Enjoy an out-of-this-world day out at National Space Centre
Whether your child dreams of being an astronaut or you’re just curious about what lies beyond Planet Earth, the National Space Centre in Leicester is a great choice for a day out.
A museum dedicated to all things space, there are lots of hands-on interactive exhibits to keep both big and little kids amused.
The centre itself is a distinctive structure, mainly due to the 42 metre-high and semi-transparent Rocket Tower which is home to the Blue Streak and Thor Able rockets.
The highlight of any first visit to the centre is a show in the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium .
Visitors are given an assigned time for the immersive film, which is screened on the dome of the planetarium, the largest of its kind in the UK.
A great introduction to some of the big topics covered in the rest of the centre, the planetarium explains difficult concepts in a child-friendly way and listen out for announcements detailing any live
talks taking place elsewhere at the centre during your visit.
For smaller children, there is also a mini planetarium with an interactive film which teaches them about the different planets in the solar system and tests their knowledge.
The six galleries include Into Space which aims to give visitors a no-holds-barred insight into what it is really like to be an astronaut, including lots of detail about toilet trips to appeal to children – the centre itself says ‘how do you go to the toilet in space?’ is the most-asked question there.
There is a mock up of the Columbus Module from the International Space Station and lots of inspirational information about the pioneering crews who have journeyed into the final frontier.
Families can also have a go at presenting their own weather report, find out more about attempts to find alien life forms and learn about the Space Race when the USA and Soviet Union went head to head in a bid to be the first to go into space and land on the moon.
Tickets to the National Space Centre can seem quite expensive – £15.50 for adults and £12.50 for children and concessions – but the admission cost is actually better value for money than you might think as any tickets booked online can be upgraded to an annual pass for free.