It feels like it’s been closed a long time with the lockdown but finally, the National Space Centre has reopened! Now you and your family can experience the breathtaking universe documented in the UK’s largest planetarium and explore this vast resource covering the fields of space science and astronomy. We were very excited to go back to visit again!
If you have not heard or been to the National Space Centre, then read on! It is a space 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 and a charge of £3 for all-day parking which can be paid for in advance when you book your tickets or as pay and display when you arrive. Note, booking your tickets in advance is essential! Do remember that everyone visiting must wear a mask unless you are a child under 11.
There are hand sanitizers (contains a minimum of 60% alcohol) located throughout the venue and also there are staff who clean the surfaces as often as possible. There are quite a lot of interactive consoles and children don’t seem to understand that they have to wait nor clean their hands once they touch it. So you as an adult will have to remind them to clean their hands whenever they can.
Our entrance time was at 11am and we were also booked for the Planetarium show at 12.20pm. We didn’t have to queue for long to go inside the venue. 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 displays and with interesting interactive games to play. We all had fun participating in the games like driving a Martian rover on the red planet, reading in the Weather Pod and many more! We are all fascinated by space travel history and aviation.
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 and due to social distancing, each family are sat in their whole bubble socially distanced from others. The show was CAPCOM GO which celebrates the achievements of the Apollo missions, highlighting what it took to put the first humans on the Moon. It tells the amazing story of the Apollo space missions, which are just as important today, as humankind looks to return to the Moon and on to other planets. It is a very captivating show!
There are many levels for you and your family to explore and more importantly for my children, there were a lot of interactive stations for them to play. They were learning about the fields of space science and astronomy through play! Of course, this place is not only just for children. It is very educational for adults too. The universe is so vast that there is still so much more to discover. We also went to watch the live talks to learn the science behind rocket launches. It was a very fun and engaging show!
This is a great place to learn and discover our universe and I can’t wait to visit again. It was a great learning experience for all of us and we all enjoyed our time there. If you plan a day out to the National Space Centre, make sure you plan with plenty of time in mind. They do have a café selling food and drinks at good reasonable prices (closes at 4.45 pm). 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.