Things to Do in San Diego with Baby – Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum

After our first few months here in San Diego, I am quickly becoming aware of what a wonderful, family-friendly city it is! There is just so much to do that I have to really pace myself in order to avoid burn out.

I am so lucky to be able to be a stay-at-home mom at the moment, but at the same time, I feel like this time is flying by and I want my twins to experience as much as possible before I have to go back to the reality of work-life.

For now, I am going to enjoy all that San Diego has to offer for our little family.

Recently, I took the boys to visit the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum.

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Located on Marine Corps. Air Station Miramar, the Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated to United States Marine Corps. aviation. “Leatherneck” has long been a nickname for Marines, hence the name of the museum. It holds the largest and most complete collection of vintage Marine aircraft, with 27 aircraft on display.

One of the most famous pieces in the collection is “Lady Ace.” She played a key role in the evacuation of Saigon in 1975, during which she landed on the rooftop of the US Embassy in Saigon to evacuate the US Ambassador just prior to the fall of Saigon.

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Another amazing thing about the museum is that it is staffed almost entirely by veteran volunteers. On the day we visited, they were extremely friendly and helped me get the stroller outside. I also saw them giving tours to other visitors. We had a limited amount of time, otherwise, I would have loved to hear their stories.

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Although the boys did not seem super interested in looking at the planes, I liked being able to give them exposure to these important parts of our history and getting them to see new things.

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Besides the outdoor exhibit of aircraft, the museum also features indoor exhibitions that highlight Marine artifacts, including uniforms, patches and awards.


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The museum is entirely stroller friendly, although it might have been a smoother ride for the boys with a full-size stroller, rather than the umbrella stroller.

I look forward to bringing the boys back to the museum once they are older. The Flying Leatherneck Museum also holds annual “Open Cockpit Days” and visitors can sit in the cockpits of certain aircraft and in the cargo area of a helicopter. That sounds super fun for everyone and is definitely something I have not done either!

The Flying Leatherneck Museum is located on MCAS Miramar. Enter through Museum Gate on Miramar Road, between Camino Ruiz and Cabot Drive. The gate is marked by flags.

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