By Paola Santiago
Posted On: Aug 16, 2020
Ohio is home to many of America's beloved astronauts and aviators and in many cases, helped spurt the moments they became the stars they are today. In the many years since the American Lunar Landing and man's first foray into flight, Ohio has cataloged and showcased every step we took to get there! Take a trip to your nearest museum below, and experience Ohio's Space and Aviation history.
Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wapakoneta
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.
NOTE: The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday with two-hour sessions at 9:30 AM, 12:30 PM and 3:30 PM. Only 65 tickets per two-hour block will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors are required to wear a face covering and are encouraged to maintain social distancing, and signage and floor markers have been added throughout the museum. Sanitizer stations have also been added near high contact areas around the museum. You can read more about the museum's safety guidelines here.
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton
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.
NOTE: Visitors must use a specific entrance door (near the Early Years Gallery). Signs from the parking lot will direct you to the new entrance doors. Face coverings are required for all visitors (over 3 years old). You may wear your own mask, but a free paper mask is available -- or you can purchase a cloth mask from the Museum Store. Social distancing is also encouraged and hand sanitizers are available throughout the museum. You can read more about the museum's safety guidelines here.
NASA Glenn Visitor Center in Cleveland
Discover what it takes to be a real-life astronaut at the NASA Glenn Visitor Center in the Great Lakes Science Center! From 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 has some virtual tours available, so check out their Facebook for more "out of this world" experiences.
NOTE: The Great Lakes Science Center now has advance tickets and cashless on-site payment options. They also require masks for all visitors, along with social distancing. Hand sanitizer stations have also been installed throughout.
International Women's Air & Space Museum in Cleveland
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.
NOTE: The museum asks that all visitors to the museum or the gift shop adhere to the six feet social distancing and other health and safety guidelines that are currently in place from the heath department. Please note that only two guests will be permitted in the gift shop at a time. Face masks are required when visiting the museum and are available for purchase in the museum gift shop. Hand sanitizing stations are available throughout the exhibit, and the museum is frequently cleaning surfaces that are common points of contact in the exhibit area and the gift shop. No clothing items may be tried on prior to purchasing, and the museum is not booking events for the time being. You can learn more about visiting and safety guidelines here.
Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton
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! Liberty offers rides in historic planes like the B-17 Yankee Lady.
NOTE: The museum’s diner indoor seating has been reduced to provide the six feet social distancing requirements, and outdoor seating is available, weather permitting. Carryout and call ahead orders are available for those wishing meals to-go. Face masks are encouraged but not required for guests, and hand sanitizer will be available for all to use. You can learn more about visiting and safety guidelines here.
The National Aviation Heritage Area in Dayton
Learn and find out how you can help build 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.
NOTE: Follow mask guidelines and practice social distancing when visiting attractions. Check specific sites for updates and safety guidelines before visiting.
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.
NOTE: Follow mask guidelines and practice social distancing when visiting attractions. Check specific sites for updates and safety guidelines before visiting. The site is open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM, free of charge.
Cincinnati Museum Center Space Gallery
The Neil Armstrong Space Exploration Gallery is a new permanent exhibit that celebrates the legacy of the Apollo 11 Mission. The gallery is centered around a 360-degree immersive theater experience, and also features four unique artifacts from the Apollo 11 mission.
NOTE: The museum is now open Thursday through Monday from 10 AM to 4 PM. The Cincinnati Museum center will be closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. To allow for proper social distancing, the museum is operating at or below 25% capacity. They'll be using timed tickets for both members and guests. Additionally, the museum has trained their staff in safety protocols and have put in place best practices for cleanliness and sanitation. The museum has also explored new ways for guests to engage with their interactive exhibits in no-touch and mobile-based ways. You can purchase tickets here and learn more about their safety guidelines here.