So we’ve seen a lot of rockets this year, and have been to Kennedy several times in the past. But still, a trip to Space Center Houston was in order. (What else do you expect from a girl who has a tattoo of the space shuttle?!) We had such a good time, we went twice. And we were only in Houston for one week!
My first tip: buy a membership online before you go. It’s only about $5 more than regular admission, which you’d have to pay for parking anyway. We showed the parking attendant a PDF receipt on the iPhone and it worked just fine. Then at the entrance, you can skip the ticket lines and show that same PDF at the turnstiles inside. Visit the Membership desk to get your membership card, and use that for a discount at the shops and cafe. And now you can visit again and again, all year long!
My second tip: reserve timed tickets for the tram tours, which take you over to Johnson Space Center. We visited on a Sunday and a weekday, and both days had long lines for the tours. The timed ticket is like a Disney FastPass and pushes you to the front of the line. You can reserve them online for free! While the exhibits and presentations in the main galleries are fantastic, the tram tours offer a unique connection to the history of JSC and an awesome behind-the-scenes look at modern space missions. Don’t skip the tours, they are amazing! Dare I say it…they are stellar!
We took all 3 tours. One goes to historic mission control, one to modern mission control, and one to an astronaut training center. All three tours conclude with a stop at Rocket Park, which features a Saturn V rocket. A neat thing about visiting the mission control rooms: the galleries you sit in were not built for tourists — these are the same galleries used by astronauts’ families, heads of state, and other VIPs during launches and missions!