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Preview: The Leonardo Takes 'Flight'

Our little Leonardo is growing up.

Since opening its doors in 2011, The Leonardo Museum has offered a one-of-a-kind experience to visitors. Just as Leonardo da Vinci was more than “just” an artist, his namesake museum is an unexpected—yet totally logical, once you see it—intersection of art, science, technology, and innovation.

The “big ideas, big discoveries” philosophy of The Leonardo caught the interest of traveling exhibits such as “Body Worlds” and “Mummies of the World” in recent years. Both have fared well with Leonardo patrons, selling out regularly and inspiring repeat visits. Though many museums would be content to have a steady rotation of guaranteed blockbusters bringing in the crowds, The Leonardo has set its sights higher—skyward, as a matter of fact.

With Flight, The Leonardo has curated its first original large-scale exhibit, an achievement many museums only dream of accomplishing. In the Leonardo’s totally immersive, hands-on style, visitors can explore the science, art and technology of flying through the air. Featured elements of the exhibit include a massive C-131 aircraft, flight stimulators, and a futuristic look at space exploration.

This weekend, the new exhibit will launch (pun intended) with a two-day opening event. On Saturday, August 6, a free public party will take place on Library Square, featuring hot air balloons, parachute jumpers, drones, and the Air Force X-1 Supercar. Don’t forget to look up—at 9 a.m., 12 p.m., and 3 p.m., a set of F-35s, the Air Force’s newest fighter jets, will fly over The Leonardo.

Upgrade to first class? Snag a ticket for the private Pilot Party instead. The 21-and-over crowd is invited to drink, dine, and dance in and around the exhibit on Friday, August 5 from 7-11 p.m. Tickets are $45 each and can be purchased at The Leonardo website.

Susan Lacke :