‘Festival of Planes’ on display at Aviation Museum of NH – Jan 24th! Age 5 and under Free!
Don’t miss this special holiday exhibit designed to make your imagination take flight! The ‘Festival of Planes,’ a display of more than 1,000 vintage aviation toys and model aircraft at the Aviation Museum of NH. The walk-through exhibit features aviation-themed toys, models, puzzles, and promotional items from the past 100 years. Themes range from the Wright Brothers to sci-fi favorites as Star Trek, Star Wars, and more.
Also on display are vintage toy aircraft piloted by celebrities including Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Elmo, and Barbie. “You’ll find everyone from Charles Lindbergh to Buzz Lightyear in our display,” said Jeff Rapsis, the Aviation Museum’s executive director.
The exhibit, a combination of several collections as well as items from the Aviation Museum’s own archive, uses toys and model aircraft to trace the history of flight.
The ‘Festival of Planes’ is also intended to reconnect visitors to the aviation toys of their childhood. “For so many kids, their first close encounter with the magic of flight was that model planeunder the Christmas tree,” Rapsis said. “There’s a good chance they’ll find it again in our exhibit.”
New this year is the ‘Wall of Planes,’ a series of nine sets of glass shelves stretching 50 feet in length that display many of the museum’s high-end and collectible model aircraft. The models in the ‘Wall of Planes’ are grouped according to era and purpose. A reference guide enables visitors to look up information about each aircraft on display. “Our ‘Wall of Planes’ is amazing just to gaze at, but you can also learn a lot about aviation, history, politics, technology, and more,” Rapsis said.
The exhibit also includes a demonstration of working toys.
The walk-through ‘Festival of Planes’ exhibit is designed to be an immersive experience, complete with Christmas trees, a fireplaced living room, and a starry winter sky filled with model planes flying overhead. “Our first ‘Festival of Planes,’ held last year in one corner of our exhibit space, was a hit,” Rapsis said. “This year, we decided to extend it to the full museum, in part to space things out to allow room for social distancing,” Rapsis said.
The Aviation Museum follows all recommended Covid-19 public health protocols. Facial coverings are required, social distancing must be observed, visitors must follow a one-way route, and the museum has reduced its capacity to 24 people.
$10 per person
$5 children under 13, seniors 65+, veterans/active military
Members and children under age 5 are free
The ‘Festival of Planes’ exhibit of aviation toys and model aircraft will be open through Sunday, Jan. 24. See website for special holiday vacation week hours.