Whether you are traveling with your significant other, by yourself or with you family, Kennedy Space Center has something for everyone. I have visited the Space Center before when I was much younger, and I was definitely happy to take my family there on our recent Florida vacation. When you decide to go, make sure you plan to spend the full day as we got there before the visitor center opened and stayed till it closed and still felt like we missed some exhibits.
Here are five reasons Kennedy Space Center should be on your bucket list.
- Seeing the space shuttle Atlantis
This was my absolute favorite exhibit there. Do you remember Atlantis and its maiden flight in October 1985? I am definitely showing my age with that question, so moving on. This space shuttle flew 33 missions and in 2011 was retired. You can actually see Atlantis suspended from the ceiling. It’s not a replica, it’s the shuttle itself.
- The Rocket Garden
I have visited quite a few gardens in my travels, but this is the most unique garden I have seen. Rockets standing quite close to each other with their noses trying to touch the sky, it’s definitely a sight to behold. While my children played, I sat on the bench staring at these rockets for a good hour and probably could have marveled over them longer, but closing time was fast approaching.
- The vehicle assembly building and the launch pads
The iconic vehicle assembly building (VAB) is what I think of when I think NASA. You know the building with the huge flag on the front on almost every brochure?
This building is awesome to see and it hasn’t changed since the 1960s when it was built to house Saturn V rockets.
Along with the (VAB) there is a bus tour of the launch pads which doesn’t look like much but when you realize the size of the machines NASA uses to move the rockets around its pretty awe inspiring.
- Saturn V Rocket
I don’t have a lot to say about this except who doesn’t want to see the 363 – foot rocket hanging over their head? All that aside it is a sight to behold and not one to be missed by any stretch of the imagination. There were 13 of these rockets launched between the late 1960’s thru the early 1970’s, but out of those 13 only 3 rockets remain in the United States, and this is one of them.
- Touching the Moon
I have no illusions that I will ever go into space and walk on the moon, but at the Kennedy Space Center you don’t have to. While you can’t walk on it, you can touch the moon. The space center has a piece moon rock on display that you can reach your hand through plastic partitions and touch a something that was in space. My one tip for this is do this at the end of the Saturn/Apollo building experience. Visitors are required to take a bus to this gated part, so people will come in waves. If you head there first, there will be a long line.
A few quick tips on making your visit go as smoothly as possible. The first one being bring your own food, this is allowed and I would definitely recommend it as the food there is on the expensive side. The second tip is head to the Atlantis exhibit first. Quite a few people start from the front and work their way back, however Atlantis is at the back and if you start there you will rarely wait in a line. And finally when going to the Saturn/Apollo building, there is a show at the beginning before you can enter so the people enter in waves. Don’t worry about photos to start with but as the wave of people work their way down and the next wave hasn’t enter you have time to take all the pictures you want without the people in them. Most of all enjoy and take your time! We didn’t get to see everything while we were there, but the family had a wonderful time and we will be back to see the exhibits we missed…..and maybe touch the moon again.