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Flying Heritage Museum

We got to visit two airplane museums for Valentine's Day weekend.  I wrote about the Seattle Museum of Flight several months ago, so today I thought I'd talk about the second destination- the Flying Heritage Museum.  This hanger-based museum is located in Everett, WA, just a short drive from Seattle and features a rare and private collection of mainly WWII aircraft and tanks from every country in the world war.

The mechanics in the museum keep all the planes in working condition for flights, which happen at least once a year.  They also restore planes that have been recovered from crash sites.  For my airplane mechanic husband and WWII airplane crazy boys, this was a great place to spend Valentine's Day.

My husband and sons (7 and 6) loved walking through the hangers and naming off all the different planes.  The boys have learned how to fly many of these planes on a flight simulator (in fact, my husband has been spending his quarantine time building a full cockpit simulator), so they were very excited to see these planes in full size and real life.  Although the weren't allowed to get inside the planes (unlike at the Museum of Flight), the museum did have a few cut away vehicles showing how things were arranged in the tank or plane.

If you have kids that are crazy about WWII airplanes like mine are, you need to check out these books and other resources.  From puzzles featuring the planes to die cast models, plastic models, and toys.  The plane spotter game looks pretty interesting and is an exact reprint of the cards from that era.

The museum has a very interesting atmosphere.  Unlike many war museums, it is devoid of patriotism and is careful NOT to glorify the war in any way.  Instead, the walls are lined with images from the war from every country.  My kids didn't seem to notice them, but some of them were very heavy.  They were all in black and white, but cumulatively, they were quite provocative.

There are sections of the museum focused on the effects of war, such as the one in the picture above.  The boys didn't understand or care about what they saw, but Dragonfly (age 8) was more greatly impacted and had lots of questions.  Families who visit this museum should at least know that this is a topic kids we be confronted with during your visit.

We spent just under two hours there, and my family has already talked about visiting another time.  The boys are hoping for a "guys' weekend" during the air show this summer (see the website for details).  As a parent, I appreciate the balance in the museum between "Wow!  Look at these cool planes" and "Oh, these planes were used to kill people."  I think every WWII enthusiast should visit this well thought out museum.

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