We try and stop at museums whenever we can. Each one is a history textbook come to life, and I love watching my kids learn from the authentic memorabilia instead of a photo in a book. Valiant Air Command in Titusville, FL, is a fantastic example of a museum full of rich history and super cool aircraft. Don’t miss this must-see attraction on Florida’s Space Coast.
Let’s start with the museum’s motto, “To honor the past, educate the future and preserve our heritage”. Wow! Sign me up. The exhibits especially struck me from the dark moments in our history. They weren’t hidden away, but each piece was displayed alongside the relics representing victory and unity. My mom and I stopped at each one to explain the injustices the symbols meant. I saw the concern on my kids’ faces, but I know I have a duty to share the beautiful and the ugly parts of our history. How will they learn not to make the same mistakes if I don’t?
Now, back to the super cool aircraft. We got the see the Tico Belle out on the runway getting gassed up to drop paratroopers for the next 72 hours. We stopped for a photo-op between the shiny propellers of the world’s only twin airplane. We dropped a few dollars in the donation box near a helicopter that needed support to finish the restoration. And we learned about modern-day aircraft grounded because our military uses them today.
I’ll never forget the stories we heard from the gentleman that walked us around the museum. My 5-year-old son asked a ton of insightful questions (proud mama moment!), and I stood back to watch him fill with pride as he thoughtfully listened to each answer. He took home an F-35 model plane from the gift shop, and he takes excellent care of it now. I think it is because he saw one in real-life, and he learned so much about it.
I never imagined my little kids would love Valiant Air Command as much as they did. Next time, we’ll pack a picnic and eat our lunch at one of the shady tables resting under the wing of a vintage airplane. For this visit, we drove over to the world-famous Dixie Crossroads to feed their turtles and fish after we sampled some of the delicious Rock Shrimp, a local delicacy.