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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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Prairie Aviation Museum

A children’s flight simulator will keep little ones amused, while numerous aircraft reveal aviation history. Climb into the cockpit and imagine you’re flying.

Viewing platforms and staircases surround the nine historic planes guarding the gates of the Prairie Aviation Museum. Inside, its exhibits offer insight into aviation, from model planes and engines to a flight simulator and the history of local astronauts. Make a close-up inspection of the aircraft on the museum’s Chuck Schumacher Aviation Airpark. 

Consider the military history of the aircraft. Among the helicopters used in the Vietnam War are the Bell AH-1J SeaCobra and the Bell UH-1H Iroquois. Marvel at the impressive bodies of the Cessna 310, the McDonnell-Douglas models and the North American F-100 Super Sabre.  

The internal part of the museum features a piston engine, a jet engine and other memorabilia. Kids can pretend to be pilots on the small simulator that makes them feel like they can fly. Learn from the passionate docents and volunteers about the aircraft and the context behind them. The museum also takes part in repair and preservation projects. 

Open Cockpit Days in summer offer visitors the chance to get inside the airplanes. Snap photos of your kids chatting with former pilots in the cockpit.  

Check out the temporary exhibits on aircraft-related themes. Choose from the variety of items for sale in the gift shop, which stocks books, jewelry, toys and model aircraft. 

There is a fee to enter the museum, with discounts available for kids and free entry for toddlers. Pay an additional amount for a tour of the museum, which opens Thursday through Sunday from late morning until late afternoon.  

The Prairie Aviation Museum is on the northern side of the Central Illinois Regional Airport, to the east of Bloomington. Ride a bus from downtown to get to the museum in about 45 minutes. Nearby sights include Eastland Commons Shopping Center, Clearwater Park and Lakeside Country Golf Club. 


Top Prairie Aviation Museum Flight + Hotel Deals

Best Lodging Options Near Prairie Aviation Museum

See all 81 Properties near Prairie Aviation Museum
Best Western Plus Bloomington East Hotel $89
Best Western Plus Bloomington East Hotel

Best Western Plus Bloomington East Hotel

604 1/2 I.A.A. Drive, Bloomington, IL
     
    2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in the business district, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Eastland Mall, The Shoppes at College Hills, and OSF St. Joseph Medical Center Augustine Hall. OSF St. Joseph Medical Center and Prairie Aviation Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km).

    DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bloomington $94
    DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bloomington

    DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bloomington

    10 Brickyard Drive, Bloomington, IL
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in the heart of Bloomington, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Grossinger Motors Area, Eastland Mall, and Miller Park Zoo. Illinois Wesleyan University and Prairie Aviation Museum are also within 6 mi (10 km).

      Hyatt Place Bloomington/Normal $94
      Hyatt Place Bloomington/Normal

      Hyatt Place Bloomington/Normal

      200 Broadway Avenue, Normal, IL
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in the heart of Normal, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Children's Discovery Museum and Illinois State University. OSF HealthCare and RedBird Arena are also within 1 mi (2 km). Uptown Station is only a 2-minute walk.

        Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Bloomington-Normal Airport, IL $66
        Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Bloomington-Normal Airport, IL

        Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Bloomington-Normal Airport, IL

        2403 E Empire St, Bloomington, IL
           
          2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Prairie Aviation Museum and Eastland Mall. OSF St. Joseph Medical Center Augustine Hall and OSF St. Joseph Medical Center are also within 2 mi (3 km).

          Holiday Inn Bloomington-Airport $84
          Holiday Inn Bloomington-Airport

          Holiday Inn Bloomington-Airport

          3202 E Empire Street, Bloomington, IL
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated near the airport, this hotel is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Prairie Aviation Museum and within 3 mi (5 km) of Eastland Mall and OSF St. Joseph Medical Center Augustine Hall. OSF St. Joseph Medical Center and The Shoppes at College Hills are also within 6 mi (10 km).

            The Chateau Hotel and Conference Center $59
            The Chateau Hotel and Conference Center

            The Chateau Hotel and Conference Center

            1621 Jumer Dr, Bloomington, IL
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Bloomington, this hotel is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from The Shoppes at College Hills and 2.8 mi (4.5 km) from Illinois State University. OSF HealthCare and Eastland Mall are also within 2 mi (3 km).

              Eastland Suites Hotel & Conference Center $72
              Eastland Suites Hotel & Conference Center

              Eastland Suites Hotel & Conference Center

              1801 Eastland Dr, Bloomington, IL
                 
                2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in the heart of Bloomington, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of OSF St. Joseph Medical Center Augustine Hall, Eastland Mall, and OSF St. Joseph Medical Center. Prairie Aviation Museum and The Shoppes at College Hills are also within 2 mi (3 km).

                Hampton Inn Suites Bloomington - Normal $89
                Hampton Inn Suites Bloomington - Normal

                Hampton Inn Suites Bloomington - Normal

                320 S Towanda Ave, Normal, IL
                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated near the airport, this hotel is 0.4 mi (0.6 km) from The Shoppes at College Hills and 2.8 mi (4.6 km) from Illinois State University. Eastland Mall and OSF HealthCare are also within 2 mi (3 km).