It was a blast visiting Hunstville and getting to learn about rockets.
When thinking of Alabama rockets might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it should be. Huntsville in northern Alabama is where the development of the space program, NASA, really began. Wernher von Braun was a pioneer in the field of rocket science. The US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville is like a tribute to this rocket scientist that changed the course of history in a major way.
Our travels into the state of Alabama led us to Monte Sano State Park. We chose this location because it was close to Huntsville and the Us Space and Rocket Center. This was a very nice state park, but a little tricky to get to. It lies just east of the city so it was very quiet yet everything was only a short drive away.
Travelers Tip: If you choose Monte Sano Campground in Huntsville, and are towing or driving your RV into the camp, it is better to come in the Monte Sano Blvd via Governors Dr. route. We originally took Bankhead Pkwy because of Google Maps and it is steep and has length restrictions on it. We learned this the hard way.
Several deer walk right through our camp one evening while we were sitting by the campfire. A large playground for the kids can be found near the entrance. We also enjoyed walking through the Japanese garden, even though it was fall and there weren’t any plants in bloom. The kids liked walking across the bright red bridge and checking out the tea house.
Not far from the park in Hunstville is a museum called Burritt on the Mountain.
It is a historic mansion and open air museum. They have homeschool programs once a month and we were going to be there while one was going on. I have looked at many such programs, but the timing or the price is just never quite right. So I signed the older kids up to participate. They had a great time learning about different floor coverings from the 1800’s. They even got to design and make their own floor mat. I hope we can find more such programs in our future travels.
The real reason we were in Huntsville though was to visit the US Space and Rocket Center.
Our whole family was looking forward to the experience. We were not disappointed. This place was very hands on, educational, and fun for the whole family. Definitely a must see in Alabama.
It would be hard to miss because you can see the Saturn V rocket they have outside from a good distance. There are several other rockets outside too. In fact the whole back lot is full of different rockets and old military relics. It was fun to explore and see some of the different technologies, many of which were never even used in active duty.
The US Space and Rocket Center in Hunstville goes above and beyond what most science centers offer.
Many of the museums we visit have “special exhibits” that cost extra. These include things like flight simulators, rides, climbing walls and motion theaters. The US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville has all of these thing, the difference is they are all included in the admission price! We got to enjoy the motion theater, the G-Force ride, and build our own planes and fly them in the simulator. The climbing wall and kiddie area were free with admission as well.
Learning about space and rockets is pretty cool. Learning about space and rockets from actual rocket scientists is even better. This was another thing that enhanced our experience at the US Space and Rocket Center. The volunteers are the people that actually worked on the rockets and other developments, real rocket scientists! It was very interesting getting to learn about some of these important inventions and developments straight from the people that made them happen.
It was a surprise to find this awesome rocket center in Hunstville, AL because we had never heard of it before.
This museum has so much to offer that we actually went back a second day to explore a little more. Between the artifacts, hands on experiences, and rides it made for a full day of fun and learning. By the Time we were done our brains were very full. I think we all learned something new at the US Space and Rocket Center in Hunstville. It is an amazing place.
I can’t imagine a better way for my children to get an education. They got to see the actual Saturn V rocket, talk to rocket scientists, and get hands on with things that actually went to space. My son was so excited by this place that he is going to apply for the scholarship they offer for space camp. So if you go to Alabama you can’t miss visiting the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville. It’s worth it.
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Here are a few other articles where we visited amazing space museums