Scavenger Hunts at The National Air & Space Museum, DC

Scavenger Hunts at The National Air & Space Museum

  • private
  • adults
  • kids
  • indoor

The Air & Space Race Scavenger Hunt

Embark on an out-of-this-world adventure…

…at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall. On teams, you’ll follow clues through the famous aviation center, in search of answers to tricky, humorous questions about real-life propeller planes, jets, bombers and bombs, missiles and rockets—and much more associated with the history of flight and space exploration.

Please note that currently the museum is undergoing major renovations. Hunt availability might be limited. Consider our hunts at other museums on the National Mall, such as the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. But if you’ve got the right stuff and only wings will satisfying you, join us for hunts at the National Air and Space Museum: Udvar-Hazy Center, near Dulles Airport in Virginia.

Highlights include: a moon rock you can touch, the Wright brothers’ original first-flight plane, Lindbergh’s famous Spirit of St. Louis, the X-1 rocket in which Chuck Yeager became the first to break the sound barrier, the Lockheed Vega piloted by Amelia Earhart on the first solo transatlantic flight by a woman, and American and Soviet nuclear missiles (please don’t sneeze next to them).

You might also search for answers to such questions as…

  • Find devices that 007 has used. While flying one of these devices, why should he get nervous when his head starts uncontrollably shaking? Answer: The jet pack shakes the pilot’s head when it’s low on fuel.
  • Find a fräulein in a German machine shop. If she’s wearing a wig, what motor part will probably benefit? Answer: Rubber was in short supply in Germany during WWI, so women were urged to contribute their hair, which was used for drive belts.
  • Find a bird trap. When two scientists discovered the background hiss caused by the Big Bang, what did they originally think caused it? Answer: Pigeon droppings on their antenna.

Please note that we’ve left out clues and directions in the questions above. The game is designed so that you can find the answer only when you’re in the right spot and looking at the right thing. You don’t need any previous knowledge to triumph—you just need good teamwork and comfortable shoes.

A Kids Edition of this hunt is suitable for ages 7 and up. It’s a fantastic option for birthday parties and school field trips—and for even the pickiest of participants.

We also offer scavenger hunts at the National Air and Space Museum: Udvar-Hazy Center, near Dulles Airport in Virginia. You’ll get to explore the center’s two giant hangars, filled with more than 200 aircraft, as you tackle our fun and funny game.


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