Ah, the glories of an annual pass.
Greetings from Your Correspondent.* This is another installment in a intermittent…I mean, continuing, series of reports on great annual pass offerings around the Tucson area.
Most of Tucson’s attractions offer annual passes. In Your Correspondent’s opinion, these are some of the best deals going.
For the price that a family would pay for two or three visits in a year, you can have unlimited, year-round access. An annual pass transforms your favorite park or museum or zoo from an occasional treat you have to budget for, into a de facto family asset you can use when it suits you.
Annual passes give local attractions needed funds. In return, those attractions often offer their members benefits over and above what the average ticket-buying Jane/Joe gets. (E.g., special evening events, discounts at the gift shop).
This weekend, Your Correspondent visited the Pima Air and Space Museum, on Tucson’s east side (6000 East Valencia Road). Its website (http://www.pimaair.org/) touts the facility as being “the largest non-government funded aviation Museum in the United States.” Its collection contains over three hundred aircraft and spacecraft.
For $60—less than the cost for two adults to visit the museum twice—a family of six (two adults and four children) can become members. Membership gets you unlimited access to what must be one of the world’s best playgrounds for children and adults…
…and dogs! Yes, the Pima Air and Space Museum is dog-friendly. The hangars** have concrete floors and the aircraft display yard is made of dirt and gravel, so Fido can’t do lasting damage if nature calls. In fact, the docents and staff at the museum welcome well-behaved pets on a leash. Accordingly, Your Correspondent’s Dog tagged along …and here are the photos to prove it!
Seeing as I can’t get the caption thingy to work in WordPress, here are some amplifying comments on the photos above.
- The SR 71 was the USAF’s fastest reconnaissance aircraft ever.
- There is a real-live B36 on the grounds; it’s one of the museum’s newest additions to its inventory. Jimmy Stewart fans will remember this aircraft from his movie “Strategic Air Command.” Stewart played an Air Force officer who flew a B36.
- The Pima Air and Space Museum hosts dinners and parties! Just this last weekend, I saw high-school students decorating the hanger with the SR 71 for a prom! When the museum serves adult beverages at events, it uses portable bars like this one here, adorned with authentic aircraft nose art.
- Runway Surveillance Units (RSUs) housed observers who inspected aircraft approaching an airfield. If the aircraft had dangling ordnance, landing gear that wasn’t fully deployed or some other safety hazard, the observer could sound an alarm. RSU observers also looked for obstructions on the airstrip itself…like stray dogs.
- If you’re using Your Correspondent’s Dog as a size reference, he is 27″ tall when sitting down.
The Pima Air and Space Museum…Springer Spaniel approved!
* One popular magazine doesn’t give its writers bylines. Instead, they refer to them as “your correspondent.” Know which one?
** The B-17 display building is carpeted and doesn’t allow pets.