heritage Area

Ride in a replica of the Wright B Flyer – America’s first factory-built airplane or meet the legends that shaped aviation and space travel at the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Reach new heights at the National Aviation Heritage Area, an entire corner of southwest Ohio that celebrates Ohio’s influence and legacy in flight.

 

Warren Airways Airport

This half-scale replica of Apollo 11’s lunar landing module, which is nearly 13 feet tall and 12 feet wide, marks the site where the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, took off during his first airplane ride at the age of six. Near the entrance to the site is an Ohio historical marker honoring another U.S. astronaut, Ron Parise, who was born and raised in Warren and flew two missions on the space shuttle in 1990 and 1995.

 

Cincinnati Museum Center Space Gallery

Join the museum in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and dare the next generation of space pioneers to aim for the stars. This exhibit features a 360° theater experience and artifacts that can only be seen in Cincinnati — including a moon rock presented to CMC by Armstrong himself.

 

For more stellar finds, go to The Moon And Back at Ohio.org.

About the Author

Paola is the social media coordinator behind Ohio. Find It Here.'s social media handles. She loves writing stories that matter, especially when they're about food and travel! You can usually find her trying out Columbus' new restaurants or experimenting with her own culinary concoctions at home. Find her living her best life on Instagram at @paolasantidc.