Family travel: Why Kennedy Space Center is worth the trip
Kennedy Space Center unites history, adventure, exploration, learning and just good fun in one beautiful location.
Parents and kids will find plenty of education and entertainment at this iconic spot on Florida’s Space Coast. Just an hour or so from Orlando, KSC will also host more than 40 launches in 2018, giving guests an up-close look at this working facility that has served as the focal point of the country’s space program since its beginnings.
There is something for everyone here and plenty to keep all ages engaged in the past and future of space exploration.
Don’t miss these highlights
- The Rocket Garden is just what it sounds like: an outdoor display of giant rockets from the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. Visitors can appreciate the size and scale by getting up close to the rockets and even climbing in some capsules.
- The U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame recently relocated to the KSC site from just down the road. This new facility begins with a 4D theater presentation that can be intense. Older kids will see their history lessons come to life as they explore artifacts and personal items from missions and the astronauts who made them happen.
- The KSC bus tour is included with admission and should not be missed. The tour takes guests beyond the attractions, past the Vehicle Assembly Building and out to the famous – and still widely used – launch pads. Bus drivers will point out everything from alligators to a massive eagle’s nest along the way.
- The tour ends at the Race to the Moon facility that includes an astounding 363-foot Saturn V rocket, a lunar module, real moon rocks and more. Don’t miss the Apollo 8 firing room where you can experience what it was like to see (and feel) the 1968 mission launch from KSC.
- IMAX films are included with daily admission and can be a welcome break from the heat. Check the daily schedule for details.
- Don’t miss the Atlantis building which displays the space shuttle in a flying position, with bay doors open and robotic arm extended. Visitors can walk around the underneath the shuttle and explore a variety of attractions, including a giant slide and the Shuttle Launch Experience.
- Check daily schedules for the Astronaut Encounter, where guests can hear from and meet a real astronaut.
Tips and details
- Download the free KSC smartphone app before your visit. It includes maps and more.
- Check the website for on-site restaurant menus. You can also get a hand stamp that allows you to exit for a picnic and then return the same day.
- Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is open year-round, seven days per week. It opens at 9 a.m. Closing time varies by season.
- Admission is $50 each plus tax for adults and $40 each plus tax for children ages 3 – 11. Daily admission includes the KSC Tour, Space Shuttle Atlantis, Apollo/Saturn V Center, Shuttle Launch Experience, Journey to Mars: Explorers Wanted, IMAX space films, Astronaut Encounter and all attractions and exhibits. Specialty tours are available for an additional fee.
- Visit https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com.