Dan and I had errands to run just outside of Denver — during planning I noticed we would be immediately next door to Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, which we had not visited yet.
My family will understand exactly how homesick I became for the museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio — and for my grandfather. I believe Wright-Patt was his favorite field trip to take with the grandkids.
Wings Over the Rockies is not quite as large as Wright-Patt — at least, the parts of Wings that Dan and I visited. The museum is working on a second location that sounds complex and incredible.
But Wings is not small, don’t get me wrong. It makes great use of an enormous hangar.
There were no open cockpits on the day we visited — another small detail I missed about Wright-Patt — but their aircraft collection is impressive and there were other hands-on opportunities for the kids.
There are fun and inviting videos stationed throughout their collection…
…and offices spaces have been turned into exhibitions about uniforms, avionics, nose cone art and more.
Wings has artifacts from the old airport in Stapleton, which has been replaced by DIA.
One corner of the hangar is dedicated to aircraft restoration. I love that you can (in theory) watch them work on-site.
Before visiting the museum we had burgers at Lowry Beer Garden, part of a local chain whose vibe I enjoy immensely. Afterwards we visited Rocket Ice Cream, which is housed in a building originally created for Burning Man.