6 Out-of-this-World Attractions for Space Cadets
Are your kids fascinated by the miracle of flight? Whether they dream of piloting jets or rocketing into a galaxy far, far away, a circle tour of our dispersed fleet of retired space craft is a great place to foster their interest. Here are six attractions where dreams can take flight:
Kennedy Space Center
There is no place that tells NASA’s story better than this launch site just outside of Orlando. The Kennedy Space Center has launched every NASA human space flight since 1968 and today remains an active, working space center. Kids can explore numerous rockets from NASA’s earliest missions, or gape in wonder at the Saturn V rocket used to put a man on the moon. The center’s newest exhibit, the Space Shuttle Atlantis, includes the ship itself as well as interactive, multimedia exhibits that let you simulate a space walk, operate a 250-ton crane, land the space shuttle, and train like an astronaut.
National Air and Space Museum
The wildly popular National Air and Space Museum preserves the wondrous history of our fascination with flight and, like all Smithsonian museums, is always free to enter. Located on the National Mall in Washington DC, the place is a treasure trove of original historic aircrafts, from the 1903 Wright Flyer and Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis to Chuck Yeager’s Bell X-1, John Glenn’s Friendship 7 spacecraft, and the Apollo 11 command module. Since the National Mall can’t hold the entire collection, the museum also includes two massive hangars near Dulles International Airport where you’ll find a SR-71 Blackbird (world’s fastest airplane), a Concorde (fastest commercial airplane), and the Space Shuttle Discovery.
US Space & Rocket Center
This facility in Huntsville, Alabama, has played a part in the space race since the 1950s and was integral to the Apollo missions and space shuttle program. In addition to exploring 1,500 space exploration artifacts at the Marshall Space Flight Center, don’t miss the fun series of simulators that let you experience what the G-force of a rocket launch feels like, fight centripetal force, fly an Apache helicopter, and more. If you’re up for an extended stay, consider signing up your family or child for Space Camp.