Experience our breathtaking universe documented in UK’s largest planetarium and explore this vast resource covering the fields of space science and astronomy at the award-winning National Space Centre! It is indeed a real eye opener for first-timers like my family and me.
The National Space Centre is a museum packed with six interactive galleries, planetarium, and the iconic 42m high Rocket Tower! It is located on the north side of the city of Leicester, England, next to the River Soar. The place is very well signposted by brown tourist signs with a distinctive rocket logo. They have over 400 parking spaces, including 23 enhanced accessibility spaces, charged at £3 pay and display for the whole day (either coins or by contactless card).
Last Saturday, we arrived there just before they opened at 10am and there were already a lot of eager families queuing at the centre! I would definitely suggest booking online as it will save you a lot of time waiting and you can upgrade to an annual pass for free! We didn’t have to wait for long and we were already in before most!
When you buy a ticket, you will be able to see one of their planetarium shows at no extra cost. If you wish to watch any extra shows, each ticket costs only £3. We went for the earliest show – We are Stars or alternatively, we had the choice of Tour of the Night Sky (only on weekends). The quality of the show was mind-blowing and we loved watching it in the 360º full dome cinema. The show is very interesting and easy to understand by younger children. If you would like to find out more about the show – We Are Stars, check out the We Are Stars’ website for details and free download of the original score by acclaimed New Zealand composer Rhian Sheehan.
This Planetarium is the largest in the UK and was opened in 2012 by the astronomy hero Sir Patrick Moore. The Planetarium has 192 seats but I would queue as early as possible in busy times if you would like a good seat as it can get quite packed!
There are six interactive galleries to explore: Into Space, The Universe, Our Solar System, Orbiting Earth, Space Oddities and Rocket Tower. Each gallery has its own unique display and with interesting interactive games to play. We all had fun participating in the games, especially experiencing become a trainee astronaut where we get to sit in a 3D simulation show and operating the fighter, also drive a Martian rover on the red planet, reading in the Weather Pod and many more! Both of my children were fascinated by space travel history and aviation.
Watch this short video clip of the National Space Centre here: https://youtu.be/-jFLJQDP6xM
This is a great place to learn and discover our universe. This is not just for children though as both my husband and I have also learnt a lot from this experience and enjoyed our time there. If you plan a day out to the National Space Centre, do plan with plenty of time in mind. We didn’t think that we would stay for 4 hours, but we did! They do have a café selling food and drink at good reasonable prices. I would definitely recommend this place to anyone. It is worth a visit!
Disclosure: We were provided with free tickets in exchange for our honest review, however, all thoughts and opinions remain our own.