We have been having so much fun lately that I haven’t had time to share it yet. One of my amazing nieces graduated with her BSN, so we packed up and headed to Atlanta to celebrate with her. We decided that while we could make the 11+ hour drive straight through, it might make for a more pleasant trip to stop overnight and take 2 days to make the drive.
We have a membership to our local science center, which is a member of the ASTC Travel Passport program. I cannot tell you how much I LOVE this program. It is a reciprocal program that allows us to visit science centers and museums all over for free. Check out if your local science center participates in this, go buy a membership, and then hit the road!
To determine where we would stop, I simply looked at the ASTC Passport list and found somewhere along our route where I thought we would enjoy visiting. I was so excited when I realized the U.S. Space and Rocket Center was along our way and would also be free for us to visit! I loved the movie SpaceCamp when I was a kid and to go where Space Camp is actually held had me giddy.
I was not disappointed; there is so much to see and do at the Space and Rocket Center! We started our tour in a section that had inventions made possible by space research. Shortly thereafter, though, is a children’s area in the museum. This was a very welcome area to the 5-year-old who was getting a bit antsy as we were viewing and reading the various exhibits leading up to this space. This area is full of hands-on stations for kids to explore, build, and create.
There is so much to see and do! The general admission allowed us to ride in a motion simulator, scale the Mars Climbing Wall, explore life on the ISS, have fun in the various play areas for the younger crowd, see a multitude of NASA memorabilia, walk through Rocket Park, and so much more. Just a note on the Mars Climbing Wall: the sign says it requires closed-toe shoes and the instructor initially verbalized that sneakers were required. My daughter was wearing mary jane style sneakers, but couldn’t climb. Apparently, the shoes have to fully cover the top of the foot, as well.
There are a few simulators that we opted not to do. The Space Shot will launch you 140 feet straight up in the air in 2.5 seconds. If you would like to experience three times the force of gravity, you should ride the G-Force Accelerator. We were hot and hungry by that point and decided to by-pass the lines and exhilaration of those!
We had the best time exploring, learning, and playing. I would highly recommend visiting the Space & Rocket Center. In fact, the kids and I want to make Family Space Camp our next big vacation. I’m sure the hubster will buy-in to our dream before long, too!
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