The Visitor Center is easy to get to and is--what else would you expect from NASA?--simply packed with amazing photographs of outer space and all kinds of incredible information. While Lucas was busy playing with the model spaceships or putting together a puzzle of the solar system, I was reading as much as I could, just trying to take it all in.
After I finally dragged Lucas away from the Mercury capsule, kids area and beautiful images inside the visitor center, he was in awe of the Goddard Rocket Garden out back. It was so fun to get up close and even touch (the signs said no climbing but didn't mention touching so I took them literally, as any good scientist would!) rockets some of which had actually been to space and back. Lucas kept asking if they were going to blast off (with a mix of excitement and trepidation in his voice!) and so I think it would be great fun to bring him back for one of the Sunday model rocket launches (details below).
Overall, this was another great destination in Prince George's County: we're so lucky to have a part of NASA right in our backyard. As with many of these smaller museums/visitors centers outside of the Smithsonian, we practically had the place to ourselves. There was plenty of room and Lucas didn't have to share the kid-friendly exhibits/activities with anyone else.
I also loved the fact that the gift shop was in an entirely different building, a building that we successfully avoided making the visit truly cost free!
Additional events and activities offered by NASA Goddard:
Like to build model rockets, but don’t have a launch pad? Now you do! Anyone can fly at the Goddard model rocket launches, and there are no costs or fees to participate. Rockets, motors and supplies are available at the nearby Goddard Gift Shop and you can even get rocket construction and launch tips from our on-site experts on launch day! Model rocket launches are held at the Goddard Visitor Center the first Sunday of the month. Launches start at 1 p.m. and are brought to you by the NARHAMS Model Rocket club: http://www.narhams.org/.
NASA Goddard Visitor Center
Click here for directions.
July-August: Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm; Saturday-Sunday 12-4pm