Art Works Blog

Five California Blue Star Museums for Enthusiasts

Crazy for cars? Can't get enough of miniature engines? Is "explore outer space" on your bucket list? Here's a round-up of museums in the Golden State for enthusiasts of all stripes and all ages, whether bunny rabbits make your heart go hippity hop (sorry, couldn't resist!) or you and your family are the only ones at the airport who don't mind flight delays because you get to spend more time watching planes take off and land. Click through to each museum to find out schedule, directions, and amenities available at each spot. And don't forget to browse the Blue Star Museums map to find even more museums--in California and around the country--that are a perfect match for your interests!

Yanks Air Museum, Chino

The Yanks Air Museum is home to more than 200 aircraft, many of which are the last of their kind. With aircraft dating from 1903 to the present, the collection comprises fighter jets, helicopters, gliders, and much much more. You can even see the Apollo 13 capsule used in the eponymous 1995 film.You can also visit the museum's boneyard and restoration hangar, where volunteers work diligently to restore historic specimens to flight-worthy shape using only period materials.

Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum, Carlsbad

From clocks to structures made from vintage Erector sets, the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum promises "hundreds of metalworking projects, exhibiting outstanding craftsmanship at the small end of the size scale." There is also a working machine shop where you can learn just how master craftsmen make their masterpieces tick. Featured exhibits include the Knapp Collection of Internal Combustion Engines, the Dollhouse Miniature Room Collection, and the "Do Nothing" machine, a whimsical machine of roughly 745 gears all working at once to do, you guessed it, nothing.

The Bunny Museum, Altadena

With more than 8,000 bunny objects, from figurines to plush toys to paintings and more, the Bunny Museum is a rabbit lovers paradise. Possibly the only Blue Star Museum certified by the Guinness Book of World Records, the husband and wife duo who host the museum in their home are committed to "educating the public about bunnies in nature, the use of bunnies historically, and the representation of bunnies artistically." Did we mention that there are also live bunnies that live at the museum?

Automobile Driving Museum, El Segundo

Featuring 130 vehicles, from the early 20th century to the present, the Automobile Driving Museum is a car enthusiast's dream. Just a few cars in the collection include a 1941 Cadillac Convertible, a 1965 Ford Mustang, a 1932, and a 1982 Delorean, as well as cars once owned by Howard Hughes and Eleanor Roosevelt. Most Sundays, visitors can take rides in at least three of the museum's antique and vintage cars. There is also a kids play area and a scavenger hunt for little ones, as well as a research library for more mature automobile lovers. 

The Space Station Museum, Novato

Open only on weekends, this storefront museum is a must-see for space travel aficionados. Along with full-size replicas of the Lunar Module and Lunar Rover, you can also check out objects that have been to space such as a hatch from one of the space shuttles, a meteorite, and a number of spacesuits, including the SOKOL space suit worn by all astronauts traveling to the International Space Station. You can also make footprints with moon boots, try the lunar gravity box, and check out personal stories from astronauts. The museum also hosts an annual space festival, telescope viewing nights, and periodic live, public SKYPE interviews with astronauts.

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