Categories Travel Ideas

WWII Fans Are Getting Ready For The Ultimate Historical Event Next Month In Reading, PA

Step back in time at the Mid-Atlantic Museum’s World War II Weekend. From the incredible metal air machines to the realistic encampments, you will feel like you took a transport machine back in time.

The event will be held this year from June 7 to 9 at the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum in Reading, PA. The three-day event features:

  • 80 WWII Aircrafts
  • 1,500 re-enactors
  • Big bands
  • Military flea market vendors
  • WWII era guests
  • Period entertainers
  • 200 military vehicles

Get there early! Parking can get crazy, but there are shuttles to take you to the event’s actual location. If you get there early enough, you can park close to the event by looking for residents who rent out space on their lawns. We paid $20 to park on someone’s lawn and were able to walk to the event. It was well worth it!

When you arrive, you will show your tickets and have to relinquish any weapons you may carry. My husband had to leave his pocket knife, so they took security seriously.

Once you enter the event, you will see a few replicas of real buildings from the war era. These are filled with authentic war-era treasures for kids—and adults—to explore. From the meals the soldiers ate to the letters they wrote, there are so many amazing pieces of history.

When you head right, you will reach the giant hangar where the museum sits. This area is filled with WWII planes and history. Inside are vendors where you can purchase any type of memorabilia for your collection.

To the left, you will explore realistic encampments from various countries, each showcasing its historical tents, equipment, planes, and more.
Jill Caren Photography

planes on a runway at mid atlantic museum
Jill Caren Photography

View the World War II Aircrafts

If warplanes are your thing, you will be in heaven here. The air shows are a highlight of the event. The sounds, smells, and beauty of these historic planes taking off will give you chills. Multiple air shows are held throughout the event, so be sure to check the event calendar to make sure you catch one.

Some of the planes that were there when I went include:

  • Japanese Mitsubishi Zero
  • Douglas C-47 Skytrain
  • P51 Mustang
  • Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
  • and so much more…..
war plane 1
Jill Caren Photography

Take a Ride on a WWII Plane

You can actually book a ride on one of the available planes at the show! Curious about the feel of a P51 Mustang? Want to experience all the chills and thrills of climbing high in a real historical warplane? This is your chance. Planes may change throughout the weekend, but you can enjoy a half-hour ride high in the sky for a fee.

Shop the Flea Market

One hundred-plus vendors are waiting for you to enjoy their goods. There is no lack of creative vendors, from World War II memorabilia to clothing and more.

Explore the Encampments

Walk around the airfield, and you will find a large selection of tents and encampments from all over the world.

encampment tent
Jill Caren Photography
encampment tent
Jill Caren Photography

Watch Battle Re-enactments

The weekend is filled with re-enactments of all types, but the battles are among the most popular. Get to them early if you want the best spots to view all the action. There is no lack of action, from a French Village skirmish to the WWII flamethrowers. While action is happening on the ground, don’t forget to look up to see the aircraft in action as well.

The Clothing

One of my favorite parts is that everyone is walking around in era-accurate clothing. From accurate military garb to the dresses and suits that were part of the war period, you will feel immersed in a new decade.

Enjoy the Parade of War Vehicles

One of my favorite parts of the event is the parade of war vehicles. Hundreds of trucks, motorcycles and more parade down the runway with all the re-enactors keeping the viewers engaged.

The war jeeps are just one part of the parade.

wwII event parade of trucks
Jill Caren Photography
motorcycle in vehicle parade at mam

Enjoy the Mess Tent

I personally enjoyed a meatball sandwich at the mess tent. This part of the event emulates a real mess tent from war times and offers a small selection of breakfast and lunch goods.

Meet World War II Veterans

Every year, the event features visits from WWII veterans who share their stories. There are also meet-and-greets, book signings, and more.

Shoot Real WWII Weapons

Off to the back is a shooting range where you can shoot an authentic World War II weapon. Weapons like a German MG 34 or a Thompson submachine gun are just some options you can shoot.

See the Airborne Jump From a Plane

The year I went, there was a 101st Airborne Demonstration where the team would jump from a C-47. With all the gear and features of a real authentic military jump, you will feel you were back in time. After the jump, meet the team – ask some questions and see the uniforms and equipment they used in war.

The day we went and I took these pictures, the skies were cloudy, so we did not get to see much of the sky action. But we did go back another year to see them in action.

Below is my kid getting hooked up to the airborne equipment to understand how heavy it is!

airborne team display
Jill Caren Photography

Great Location

Located just an hour outside of Philadelphia, Reading offers many opportunities for family fun. You can make the WWII event your entire weekend, or you can explore other fun places in the area. Traveling to Reading is easy since it is off many major highways and not far from the Philadelphia airport.

Bring sunscreen or a hot for the sunny days – there is no shade and it is June, so chances are good for burning! Ask me how I know.

Visit The Mahan Collection: The Mack Daddy of Museums Located in NJ

mahan collection 1929 mack truck
Jill Caren Photo

The Mahan Collection is a museum filled with acres of vintage trucks that families will love to explore. From vintage Macks to heavy duty equipment, there are mechanical wonders from all decades.

Explore The Mahan Collection Foundation

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