Ellsworth AFB Community
Check Out the FREE South Dakota Air and Space Museum
The South Dakota Air and Space Museum is a must-visit attraction for museum lovers, military buffs, and anyone interested in air and space travel. This is an especially perfect opportunity for military members, as the museum is situated right beside beautiful Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota. If this sounds like something you or your kids might be into, keep reading!
South Dakota Air and Space Museum History and Mission
The Air and Space Museum, South Dakota, has called Ellsworth AFB its home ever since 1992. It was started by the South Dakota Air & Space Foundation, which is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt charitable organization.
The goal of the museum is to help preserve aviation history, promote educational opportunities within the air and space field for students, honor Veterans in the field, and inspire innovation.
They do this by protecting, preserving, and interpreting artifacts and memorabilia while honoring the people of the past, educating the people of the future, and inspiring the people of the present.
This Ellsworth AFB museum hosts memorial ceremonies and a wide array of exhibits and aviation artifacts (including some of the coolest planes from military history). If you follow them on social media, they’re always posting wonderfully fascinating tidbits of history for everyone of all ages to partake in.
Planning Your Trip to the South Dakota Air and Space Museum
There are a few things you probably want to know about the museum before making a trek, including the ticket pricing and operating hours.
South Dakota Air and Space Museum Cost
If the title of this piece didn’t give it away, we’ll spell it out now. This South Dakota museum is completely free to visit! Since it was founded and is run by a nonprofit organization, there is no fee to get in. You don’t have to pay for tickets, parking, or anything else!
However, if you feel so inclined, they’re always accepting donations. Running a museum like this isn’t cheap, and donations can help contribute toward the ongoing costs of labor, upkeep, and acquiring new artifacts.
South Dakota Air and Space Museum Hours and Location
This isn’t a Waffle House, so, unfortunately, it isn’t open 24/7. But their expansive hours seven days a week make it easy to plan a trip, and their location makes it incredibly convenient for any service members to visit.
- Monday: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
- Tuesday: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
- Wednesday: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
- Thursday: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
- Friday: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
- Saturday: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
- Sunday: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
2890 Dave Dr.
Ellsworth AFB, SD 57706
If there’s anything specific you’re still wondering about regarding the museum, you’re encouraged to reach out to them at 1 (605) 385-5189 for more info.
What To Expect
There are no other South Dakota museums quite like this one. With four indoor galleries and more than 30 rare WWII warplanes on exhibit outside, you can expect to see the best that air and space travel has ever provided. Here are just a few planes you’ll see during your South Dakota Air and Space Museum tours:
- Boeing B-29
- Boeing B-52 D Stratofortress
- North American B-25 Mitchell
- General Dynamics F-111A Aardvark
- Republic F-105B Thunderchief
You’ll also get to see some examples of real-life missiles, like the Bell Labs MIM-3 Nike Ajax, a surface-to-air missile used by the Army from 1954 to 1970.
No matter what your particular interest is in aviation, the South Dakota Air and Space Museum has something you’re gonna love.
Suggested read: Ellsworth Air Force Base: In-Depth Welcome Center
Image: Geoffrey Morrison/CNET