Kennedy Space Center For Kids

Kids are often captivated by the idea of visiting faraway places and space travel is about as faraway as it gets!  If your kids are anything like mine, dressing as astronauts and learning about space are favorite activities of theirs so when we planned our cruise vacation out of Port Canaveral we knew we had to plan a visit to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.  My husband and I had visited Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in the past, but seeing it through the eyes of our children was even more enjoyable.  Here are a few must-do activities when you visit:

KSC Bus Tour - Included in your admission to KSC is a bus tour which takes you "behind the gates" and gets you closer to launch areas.  From the bus, you'll see the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) where rockets and shuttles are assembled prior to space travel.  The building is so large it will hold more than 250 BILLION ping pong balls (that was a favorite fact of my son's that he's still telling everyone!).  You can also see the crawler that transports assembled space vehicles to the launchpads and get as close as possible to the launch areas.  The 20 minute bus tour ends at the Saturn V/Apollo Center where you take a step back to the beginnings of NASA and relive the excitement of JFK's challenge to go to the moon and the success of Apollo 11.  Here you can even touch a piece of the moon!  You also can experience the launch from the perspective of the control room and feel the excitement as countdown to liftoff happens.  When you're finished exploring the center, you board a bus back to the main visitor complex.  No worries - busses run continuously so you can stay for as long as you want.

Meet an Astronaut - One of the highlights of visiting KSC is the chance to interact with part of history. Beyond touching the moon, many days there are opportunities to interact with an astronaut as part of your visit.  We booked an additional experience while we were there called Dine with an Astronaut.  During the buffet lunch, we were able to hear from Astronaut Mike Baker about his time in space and the audience had the chance to ask questions.  My boys had a chance to each ask a question - one being how to do you become an astronaut and the other asked the ever popular "how do you go to the bathroom in space" question.  Following the lunch, each family was offered the chance to get a picture with him.  Later on in the day, he was also in the gift shop for an autograph signing.  This opportunity was free and open to everyone.  We went back to say hi again and had him autograph the NASA hats that the boys had with their spacesuits.

Journey to Mars: Explorers Wanted - After learning about NASA's past, why not take a look at it's future?  There is much to see and do in this exhibit where kids can have hands on experiences learning about the next frontier in space travel - Mars.  There is a free stage program offered several times throughout the day which ignites young imaginations about what their generation may be doing in space in the years ahead.  You can also see what vehicles look like that have been and will be exploring Mars.

Atlantis Exhibit - By far, my favorite exhibit at Kennedy Space Center is the Space Shuttle Atlantis.  The tour opens up with a video history of the creation of the space shuttle program and ends with the big reveal of the actual Space Shuttle Atlantis in her final resting place at KSC.  Guests will marvel at this amazing shuttle, but that's only the beginning.  This has a TON of fun activities for kids to interact with during the visit.  They will have the opportunity to crawl through a play space shuttle, slide down a large slide, and play computer simulation games about docking and landing the space shuttle.  Also included here is the Shuttle Launch Experience.  This simulator ride gives guests the chance to feel what it would be like to "lift off" from Kennedy for your own mission to space.  My youngest was SO excited to do this, but he had to miss out as the minimum height is 44 inches.  However, my oldest and my husband had a great time and highly recommend this for everyone.

Still looking for more space adventures?  There are addition tours, the Astronaut Hall of Fame, and other exhibit buildings to check out that we simply didn't have time to explore everything.  If you are short on time, make the Bus Tour and the Atlantis Exhibit your priorities - it's the best way to get the most out of your visit.  With so many hands on experiences, your little ones will feel completely at ease as they explore and learn about the wonders of space.  Whether your visiting Orlando, Cocoa Beach, or enjoying a cruise vacation out of Port Canaveral - don't miss visiting Kennedy Space Center Visitor's Complex during your Florida vacation!



My family and I received complimentary admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex so we could share our experience with you. 

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