If you are heading to the Gulf why not leave a day early and spend some time at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama?
We recently worked a stop in Huntsville into our summer vacation and are glad we did! After visiting Kennedy Space Center in Florida a few years ago I wasn’t sure how the U.S. Space & Rocket Center could meet my expectations, but it did and was a completely different experience.
Things to do at the Space and Rocket Center
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville is not just about space travel but also has a lot of exhibits about the various branches of the U.S. military and how they all played an important role in our mission to get to space from air travel to ocean rescue.
There are exhibits about the progress of helicopters and flight leading up to the first space travel which was interesting. There is a lot to look at and you could certainly spend all day reading all the information. Inside the museum is a 4D motion simulator called the Hyper Ship. There was no wait when we were there so we got to ride it 4 times as there are several different simulations. Our favorite was a tornado simulation, but the Red Barron was a close second!
We also enjoyed a presentation on the history of the International Space Station and a tour of a replica piece of it. It was interesting to learn about life on the space station. The kids enjoyed asking questions to our very knowledgeable young guide.
The main building also houses the SpaceDome IMAX® Theater where there are a few options of exciting films on space travel, which is an additional cost and Mars Grill which serves a variety of meals including a full salad bar.
Outside in the Apollo Courtyard, you will find several thrill rides among the rockets, none of which I had the stomach for, but others traveling with me loved! The rides are free with your admission so ride as much as you want! There’s the Kids Cosmos Energy Depletion Zone for little ones which is a gentle ride and then for the big kid thrill seekers (that doesn’t include me) there’s the G-Force Accelerator Space and Space Shot. The outside area is a nice place for a break. We sat and had a drink and Kona Ice while the thrill seekers did their thing.
The Davidson Center
When you are done outside you can file into the Davidson Center. There you will be close to the Saturn V as it hangs above you. This really gives you an idea of how massive it really is. There are also a lot of artifacts and exhibits in this enormous hall. Take your time in here as it’s very interactive and there is a lot to see and do.
Next time you are heading down south make sure you stop by the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. You’ll be glad you did!
Travel Tips: There is a children’s Mars rock climbing wall where tennis shoes are required. Get there a bit before they open so that when they unlock the doors you can get inside and to the ticket line.
My family and I received complimentary tickets, however, I have provided an honest review.