We want to thank the Kennedy Space Center for our tickets and having us for the day! We had such a blast {pun intended} & made so many lifelong memories!

Visiting Kennedy Space Center

If you are anywhere near the "Space Coast" you have to plan a trip to the Kennedy Space Center. My youngest is absolutely obsessed with all things space & astronaut so we knew this trip would hit it out of the park, but every single person in our family enjoyed it so so much!

It's hard, to sum up the whole day, we weren't even able to do everything that they had to offer! So, first, let's start with that. When KPC had emailed me they said you would need several hours, & I thought no way. We could do this in no time. I was so wrong. We arrived around 1230 & it closed at 6. So, I really suggest getting there when it opens.

Kennedy Space Center Hours:

{in 2020}
The hours vary month to month
Always opening at 9 AM but closing varies from 6,7 & 8 PM

For your GPS, the Kennedy Space Center address is:

Space Commerce Way
Merritt Island, FL 32953
We made the mistake of putting in the Kennedy Space Center, only. & you actually want, Visitor Complex. 

Parking is $10

Kennedy Space Center Tickets:

Buying tickets is super easy. You can buy them right online, in person at the ticket booth or they have great {on theme} self-serve ticket kiosks. 
One thing I really loved was the entire center is funded by ticket sales & donations. No taxes contribute to this amazing place, it mostly funded on your tickets. I felt like after looking at the prices it made it even more worth it that it was contributing to keeping this amazing place running!

Ticket prices are:
CHILD {ages 3-11} $47
ADULT {ages 12+} $57

* NOTE there is a military presence outside, this can be a little frightening for some young children. You may want to have a conversation before arriving just that there may be men in camo with very large guns but they are there to protect us.*
* ALSO, if you bring a bag you will go through a bag check twice. Don't make the mistake I did of zipping everything up & putting it back in to only do it again steps later*

Our MUST DO's at Kennedy Space Center

Where to start?

I am a planner & I like to make the most of the time we have when we go to places like this! I am hoping by sharing our day it will allow you to do the same at the Kennedy Space Center!

 After you arrive, obviously get your photos out front with the NASA logo {there is also another photo opt NASA logo inside} & grab one in front of the rockets in the "rocket garden" when you first go through the gates. 
Then go straight to the bus tours. You're going to be tempted to go to a few places first, especially if you have young ones. There is a jungle gym/play place of sorts that will be hard to pass up but trust me you want to head back to the bus tours. The lines get long, & the time gets lengthy. They do an amazing job of constantly having buses dropping off & picking off but there are only so many people that fit on buses.

Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour

Your first thought may be, nah I am good. A bus tour isn't our thing. But, I promise you want to go on this. The bus takes you out to Saturn V {the big rocket} & so much more. The bus tour itself shows off the launch pads, you get to see a space crawler, Space X, & get to hear a lot of info! I really loved hearing about the endangered & protected species on the property! We even got to see one of 16 bald eagles, & her nest! We also got to see her little babies' heads pop up from the nest! The nest is 50 years old & current mom & dad have been in that nest for 25 years! So incredible! The main reason people take the bus tour is to get out to Saturn X but they make the ride amazing.

*PARENT TIP* This may be less fun for younger ones, but I find pointing out everything yourself & talking about will help keep younger kids engaged & interested. It takes about 15 mins to get out, & about 5 mins to get back since they don't stop to look at things, etc on the way back.

When you get dropped you may have to wait or go right into the little info show depending on when the show before you gets done. It takes probably 20 mins. all together. The first show you stand & watch a little history video & then you lead into the exact replica of the Apollo mission control/firing room. They then replicate leading up & during Apollo lift off. Down to the exact sounds, with windows shaking, the sun outside, when people were speaking it lit up their chair for who spoke. Was just so freaking neat.
However, if you have little ones or children that don't love sitting/standing still & being quieter; when you get off of the bus go right towards the new Moon Tree Garden & enter the building on that side that is covered in windows.

Apollo 8 & The Firing Room

Moonscape-- See the real Lunar Module 9 with a life-sized scene from the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

I can't even name all of the things to do in this space. There is Lunar Theatre, looking at the rocket itself, there is a cafeteria where you can eat near the rocket which is so cool, so many exhibits to looks at with real memorabilia. It may be cheesy to some but this green screen photo op was so fun for our girls & the photos that came from it are keepers! 


After you are done with the bus tour, it will drop you off right in front of Atlantis! Head straight in there next!

There is another neat educational video you watch that opens you up in a 3 story building that is chalked full with a million things to do. Tons & ton of hands-on things to explore & try. Including seeing the actual Space Shuttle Atlantis! They also had a beautiful memorial for the lives lost in missons STS-51L Challenger and STS-107 Columbia.

They have super fun modules you can explore by crawling in, sitting in & full panels where you can press all the buttons your heart can desire.

Sensory Sensitivity Advisory

I really loved the signs for sensory advisory everywhere, they had one for every experience big or small. That way if you know each sensory sensitivity could be a trigger for your child, so you can choose if it is right for you kid or self.

Fun Extra Notes:

-In the gift shops etc they have astronaut food you can buy to try, like ice cream sandwiches, strawberries that would be so fun to have as a treat & show how astronauts eat.
- Speaking of eating, the food here is quite over prices & normal theme park food. If you can pack snacks & lunch. Or like we did have a big breakfast coming in, then have a snack & grab dinner after you leave. We went to a nice restaurant at Port Canaveral about 10 mins away.
- Photos. As you saw above they have some photo opportunities throughout the day. Before you get on the bus, at Saturn V, & before you get on the Shuttle Experience. The top price to get all digital photos is $55. They have packages starting at $30 & they end up being such fun souvenirs! 

Shuttle Launch Experience

This is on the bottom level of the Atlantis building & by far the favorite part of our visit. This is a simulator experience to feel, hear...everything as if you were in a real shuttle launch going into orbit!
The "ride" is about 8 mins long!

You must be at least 44 inches tall for this. You can not bring anything with you, but they have free lockers right outside the entrance for you to put all of your things in. This is a pretty true simulation experience. They really playfully try to scare you, & in my opinion make it a bigger deal than what it is. It was very neat but none of us found it scary. If sensory if an issue, you may want to stay clear of this though. Brandon & I's only compliant was how much the fat on our necks was shaking 😂😂😂

*PARENT TIP: the video, like I said, really tries to kinda scare you into thinking it is a very real experience, even with things going wrong etc, reassurance is going to be key to make your kiddo feel safe & that everything is fine*

photo via Kennedy Space Center

So much to do!

Those two buildings alone took 6 hours to go through! There is that much to do! & while there is a lot of signs for reading & learning, they did such an amazing job making the learning also so hands-on that I really feel this is a stop for all ages to enjoy. 

Some other stops are Heros & Legends the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.

There is the old launch clock out front, that was the original clock for every launch before 2016. 

Other things to see & do:
-Astronaut Encounter
-IMAX theatre 

This is the perfect destination for the space lover in your family but I promise even if none of you are space addicts you will thoroughly enjoy your visit.