The Museum of Flight (MOF) is the largest independent, non-profit, air and space museum in the world. The museums features over 175 aircraft and spacecraft, tens of thousands of artifacts, millions of rare photographs, and a world-class research library. During your visit, you can wander the galleries and talk with the docents—expert volunteers who can enhance the experience as you explore the historically significant aircraft, space craft, and aviation artifacts and learn about the history of flight. MOF also offers special events throughout the year to inspire and encourage your understanding of science, technology and the humanities.
The Flight Restoration Center in Everett at Paine Field is where aircraft destined for the museum are restored. During a tour of the MOF Restoration Center, you can get a close-up view of this labor of love and talk to volunteers on site.
Virtual Museum of Flight
Museum of Flight at Home
While the museum is closed, MOF is offering virtual content for free.
- The Museum of Flight At Home features virtual tours, digital exhibits and virtual tours, podcasts, STEM family activities, puzzles and games. Enjoy these activities and more on the MOF website.
- Curator on the Loose! is a series of videos detailing the features of an historic aircraft. Find these guided exhibits on the MOF YouTube Channel.
- Live online: Aerospace Update news in astronomy, aviation, and spaceflight. Aerospace Update is being offered live online for FREE on Fridays. Learn about the latest news in astronomy, aviation, and spaceflight from MOF experts! Presented by Museum of Flight docent Tom Allan. Join the event from your computer, tablet or smartphone on Fridays at 1:00 PM. More info: https://www.museumofflight.org/Plan-Your-Visit/Tours-and-Experiences/Story-Telling-and-Aerospace-Updates#aerospace-update
Museum of Flight Online Events
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2020 AT 6:30 PM – 8 PM PDT. JAL 747, Flight 123: World’s Worst Single Airplane Accident. Docent John Purvis spent the last 17 years of a 40+ year Boeing career as head of the Boeing commercial airplane investigation unit. During his tenure, he oversaw the investigation of several major accidents, but one—the Japan Airlines 747SR “pressure bulkhead” accident outside Tokyo 35 years ago—was, for him, the one that left an indelible mark on his memory. He will take you through that accident and explain how and why it happened, some of the problems encountered, and important “lessons learned” from the event. The presentation is liberally laced with his personal photos of the JAL accident investigation process. This is a virtual presentation and spaces are limited. Pre-registration is required. More info: https://www.museumofflight.org/Plan-Your-Visit/Calendar-of-Events/6282/jal-747-flight-123-worlds-worst-single-airplane-accident
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2020 AT 6:30 PM – 8 PM PDT. Hidden Child of the Holocaust Shares His Story. In 1942, Nazis seized Peter Metzelaar’s entire family in Amsterdam except for 7-year old Peter and his mother. Aided by the Dutch Underground and his mother’s ingenuity, they managed to stay hidden throughout the war. Hear this fascinating first-person account of survival during WWII. Presented by Museum Docent Peter Metzelaar. This is an online presentation, spaces are limited. Pre-registration is required. More info: https://www.museumofflight.org/Plan-Your-Visit/Calendar-of-Events/6283/hidden-child-of-the-holocaust-shares-his-story
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2020 AT 6 PM – 7 PM PDT. Guts and Glory Reading and Q&A. Author Ben Thompson brings World War II to life for kids aged 11+ in “Guts and Glory: World War II”, a book that’s packed with trivia, epic battles, and amazing illustrations. Join MOF as Ben does a LIVE reading of the chapter on the Battle of Britain, then answers questions about WWII, researching historical topics and the writing process. A family presentation. This is an online presentation; spaces are limited. Pre-registration is required. More info: https://www.museumofflight.org/Plan-Your-Visit/Calendar-of-Events/6284/emguts-and-glory-em-reading-and-qa
For more events, see the Museum of Flight events calendar.
History of the Museum of Flight
In 1964, a small group of aviation enthusiasts established the Pacific Northwest Aviation Historical Foundation to save significant aircraft and related artifacts and in 1965, the first official Museum of Flight exhibits were put on display at Seattle Center.
In 1975, the Boeing Red Barn–the birthplace of The Boeing Company–was floated by barge from its original location on the Duwamish River to the new MOF location in south Seattle. The Red Barn was restored in 1983 and became the first permanent facility for The Museum of Flight.
