Long Island contributed greatly to the history of flight, and the Cradle of Aviation Museum celebrates this heritage through its exhibits of actual historic aircraft.
From hot air balloons to Long Island’s first flight in 1909, to planes built by Grumman, exhibits teach visitors about the Island's significant role in the evolution of machines that take us up into the sky.
In addition to a world-class collection of aircraft, the museum boasts an IMAX Dome Theater showing films daily on Long Island's only giant IMAX screen. The museum also features the Red Planet Cafe, a Mars-themed eatery that is open daily.
A Dream of Wings:
As you walk through the doors of this gleaming glass-and-steel building, you'll immediately see a Grumman F-11 Tiger, the Navy's first supersonic jet, hanging from the ceiling, amid other historic aircraft. You'll walk through the doors to galleries including "A Dream of Wings," with an exhibit of the first attempts to defy gravity, including hot air balloons and kites. Then you'll continue on to the World War I gallery, with its Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny,"one of the most famous planes of the era. You'll also view aircraft like the Grumman TBM "Avenger" and the Grumman F4F "Wildcat" in the World War II gallery.
From the Golden Age to the Space Age:
Other galleries take you to the Golden Age of flight, where you'll see a sister airplane to Lindbergh's "Spirit of St. Louis." The next gallery brings you to the jet age, when commercial airports on Long Island expanded greatly. You'll see a Grumman G-63 Kitten, built in Bethpage in 1944, a Republic P-84B Thunderjet, which roared out of Farmingdale in 1947, and much more. After exploring other galleries, you'll come to "Space Exploration," where you'll view a Grumman Lunar Module LM-13, built in Bethpage in 1972.
Visiting the Cradle of Aviation Museum:
- Location: The Cradle of Aviation Museum is located on Charles Lindbergh Boulevard in East Garden City, on Museum Row.
- Cradle of Aviation Museum website
- Telephone: (516)572-4111
- Hours: Galleries: Tues.-Sun., 9:30-5, IMAX open daily with extended hours for Hollywood films, Summer Hours:Galleries: Daily, 9:30-5
- General Admission:$14 for adults, $12 for children 2-12, 62+, volunteer firemen and non-ambulatory visitors. Movie/Museum Combo: Adult $19, Child $17.
Movie Only: Adult $8, Child $7.
Junior Jet Club: $2.50 per person (free with museum.)