Museum hopping couldn’t be easier at Garden City’s Museum Row in Nassau County. Located on Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, near Nassau County Community College and Nassau County Veterans Memorial Coliseum, is the home of three great Long Island museums. The Cradle of Aviation Museum, the Long Island Children’s Museum, and the Nassau County Firefighters Museum and Education Center, all of which are conveniently placed within walking distance from each other.
A fourth museum, the Long Island Museum for Science and Technology, is currently undergoing development. The Long Island Museum for Science and Technology will be connected to the Cradle of Aviation Museum. It will include interactive science and technology exhibits which will offer kids hands on experiences, promoting fascination in both the science and technology fields.
Cradle of Aviation: The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, only open on Mondays that happen to fall on a holiday or during school breaks, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. During the summer they also offer STEM and space camps. Displays include many old airplanes and spaceships, a very notable display being an actual lunar module that was built for Apollo 19. The museum also incorporates many interactive aspects. At the X-Ride Theater you can sit in the cockpit and fly with the Blue Angels in a fun simulated flight experience. The museum also has a full-dome theater and planetarium that feature a variety of shows. The Junior Jet Club, designated for ages 2-6 years, is a hands on play area that includes activities like, collecting moon rocks and commanding a space shuttle cockpit. The Junior Jet Club is free with admission or $2.50 for those who only wish to visit the play area. You can also grab a bite to eat at the Red Planet Café, designed to look like a year 2040 Space Station on Mars. Their menu includes salads, burgers, wraps, pizza, chicken nuggets, and more. The museum is a great place to bring the entire family, or just visit on your own. Most importantly, don’t forget to look up!
Long Island Children’s Museum: The children’s museum has many interactive and tactile exhibits for kids to enjoy. From September to June the museum is open Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Summer hours, July 1st to September 8th, are 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. daily. Kids can make three-dimensional creations, play on the two-story climbing structure, and try their hand with broadcast technology at the Communication Station. During the summer the museum sensory garden is open for kids to explore. The museum even offers scheduled sleepovers at the museum. General admission is $12, for visitors over 65 years of age its $11, and members and children under 1 year of age are free. Get there early to avoid the crowds. The museum also has its own theater where you can enjoy professional quality performances. You can even bring your own bag lunch with you to the museum. Eating and drinking is restricted to the cafeteria area.
Nassau County Firefighters Museum and Education Center: Fun, educational, and informative about fire safety measures, this museum is not to be missed. The center is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The exhibits display both contemporary and historic firefighting pieces, from fire engines to firefighter gear. Other exhibits feature smoke alarm maintenance, stop drop and roll procedures, and emergency home escape planning. The ticket price for adults is $5, $4 for children and $4 for senior citizens, volunteer firefighters, and non-ambulatory visitors. The whole family can learn a thing or two about how to stay safe, all while having a great time. If museum food is not your number one choice close by there are Mexican, American, Indian, and Delicatessen food options.
If you have some extra time while you’re in the area check out the historic Nunley's Carousel, right next to the Cradle of Aviation. The carousel dates back to 1912 and was restored by Nassau County to its former beautiful state. Admission to ride is $2 and the carousel is open Tuesday through Friday 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Mondays that fall on holidays, plus school breaks.
Photos from Cradle of Aviation Museum by LongIsland.com staff.