The Red Barn was joined in 1987 by the Great Gallery. In 2002, the Library and Archives Building was added and in 2004 the J. Elroy McCaw Personal Courage Wing and Airpark.
The Museum of Flight continues to expand, adding experiences and educational programs that detail the history of flight to inspire, educate, and entertain visitors.
Visiting the Museum of Flight
Where: Located about 15 minutes south of downtown Seattle. Museum of Flight, 9404 East Marginal Way S, Seattle, WA 98108. Free parking is located at the Museum entries on the east and west sides of East Marginal Way.
When: Open seven days a week; except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Regular admission: Adult (18+) $25. Senior (65+) $21. Youth (5-17) $17. Child (4 and under) FREE. Museum Members FREE. Non-English speaking visitors may wish to rent an audio guides in English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Mandarin, or Russian.
Discount tickets available for active military & veterans, Boeing employees, AAA members, and others. Free admission with a Seattle Public Library Museum Pass or King County Library Museum Pass. On the first Thursday of each month from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM, admission is free for all visitors.
- Admission tickets to the museum includes access to the main galleries and permanent exhibits featuring aircraft, spacecraft, and artifacts on topics in the commercial aviation industry, military defense, space travel, aircraft design, and the significant events that have shaped the history of aviation. The Kids Zone offers many interactive exhibits for young, curious, and aspiring pilots that provide a variety of exercises in aerodynamics, design, and piloting skills. For information about special events and exhibits happening during your visit, see: https://www.museumofflight.org/Plan-Your-Visit/.
Return visit: Since there is so much to see and do at the Museum, a return visit ticket allows you to come back and visit another day at a discounted price, within 7 days of your original admissions purchase. To purchase a Return Visit Ticket, visit the Admissions Desk.
Membership begins at $89 and includes unlimited FREE admission for 2 adults, a subscription to Aloft Magazine, a 15% discount on Museum Store purchases, FREE admission to Museum Partners, invitations to specials, and other benefits. For more information, visit: https://www.museumofflight.org/membership/
Volunteer Docents study to become experts in specific exhibits and aircraft around the Museum so that they can freely share this knowledge with visitors at the museum exhibits and participants in the tours and other programs offered throughout the year. For more information about becoming a volunteer, visit: https://www.museumofflight.org/About-Us/docents
Looking for something truly different this Summer? The Museum of Flight has introduced new private, curated tours for groups of up to four. These special tours combine exclusive access to aircraft cockpits and cabins, viewing of rare artifacts not on public display, entertaining and expert stewardship, plus some upcoming experiences will include catered food and drink. These Premium Experiences are customized for the interests of the group, from the most casual fan to the ultimate aviation geek. Note: these aren’t cheap tours by any means. But they are exciting opportunities to enjoy MOF under coronavirus guidelines. Tickets: $50-$300 per person. More info: https://www.museumofflight.org/Plan-Your-Visit/Tours-and-Experiences/Premium-Experiences
Museum of Flight Premium Experiences
The Museum of Flight has introduced new private, curated tours for groups of up to four. These special tours combine exclusive access to aircraft cockpits and cabins, viewing of rare artifacts not on public display, entertaining and expert stewardship. Some experiences will include catered food and drink. These Premium Experiences are customized for the interests of the group, from the most casual fan to the ultimate aviation geek.
Note: MOF Premium Experiences aren’t cheap tours by any means. Tickets range from $50-$300 per person. But they are exciting opportunities to enjoy MOF under coronavirus guidelines. More info: https://www.museumofflight.org/Plan-Your-Visit/Tours-and-Experiences/Premium-Experiences
Annual events at Museum of Flight in Seattle
These are some of the special events you might not want to miss that happen every year at the Museum of Flight. For these and other events, visit: https://www.museumofflight.org/Plan-Your-Visit/Calendar-of-Events.
Memorial Day at Museum of Flight in Seattle
The Museum of Flight (MOF) usually recognizes Memorial Day with a musical performance by the Boeing Employee Concert band followed by a special commemoration ceremony and Free admission for veterans and active U.S. Military personnel with valid identification. In 2020, MOF has several programs you can enjoy virtually:
- Virtual programs at MOF. Explore The Museum of Flight from home! Lots of new content and activities to see, including videos and downloadable STEM activities.
