When I decided to do something every week here in my adopted state of Colorado and preferably right here in the city of Colorado Springs, I didn’t think that I would be able to do it. After all, I was coming from a big city, Brooklyn, NY to be exact, and had always thought that there wasn’t much to do here.
When people think of Colorado and hear that I’m now living here, the first thing they ask is, “do you get a lot of snow and do you go skiing?”. I’ll be the first to say that although Colorado is known as “Ski Country”, Colorado Springs isn’t. We actually get less snow than New York City and so there is no chance in me going skiing unless I go further north or to Aspen. I’ll make it one day but for now, as Madison would say “I’m good!”. I really can’t envision myself on skis, I however can envision myself doing other things, such as going to museums.
When we lived in New York City, we visited the museums constantly so I made it my business to find a few that I can take the kids to. One that really intrigued me was the Peterson Air and Space Museum located on the Peterson Air Force Base here in Colorado Springs.
On one particularly cool day last week, I took all three kids to the Peterson Air and Space Museum. Admission to the museum is totally FREE, but donations are welcomed. I also have a list of FREE museums in Colorado Springs that are worth a visit. With it also being on a military installation, you also need to have either a military ID or call for a pass ahead of time before you’re able to enter. Luckily for us, we all have military ID’s, so we were able to just jump into our car and go ahead with our visit. When we arrived, we were greeted by a museum volunteer and taken into a screening room where we were shown a short video of the history of the museum; to top it all off, we were offered a guided tour.
The Peterson Air and Space Museum is Colorado’s oldest aviation museum and was named after 1st Lieutenant Edward J. Peterson, a World War II Army Air Forces pilot and also a native of Colorado. The museum is also housed on the site of Colorado Springs’ first municipal airfield. There is such a rich aviation history here, and we were able to visit and tour the inside of the Warning Star, an airborne early warning and control aircraft from the 1950’s through the 1970’s.
After visiting the Warning Star, we got to tour the Old City Hangar, which was built in 1928 and is the oldest structure in the museum complex. We got to see early generation satellites, a Peacekeeper Missile, the F-47N Thunderbolt transitional fighter-interceptor aircraft, and even a launch simulator used to train missile combat crews. This hangar is where you want to go if you want to see how the US is going to defend itself against a nuclear attack or launch one of its own. Madison and the boys even got to sit in a flight ejector seat and enjoyed their experience.
We all had an amazing time at the Peterson Air and Space Museum. If you’re an aviation or space enthusiast or have one on your hands, then the Peterson Air and Space Museum is the place you want to be. It’s a showcase of rich civil aviation history, significant highlights from Air Force Space Command, North American Aerospace Defense Command, and our military heritage. It’s one of Colorado Springs’ must-sees!
Before you leave the museum, be sure to stop in at the gift shop and pick up a replica of one of the aircraft that you may just have been looking at, or even a tee or coffee mug. It’s a great way to commemorate your visit, and all proceeds go towards the daily operation of the museum.
Here is the location and the days of operation and admission rates:
150 E. Ent Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80914
Days/Hours of Operation:
Tuesday – Saturday, 9am – 4pm
Sunday, Monday and Federal Holidays
Free but requires a Military ID or Base Pass
Here are the ways you can connect with the Peterson Air and Space Museum