Air Zoo, Portage, MI
What’s it like to skim the tops of cumulus clouds as you fly across a line of thunderheads? Have you ever seen a B-17 coming in for or a landing, the cross winds buffeting her wings? From the moment you walk into this celebration of flight your senses will be pleasantly overwhelmed by the large scale panoramas and videos that will greet you – things like the 28,800 square foot hand-painted mural depicting the history of flight, or the 36,000 square feet of art on the floor that let you “walk” across a WWI airfield and then a WWII airfield and then the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. To make sense of Air Zoo, start in the Main Campus building and walk around this exceptionally beautiful 50-aircraft collection. Here you’ll find dozens of restored warbirds including a lineup of the Grumman “cats” – that is, the World War II FM-2 Wildcat, the WWII F6F Hellcat, and the Navy’s twin afterburning F-14 Tomcat fighter jet (plus the lessor known Grumman G-73 Mallard seaplane).This a large, happy place with plenty to do for the kids including a half dozen amusement park “rides” and flight simulators, a 4D theater, the Fly Buy gift shop, the Kitty Hawk Café, and an Observation Deck. Taken together, it is by far the premier destination in Michigan for the military minded and their families. Oh, and the name? Well, when the airplanes in your museum are called Bearcats, Tomcats, Hellcats, Tigers, and Cougars, you have, err, a zoo.
Portege is a fun place to visit and we recommend the Courtyard located thereVisit museum website