Page 12 - Scene Magazine 45-07 July 2020
P. 12

BY NIKKI STATLER Director of Marketing
   The Air Zoo, located in Portage, MI, has reopened its doors to the public. On Monday, June 29, a two-week mem- bers-only appreciation kick-off began. General admission resumed Monday, July 13. The staff and volunteers are excited to be putting months of prepa- ration and planning, outlined in the 32-page “Air Zoo Re-Entry Plan,” into action.
excited to see our friends and neighbors back at the Air Zoo!”
temporarily inaccessible for guest safety and will be reintroduce when deemed safe to do so. In the meantime, new exhibitions, like Alien Worlds & Androids and a reimagined Memories & Milestones: The Air Zoo Story, are open for visitors to enjoy. Amelia: Adven- turous Aviatrix will kick off a multi- phased installation of Women in Air and Space, which illuminates and celebrates the contributions of women in space and aviation history with installations throughout the Air Zoo’s campuses beginning in August.
“This feels a little like what capsule re-entry from a space mission might,” states Air Zoo president and CEO, Troy Thrash. “We spent countless hours navigating the turbulence created by COVID-19, exploring and developing virtual opportunities to engage with
The Flight Discovery Center, which houses the Air Zoo’s nationally re- nowned Restoration Center, is also back in action. Guests can stop in and see
the community in a new way while analyzing, planning, researching and executing new policies, procedures, and experiences to safely welcome back
the progress that is being made on both the SBD Dauntless dive bomber and the FM-2 Wildcat fighter, including the prepping and painting of the aircraft with the addition of the Air Zoo’s new paint booth.
our community when the time, and trajectory, was right. It looks as though that time is now – and we are ready and
The Air Zoo’s indoor amusement park rides, flight simulators, theater, and several hands-on stations are
Education programming looks a
little different this year as well. Their innovative team of educators has taken the ever-popular, fun, and immersive education programs, typically offered on-site, to a whole new (virtual) level, and it is out-of-this-world. They have successfully designed and launched their new virtual learning platforms through
a reinvention of the Air Zoo’s summer camp and library programs, both of which have been extremely well re- ceived. With participants from Michigan to Mexico and Maryland to Washing- ton, they have expanded the Air Zoo’s impact far beyond southwest Michigan.
The Air Zoo is Open!
The Air Zoo Experience will look
a bit different to visitors as a result of requirements and recommendations handed down by the CDC as well as state and local governments. While
both buildings will be open for guests, there are new policies and procedures everyone is encouraged to review prior to visiting. New hours are: Monday-Sat- urday 9am-12:30pm and 1:30-5pm, with Monday being reserved for our vulnera- ble populations only; Sunday hours are 1:30-5pm. Online ticketing is recom- mended as capacity is limited. Visitors should also be aware that all persons age two and above will be required to wear a mask at all times while in the buildings, and everyone entering will be screened for a temperature of 100.4 or higher.
Next up for the Air Zoo and their restoration team? They are anxiously awaiting one of the first F-117 Night- hawk stealth fighters released for public display at a non-government institution. The highly-decorated Shaba (817)
is scheduled to arrive in Kalamazoo in December 2020. Anyone wanting more information, or to help support the transport and restoration of Shaba, should visit for more information.
The Air Zoo looks forward to recon- necting with the community and their Air Zoo family. Learn more and plan your visit at today!

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