As soon as we decided to move to Columbus, I sat down with the kids and made a great big list of all the things we wanted to see and do before leaving. There’s nothing like a looming deadline to make you stop procrastinating.
The top item on the list: the USS Intrepid. We’ve driven past it for 5 years now, speeding down the West Side Highway on our way to various NYC adventures. Each time I’ve said, “Hey Jack! Aren’t all those airplanes cool? One day I’m going to take you there!” And he would get all excited, but somehow that day never came.
I took advantage of Steve being home for the day and we spontaneously headed in, tackling the top item on the list. We brought along Jack’s best friend for the adventure and took advantage of Bella still being in school to have a boy day.
The USS Intrepid was a boy’s dream come true. We started with an 8 minute movie about the history of Intrepid and we learned that it shot down over 300 Japanese aircraft during WW2 and that it was hit by a number of kamikaze planes. I worried that the war footage would scare the boys, but they were dazzled by the explosions and awed by the soldiers’ reverent tone as they recalled some of their memories.
We then headed into the hangar deck (see how I’m throwing the lingo around!) which was filled with aircrafts and space crafts that the boys could play in. There was even a fighter jet with a little simulation screen that interacted with the stick. If you have older kids, you’ll have to try out the climbing net, the 4D simulator and the live simulation chamber. Those seemed a little too intense for us. The boys were happy pretending to be pilots about to land on the moon, or helicopter rescue staff.
The huge array of aircraft on the flight deck were impressive to see, and the boys got a real kick out of the aircraft painted with teeth or scary faces. Seeing missiles and bombs poking out of the holding bays stunned them into silence. We then climbed all the way to the top of the aircraft carrier and spun the steering wheel, scanned the horizon, and sent messages in Morse code.
Two hours later, as we walked off the Intrepid, they were already begging for a return visit.