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Johnson Space Center Houston

photo courtesy spacecenter.org
photo courtesy spacecenter.org

About 25 miles south of Houston is an aerospace playground for kids and adults alike. Once you make it through security, you are surrounded by all things space.

Let the kids work out some pent up energy in the Kids Space Place playground. This kiddie habitrail is full of ball launchers, climbing, slides, and non-stop action. Houston, we have a ‘go’. There’s a separate tots area so the little ones don’t get trampled. I saw mostly dads in there with the kids, and they were having just as much fun!

The most fascinating feature to me was an actual space shuttle cockpit! Walking around through the multi-level structure, you really get a sense of what it’s like for the astronauts.

For more interaction, visit the Feel of Space exhibit. Here an officer presents an amusing show to demonstrate life on the space station. Take a look at the spacesuits through history in the Astronaut Gallery before taking in a few movies at Blast off Theater , “like IMAX in 10D!”, and Destiny Theater in the Starship Gallery.

Also in the main area are several hands-on science stations that are fun for all ages. My 2-yr-old had fun with the magnets and static electricity. We didn’t do the tram ride, but most people recommend the Level 9 tour if you have older kids or space buffs.

For food, the Zero-G Diner cafeteria is expensive, but diverse.

A very pleasant surprise was the Space Trader gift shop. Here you can buy, among other things, astronaut food packs, flight suits, and NASA logo stuff with sassy sayings like “failure is not an option”. My husband insisted the sayings were written just for me. He could be right.

Have you been there? Did you ride the tram? What did you think?

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