Location: Leicester, England: Exploration Dr, Leicester LE4 5NS
Opening Times: Year Round
Duration: 2-3 Hours
Parking: Car Park at 3 pounds
For families looking for an indoor activity on a wet winter’s day, the National Space Centre is a great place to turn. With plenty of signage to direct you, the centre has a large car park and enough hands-on exhibits to keep young ones entertained.
The highlight of the centre is the planetarium. Entry into the centre includes one showing of the film inside the planetarium and you select a viewing time at time of purchase. The film lasts about thirty minutes and explains the history of moon exploration. Both my four and six year old loved the special effects and reclining seats. However, my oldest is prone to motion sickness and did say he felt dizzy afterwards. I would recommend bringing a sea band or medicine for those that are heavily effected by motion.
Another not to be missed sight is the 42 meter high rocket tower, where the Blue Streak and Thor Able rockets are housed. The wing spans four floors, each one providing an open view of the rockets and interesting artifacts on display. (Look for the actual moon rock on the top level!)
Kids that crave tactical learning will have a field day with all the sensory experiences available in the remaining exhibits. They can drive mock rovers, seek out a favorite constellation with a movable astronomy telescope, or see how the days pass as Earth rotates around the sun.
Whether there is a space aficionado in the family or everyone needs to get out of the house for a day, at 15 pounds per adult and 12.5 for children aged 5 to 16 the Space Centre is an educational outing worth exploring.