If you're planning a trip to Houston, Texas, we highly recommend visiting the Space Center Houston. As the official visitor center of the NASA Johnson Space Center, you'll have the chance to see where U.S. astronauts are trained and NASA's Mission Control is located. Plus, it's a Smithsonian Affiliate museum!
During your visit, you'll get two incredible experiences. First, explore the Space Center Museum where you'll find numerous exhibits on space exploration and the universe. Next, take a tram tour of the NASA Johnson Space Center facility where you'll see actual working government facilities and historic locations, like the original Mission Control room.
Our post has everything you need to know to have an amazing visit to Space Center Houston. We'll cover everything from how to get there to what you should see and do, and even how to save money on your ticket. Don't miss out on this out-of-this-world experience!
You can find it at 1601 E NASA Parkway, just 26 miles southeast of Houston's city center. Getting there is easy - you can grab a taxi or use ride-share services like Uber for a hassle-free trip. If you're driving, take exit 24 for the NASA signs off I-45 and enjoy ample parking for just $5 per vehicle. And if you're looking to save a few dollars, you can also take the 249 bus from Houston for just $3 (check out the Houston Metro website for schedules). Just note that public transit is unavailable on weekends.
The Houston Space Center is open year-round, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas, you can discover the cosmos from 10:00am to 5:00pm. And during peak season, they're open even earlier, from 9:00am, and stay open until 6:00pm. Come explore the stars!
From tram tours to interactive exhibits and everything in between, your day here is sure to be jam-packed with fun. We recommend spending a minimum of 3-4 hours to see the highlights of the center. Don't miss out on the adventure!
For adults standard admission ranges from $29.95 to $34.95 depending on the day and time of your visit. But don't worry, there are discounts for children (4-11 years old), seniors (65+ years old), active and retired military and AAA members (with ID). Plus, little ones under 3 years old get in for free!
There are different types of tickets and experiences available at the Space Center. You can choose from:
In addition, Space Center Houston offers a wide range of educational programs designed for families and groups of children. It can be an exciting night spent in the institution among priceless artifacts!
Each experience offers a unique and exciting adventure, and the price you pay reflects the differences in what you get.
If you're worried about ticket cancellations, note that tickets purchased on the official website are non-refundable. But, if you purchase in advance online, you can score the same price with the possibility of free cancellation up to 24 hours before your visit.
Pro tip: skip the line and save time on busy days by printing your ticket at home or downloading it to your mobile device.
And if you're planning to explore more than just Space Center Houston, check out the Houston City PASS! You'll save up to 50% off admission to five of Houston's most popular attractions - including the Space Center.
With more than 350 space artifacts, fascinating permanent and temporary exhibits, educational programs, theaters and more, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Here's a quick overview of the top attractions and activities waiting for you at Space Center Houston.
Welcome to Independence Plaza, the expansive outdoor area by the primary Space Center building. Here, you'll find a genuine Boeing 747 airplane, with a realistic replica of a space shuttle mounted on top. Come and explore this unique piece of aerospace history!
Here, you'll find three authentic spaceships that traveled beyond our planet - the Mercury 9 capsule, the Gemini 5 capsule, and the Apollo 17 command module. Plus, there's a lunar module test craft and a lunar rover test, as well as a full-scale Skylab simulator, and more to experience.
But the real gem of the Starship Gallery, it's the piece of moon rock that you can touch and feel for yourself. That's right, step into this gallery and you'll have the rare opportunity to touch a piece of the Moon. Get ready to be blown away!
It's NASA's exciting project to send humans to the red planet and the moon. But that's not all! You will learn what life on Mars might be like, in particular, you will explore the habitat on these two space objects. And the best part is that this exhibition is extremely interactive. Think touchscreens and practicality! Don't miss this extraordinary adventure.
Step inside the astronaut gallery and see the actual spacesuits and clothing worn by real-life astronauts on their missions. Marvel at the incredible exhibits from NASA's space flight programs all in one place! Don't miss the iconic crew wall featuring portraits of every NASA astronaut who has flown in space, from trailblazers Alan Shepard and Neil Armstrong to the astronauts currently orbiting on the International Space Station. This is a must-see experience for any space enthusiast!
The ISS Gallery - your virtual guide to life on the International Space Station! Marvel at humanity's incredible achievement as you explore the world's largest structure ever built in space. Meet the astronauts from different parts of the world who call the ISS home and witness the groundbreaking research they conduct. Don't miss the daily Life in Space show, featuring state-of-the-art projection mapping technology to bring to life the everyday experiences of living in space. Get ready for a truly out-of-this-world experience!
Don't leave the Space Center without taking home a souvenir from your amazing adventure! Whether you're looking for a cool t-shirt or even some astronaut ice cream, there's something for everyone in the gift shops. There's a two gift shops inside the Space Center. But here's a hot tip - don't wait until the last minute to grab your goodies! Lots of people do that, and the checkout lines can get seriously crazy. Instead, plan to swing by the gift shop at least an hour before closing. That way, you'll have more time to explore and find the perfect keepsake of your out-of-this-world experience!
Their menu has something for everyone, from delicious sandwiches and vegetarian options to mouth-watering grills and burgers. Plus, they even serve pizza for those craving a slice.
As a thank you to our valued customers, Space Center Houston members, U.S. military, and seniors can enjoy a 10% discount. Be sure to bring your ID and show it before ordering so you can take advantage of these great savings.
As one of Houston's most popular attractions, it gets quite busy, especially during holidays, weekends, and summer months. School groups also frequent the center all year round, with peak months in March through May. If you're able to, we suggest visiting on less busy days to avoid long wait times. Don't let the crowds deter you from a space-tastic time, just plan ahead for a smoother experience.
Thank you for using our guide to visiting the Space Center in Houston, Texas! To help you plan your trip. We hope our guide was helpful.