For years, my family has been dying to visit Space Center Houston, the Official Visitors Center of NASA's Johnson Space Center. This summer we finally took the plunge and made many mistakes. Luckily, we learned from them and were able to bring you the Top 10 Tips to make your visit to Space Center Houston Better!
1. Arrive when they open. Heck, before they open if you can. There is so, so much to do here, that you could spend an entire day and not see all there is to see. Granted, not every exhibit/show is for every age group, but most guests spend four to six hours. If you can, we recommend that you plan to spend the whole day here.
2. Pick up a Show Schedule when you first arrive and take the time to plan your day. There are many time offerings on all the attractions, but you will need to plan them out if you want to see them all. My suggestion is that you pick what you really want to do and do them first. As the day passes, the center becomes busier, making wait times for the attractions even longer.
3. Do the Tram Tours First. There are two tram tours that take you to the heart of Johnson Space Center, pointing out to you where history was made. Do them first as the lines can be long waiting to join a tour, they are not air conditioned (best to go in the morning during the summer), and they are really good. My kids and I were fascinated by the tours.
If you did take both tours, you can just stay on the tram the second time, not get off to see the Saturn V facility, and head back to the Space Center. Both Tram tours are excellent, and depending on what you wanted to see and time you had, you can certainly skip one. But only one. A visit to Space Center Houston is not the same without a tram tour.
6. Not all the Shows Need to Be Seen. As I have a 3 year old, we were not able to see all of the shows. We were able to choose the ones that interested us and tried to make it work with the time schedule (see Tip 1 and 2). We did see a fantastic presentation on the Mars rover, Curiosity, that held my kids attention for the first 15 minutes or so. I was fascinated by it, of course. You have to remember who you are there for and try to do the activities that work for everyone.
At the time (after lunch), it seemed to be full of bigger kids and with adults not allowed, this can be a problem for the smaller ones. Luckily my daughter loves to play Big Sis and played the entire time with my little one.
The Kids Space Place also contains a lot of fun, hands-on activities, such a weight-lifting on different planets, driving a rover on Mars, and building a rocket. It was a great time for the kids to run and get some energy out.
9. Bring snacks. The food court does have a lot to choose from, but it is pricy for just a piece of pizza. You are better off eating small snacks and then heading over to the Kemah Boardwalk for dinner.
Here are some other great places to visit in Houston:Kemah Boardwalk
Texas Travel Facts for Space Center Houston:
Location: 1601 NASA Parkway, Houston, Texas
Hours: Weekdays: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Weekends: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Admission: Adults: $22.95
Good to know: Admission is good for all day; Children must be accompanied with an adult and supervised at all times; stroller friendly; parking fee
My family and I were invited to visit the museum and were provided admission. I was not financially compensated for this post. All opinions of Space Center Houston are strictly my own based on my experience.