Flight schedules were not kind to us as we faced an almost four hour layover in Dulles with boys under the age of 12.  How would we manage all that energy in that extended timeframe prior to climbing onto another flight for almost 2 hours?

Prior to departure and in a panic, we began researching activities available in the airport and didn’t find anything that we thought would engage the boys.  And then we stumbled onto the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, located 6 miles from Dulles Airport.  With plans made, we checked our luggage through to our destination and kept only light backpacks with us. 

When we arrived into Dulles we left the secured area and caught a taxi to the museum.  We later learned that there is a bus, No. 983, that departs from the Ground Transportation area and travels straight to the museum.  The trip can be paid with either a SmarTrip card or cash.  However, the bus drivers do not carry cash.  

After entering the museum we walk out onto the platform overlooking the open museum floor filled with planes and everything that young boys love.  We spent almost 2-½ hours looking at military aircraft, space suits and lunar vehicles, interacting with the exhibits, and riding the simulators.  The boys were completely engaged and distracted.  

With 90-minutes to go before our departure flight we caught a bus back to Dulles where we re-entered security and screening before heading to a restaurant for lunch.  After a good lunch we arrived at our gate just as they were beginning to board our flight.  Rested, restored, and relaxed we were ready for the next leg of our trip.

Mary Beth I have a passion for creating and experiencing unforgettable moments and sharing those with others. I hope that this story has helped you experience one of those moments.

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