The Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey is a great place to take your kids. If you don’t have kids, take a friend’s kids – it’s a fun place for adults too! Located on the site where the Apollo and Space Shuttle spacecraft were designed and built, this hands-on learning center is NASA’s memorial to the seven crew members lost on the Space Shuttle Columbia.
The exhibits include a rocket launcher (so kids can race their friends), a gravity well (to learn about orbital velocity), and a gravity scale (how much would you weigh on Jupiter? Mars?). Drop a parachute two stories to test soft landings.
Kids can design and test their own airplanes. They have the opportunity to learn about the planets using amazing new software from NASA. They can try their hand at landing or docking the Space Shuttle using real flight simulation software. There is a great robot lab and, at NASA Live, you can ‘visit’ the International Space Station.
Kids (and adults too!) can have their photo taken ‘inside’ a Space Shuttle spacesuit. Great selfie opportunity!
There is a special area dedicated to the youngest learners too, with activities and physical challenges suited to their abilities.
If you’re looking for a special birthday experience, they also offer reasonably-priced party packages.
For a different sort of Halloween treat, check out the upcoming SPOOKY SCIENCE NIGHT on Saturday, October 20 (5:00-9:00 p.m.) which will feature a costume parade, spooky robotics lab, a Super Slime Station, and food trucks!