Family Day Out to The National Space Centre
For anyone that follows my blog, it’s no secret that both of my boys love space and rockets and anything associated. So when an opportunity came up to review the National Space Centre in Leicester for Britains Best Days Out with Tots100 and Money Supermarket I just had apply.
The National Space Centre is located in Leicester. It was very easy to get to, we came off the M1 at junction 22 and followed the A6 for about 20 minutes before we came across the brown attraction road signs which took us straight there. Parking was great and right on the door step.
Outside the Space Centre, there were some great artifacts on display that were just a taster of what was to come on the inside.
On arrival inside, we collected our tickets from the ticket desk. We also booked ourselves into the Planetarium show. Then we were in! The main reception area was well laid out with toilets, a cafe, the gift shop and lockers to securely store personal belongings (which came in very useful for coats and bags).
Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium. This was our favorite part! Unfortunately we were unable to take any photos once inside but, even if we had, they would not have done it justice. The show we watched was called ‘We Are Aliens’. It is the story of the journey humankind is undertaking to discover if we are alone in the Universe. It was simply amazing! We came out wanting to go back in and watch it again. Wriggler throughout didn’t stop smiling and kept saying ‘oh wow’. For Bruiser who was mid meltdown when it started, immediately stopped, sat down on my lap and didn’t stop staring at the huge dome screen above us from start to finish. He didn’t utter a sound throughout. If you ask me, that’s pretty good going for a 2yr old on the Autism Spectrum. He cried when it finished!
Orbiting Earth. In this part, the boys could dress up while we discovered about weather forecasting, satellites, emergency disaster warnings. We tried to recreate weather systems in a miniature Earth by spinning it around. Unfortunately we didn’t get to try out the Weather Pod as it was always busy.
Tranquility Base. This was where we became Trainee Astronauts. We learn’t how to moonwalk and even have a go, journey to Jupiter’s moon Europa and find out if we were actually space fit. Wriggler loved trying out the Micro-G-Manoeuvre seat where he controlled jet boosters to set off laser targeting. A very interactive part of the tour. Buttons and levers to press and play everywhere 🙂
Lunch in Boosters Cafe. This was located near to the entrance right under Rocket Tower. It was a great location and made the experience so much more fun, real and interactive!
The food options were simple, they consisted of homemade soup and sandwiches, fruit, crisps and cakes. There was also a meal deal option for the children. All of which were delicious and great value for money.
Into Space. This was our 2nd favorite part of the tour. The boys got to dress up as astronauts while we explored everything; which included a replica space module from the International Space Station and a Mercury Capsule. Wriggler also enjoyed discovering the answer to the age old question; how to use a toilet in space! 🙂
Space now. This is where we discovered what was happening in space now. There is a Mars Yard, a mock up Martian planet surface; complete with Martians 🙂
Exploring the Universe. This is the part where we learn’t about and discovered some of the science behind the search for extra terrestrials, worm holes, black holes and the big bang. This then led onto The Planets Section where we learnt all about the individual planets.
Rocket Tower. This was the part we were all looking forward to the most. Having already eaten in Boosters Cafe, seen the Rocket close up and experienced the boosters, we couldn’t wait to climb it to the top.
There was so much to learn about Rockets and we saw even more of them! The boys even tried the Water Rocket Challenge.
There was so much to see and learn about the Moon and the Apollo missions sent to land on the moon. It was also quite exciting to see a real Moon Rock on display.
Cargo Bay Gift Shop. All days out finish up at the gift shop and there was a lovely selection of Space and Rocket themed memorabilia to buy.
We went to the Space Centre on a weekend in term time in early December. There were plenty of other visitors there but it was by no means crowded. This resulted in a pleasurable tour, with virtually no queuing. I can imagine though that in school holidays it could get very busy.
The Space Centre was overall an EXCELLENT family day out. We all agreed that the best part was the Planetarium. But, the bit we loved most of all about the whole experience, is that right from the start, it was a total hands on learning experience for the boys. This kept them completely engaged throughout the whole day.
I cannot recommend The Space Centre enough. It truly was ‘Out Of This World’.