Fly into the school holidays at IWM Duxford for fun family activities

Flight Academy at IWM Duxford.

Flight Academy at IWM Duxford. - Credit: IWM

If you are looking for something to keep the kids entertained during the school holidays, IWM Duxford has announced an exciting schedule of activities for October and December 2021.

Families can learn how to build the perfect cockpit, engineer a top paper aircraft, and speak to eyewitnesses to conflict.

Opening from December 27 for a limited time, families will also be able to explore Spitfire: Evolution of an Icon, an exhibition featuring 12 Spitfires in AirSpace.

Here's 8 activities to enjoy during the school holidays at IWM Duxford this year.

Cockpit Control at IWM Duxford

The Cockpit Control activity at IWM Duxford - Credit: IWM


1. Aeroplane Investigators

When: Monday, October 25 to Sunday, October 31, and Saturday, December 18 to Thursday, December 30.

Cost: Free (included in price of admission). Drop-in sessions 10am to 3pm.

Budding historians can step into the shoes of a conservator and help keep IWM Duxford’s iconic aircraft in tip-top condition.

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Get hands-on and search for the mysterious forces and microscopic beasts burrowing into pilot seats, test expert packing techniques to protect fragile objects and learn to use specialised equipment with the museum’s team of expert conservators.


2. Flight Academy

When: Monday, October 25 to Sunday, October 31, and Saturday, December 18 to Thursday, December 30.

Cost: Free (included in price of admission). Drop-in from 10am to 3pm.

Sign up to the Flight Academy and discover the forces of flight. Families will be equipped with a training pack containing everything needed to engineer a top paper aircraft.

Make a range of iconic aircraft, from an Avro Vulcan, a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, to a world record breaking design that has flown for 69 metres.

Budding engineers can then test their constructions on the Flight Academy research runways in AirSpace.


3. We Were There

When: Saturday, October 23 and Sunday, October 24.

Cost: Free (included in price of admission), drop-in from 10am to 3pm.

Visitors will have the opportunity to meet eyewitness to conflict, gaining first-hand insight into the impact of war on people’s lives.

These special guests will be placed across the museum to converse with visitors, drawing upon their personal stories of conflict, from driving a tank to being evacuated.

Interactive workshops with illustrators, authors and journalists will also allow visitors to explore how memories, including their own, can be recorded.


4. Super Spitfires

When: Wednesday, December 29 and Thursday, December 30.

Cost: Free (included in price of admission). Drop-in from 10am to 3pm.

Uncover the secrets of the Spitfire by finding out how technological advances and ingenious
inventions helped make it one of the most iconic aircraft of all time. Discover how the Spitfire has
been used in movies, how it inspired stories and what it is like to fly a Spitfire. Coinciding with the
exhibition Spitfire: Evolution of an Icon, this new interactive activity gives families the opportunity
to explore the evolution of the Spitfire.


5. Family Mission: D-Day Edition

When: Saturday, October 23 to Sunday, October 31, 10am to 3pm, and Saturday, December 18 to Thursday, December 30, 10am to 3pm.

Cost: Free (included in price of admission), drop-in.

Families are invited to grab a Jump Bag and travel back to D-Day in 1944.

Explore IWM Duxford, spot a Spitfire from just its sound, perfect how to land safely and be assigned a rank, all while learning about the biggest invasion in history.

Created in partnership with KIT Theatre and Kirsty Harris, this interactive storytelling experience is based on the personal stories from those who served on D-Day.


6. Spitfire Engineers

When: Monday, December 27 to Tuesday, December 28.

Cost: Free (included in price of admission), drop-in from 10am to 3pm.

Get approved for take-off by exploring four activity stations dedicated to the Spitfire inside IWM Duxford’s Conservation Hall.

Families are invited to grab a pre-flight checklist and get hands on with practical challenges.

Discover the science behind wing design, the forces of flight, fuel consumption and engine power, before making and testing a propeller.

New for this December, this activity enhances the Spitfire: Evolution of an Icon exhibition experience for families.


7. Airforce Action Stations

When: Saturday, October 23 to Sunday, October 31, and Saturday, December 18 to Thursday, December 28.

Cost: Free (included in price of admission), drop-in from 11am to 3pm.

Families are invited to report for duty at the American Air Museum, where the system has been hacked.

Connect to the last remaining satellite and restore the files of the museum’s aircraft. Assess the aircraft’s strengths and weaknesses before deploying them to bases around the world.

Developed with Friday Sundae Studios with children’s TV personality Ben Shires, this original activity allows visitors to learn about aircraft used in the Cold War.


8. Cockpit Control

When: Saturday, October 23 to Sunday, October 31, and Saturday, December 18 to Thursday, December 28.

Cost: Free (included in price of admission), drop-in from 11am to 3pm.

It is 1945 and Air Force pilots are crashing. Visitors are invited to report to the Captain in the American Air Museum to investigate why.

Assess the facts with an action report, measure up against fellow pilots of all shapes and sizes, and work together to engineer a cockpit.

Developed with children’s TV personality Ben Shires, this interactive family game is based on the technological developments seen in the American Air Force in the late 1940s.


Activities will not run Christmas Eve, December 24 to Boxing Day, December 26 when IWM Duxford is closed.

We Were There and Super Spitfires will run on the specified dates only.

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