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Amazing Things to Do at the Kennedy Space Center With Kids

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The Kennedy Space Center is one of the best things to do in Florida with kids. There I said it! I can honestly say it was a highlight of our very first trip and caters for all ages so well!

Welcoming guests since 1967, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex takes you on a deep dive into all things space, showcasing real-life rockets and telling stories of previous explorations into the unknown. 

Amazing things to do at Kennedy Space Center with kids

The space center is a great educational activity for families visiting Florida. And as it’s only an hour’s drive from Orlando and the Disney parks, it’s an excellent add-on to your holiday or vacation. If you’re thinking about visiting the center with your kids, then here is everything you need to know about the complex and what to expect throughout your visit. 

(Credit: Carrie Bradley/Visiting Orlando With Kids)

Kid-Friendly Things to Do at the Kennedy Space Center

The Kennedy Space Center is a huge complex with so many great attractions and exhibits to explore. During our visit, we spent around 7 hours taking in all the different areas. And we found that there was something to suit all age groups.

My girls were 7 and 4 when we last visited the Kennedy Space Center so they were at the perfect age where they could understand exactly what they were looking at.

 If I did it again, I would split it over two days to break up the visit and not feel so rushed. I would also try and time it with a rocket launch – or at least be by a beach like Cocoa Beach to watch a launch!

Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex

Gateway is one of the newer attractions at the Kennedy Space Center, opening in just 2022. Throughout its multi-levels, you can get up close to modern-day spacecraft like the SpaceX rocket before boarding an interactive 4D ride that takes you on a journey through the solar system. 

Heroes and Legends (Credit: Carrie Bradley/Visiting Orlando With Kids)

Heroes & Legends

As the name suggests, Heroes and Legends shares stories of those who have travelled to space and the dangers that astronauts face. I personally wouldn’t recommend this area if you’re visiting with young children. However, if your kids are slightly older, then they can learn a lot about what it takes to be an astronaut. We skimmed through this part quickly as our kids were a little to young to understand.

(Credit: Carrie Bradley/Visiting Orlando With Kids)

Rocket Garden and Outdoor Play Areas

As you walk into the space center you’ll enter the Rocket Garden—an area with rockets that were involved in the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs.

Water splash area at Kennedy Space Center (Credit: Carrie Bradley/Visiting Orlando With Kids)

Kids, in particular, will love this section as there are capsules throughout the garden that they can climb on and role play in, a fab play area and a water splash pad to cool off on hot days.

It’s a great play for them to run around and also for photos of the rockets!

NASA Junior Astronauts, Kennedy Space Center
(Credit: Carrie Bradley/Visiting Orlando With Kids)
Rocket Garden, Kennedy Space Center
(Credit: Carrie Bradley/Visiting Orlando With Kids)
All the rockets at Rocket Garden, Kennedy Space Center
The Rocket Garden (Credit: Carrie Bradley/Visiting Orlando With Kids)

Astronaut Encounter

Throughout the day, a real-life astronaut will give presentations and Q&A sessions at the Universe Theater. This attraction allows both adults and children to ask space-related questions and find out more about what life is like outside of our atmosphere.

Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour

The Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour is a must-do when visiting the center as it takes you to restricted areas of the complex that houses giant transporters and launch sites. Along the way, your driver will also share many interesting facts about space, rockets, and rocket launches. So it’s both educational and a great way to rest your feet! 

We just missed this as our day was so busy, but I Would definitely do it if we had spaced our first visit out over two days. ( No pun intended!)

lots of photo opportunities where you can email the photo immediately. (Credit: Carrie Bradley/Visiting Orlando With Kids)

Apollo/Saturn V Center

The bus tour will ultimately take you to the Apollo/Saturn V Center—a museum that highlights America’s race to the moon. In the exhibit, you’ll be able to see the largest rocket ever flown, learn all about previous space programs, and even touch a moon rock. How cool is that? 

Water splash area at Kennedy Space Centre

Space Shuttle Atlantis Building

Another unmissable area of the KSC is the Space Shuttle Atlantis Building. And you guessed it, this is where the Atlantis Space Shuttle calls home. 

Upon entering the attraction, you’ll be shown a short film that tells the story of the shuttle before being shown interactive exhibits and tributes to the crews of the Challenger and Columbia launches. 

Guests who are over 44 inches can also board a shuttle launch simulator that gives you an idea of what it’s like to be launched into orbit—this was a highlight for my girls. 

