Huntsville’s own U.S. Space & Rocket Center has quite an offer for you. Spend just $40 and get a summer pass to the museum good for you and two children, Sunday through Thursday, until Labor Day. You can add another adult for just $10. You can also upgrade to a full Pathfinder Membership for just another $60.
So you probably already know that the U.S. Space & Rocket Center is one of the premier space flight museums in the world. But what else can you do with a summer pass?
For one thing, the Center has two free film series this summer. A children’s science fiction movie is featured every Wednesday morning at 9:00, through the end of July. An adult science fiction movie is featured every Thursday evening at 7:00, through the end of June. You can review the scheduled lineup here.
Both film series are presented in the Saturn V Hall Digital Theater inside the Davidson Center for Space Exploration, where you’ll enjoy excellent projection and sound, as well as a spacious seat. Seating is first come first serve, so plan to arrive a few minutes early if you have strong views on where to sit in a movie.
(I’m definitely not judging. I have such views.)
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The film series are free to the public. However, your summer pass gets you access to the free children’s workshop immediately following the Wednesday morning feature. With a theme of Rockets & Robots, if your children are into the museum itself, they’ll definitely be into the scheduled activities.
This week my boys and I built models of robotic hands. These are patterned after the hands on Robonaut 2, the first anthropomorphic robot to work on the International Space Station.
The activities are designed to last an hour. Please plan to remain with your children.
After some lunch at the Mars Grill, we took in the Center’s current traveling exhibit Black Holes: Space Warps & Time Twists. Featuring a dozen or so interactive stations, the exhibit does a good job engaging a wide age range. Both my 8-year-old and 11-year-old were enthralled, and I’d have no trouble tacking on a couple of years either way.
The exhibit educates, but with humor and awe. One interesting wrinkle is the Explorer’s Card. Take a couple of minutes to create one (complete with a potentially humorous nickname for yourself, and a goofy-as-you-want-to-make-it photo).
Then, you can insert it into the stations equipped for such, and save what you do at that station to access later on the Internet, using the URL and login ID printed on the card. I love the added value here. For a fascinated child, continuing the adventure at home is a sizable bonus.
The stations present a good mix of the whimsical and educational, and it’s easy to lose a couple of hours in here. The interactivity and approachability are both impressive.
A summer pass at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center gives you a lot of access to a world-class museum, but also adds some engaging options for your children this summer. It deserves your serious consideration.
Location: One Tranquility Base, Huntsville, AL 35805
Admission: $40.00 admits 1 adult and 2 children, Sunday through Thursday, through September 3