Top 5 Aviation Days Out for Children This Half Term

Top 5 Aviation Days Out for Children This Half Term

Top 5 Aviation Days Out for Children This Half Term

Looking for an exciting and educational way to spend the upcoming half term with your children? From exploring historic aircraft to experiencing hands-on flight simulations, here are the top five aviation days out UK  that are sure to captivate young aviation enthusiasts this half term, with tips on hidden costs and suitability for various age groups. 

1. & 2. RAF Museum Cosford (Shropshire) & London (Barnet)

The Royal Air Force Museums at Cosford & London offer fantastic days out for children interested in aircraft. They feature a vast collection of historic aircraft, interactive exhibits, and hands-on experiences. Kids can explore different aircraft, learn about the history of flight, and even sit in cockpit replicas. 

Entry is free however parking is £6.50 prebooked. Various Half term events involving theatre and craft can be prebooked with a £5 ticket cost for children and carers There are also many simulator experiences available, including a paragliding experience - various age/height restrictions depending on experience. These are all £4.50 each prebooked, including a chance to sit in a Spitfire cockpit and come home with a photo in a souvenir booklet – included in the price of £4.50. A really good, varied day out that would interest kids interested in the Arts as well as those aviation geeks!

The nearest London Underground station to the RAF Museum London is Colindale Station, which is served by the Northern Line (Edgware branch). From Colindale Station, it's about a 10-15 minute walk to the museum. Upon exiting the station, you can follow signs or use a map to navigate to the museum.

3. Brooklands Museum (Surrey): 

Brooklands Museum is located on the site of the world's first purpose-built motor racing circuit and airfield. It features a fascinating collection of vintage aircraft, including early biplanes and experimental aircraft. Children can enjoy hands-on activities, flight simulators, and guided tours of historic hangars and workshops. 

The museum also features vintage cars and buses and a chance to look around Concorde although this experience is at an extra cost, starting from £3.25 for children. Entry for the main museum starts at £22.50 for a child pre-booked, children under 4 go free.  Parking however is free.  Definitely prebook the Concorde experience before you go as this can get booked out as is very popular. 

The site is large with hangars outside so make sure you dress for the weather with comfortable shoes. . Various trails are available from reception for younger children to explore around the museum. On February 16th they have a Quiet Hour 9am-10am to enable neuro-divergent visitors to make the most of the site without the usual hustle and bustle but this must be prebooked. The café will be open and half term activities will be running from 9am on this day.

4. Manchester Airport Visitor Park (Greater Manchester)

Manchester Airport Visitor Park offers a unique opportunity for children to get up close to real airplanes and learn about the world of aviation. The park features aircraft viewing areas, interactive exhibits, and guided tours of the airport. Kids can watch planes take off and land from a viewing platform metres from the runways, explore aircraft interiors, and even sit in a cockpit. Saturday and Sunday 11-3pm they have airport commentary running so you know what’s landing and taking off. There are 5 retired aircraft to look around including Concorde and Nimrod spy plane. There are many different Concorde/Nimrod tour packages with additional costs starting from £6 and up to £40.

If taking younger children though a good idea is the Flight Academy – Airport Life for ages 4-7. This is set on the DC10 aircraft and runs through various jobs that ensure the smooth running of the Airport. They then head outside to see both the runways and see the planes taking off and landing These tickets are £14 for one child and one adult.  More than one child can go with an adult as long as they have their own ticket. This lasts 1hr and 30 minutes and included car parking. (not all booked tickets include car parking to watch out for this)

Older children will love the flight simulator which is £14 a session (for 2 people) age 9 (1.2m height) and up. Lots to see and do with playgrounds and planes landing/taking off so the closest to actual moving aircraft. Admission to the Park is free with car parking from £5 for 2 hrs to £12 for over 4 hours, so this could be a cheap day out in good weather with a picnic by the runway.  However it could rack up depending on the extras you book and much is outside so just be aware and plan your day ahead.

5. Bristol Aerospace Centre (Bristol):

The Bristol Aerospace Centre, located at the former Filton Airfield, offers a fascinating insight into the city's aviation heritage. The centre features historic aircraft, interactive displays, and guided tours of aerospace facilities. Children can learn about Bristol's role in aviation history, explore iconic aircraft like the Concorde, and participate in educational workshops and activities. 

Tickets start at £12 per child, £19.50 per adult, children under 4 are free. However you can prebook your ticket and that then gives you access to the museum for repeat visits for a whole year so can be great value if you use these. Note the year starts from when you first use the ticket, not when you book. You can also add a Red Arrow simulator flight to your ticket for an extra £3, for adults and children age 4 up, these do need to be date and time booked however and aren’t included in return visits.  

With lots for kids including a free time travelling adventure comic on arrival, hands on activities and an outdoor playground, as well as access to Concorde and free parking included in the admission this is a good value day out. There are extra half term activities including model aircraft/drone flying demonstrations so check out their website for dates. Great for children of all ages.

With these exciting aviation destinations, children are sure to have a memorable and educational half term experience to keep them busy and your half term week go smoother! So, pack your bags, wrap up warm and get ready for an adventure in the world of flight - and maybe we'll see some more budding aviators and engineers in years to come!her

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