Biplane flying at Chatham Airport Open House - white against green tree background
Plane flying at Chatham Airport Open House 2023

The Chatham Airport Annual Open House is one of my favorite events of the year! It’s free family fun for all ages, and this year, the date is Saturday, June 8th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Parking is free on-site.

Things To Explore

The open house tagline is “a day of planes, trains, and automobiles,” but there’s so much more! There’s “Touch a Truck,” which includes construction vehicles, huge ladder fire trucks, and a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter. I will remember forever the awe in my 5-year-old daughter’s eyes when she climbed into a giant construction vehicle and the Coast Guard helicopter last year.

5 year old girl smiles inside a coast guard helicopter, chatham airport open house
5-year-old Elise inside a Coast Guard helicopter

There are so many cool planes and helicopters that you can get up close to look at and photograph! My favorite are the small puddle jumpers.

But wait, there’s more! The open house is also home to a classic car show. It stretches out over a huge parking lot, and you can easily spend an hour just looking at the cars. There’s also a huge working model railroad display inside a hangar. It runs, and the makers are proud to demonstrate it for adoring kids.

Around the perimeter of the car show and Touch a Truck are booths for various community organizations, including Eldredge Public Library, Mass Oyster Project (saving oyster habitats), Cape Cod Ocean Community (shark surveillance), and Women in Aviation. There is a lot of giveaway swag, so bring a tote bag to carry things that you and your kiddos get.

There’s also live music with many different performers. In 2023, the Chatham Band performed in an airplane hangar. My children’s grandmother plays the xylophone in this band, which is what brought us to the open house in 2023.

girl plays with mallets on a binder next to grandmother
Grandma, in her Chatham Band uniform, looks on as Elise plays with xylophone mallets.

Be Prepared!

Food trucks are available, but I highly recommend you bring cold water and kid snacks in a cooler bag. Lines can get long, and supplies can run out by the end of the open house.

Don’t forget sun protection! It snuck up on me last year and I was not happy that evening with painful sunburn. There are porta potties outside for restrooms, but I didn’t see any changing tables. (I returned to my car when I needed to change my infant.)

See You June 8th!

My family is looking forward to seeing what’s in store at the Chatham Airport Open House 2024. Hope to see you there! 

Danielle Kempe
Danielle is a lifelong MA resident - and proud of her “wicked strong” accent. She grew up on the North Shore but now lives on the South Shore, splitting her time between Upper Cape Cod & Marshfield. Danielle has 2 children - Elise and Ethan. Elise was born in 2017 and as of 2023 she’s 5 years old. She is also Autistic. Ethan is a new baby born April of 2023. Her family of 4 (husband, David) loves visiting Mass Audubon sites across MA and is always up for a fun adventure. Danielle is neurodivergent and works as a nonprofit fundraising professional. You can find her shuttling her kids between activities, being silly, lost in a good book - and sneaking in writing when she gets a chance.

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