Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida is a MUST visit. After going as a child I had fond memories, but the visit exceeded my memories. It will leave your little ones wide eyed and inspired to dream BIG. I think kids 5+ would get teen monks tout of the experience, however the park is stroller accessible. The park is NOT packed or overwhelming, but well thought out (hello, rocket scientists were involved here) and nicely spaced out.
Our itinerary is below with notes below – its easy to follow and makes the day run smooth.
When you purchase your tickets PLEASE do the add on Chat with an Astronaut. It was honestly one of the most incredible things I have ever done. We got to chat with Terrance Wilcutt, who went on four missions. A light breakfast was served and about 15 of us were able to chat with him. One young boy asked how to be an astronaut. He said – take math seriously, be of good character, get a degree in something STEM related, optional – be a military test pilot (prove you can think under pressure), and apply. If you don’t get accepted call and ask how to strengthen your application. He has friends that applied ELEVEN times before being accepted. I suggest having your kids each have a question or two in mind before the meeting.
My favorite question was how did going to space change you. He said- “anyone who has gone to space comes back an environmentalist. It’s impossible not to be, after you look down and see the earth in all of its fragile, unique, life sustaining beauty.”
It is a very exciting time at Kennedy Space Center was they are preparing to return to the moon. The return will be on Artemis, names for the twin sister of Apollo – a beautiful tribute as we return to where it all began.
8:45 a.m. Arrive at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Parking is easy.
9 a.m. Explore Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex
Gateway ™ focuses on the present and future of collaborative space exploration, giving
guests the opportunity experience the interstellar travel of tomorrow while celebrating
what is happening right now within the space program.
9:30 a.m. Embark on Spaceport KSC
Step into Spaceport KSC to experience space travel of the future and take a journey to Uncharted Worlds lightyears away. Located upstairs in Gateway
10 a.m. Chat with an Astronaut – During this new experience, the Astronaut of the Day sits down in a casual, small-group
setting to answer your most pressing questions. THIS IS A MUST. Add this on when you purchase your tickets.
11 a.m. Heroes and Legends featuring the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame ®
12 p.m. Bus Transportation to Apollo/Saturn V Center
The Apollo/Saturn V Center pays homage to the people and machines that made the
improbable possible. Stand in amazement under the gigantic Saturn V, the largest rocket
12:30 p.m. Lunch – Moon Rock Cafe (hubby said the burger was surprisingly good!)
1:45 p.m. Bus Transportation back to Main Visitor Complex. You will likely get a chance to see the crawler, a machine that moves the rocket from where it is built to where it launches. It can move at 1 mile per hour. It gets a whopping 32 feet per gallon! It is MASSIVE.
2 p.m. Space Shuttle Atlantis ® and Shuttle Launch Experience ®. Shuttle Launch Experience ride is located on the bottom floor. Don’t miss the slide on the 2nd floor.
3 p.m. to close Explore the rest including:
GET SPACE ICE CREAM!
Journey To Mars: Explorers Wanted (Shows every 30 min. until 3:30 p.m.)
LEGO Build to Launch (Located in the IMAX ® Theater, West)
Planet Play (Located in the IMAX ® Theater, East)
3D Space Films in IMAX ®
“Man, in his quest for knowledge and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred. The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in this race for space.” J.F. Kennedy