The Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey is a great place to take your kids. If you don’t have your own kids, borrow some – it’s a fun place for adults too! This is the actual site where the Apollo and Space Shuttle spacecraft were designed and built. It’s a hands-on learning center – NASA’s fitting memorial to the seven crew members lost on the Space Shuttle Columbia.
The exhibits include a rocket launcher (to race your friends!), a gravity well (to learn about orbital velocity), and a gravity scale (to find out how much you would weigh on Jupiter or Mars or other planets). Or you can drop a parachute two stories to test different types of soft landings. You can design and test your own airplanes too.
Kids can have the opportunity to learn about the planets using amazing new software direct 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 can have their photo taken looking like they’re inside a Space Shuttle spacesuit. It’s a great selfie opportunity and – because you just need to poke your head inside – it’s great for adults too!
There is a special area for the youngest learners, with activities and physical challenges suited to their budding abilities. Nobody’s left out!
If you’re looking for a special birthday experience, they also offer reasonably-priced party packages.