Spending the Night in Outer Space
& Other Out of this World Adventures for Kid Campers
Has your child ever wondered what it’s like to spend the night in outer space? Well aside from becoming bestest buds with Elon Musk or paying him what we estimate is roughly $80 million per seat to be shot around the moon before being slingshot back down to earth, hmmm, well I think spending the night in an Airstream is a more realistic option for you and your family;)
It’s true, I need my space! LOL. Early on, my heart belonged to the sky. Most of my favorite movies involve planes and/or space travel (which in-turn typically involves Tom Hanks in one form or another, lol — you must watch the “Earth to the Moon” series if you never have). And to this effect, airplanes have been one of my favorite photographic subjects.
I have created scrapbooks of memories that orbit around NASA, Naval and civilian aviation meccas such as the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and my beloved National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C. And one of my all-time favorite memories involves my uncle showing me the rings of Saturn through a telescope, one starry night, on the family farm in Pennsylvania.
It is not down in any map;
– Herman Melville
Spending the Night in Outer Space
The first night I spent in Aolani, I felt as though at any moment I would start floating. All my childhood wonder at what it might be like to spend the night in outer space, sans the loss of gravity, had come true. You can’t help but be a bit mesmerized by the sounds of tinking from the expansion and contraction of the metal, and the aluminum paneled walls sparkling from the moon light coming off the bay and through the portholes. Sleeping within an Airstream, is in and of its own right, an adventure. And it’s one that has made me feel like a curious child again.
It’s this sense of limitless exploration that has been reborn in me by traveling with Enzo and Aolani. Not only do I feel as though I’m traveling in a time machine, even adventures I had previously experienced, have taken on a whole different light. Now I get to see them through Enzo’s eyes.
The Airstream trailer is the epitome of mid-century design and style. They have always reminded me of World War II era planes (which I LOVE) and Saturn V rockets (which I also LOVE). And now I get to travel in one, albeit on land:)
Keeping with the theme of aviation and aeronautics, here are some of our all-time favorite museums we have visited while drifting up and down the East Coast. Please give them your patronage and even when the admission is free, it takes a lot of dedication (and funding) to keep these places running even though many of the employees are volunteers. So throw a few bucks into the box when you visit. I know they’ll appreciate it.
As we add more museums to our repertoire, we will keep you posted!
Your Launch Sites for Adventure
- The Air Mobility Command Museum at the Dover Air Force Base
- Dover, Delaware (Directions)
- The AMC Museum is located roughly 40 miles (about 45 minutes depending on traffic) North of the Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, Delaware.
- Admission is FREE
- The Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum
- Cape May, New Jersey (Directions)
- Did I mention that the Cape May Brewery is located at the airport as well?! And they permit children (even make them homemade sodas) under adult supervision. It’s a WIN-WIN!
- The Naval Air Station is easily accessible by all Southern NJ Shore points and can be reached from Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, Delaware, via a trip on the Cape May Lewes Ferry (a roughly 85 minute trip across the Delaware Bay, with or without your car).
- Admission starts at $10 for children 3-12, Adults are $14 and Active Military Members with ID are FREE.
Virginia (Eastern Shore & Virginia Beach/Norfolk)
- NASA Wallops Island Flight Facility
- Wallops Island, Virginia (Directions)
- The Hampton Roads Naval Museum
- Nauticus – National Maritime Museum featuring the Battleship Wisconsin
- Both museums are in Norfolk, Virginia (Directions), roughly 45-60 minutes from Cape Charles, Virginia. Plus you get to go across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, also an out of this world experience;)
- Admission varies, but starts at $11.95 (child). Discounts are available for active military with ID.
- The National Air & Space Museum
Washington, D.C. (Directions)
- The Udvar-Hazy Center (the Space Shuttle Discovery is on display here!)
- Chantilly, Virginia (Directions)
- Admission is FREE in both locations as part of the Smithsonian Museum family.
- The Valiant Air Command Museum
- Titusville, Florida (Directions)
- Admission is $5 for children and $20 for adults and $18 for active duty military members.
- The Kennedy Space Center
- Kennedy Space Center, Florida (Directions)
- Admission starts at $37 for children of active duty military, $40 for adults then $40 and $50 respectively for non-military visitors.