Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Presents the 2013 “Heritage Family Day” Series

By Micaela Willamson

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly / kropic1/

The National Air and Space Museum, as part of the Smithsonian’s Heritage and History education initiative, presents a “Heritage Family Day” series to celebrate ethnic and cultural diversity. Coinciding with national observances, the series will focus on how diverse communities have made contributions to space exploration and aviation. Each “Heritage Family Day” will be filled with family-friendly activities and offers visitors the change to meet space and aviation role models- ranging from World War II veterans to astronomers. Programs will take place at the National Mall building and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, and support for the “Heritage Family Day” series is provided by Northrop Grumman Corporation.

“The museum’s dual mission, in history and science, come together in the ‘Heritage Family Day’ series,” said Maureen Kerr, education chair at the National Air and Space Museum. “The programs feature inspiring role models who have helped make history by their achievements in aviation and spaceflight” (via official press release.)

The 2013 series will kick off on Saturday, Feb. 9. at the museum’s National Mall building with “African American Pioneers in Aviation Day.” Visitors will have a chance to meet members of the Tuskegee Airmen (African Americans who fought during WWII), learn about the accomplishments of black pioneers of aviation and space, talk to museum experts, participate in hands-on activities and listen to compelling stories. The second “African American Pioneers in Aviation Day” will be held at the Udvar-Hazy Center on Feb. 23.


Smithsonian Air and Space, National Mall / Jorg Hackemann/

Additional “Heritage Family Day” series events include:

“Kites of Asia Day”
March 23, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.,
Smithsonian Air and Space, National Mall

Visitors will experience indoor kite flying and learn how kites influenced the aviation community. Families will be able to view amazing kites on display and create and decorate their own kite.

“Women in Aviation and Space Day”
March 23, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Udvar-Hazy Center

Learn about the accomplishments of women in aviation, science and aerospace. Families can enjoy guest speakers, hands-on activities, a theatrical presentation and more.

“Explore the Universe Day”
June 1, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Smithsonian Air and Space National Mall

Visit the museum’s Public Observatory for daytime sky-watching (weather permitting,) and participate in activities and displays to learn about how different cultures view and talk about the sky.


There will be two “Heritage Family Days” in September: “A Century of Women in Aerospace” at the National Mall building Sept. 14 and “Hispanic Heritage Day: Innovators in Air and Space” on Sept. 21 at the Udvar-Hazy Center.

The last “Heritage Family Day” of the 2013 series will be held on Oct. 5 at the National Mall building and will also celebrate Hispanic Heritage in partnership with the Smithsonian’s Latino Center. There will be bilingual programming and visitors will have the chance to meet Hispanic scientists and engineers. 

For more information about the museum’s “Heritage Family Day” series, including hours and program details, please visit:




Photo Courtesy of Tiffany Brown, Mamaratzy Photography

Micaela Williamson is the creator of, a popular, local blog that focuses on Northern Virginia families and events. Her website was recently voted “Best Blog 2012” in Northern Virginia Magazine. Micaela enjoys supporting area businesses and scouting out family-friendly venues with her two young sons.



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