If you have a child (or adult) who loves military history or planes, this is a great place to go check some out!
I do recommend that you go on a cooler day, as the area where the planes are located is not fully airconditioned and it can get pretty warm!
The commemorative Air Force Museum is located at 3017 N Greenfield Rd in Mesa. Parking is free and off the street.
It is also located near Falcon Field, which is a working, small regional airport.
The Commemorative Air Force has over 71 different locations and 165 vintage aircraft around the world. The Airbase Arizona is the largest unit. The Arizona unit maintains and flies seven warbirds and holds programs in the museum. The labor force is 99% volunteer. A few years ago, we saw a bomber in Goodyear Wings of Freedom Tour which was pretty cool.
When you first arrive at CAF Mesa inside, there is a small gift shop and area to pay for admission. Children 5-12 are $5, Seniors and Veterans are $12, Adults 13+ are $15. Kids 4 and under are free.
There is a bathroom in the gift shop and also another one between the big showroom and the hangar.
Main Museum Area
There are world war one planes, world war two planes, planes from Vietnam and Korea. There are also lots of volunteers to help you answer questions. They are super kind and helpful. The volunteers also give tours every few hours.
This awesome plane allowed the kids to climb up to it and look at the “models” in it. The models had to wear gas masks. We asked our kids why they thought they needed to wear them. The answers were really amusing!
They are not helmets, they are brain buckets! I guess if you crash, you have a handy way of collecting everything?
Sikorsky (one company that comes from our home state of Connecticut).
I Loved that they had this sign!
Because above was a plane hanging from the ceiling!
That is one large engine. I don’t know much about engines. And maybe other people understand things more than me, but WOWSA. I’m glad I don’t have to figure that out. And, Pratt and Whitney is a company from Connecticut, so I had to take a picture of it next to Giggles. I was telling her how big our car engine is compared to this. I loved that the Commemorative Air Force Museum had more than just planes, but they had the pieces that go in a plane too! Planes are more than just a pilot.
How do you feel about riding in this? Does it look comfy and cozy?
Or maybe this is more your style?
And then, there is this big bad boy, that is a bomber!
In the back hanger, the staff was repainting this plane (The Dakota DC 3/C-47 Combat Legend Cargo). This is one the planes that people can actually pay to ride in!
This is the Boeing PT 17 Stearman BiPlane, that also can be reserved for rides.
Next to the planes was also this jeep. It reminded me of a jeep toy I had when I was a child, so I had to take a picture of it!
This was a special room for guests to check out movies about planes. I watched a bit and would have loved to stay, but it was a bit over my kids level.
There was also video of World War II veterans talking about their time in the military in the main room. They were interviewed in their homes (it looked like) and recorded.
Next to the mission briefing was the other bathrooms. There were no areas for baby changing, but it wasn’t a really toddler friendly place.
However, I do have to say I LOVED one of the signs that was posted in the bathroom!
I recommed CAF for kids 6+ and on a cool day! Just because it is an inside activity, doesn’t mean it will be cool inside. It is a really great museum and hopefully will spark a lot of great communication about different planes, different areas of the world and how far we have come with technology.
Commemorative Air Force Museum Mesa
2017 Greenfield Road