A Day in Space: U.S. Space and Rocket Center

A Day in Space: U.S. Space and Rocket Center

“Girls in Science” is all the rave right now? There are so many organized movements to close the gender gap, one little girl at a time! Here, at Punky Visits, we’re on board for all things equality. Did you see Hidden Figures? Do I always use a movie reference? Absolutely, I do! Let me just warn you, since ‘A Day in Space’ occurred in Alabama, you should anticipate that I will be incorporating a ‘My Cousin Vinny’ quote in this post. Be advised, My Cousin Vinny is not a family movie – put the kids to bed and watch it. Watch it again, if you’ve already seen it.

Ok, ok, on to…

A Day in Space

As most of our adventures do, this one started as a road trip. It was January of 2016, we were heading home from Georgia and decided to go through Alabama to stop in and see a friend in Huntsville. While driving on I-565, enormous rockets appear in the distance. It’s one of those moments when you start rousing everyone in the car with, “Look! Look! There are rockets over there!” Then everyone is breaking there necks looking in all directions because you didn’t actually tell anyone which direction to look. That’s how we first came upon the U.S. Rocket and Space Center. We considered stopping that very moment but didn’t – and it’s a good thing we didn’t. While this museum is amazing, it’s a bit pricey; but I promise it’s amazing!

A Day in Space

Do you believe in serendipity?

I absolutely do. Perfect example – we spent months obsessing about “the museum” we drove passed in Alabama. Then, as fate would have it, we met a family at our school who frequents the museum because they have family in Alabama. They confirmed, what was then just a suspicion, the U.S. Rocket and Space Center is awesome! It was settled; we’d have to return.

Now, I’ve mentioned that the price of admission to the U.S. Rocket & Space Center is higher than one would normally expect – unless you’ve been to the Aquariums in Chicago or Atlanta (future post notice). Fortunately for us, we had done our research and learned that we were eligible for free admission because of the reciprocity benefit of another one of our museum memberships. I’ve written about these perks before so let me reiterate again, take advantage of your museum membership perks!    

Why is the U.S Space and Rocket Center Amazing?

a day in space

We’re in space!

When you enter, your photo is taken in front of a green screen and by the magic of digital photography, you’re in space! Did I mention that we spent a day in space?  You pretty much arrive immediately! 

From our photo shoot, we go around the corner for a potty break.

MOM TIP : I make them stop in the bathroom as soon as we arrive so we aren’t interrupted once we’re actually engaged in exhibits. 


A day in space

Archimedes’ Screw

a day in space

learning about water displacement in “the fake bathtub”

From there, we head into an exhibit where the girls get to experience the Archimedes Screw and other marvels of early science. A lovely staff member, stopped to have an extensive conversation with Punky about water displacement.He was so kind and thorough. I was so impressed with his ability to speak with her about the topic in a manner that kept her engaged but didn’t sound like he was talking down to her. Thank you for that, kind sir!

PUNKY’S POINT OF VIEW: “The fake bathtub was my favorite part.”

We were, technically, driving back home when we stopped so we didn’t spend as much time as we probably could have enjoying ourselves. We’re absolutely excited to get back. We rock climbed, watched a space movie in the flight simulator and of course, we rode a few of the rides outside. It was an overcast January day when we visited so we practically had the place to ourselves. This facility is so engaging. There was so much to touch, play with and there were even rides!  The girls were enthralled…even Cat, the diva. A day in space, absolutely, engaged all of us in a different way – this science center will absolutely engage every member of your family.

a day in space

Cat posing with the rockets on display outside in Rocket Park

a day in space

an actual moon rock

The highlight for Cal was absolutely the Saturn V Rocket, which is only one of three in the world. You look up and wonder, “Does that thing come supercharged?” (the My Cousin Vinny quote, as promised) The rocket lays above your head as you walk through the building, enjoying and engaging in it’s story.

Cal was ‘over the moon’ about the moon rock and rovers he saw. I practically had to drag him out of the building. I reiterate, this was a pit stop and we were beyond our allotted time…this happened to us in Amsterdam too. That is also a story for another day, though.

The U.S. Rocket and Space Center offers a wide variety of family fun, science themed activities to bring out the space explorer in all of us. We highly recommend you visit, then come back here and let us know how you enjoyed a day in space!

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