A Kennedy Space Center Adventure (With Sixth Graders!)

When you become a parent, you get to enter school field trips in your travel log. They count!

Many times, they are destinations you might not plan to visit on your own, and it’s definitely a whole new experience traveling with and caring for several children your child’s age. One of the coolest trips I’ve gone on was with my oldest son to Kennedy Space Center in Titusville, Florida. The day started early, but we needed every minute of time we had there to explore the complex.

We arrived at the school at 6:45 a.m, bedhead and all. The buses were already there and sleepy parents were saying goodbye to their unbelievably energetic sixth graders (where DO they get the energy?).

20160309_074311

 

All the chaperones received our group lists and a cute Mars candy bar wrapped in a label that read, “You are out of this world!”  Such a cute treat!

It was devoured right away, before my healthy smoothie I’d brought for breakfast.

I think that was necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On our way! Caravaning charter buses filled with chatting, snacking, singing, 11- and 12-year-olds. Good times.

 

 

 

 

20160309_104219

 

Oh Happy Day, We Are Here!

I was so excited to spend the day exploring the Space Center with my firstborn (and thrilled that he still wanted me to come along to school events)!

 

 

2016-03-11 14.51.29

 

While there were so many amazing things to see at the KSC, my personal favorite was the Space Shuttle Atlantis. It took a good two hours to get through the whole experience. There are several multimedia presentations and tons of interactive exhibits (the kids LOVED those).

 

 

2016-03-11 14.50.33

 

 

Their favorite part was the Shuttle Launch Experience, where you are in a simulator that recreates a shuttle launch. I thought I was going to get shaken right out of my seat, but they loved it!

 

 

20160309_135835

 

Another must-do at the KSC is the Apollo/Saturn V Center and Bus Tour. It’s included in the admission price and there are tour buses coming and going every 15 minutes, so you can stay at the Center as long as you’d like.

The tour takes you around the KSC property, where you’ll see an actual launch pad and the massive buildings where the shuttles are built. The VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building) pictured is one of the largest buildings in the world. It was awesome to see it from the buses and feel like you were learning “behind-the-scenes” information from the guide.

 

 

 

 

 

20160309_143440

 

After watching the incredible footage of Apollo 8’s launch in the Firing Room Theater, we walked out and our jaws dropped as we realized we were under the Saturn V rocket, the largest rocket ever made. Definite photo op!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can’t tell from my superb picture-taking, but this is 363 feet long and 33 feet wide. Whew!

Probably the hardest part of chaperoning eight young boys is corralling them from exhibit to exhibit. The majority of the time, surprisingly, they were not running ahead but instead staring at the awe-inspiring displays. I had to scoot them along to make sure we saw as much as possible before heading back to the buses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

KSC TIPS:

  • There are SO many great attractions that I didn’t cover here. If possible, try to see the Rocket Garden, IMAX Theater, Astronaut Memorial and Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted.
  • You are allowed to bring lunch/snacks into the park but there are also great cafes/snack booths in both the Visitors Complex and the Apollo/Saturn V Center.
  • Get your tickets online at TourKSC.com to save time at the entrance.
  • There are several add-ons to personalize your visit (such as lunch with an astronaut), so cruise around the website to see if you’d like to add something to your day.
  • Each main exhibit has a gift shop attached (theme park rule of thumb) and there is a stand-alone gift shop, Space Shop, so pace yourself.

 

2016-03-09 17.57.42

We were all exhausted when we finally arrived back at the school, but it was an incredible field trip experience. Can’t wait to chaperone for another parent-son adventure!

Love (and explore the stars) more,

Dana

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *