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Old 06-16-2013, 10:27 PM   #1
deputymama
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Houston Space Center

Tell me your thoughts on the Houston Space Center...

I'm looking for something to do the day before we cruise out of Galveston. This is looking really good to me. I want something fun & educational for the kids (5 & 2ish). Plus something fun & educational for me and DH that we have never done before. I never been to anything NASA or the likes before.

What did you like/dislike? Any other tips? I've read that you can get free tickets to the Kennedy Space Center through your congressman. Can I get them free here too?
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:30 PM   #2
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We went the day before our Galveston cruise last January. We usually like to stay a few days in the town before we cruise just to hang out and relax, but Galveston was not a very entertaining town for us. So we went to the Space Center. DH, my father and I enjoyed the tram ride and seeing where history was made. The 18 yr old was mildly entertained, the 15 yrs old were "there" and the 13 and 8 yr old just wanted to leave. The center held our attention for about 1.5 to 2 hours. Remember, we went in January, so much of this is probably weather related- but we had to wait for the tram tours, there are two different ones, and you wait outside. You must have your entire party together to get in line. We waited about 30-40 minutes for the tram. It was freezing! We all had coats on and were still cold. In fact at the end of the first tram everyone just wanted to go back to the hotel, we never did the second one. Our 8yr old loved the play area, and since Galveston was sooooo cold, (and we're from ALASKA) it was nice to have an indoor place for her to play. We really enjoyed the reptile show and the fact they had Starbucks coffee. The kids had a blast at the water park in Galveston, however and said they would love to go there again.
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:35 PM   #3
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Natural Science and Children's Museum

As your children are so young, I might suggest the Houston Museum of Natural Science or the Houston Children's Museum. The Children's Museum is especially good for pre-schoolers. The space center is great, but many of the exhibits and the basic tram tour are more geared toward older kids and adults. The basic tour has lots sitting and listening and lots of stairs. Space Center Houston operates separately from Johnson Space Center, so I do not know if your congressman could offer you tickets. But, it doesn't hurt to ask.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:02 AM   #4
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My 2 yr old fell in love at Moody Gardens Aquarium a few weeks ago. Moody gardens has a large water park, rainforest and aquarium! Schlitterbahn watermark is there as well and has a large indoor park as well. Houston Children's Museum is great, but nowhere close to Galveston.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grubbsjj
My 2 yr old fell in love at Moody Gardens Aquarium a few weeks ago. Moody gardens has a large water park, rainforest and aquarium! Schlitterbahn watermark is there as well and has a large indoor park as well. Houston Children's Museum is great, but nowhere close to Galveston.
*water park, oops
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:32 AM   #6
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I am a Houston native so here are my thoughts on things to do in Galveston from that perspective. Depending on the time of year you will be on the island, there is a lot more to do. In the summer months (here that means March to November!) a great fun thing that is free is to ride the Boliver Ferry. If you ride the ferry across to Boliver, just down the road is Fort Travis, a great park with old cannons and such to run around. You can also go to the strand and walk around. There is a great soda fountain. One of my favorite Galveston spots is Colonel Bubbies, a store one block off the strand that has all things military, but in a warehouse-resale shop format. Your kids might be a little young. You can also go to seal wolf park and the tall ship Elissa. These things are all within a short distance from the cruise terminal. We do love Schilterbahn too!

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is truly awesome and one of the best science museums in the country. We go often. I don't know if I would go on a day trip from Galveston if I had one day pre cruise. It will take a couple of hours to get there, taking in to consideration parking and getting in. Then a couple hours getting back.
Children's Museum is great too and just a few blocks from the science museum. They are in our museum district which has several other amazing museums and the zoo as well as Hermann Park. If you have more than one day, I would certainly say come on into town, stay close by the museum district and enjoy all Houston has to offer. It is a great city!!

Have fun!!
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pfsedita View Post
It will take a couple of hours to get there, taking in to consideration parking and getting in. Then a couple hours getting back.
Just to clarify... we are staying in Houston before we cruise. Not Galveston. We're meeting up with other members of our group Friday night at a Houston hotel and then will shuttle to Galveston on Saturday. But we fly in Thursday night, so I am looking for something to do Friday morning/early afternoon.

I'm not interested in going to a waterpark or zoo or anything else that we can do anywhere else in the world (or my own backyard for that matter, we have a Children's Museum here too). I'm looking for something I've never done before and am very curious about the Space Center. My son LOVES Angry Birds and they have an Angry Birds Space exhibit. I'm wondering what that's like and if he would enjoy it? I think he'd also like the flight/launch simulators if he'd be allowed to go on them.

The Natural History Museum sounds interesting but I grew in up San Francisco and they have one there too and since I go there often to visit my family, I'd rather take the kids there unless the Houston one is THAT much better.

We just don't have any kind of Space Center where we live. That's why I thought this might be a once in a lifetime opportunity for us. If it's worth it. That's the question.

Thanks for all of your replies!!
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcassetta View Post
Space Center Houston operates separately from Johnson Space Center, so I do not know if your congressman could offer you tickets. But, it doesn't hurt to ask.
So can you tour the Johnson Space Center in addition to Space Center Houston?
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:30 AM   #9
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I would do the Space Center. We have been a few times. My 7 year old loves it. We want to make it down to see the Angry Bird exhibit but haven't. We live in the Houston area. Also just down the road from the Space Center is Kemah Board Walk. It has several restaurants, rides, live music, games, shops, and a splash pad. They also have a city pass that you buy and get a major discount and you get entrances into many big attractions all over Houston. Both the space center and Kemah board walk are included. I tried to post links for Kemah boardwalk and city pass but it wouldn't let me since I haven't made 10 post yet. Just do a search for Kemah Boardwalk and Houston Citypass. Should be easy to find.

Good Luck and have fun!
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:32 AM   #10
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Thank you Mamamouse! That's good advice!
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcassetta View Post
Space Center Houston operates separately from Johnson Space Center, so I do not know if your congressman could offer you tickets. But, it doesn't hurt to ask.
As far as I know, Space Center Houston is a private enterprise, so I doubt any Congressman can help with free tickets. Still, in the grand scheme of things when pricing out a Disney cruise, paying for a few entries there is literally round-off error in the total budget.

Little known fact (and one that may make it even more appealing for you to visit): when Space Center Houston was first designed and built, it was Walt Disney Imagineering who architected the whole place and created all the interactive exhibits!
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:42 AM   #12
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You're welcome deputymama! Also I think most Walgreens in the area here have coupons to the space center.
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:01 PM   #13
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We loved the space center!!!! Do it! Our kids are 9, 7 and 4 and it was such a hit. My 4 year old is obsessed with space but even if he wasn't he would have been amused.
We did a variety of things there--the Angry Birds playground thing, exhibits, tram ride, a short film, etc. All good.
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceman93 View Post
As far as I know, Space Center Houston is a private enterprise, so I doubt any Congressman can help with free tickets. Still, in the grand scheme of things when pricing out a Disney cruise, paying for a few entries there is literally round-off error in the total budget.

Little known fact (and one that may make it even more appealing for you to visit): when Space Center Houston was first designed and built, it was Walt Disney Imagineering who architected the whole place and created all the interactive exhibits!

Thanks! Yeah, the money isn't really an issue. But since I am a taxpayer (as we all are) I thought I'd try and see what some of my money was/is going toward. Free would just be a bonus!

I love that it was built by Disney Engineering. Super cool! Now I want to see it even more!

FortCanadaGirl: Glad your 4 yr old enjoyed it. That's the kind of thing I need to hear. I don't want to be dragging these kids around with nothing fun for them to do. If this were FB I'd "like" your comment!
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:54 PM   #15
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Firstly I love NASA, i have enjoyed the Kennedy Space Center before and I really wanted to do the Johnson Space Center and done so on the Friday before the cruise. I loved it, but again it's not Kennedy but it's still well worth the money and time, we last left the earth in 1972 and I got to touch the last capsule that orbited the moon.

It's worth it, for the history if nothing else.
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