- Shop the MOF Store. While the Museum may be closed for the moment, there are many great aviation and space gifts and toys available in the online Store. Your purchases help support virtual content and programs. Orders will ship every Monday during this time due to staffing constraints.
- Aerospace Update, Fridays 1:00 PM – Live online! Learn about the latest news in astronomy, aviation and spaceflight from MOF experts! Presented by Museum of Flight docent Tom Allan. Join via GoToMeeting; join from your computer, tablet or smartphone. To dial in from the U.S.: +1 (872) 240-3311, Access Code: 332-779-293.
- Check the event calendar for the most up-to-date information on happenings at MOF. For more information, https://www.museumofflight.org/Plan-Your-Visit/Calendar-of-Events.
- For more things to do Memorial Day Weekend, check our big list of Memorial Day Weekend events.
Free admission for dads to Museum of Flight on Father’s Day
If your dad is an aviation enthusiast, a great way to spend the day with him on Father’s Day (3rd Sunday in June) is at the Museum of Flight (MOF). The permanent exhibits feature aviation, spacecraft, and history from WWI through the Space Program. You can explore the history of Boeing, examine the cockpits of several aircraft, explore the interactive air control tower, and chat with the knowledgeable docents. Customize your visit with an additional experience, such as a space shuttle tour or flight simulator experience. And don’t forget to check out their Weekend Family Workshop, which features a special aviation project. On Father’s Day, admission is FREE to all dads when accompanied by their kids of any age who pay regular admission. MOF membership also makes a great gift. For more information, https://www.museumofflight.org/Plan-Your-Visit/Calendar-of-Events.
Jet Blast Bash at Museum of Flight
Jet Blast Bash is at the launch pad for most of the spectacular Boeing Air Show performer on Seafair Weekend (1st Sunday in August). The Museum of Flight’s annual Seafair weekend outdoor festival-by-the-flightline. Fast planes, fast cars, music, food and beer with the closest seats in Seattle to the ceremony and thunder of the Blue Angels’ takeoffs and landings. Free offsite parking and free shuttle. METRO Bus #124 makes a stop directly in front of the Museum. Jet Blast Bash is free with museum admission. For more information, visit: https://www.museumofflight.org/Plan-Your-Visit/Calendar-of-Events. And, get more information about Seafair at Greater Seattle on the Cheap.
Halloween fun at Museum of Flight
Celebrate Halloween aviation style when the Museum of Flight transforms into The Museum of FRIGHT. In the Museum galleries, you’ll find Halloween carnival-style games and activities to spark imagination, innovation, and get in the Halloween spirit. Design and build soaring, swooping, and spooky fliers below a high-flying glider, hop through an obstacle course under the Blackbird, and encounter other frightful surprises. Kids 17 and under IN costume can enjoy FREE admission. For more information, https://www.museumofflight.org/Plan-Your-Visit/Calendar-of-Events. And from our website, find more free and cheap Halloween events around Puget Sound.
Tour the Museum of Flight Restoration Center in Everett
The Museum of Flight Restoration Center and Reserve Collection in Everett at Paine Field is located 25 miles north of Seattle. The 23,000 square-foot facility is where aircraft acquired by the Museum of Flight are restored. The Museum typically acquires 2-4 new aircraft each year and has ongoing restorations of about 12 additional major historical artifacts. During a tour of the MOF Restoration Center, you can get a look at the labor that goes into aircraft restoration and get a chance to talk to volunteers on site.
A group of dedicated volunteers puts in thousands of man hours each year, working to restore each aircraft to exhibition quality in the most historically accurate way possible. Donors and volunteers make the restoration of these beautiful aircraft possible. They are always looking for help and donations to support the ongoing work. For volunteer information, contact email@example.com. To donate, visit: https://www.museumofflight.org/Giving/donate
The MOF Restoration Center Tour is available Wednesday-Sunday during business hours (9AM–4PM). Tickets: Adults (18 +) $5, Youths (5-17) $3, Children (4 and under) FREE. MOF Members also get in FREE.
Calendar of Air Shows and Aviation Events
The following events on our calendar include air shows and other related aviation events at the Museum of Flight as well as other venues around the Puget Sound region.
(If nothing is listed below, there are no upcoming aviation related events on our calendar. Theoretically, this shouldn’t happen. We update these events throughout the year.)