Top 10 Spots Every Kid Should See
Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral
The out-of-this-world concept of man in space has long captivated the inner child in us all, but as we plow forward into the new millennium, one fantastic chapter in the history of space aviation has come to a close: The last manned shuttle mission launched from NASA’s Florida headquarters in Cape Canaveral (about 45 miles outside of Orlando) in summer 2011. However, you can still watch unmanned rockets take off from the Cape Canaveral base if you plan in advance. Check the NASA website for launch days and information on purchasing tickets; note these launches are subject to change, and may be canceled at the last minute due to weather or other factors. If you miss liftoff, the Visitor Complex offers plenty of attractions for kids that entertain and educate in their own right, including a shuttle launch simulator, astronaut encounters, behind-the-scenes tours (like to the actual Mercury Mission Control Room from the 1960s), and cool hands-on exhibits (including a moon rock to handle). A $100-million exhibit showcasing the retired Atlantis shuttle and the history of the Space Shuttle Program will open in summer 2013. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is open daily 9am–5pm (except Dec. 25); admission is $50 adults, $40 ages 3–11.