We’ve been taking our kids to the Johnson Space Center for years. I think the first time was in the summer of 1982 when my son was a month old.
My mother would take them there in the ’90’s when they were in grade school, they used to tell me it was boring, the best thing was the freeze dried astronaut ice cream sold in the gift shop.
On a recent visit to Houston my daughters and I took the grandsons for a visit, after all it’s one of the must see attractions in Houston. Well it’s come a long way since their childhood excursions.
Located on NASA Road in the Clear Lake area of Houston, Space Center Houston is new and improved. The old Rocket Park is still there and features an assortment of rockets displayed on the grounds with the exception of one rocket now housed in a large warehouse.
My kids remembered the rockets, it was one of the highlights of their visits. These days Rocket Park is the final stop of the Tram Tour, a must do when you visit the Space Center.
There are 2 different Tram Routes, both take you through the grounds, one takes you to the Historic Mission Control, the center where all space flights were monitored until 1992, and the other takes you to the astronaut training building. In this building you will see the equipment astronauts use on their missions. You will also get a preview of new things that NASA is working on now such as the Orion Spacecraft. If you only have time to do one route take the one to the training building. The tram tour is included with your admission ticket.
If you visit on a Friday you can catch a talk by an astronaut. We were fortunate enough to catch a talk by Colonel Ken Cameron in the Blast Off theater. He talked about one of his missions where he delivered ice cream to the International Space Station.
If you want a more up close an personal talk with an astronaut you can schedule a “Lunch with an Astronaut” ($49.95 adult/29.95 child). Tickets and reservations must be made in advance.
The main plaza where you enter the facilities has plenty of interesting interactive displays and attractions. You can check out the space shuttle mock up, try your hand a flight simulator (cost $4), watch, have your picture taken on a green screen where they add space backgrounds (picture package prices vary), see actual spacesuits on display, have a snack or a meal at the food court, buy souvenirs, pedal the space bike, and more.
The Johnson Space Center is open daily for times and more info click here.
The Space Center is one of the attractions of the Houston City Pass. Get your pass here! (affiliate link)
For more fun Houston activities click here!