In the queue for the imax show at Kennedy Space Centre
In the queue for the IMAX (Credit: Carrie Bradley/Visiting Orlando With Kids)

IMAX Theater

There are two presentations that run in the IMAX theatres, with one being shorter than the other. The shorter movie is dense with information, so may not be entertaining for younger guests. We personally chose the longer movie. Everyone is given 3d glasses. It is quite loud, which meant I had to take my youngest daughter during part of it as she felt overwhelmed.

Young girls inside a rocket, Kennedy Space Center
Water splash area at Kennedy Space Centre

Planet Play Indoor Playground

Kids aged between two and 12 can burn off some steam in Planet Play. The multi-story indoor playground is filled with slides, climbing frames, and soft play areas, all of which are space-themed with interactive features.

And don’t worry; parents can even enjoy themselves in Planet Play as there is a lounge which serves coffee and alcoholic beverages.

Young girls inside a rocket, Kennedy Space Center
(Credit: Carrie Bradley/Visiting Orlando With Kids)

Journey to Mars

Journey to Mars—with immersive games and simulators—delves into Earth’s exploration of Mars. You can see replicas of the Mars rover and learn more about how different our neighbour planet is from our own. 

LEGO Build to Launch

Another hit with the little ones is the new LEGO Build to Launch area. Not only does the area have a free build table where kids can let their imaginations run wild, but it also has education stations, and engineering design challenges to help kids understand the complexity of rocket builds.

Dining Options at the Kennedy Space Center

The Kennedy Space Center offers its guests a variety of dining options, with the main restaurants being the Orbit Cafe and Space Bowl Bistro.

The Orbit Cafe has a menu of salads, burgers, sandwiches, pizza, and desserts, while the Space Bowl Bistro serves acai and build-your-own savoury bowls.

Other food and drink options at the Kennedy Space Center include: 

  • Moon Rock Cafe – pizzas, sandwiches, burgers and salads
  • IMAX Snax – popcorn, candy, and soda
  • Planet Play Lounge – coffee, beer, and wine
  • Red Rock Grill – hot dogs and fries
  • Milky Way – soft drinks, ice creams, and Space Dots
  • Space Dots – Space Dots ice cream
  • Starbucks – coffees and pastries
Themed ticket kiosks at Kennedy Space Center
Themed ticket kiosks at Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center Ticket Prices

There is a selection of ticket options and add-ons that the Kennedy Space Center offers. However, the most popular ticket option is the one-day admission which costs $75 per adult (ages 12 and up) and $65 per child (ages 3 to 11.) 

You can also purchase a two-day ticket for $89 per adult and $79 per child. These tickets allow you to return the next day or within six months from the date of purchase. 

Grab your skip the queue tickets here!

For more information on Kennedy Space Center tickets, head over to their website.

Where is the Kennedy Space Center? 

The Kennedy Space Center is located on Merritt Island, roughly an hour’s drive out of central Orlando. If you’re driving to the space center in a rental car, expect to drive through a handful of tolls and have cash at the ready.

Kennedy Space Center Address: Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island, FL 32953, United States

Kennedy Space Center Opening Hours and Website

The Kennedy Space Center is open from Monday to Sunday. However, opening times vary throughout the year. Here are the opening times for 2024: 

  • January 1 – January 7: 9 AM – 6 PM
  • January 8 – March 10: 9 AM – 5 PM
  • March 11 – April 14: 9 AM – 6 PM
  • April 15 – June 23: 9 AM – 5 PM
  • June 24 – August 18: 9 AM – 6 PM

You can find out more information about the Kennedy Space Center on its official website

Tips for Visiting the Kennedy Space Center

  • Expect to spend 6 to 8 hours exploring all the space center has to offer. We personally arrived as soon as it opened at 9 am to ensure we didn’t feel rushed throughout our visit. 
  • Bring a change of clothes or a towel for the water splash pad area.
  • To cut down on costs take your own food and drink along with you. Soft-sided coolers are allowed in the complex. 
  • Download the Kennedy Space Center application before your visit. The app has an interactive map and information on show times, events and attractions. 
  • You can take your own stroller to the space center or rent a double or single stroller upon entering the complex. 
  • Check NASA’s website for their launch schedule. If you can, plan your trip to coincide with a rocket launch—it’s without a doubt a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 
  • Set off on the bus tour first thing or an hour after the complex opens. The bus tours out to Saturn V close in the afternoon. So if you want to experience the attraction, you’ll need to do so in the morning. 
  • Purchase a refillable souvenir cup from any of the drink kiosks. The cups are around $7, with refills costing just $0.99 a time.

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