No matter what time of year you visit Gulf Shores, Alabama, you can easily take the entire family to the National Naval Aviation Museum for a unique educational experience. With live-action simulations and real-life jets, this museum is an ideal place for a close-up view of military aircraft, especially if you know someone serving in the armed forces.

Take a look at just a few of the exhibits your kids will be excited about, whether they're toddlers or teenagers:

Exhilarating simulators

Get ready for takeoff on the MaxFlight Simulator, where of-age children can feel what it's like to fly a jet at top speeds. As one of the museum's most popular attractions, this ride is made for thrill seekers. During the ride, you'll go through the motions of typical stunts that pilots administer during air-to-air combat, such as a pitch and roll.

For visitors who prefer a calmer adventure, there's the Motion-Based Simulator, which is an audiovisual experience with minimal movement. You'll get to see real footage of what Blue Angels jet pilots see during their flights. For about five thrilling minutes, you'll experience some of their perspective from the cockpit.

Admission to the museum is free, but the simulators do require a small fee.

Cockpit Trainers Exhibit

Ever wonder what it's like to sit in the cockpit of a fighter plane? You and your kids can climb into numerous real-life cockpits that were once used during battles. Feel free to move the control stick, fiddle around with switches and do your best to reenact an exciting flight!

Best of all, you won't have to pay a penny to gain access to this educational and interactive exhibit.

Watch the Blue Angels practice

The legendary Blue Angels call the National Aviation Museum their home throughout the year, and in the spring and fall they hold special performances. Admission to these sky-high demonstrations is free and open to everyone. Even if you're not on the grounds, you'll definitely hear them zooming through the skies.