HOUSTON – Do you or your little ones love flight and space? Houston is a great place to be if that’s the case. The city and its environs are packed with attractions that celebrate experiencing flight and space exploration.
Here’s our list of Houston’s best space and aviation museums, flight tours, attractions, and more. Dare we say it’s just plane awesome! ✈
Lone Star Flight Museum
For a jam-packed adventure, discover all things aviation at the Lone Star Flight Museum. The museum brings the history of flight to life with an expansive aircraft collection, interactive displays, and tours though historic planes like the DC3 and Howard 250. You can even take a warbird ride in a vintage B-25 plane.
Located in Houston’s Ellington Airport, the Lone Star Flight Museum offers many STEM-based education programs along with the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, celebrating Texas’s rich aviation history.
Call (346) 708-2517; https://lonestarflight.org/
Space Center Houston
This iconic Houston attraction gives visitors an inside look into all things space. With its state-of-the-art exhibits and historic spacecrafts, Space Center Houston is one of the world’s top institutions in science and space exploration.
The Space Center has the largest collection of spacesuits and moon rocks in the world and has hundreds of artifacts on display.
Space Center Houston serves as the official visitor center for the NASA Johnson Space Center. Located in southeast Houston, the center is open daily for people of all ages.
Call (281) 244-2100; https://spacecenter.org/
George W.S. Abbey Rocket Park at Space Center Houston
Get an in-depth look into the famous Apollo program that first sent humans to the Moon.
On the NASA Tram Tour, you can explore iconic spacecrafts and locations like the George W.S. Abbey Rocket Park, where the one and only Saturn V rocket is located. This rocket is the largest to ever fly into space. Standing at a whopping 363 feet tall, it was used to propel 26 astronauts into space from 1967 to 1973.
Along with the George W.S. Abbey Rocket Park, visitors can also tour the Astronaut Training Facility and Apollo Mission Control room. The NASA Tram Tour is included in admission to Space Center Houston.
1940 Air Terminal Museum
Step back in time to the early days of commercial aviation at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum.
This museum first opened as a fully operational control tower and airport administration building back in 1940 and served the Houston area until its closure in 1955. Nowadays, the museum displays Houston’s aviation history through vintage artifacts dating back to the 1910′s. The exhibit moves through time with memorabilia from the first and second world wars, artifacts from the first flight in Texas, and a collection of flight attendant uniforms throughout the decades.
Right down the street from the museum sits the historic WR-4 Hanger. Constructed in 1928, it’s considered the oldest aircraft structure in Houston. It now houses multiple aircrafts for the museum.
Call (713) 454-1940; https://www.1940airterminal.org/
Houston Wing of the Commemorative Air Force
The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) was originally established in Texas to honor the men and women who operated planes and other aviation equipment during World War II. To further commemorate the CAF, the Houston Wing was created to preserve war-era aviation history.
Along with the aircrafts, the Houston Wing has an exhibit on the German and Japanese military and what life was like for Americans during WWII.
To get the full flight experience, you can take a ride in an authentic WWII airplane. The Houston Wing operates the AT-6 Texan Advanced Trainer, the BT-13 Valiant Basic Trainer, and the N3N Primary Trainer.
If you’re planning to visit the museum, don’t wing it! The museum and hanger are only open to the public on the first and third Saturday of every month from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Admission is free.
Call (281) 579-2131; https://www.houstonwing.org/
Texas Biplane flies one to two passengers around Downtown Houston, NRG Stadium, and the Brazos River. This bucket-list experience ranges from 15 to 70 minutes. Tickets range from $259 to around $600. All pilots are extensively trained professionals.
Call (281) 698-7524; https://texasbiplane.com/
National Helicopter Solutions
Have you ever wanted to tour Houston from the sky? Now you can with National Helicopter Solutions. This veteran-owned company offers private tours of Downtown Houston and the Galleria area.
Call (281) 795-9995; https://www.nationalhelicoptersolutions.com/
Kick back and have a blast at Flight Club, “the home of Social Darts.” With a great atmosphere, food, and drinks, trade your museum tickets for darts with friends. Flight Club is for people 21 years old and older all day Saturday and Sunday through Friday after 6 p.m. Children under 12 are welcome before 6 p.m., but can’t play darts.
3515 W Dallas St Suite 100, Houston, TX 77019
Located next to Hobby Airport, Hangar Kitchen is a neighborhood restaurant with an aviation flair. The restaurant specializes in quality ingredients and is the perfect place to take your little future astronaut.
8800 Telephone Rd, Houston, TX 77061
Aviator’s Grill is a classic diner serving up front row views of the runway at David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport.
20803 Stuebner Airline Rd # 10, Spring, TX 77379
Airplane observation lots
Intercontinental Airport Houston Airplane Observation Lot
The IAH observation lot is the perfect place for photographers, families, and couples to catch amazing views of airplanes. The lot is free for everyone.
2800 N Terminal Rd
Hobby Southeast Spotters Park
On the other side of town, Hobby Airport also has an observation lot perfect for spotting planes.
9362 Monroe Blvd #9300, Houston, TX 77075
What’s your favorite way to experience aviation and space-oriented stuff in the Houston area? Let us know in the comments. We could feature your favorites in an update on this article.