Good places to stop with kids

Discussion in 'Cool Places to Fly' started by flyingcheesehead, Aug 27, 2019.

  1. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Hi all,

    I'm lucky to have a son who is an absolute aviation nut... But he's 2.5 years old, and two-year-olds definitely have their limits when it comes to doing one thing for an extended period of time, plus they generally have plenty of energy to release.

    Right now, I'm looking for a good place to stop out west, somewhere in the neighborhood of Missoula, MT KMSO but really, I figure this thread could be a place to gather some ideas for places all over where kids can get out of the plane and have some fun and run around before jumping back in the plane for another leg.

    I can think of two right offhand:

    1) KGMU Greenville Downtown (SC). We were very pleasantly surprised here after an impromptu stop last year. They have a restaurant on the field that's fairly average... But there is a fantastic aviation-themed playground right next to it, complete with a real Cessna 310 on a stick. I wish more airports had this sort of thing - It's great both for the local public and for transient pilots traveling with their families!

    IMG_5649.JPG

    2) 6V4 Wall, SD. There's not much to see and do when going West, so being able to stop here and take a walk into town is great - Wall Drug has lots of kitschy stuff to see, places to eat, and stuff for kids to crawl around on.

    IMG_2317.JPG

    What other places have people made stops that are good for kids in airplanes? (Especially if they're in the vicinity of Missoula. ;))
     
  2. TheFB

    TheFB Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I can’t help with out west but here are a few experiences worth noting in the Southeast:

    As you mentioned KGMU, though I thought higher of the cafe than the OP did.

    My new home airport KHMP is soon to be called Speedway as it is based adjacent to Atlanta Motor Speedway. With right traffic for the eastern runway, a pattern either direction has your kid flying over the racetrack. They have daily tours (that you can easily walk to from the field) for cheap.

    KGIF in Winter Haven FL has Jack Brown’s seaplane base adjacent and a fantastic restaurant. My kid loved watching the seaplanes. Oh and Disney is 20 minutes by crew car or Uber/Lyft.

    If you are comfortable on grass GA2 has it all too for kids: Aviation museum, great restaurant, eclectic planes and owners, gliders getting dragged into flight...
     
  3. CJones

    CJones Final Approach

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    @TheFB -- Didn't know they were renaming KHMP.. again. I remember (not so long ago) when it was known as Tara Field.

    I agree, Kent. The way GMU promotes getting people to the airport is impressive. I drove out there one weekend when I was working in town and the place was PACKED with kids and parents! They even have a pavilion off to the side that I think can be reserved for birthday parties, etc. What a great way to get kids out to the airport. Sorry, can't help out west. We took the train to Whitefish last year - went down to GPI to get a rental car, but it looked like the 'typical' commercial airport. Same for when we flew into KRAP this summer - just a typical (windy) airport with a lot of concrete and parking lot. There was a place in eastern Nebraska (KOFK) that we were looking at stopping on our way to DSM from RAP, but weather opened up and we didn't need to stop after all. OFK was reported to have an on-site restaurant, which seemed like a good stop for the family.
     
  4. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Cool! :thumbsup:

    We've been there. The restaurant is pretty cool but there wasn't really anything specific to kids there.

    Hopefully, running around yelling "And beyond!" will do the trick on this trip. ;)
     
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  5. TheFB

    TheFB Pre-takeoff checklist

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    @CJones I am brand new here but I was told it went Raceway to Tara to Henry and now have applied for Speedway... FWIW, a lot still call it Tara on the CTAF.

    Pretty sleepy field. I assume the EXACT opposite on race weekends....
     
  6. CJones

    CJones Final Approach

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    Yep it's pretty sleepy... until race day. That weekend there will be jets parked on every square inch of concrete. It's kind of funny to see the difference between jets of the drivers who have 'made it' vs the jets of the rookies.

    I'm probably one of the ones that randomly calls it Tara just out of habit. We have an RV-7A over there that hasn't flown in a while - we're redoing a couple of skins that got dented and dinged over the past 15 years of flying it, but it should be back in the air this fall.
     
  7. TheFB

    TheFB Pre-takeoff checklist

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    @CJones Mine is the Grumman Tiger at the tie downs.
     
  8. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    Wilmar Mn (KBDH). Nice airport. Nice big runway with ILS. My daughter (9yo then) thought it was a cool terminal building...it’s nice, new and quiet. Neat place to bring your own lunch. She liked walking on the big 99 compass rose that my wife helped paint. But best of all was while she was checking out the pilot lounge she saw this big fighter jet out the window on the street side. My wife rolled her eyes as my age immediately matched my daughters and we spent over half an hour climbing all over a F14 :) I bet your son would love it. Thank god they didn’t put it up on a pole, rather it’s sitting it’s tires on static display. I still think Maverick (Sioux Falls) should tried for it. Kudos to the city of Wilmar for making it happen.

    Then again you are a Mooney owner and Wilmar is still a Mooney shop so maybe you’ve seen it.

    Everyone I have told with kids, mainly boys, has really enjoyed it.
     
  9. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    Hard to imagine this thing fitting on a aircraft carrier. A little kid makes it seem even bigger! 20160910_134309.jpg
    Ssshhh: The ladder pulls down so you can climb up and look inside :)
     
  10. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Cool!

    Unfortunately, I had a VERY bad experience with the shop in Willmar before I owned a Mooney, so I will not be taking my Mooney there, ever.

    We got a pleasant surprise at KGDB Granite Falls, MN today - The Fagen Fighters WWII Museum. They weren't officially open, but Evan Fagen was there and took the PT-19 for a spin, so he let us poke around the main hangar for a while. Very cool place, we will go back... But I've gotta go post the details in the museum thread. :)
     
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  11. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    Fagen Fighters is awesome. The P-38 is my favorite. This spring I received a gift for a ride in that very PT-19 :) Hopefully I can get it in by the end of the month.

    Bummer about the Mooney place.
     
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  12. Schokie

    Schokie Filing Flight Plan

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    The playground at GMU (Greenville Downtown, SC) is adding a putt putt course as well. Lots of fun to wave at the kids while taxiing by.

    If out west visit KMAN (Nampa, ID) just outside of Boise. Fantastic warbird museum with operable P-40, P-51, static F-105 and Mig-21, plus more! Also has a great restaurant on site.
     
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