As our last Florida spring break activity our family attended the Kennedy Space Center for the day. I have three kids in the age bracket from 2-6. Let’s just say, I should have done more homework. Here are a few things I wish I would have known:
You can download the Kennedy Space Center app on your iPhone (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kennedy-space-center-guide/id1224289742?mt=8) or smartphone for a brief summary of the attractions available. But here is the kicker: you can’t access the scheduled for said attractions until you arrive at the park and receive a piece of paper with showtimes. Bummer town. Advance planning is difficult when you don’t know what time the actual activities you are interested in take place. With older kids, not a big deal. With hungry toddlers on attention limited timelines, not ideal. The times are not clustered very effectively in my opinion, which means if you miss an activity that you really want to see the wait time to see it again is usually about two hours. My recommendation is to prioritize the events your heart is set on seeing and build your schedule around those events. Only deviate if necessary. This strategy was not effective with our littles who needed snacks and bathroom breaks for survival at what feels like 10 minute intervals. Also note if you have small children that many of the activities are in a lecture format meaning the kids will be required to sit patiently through a 30 min – 60 min presentation.
This is an interactive game with kiosks located throughout the park. It is not included in the admission price and requires an additional purchase. On our visit it happened to be out of service for updates so we did not get the opportunity to test it. I will say I thought many of the exhibits were lacking without access to the game, in particular the Journey to Mars building. If you have experience with this game please provide a blog comment for readers to see. I would love to know if the extra purchase was worth it.
Take The First Bus/Early Bus
If you are planning on doing this activity I would recommend doing it first. As we were in the park the bus lines got progressively longer and wait times grew considerably. It also gives any unfavorable weather the opportunity to roll out of your way for the day. Our kids were not keen on taking the bus ride after sitting for 7 hrs in the car, so we skipped out of this one. I would love to go back and do this with my husband at another date.
Start at the Space Shuttle Atlantis
If you are traveling with small children, start with this exhibit. The presentation of the Atlantis space shuttle is top notch and should not be missed. I was upset we chose this as our last activity because it bumped up to nap time for our little which meant meltdown city for her and a lot of holding and walking around for me. There were many interactive displays and attention holding artifacts to see. The kids loved it and it definitely made our trip end on a high note. Don’t let a wait time or the fact that it begins with a movie deter you. It is truly a one of a kind experience. The Shuttle Launch Experience is also located within this building and would be a great way to start a day of space exploration. Do it before the inevitable “I’m bored” comment is uttered from your dearest middle child’s mouth, making your head want to spin around like the exorcist.
Know Your Audience: AKA – How Old Are Your Kids?
In my humble opinion, waiting a couple years to take our girls would have been beneficial. There were things that captured their attention, but not enough to justify the steep admission price. My 6 yo was in heaven and engaged in the activities. I think this is a great starter age to attend, unless you have a HUGE space advocate on your hands. Most activities are not that interactive but take on the identity of a lecture series or movie setting. Those that have interactive components proved to be challenging for small hands and not ideal for the height that accompanies toddlers. Overall, the trip was pleasant and a positive experience but next go around I would wait and take the middle and little when they were a little older.