National Space Centre

If you’re looking for an “out of this world” day out, check out the National Space Centre in Leicester! (Ok, that’s the only pun I’ll make!)

What is at the National Space Centre?

It’s safe to say that the National Space Centre is an educational attraction. As such, don’t expect high-thrill rides, but don’t expect to be bored either! We went when Heidi was still 5 and she understood a lot of the information. I think any younger would struggle, although the visuals would be extremely stimulating for them.

You can even play Guess Who!!

There are several sections to the National Space Centre, although there isn’t a specific route to take, so you’re free to take your own journey. The planetarium show is absolutely brilliant and well worth booking a showing (free) when you enter. Even if you don’t like the show, you’ll love the theatre!!

National Space Centre planetarium ceiling
The planetarium ceiling

The Tranquility Base is probably the most hands-on attraction at the National Space Centre. This is because you can do a number of activities that astronauts do in space, from operating a space rover to prioritising supplies on the space station. It can get a little busy here, so you might be best to leave this until lunchtime/afternoon.

National Space Centre space rover
Working a space rover

There is plenty of educational bits and pieces throughout the National Space Centre, as you can see. There are sections tailored to primary school children, but also some for grown-ups. As such, some might be too complicated for some children, so you might have to do some explaining!!

Heidi’s favourite bit was the chance to read the weather forecast.  Whilst it is for all people, you do need to be able to read quite well, so adult support might be needed! There is the chance to email a video of the forecast to yourself, which is a nice touch.

Reading the weather forecast

National Space Centre Staff

You’ll see National Space Centre staff dotted around the attraction with pop up exhibits. They are very approachable and brilliant with children, so try and get your child to engage with them!

National Space Centre staff
Talking about animals who have gone into space

Food

There are picnic tables to eat your own food, but if you’re anything like us, the picnic will have been eaten on the way to the National Space Centre!! They sell the standard cafe meals and the pricing wasn’t too bad at all. Make sure you sit towards the back of the seating area, near the rocket and have the chance to press the ignition button!!

National Space Centre food
Eating pasta from the cafe

Accessibility

The venue is pushchair/pram friendly, although I suspect that children of that age will be too young for the attraction.  One cool thing that they offer is ear defenders, which may help children with slight sensory difficulties. I wouldn’t say that they are needed generally, but Heidi took a likening to them!!

National Space Centre ear defenders
Rocking the National Space Centre ear defenders!

The venue is fully indoors which does help.

Tickets

As with a lot of attractions, the ticket lasts for 12 months, which makes it good value for money, even if you just go twice. Just make sure you look after your ticket (which I have lost!!)

Parking

There is plenty of parking on site, for which you can pay by coins or card. There is helpful member of staff who can provide assistance if needed.

Conclusion

The National Space Centre is a brilliant day out and decent value for money. We were there for about 5 hours and felt that we could have done a few things more than once. As such, it is a brilliant rainy day activity, given that it is all inside!!


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