When I was growing up my dream was to be an astronaut, Space absolutely captivated me and I’m so glad I have passed that fascination on to my daughter (although currently the astronaut career aspirations come in second place to Street Dance Teacher!). I’d read heaps of National Space centre reviews so I was super excited to visit the Space Centre in Leicestershire recently to indulge my inner space woman.
Our National Space centre reviews
You will catch sight of the iconic 42m high rocket tower as you approach the Centre and it’s even more impressive from the inside. The size will simply blow you away, here is where you’ll find The Apollo Lunar Lander, some real life Moon Rock and the Thor Able rockets. Piper loved having her photo taken in the Space suit – one day maybe!
The exhibits are set over three floors, you can take the stairs or go up in the lifts offering you fab views of the centre – an adventure in itself! I also loved the 60s retro room, demonstrating life during the first moon landing! Just look at that wall paper!
The highlight of our visit was the domed, Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium, it’s the largest in the UK. Each show uses the latest computer animation technologies to immerse you in a full 360 cinema experience. It’s all included in your ticket price and will take you on a journey through our solar system and beyond, even though the chairs don’t move, you really will feel like you’re flying. They have different shows suitable for different age groups so check which one you want to see when you arrive at the centre and book your slot.
When you visit “Into Space” you can experience a mock up of the Columbus Module from the International Space Station and discover what it’s really like to journey into space, including how astronauts use the toilet!
The Orbiting Earth exhibit tells the story of how satellites help our everyday lives from our sat navs, to weather forecasting and understanding changes to our planet. Piper loved the weather pod where she got to film her own weather presentation.
When we visited there was a lovely little craft station where the kids could create their own satellites, it gave us a nice break from running around the centre and was all included in the ticket price.
Everything you need to know
Child (5 – 16) £11.00
Under 5 FREE
Parking (all day) £3.00
National Space Centre,
Mon – Fri, 10am – 4pm
Sat & Sun, 10am – 5pm
There’s a café onsite right beneath the rocket tower which is a fun place to grab lunch. The rocket periodically “takes off” releasing big clouds of smoke, much to the delight of everyone! There’s also a fab little shop selling all the usual space themed merchandise. Great for finding something to take home to remember your day.
I recommend giving yourself at least 4 hours to visit the centre. More if you plan to have some food or spend some time getting crafty!
The Centre gets pretty busy during the week with school groups. I recommend arriving as early as you can so you can explore the main exhibits when it’s a bit quieter. It did surprise me that it was pretty quiet in the school holidays so don’t be put off visiting when schools are out. The crowds do seem to ramp up when it’s raining as most other local exhibits are outdoors! If you’re not local, you may need a hotel in the area, I recommend:
- The Hilton, Leicester, which has a pool, large rooms and a brilliant breakfast spread.
- Stapleford Park, perfect if you’re after a really luxurious stay in Leicestershire.
- Scalford Hall Hotel, Lovely building in beautiful grounds.
Do you have your own National Space centre reviews? Tell me about them in the comments and help other families plan their perfect day out.
If you’re looking for fabulous family days out in the Midlands you’ll probably enjoy a visit to the National Trusts Wightwick Manor. And I’m guessing if your kids are into Space, they’d love a visit to RAF Cosford it’s totally free!