Get ready! Santa is coming to town!

November 29, 30 and December 1
9:00am-5:00pm (Santa arrives at 10:00am)

Join us for Planes, Trains, and Santa on Thanksgiving weekend at the Military Aviation Museum! The Tidewater Division of the National Model Railroad Association hosts a variety of train experiences, allowing kids (and adults!) of all ages to see and interact with amazing model train exhibits.

Santa flies into the museum each day at 10:00am in a vintage biplane (if the weather’s good), because sometimes reindeer just have to rest! Get your picture with Santa, see loads of vintage airplanes, and marvel at the hangar overrun with trains and fire trucks.

Santa and the Marine Corps Reserves will also be collecting donations for Toys for Tots!

All children 17 and under get in free all weekend. Regular prices apply for guests 18 and older. Museum members are free! Buy your tickets online, over the phone at 757-721-7767 or at the door. All guests with active memberships or pre-purchased tickets get priority access to sit with Santa!

Frequently Asked Questions

Your ticket is valid for any individual Planes, Trains, Santa date (Nov 29,30, Dec 1).

Santa flies in at the museum at 10:00am on all three dates, depending on weather. In the event that weather prevents flying, Santa will arrive via alternative magical route.

New this year, after Santa flies in, he will greet visitors on the flight line. At this time, families are encouraged to take a quick selfie with Santa as he meets and greets everyone. This will be the only opportunity to take a cell phone or personal photo. Museum staff will assist Santa with moving quickly down the line. After Santa has said hi to everyone, he will retire to his comfy chair in the museum where children will have the opportunity to talk with Santa.

Beginning at noon, Santa will be available to sit and visit. This portion of the event will work as it has in previous years. Each family will receive a queue number, and will be called up to see Santa. Families in line for Members and Pre-purchased will get to see Santa first, followed by General Admission. We ask that no cell phone photos to be taken, so that we have time for every family.

When you arrive to the museum, families will receive a queue number. Until your number is called, we encourage you to visit the rest of the museum, including train demonstrations and holiday activity stations.

When your number is called, we ask that you to go upstairs and stand in the appropriate line.

There will be three lines: Members, Pre-purchased, and General Admission. Please stand in the appropriate line. The order of priority for seeing Santa is: Members, Pre-purchased, General Admission.

This year, Santa will not start sitting for portraits until 12:00pm. We estimate the following wait times for an official portrait for General Admission:

12pm – 2 hours
1pm – 1 hour
2pm – 30 minutes

There’s tons to do for the whole family! There will be trains galore, with both demonstrations and hands-on experiences. There are also flight simulators, STEM activities (wind tunnel, building blocks), coloring station and new this year, a LEGO building station! Besides all this, the museum will be open to explore.

There will be food trucks available for lunch, as well as snacks within the museum.

Click here to go back to the museum’s main page.