Houston | NASA + Astros + Karbach
We spent a weekend in Houston!
Where else can you take a tour of the real Saturn V Rocket AND catch a professional baseball game on the same day?! We toured the room where the famous words "Houston, we've have a problem" were heard, experienced our first enclosed ballpark, and went to a few breweries - all within 36 hours!
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SPACE CENTER HOUSTON | NASA Johnson SC
Y'all, history makes me emotional and science makes me excited - which is why I was over the moon to visit the Space Center Houston for the first time ever. While this attraction is generally geared towards children, it is still fun for adults if you take the tram tours and get there early.
Space Center Houston includes:
- Main Exhibit Plaza
- Interactive and educational exhibit areas.
- Two different simulators, $8 and $6 each, that are definitely geared towards children.
- Theaters and Shows
- Multiple stages with several showtimes throughout the day.
- Independence Plaza
- Walk through a Shuttle Replica and NASA 905 aircraft.
- Two Tram Tours of NASA Johnson Space Center
- Diner with multiple dining options and a coffee shop.
- Two gift shops.
- Two special tours for addition cost - Lunch with an Astronaut and Level 9 VIP tour. I wish we would have done the Level 9 Tour but it's pricey.
- Purchase a Membership because IT GETS CROWDED.
- The tram tours are the best part and the lines get really, really long. If you're a member, you get Priority Boarding and for that reason alone, having a membership is absolutely worth it. It's hot and humid in Houston and waiting outside for an hour sucks.
- Tram tours do not operate when there is inclement weather and will shut down, regardless of how many people are waiting in line. We were only able to do one of the tram tours due to lightning, but having a membership meant that we could come back the next day if we wanted to.
- Early member-only access on the second Saturday of every month. They open one hour earlier, offer complimentary pastries, coffee, and water, and let you ride on both simulators for free. Simulators cost $8 and $6, and if you have kids who will most likely want to go on these, you can do it for free and not have to wait in a huge line. It is really nice to be able to explore the main plaza without the chaos and crowds.
- You also get free access for a year, free parking (normally $5), 10% discounts in the diner and the gift shop, and an express entrance lane.
- General admission is $29.95 each for adults and $24.95 for children. Our dual membership was $90 ($15 more a person) and is $130 for a family of four ($5 more a person). Trust me, it is worth it! If you purchase them online, you get an instant printout and your membership cards get mailed to you.
- Here are the full details on the membership: link.
- Wear your walking shoes.
- If you take the tram tour to the Historic Mission Control room, you will have to walk up 87 steps to get there.
- Get there early and aim for an Early Access Member Day - it gets crowded later in the day!
- IMPORTANT: TMI, but...go pee before getting in line for the tram! There are no restrooms for 45 minutes on one of the tours.
Map & Guide Layout: link.
- Main plaza and Exhibit areas -
- Independence Plaza -
- Historic Mission Control -
- rocket park + Saturn V -
Minute Maid Park
While I may not be an Astros fan, it was still really cool to experience an enclosed ballpark for the first time! Even for a Sunday day game, this stadium was packed and buzzing from last year's World Series Championship. It was fun!
Named after the street they're located on, Karbach Brewery is a restaurant, biergarten, and brewery specializing in German brew styles. They're huge in Texas and the location in Houston is incredibly impressive. If we lived in the area, I could definitely see this being a regular gathering spot for us. It has such a family oriented vibe but is still fun for all ages. Plus, the beers are pretty good. I, personally, enjoy a good Radler - and Karbach makes a Blood Orange Radler that I love!
Although our trip was short, we had a great time and look forward to going back and exploring more!