Top Things To Do At The Space Center In Houston, Texas
Updated: Jan 13, 2021
NASA and space has always been something so interesting to me, visiting the Space Center in Houston may have made me even more of a space nerd..
Well it officially skipped from fall to winter in the blink of an eye here in Minnesota! It snowed 6.5 inches on Tuesday and we had a thundersnow today!? I thought I was losing my mind of being inside for three straight days, but no it really was thundering and lightning out, WHILE IT WAS SNOWING! Strangest thing.. read more about it here if you are interested! Okay, enough nerding (is that a word?) about the weather, lets switch to needing out about NASA :D Back in 2017, I had the opportunity of going on a Texas road trip with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. When in Houston, we stopped at the Space Center and I loved every second of it. Well, I just realized I am wearing my NASA sweatshirt today.. I definitely didn’t plan it! On that note, here is my experience at the Space Center :)
When you first arrive at the Space Center, you get to see how big the place is and how much land it sits on. It is really spectacular to see, and it honestly takes you awhile to get back to the parking lot! Once parked, you see that by the entrance, there is a life-sized plane and space craft. It definitely makes a grand entrance! You are allowed into the Space Center, but once here you, you don’t get to see a whole lot more unless you pay. The price is a little expensive, but the experience is so worth it! When we went we had the opportunity to check out headphones to get an audio tour as well! I would ask about this when you go! I have added the current prices per person here:
Once you enter, you will be in the main plaza which is a little overwhelming! When we were there they had games and activities for kids to do (so there may be kids running around). There was a lot of cool technology that can honestly make it fun for all ages. I think this area is a fun way to start the day at the Space Center and gets everyone to get excited to learn! :D From here you can go in different directions, and there is a lot to decide from! Here is a current map of what the space center has to offer:
There is honestly so much to do at the Space Center, and learn so much along the way! We didn’t try out everything, but we definitely experienced so much. And let me tell ya, it is definitely work the price of admission! One of my favorite parts and must do’s is the NASA Tram Tour. When you walk down this hallway, you notice how popular this tour is based on how long the line is. The line for the tour is like a line for an amusement park ride, and be prepared to wait. But know, it really is amazing. One thing I also just learned when researching for this blog is that you can get a timed ticked for a certain time, and all you have to do is come back for your departure time! That way you can still enjoy all of the other things at the main exhibit :)
So about the tour, the Tram comes and gets you and takes you to buildings further out, not connected to the main exhibits. You have three options of places you can stop along the way:
The Astronaut Training Facility Tour - Astronauts actually train here currently! Engineers are also currently developing space vehicles here :)
Missions Control Center Tour - This is the actual control center where NASA helped with the Gemini and Apollo missions (That includes the first moon landing!)
Rocket Park - You get to see three rockets! - “Little Joe II” Test Rocket, Mercury Redstone Rocket, and Saturn V Rocket (keep reading to learn about this special rocket)
We decided due to how long we had to wait for the tram at the beginning, we would pick one of the tours and then also go to Rocket Park. To us, the Astronaut Training Facility Tour seemed more interesting, but if I ever go back I would love to see the control center too! :) Here are a few pictures I took in the training facility. This was my favorite part of my whole day there..
The Rocket Park was something that is a must see.. Getting to view the Saturn V Rocket (shown in the top photo with me in it) was something I will never forget. Saturn V was the rocket that helped with six moon landings in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It also helped drop the first space station in space! Of course, this wasn’t the one to actually do it, but there are only three Saturn V rockets on display in the whole world! And even further, this is the only one that has everything needed to go to space (the other two are just mock ups). Pretty cool, right? I took in every second of thinking of how much of an impact these space shuttles made on the history of the United States.
Remember earlier when I talked about how when you park you are greeted by a giant airplane and space shuttle on top? You can actually go in it! This is the last part I thought was so amazing about visiting the space center :) It is a replica of what a space shuttle looks like and you can learn so much while being in there as well with all of the exhibits on the walls. I felt like an astronaut for a little bit!
Being at the Space Center was nothing short of amazing for me. I was able to learn so much and got to geek out about space for a day. I can’t wait to go back or to try out the Kennedy Space Center in Florida as well. Space is something so amazing, and with continuing advances, these space centers will become even more special with time :)