Space: An Out-of-Gravity Experience is now open at the Science Museum of Minnesota. Our family attended on a weekend recently and we had a BLAST.
If you’re thinking of visiting during spring break, know that it’s super busy so it’s recommended that you make a reservation online. Otherwise, try to visit on a weekday another week.
If you see the Space exhibit, Journey to Space Omnitheater film and the museum, it costs $31 for adults and $22 for children. For just the Space exhibit and museum admission, it’s $24 and $15. (The costs are lower for members.)
Near the staircase above the Chomp café floats a big inflatable “astronaut” to greet guests and celebrate the Space exhibit.
Space explores the challenges of living and working in space. When you first go in you see a short film about space exploration, then you go to the exhibits in a dark hall.
The many interactive exhibits teach visitors of all ages the dangers faced by space explorers including radiation, air pressure and sleep disruption. Kids can interact with a model of a space station (with little stuffed people) and rockets they can launch with water pressure.
When we were there, kids could make their own rocket from paper shaped around a straw and then they can launch it to see how far it will go:
Be sure to also check out the rotating space station that you can go into! It’s interesting to watch the space station rotate around you to make you feel you’re really on it, but expect to get a little dizzy.
Kids can learn about life on Mars and create a home there.
My Honest Thoughts after Visiting Space:
An Out-of-Gravity Experience
Basically everything I learned from the Space exhibit can be summed up like this: It’s dangerous to go into space! This is no fluffy, “space is so much fun” kind of exhibit. It’s dark and a bit foreboding, yet still fascinating. There are films of space playing around the exhibit, and lots of interesting things to see like what astronauts eat in space, how robots help them, and what a real space toilet looks like. It’s kind of disturbing to learn some of the dangers of space like what happens to the body if unprotected in space (from a kid-friendly illustration). But it sure helps you appreciate what astronauts really go through, and it’s very educational for all ages.
Most of the exhibit centers around the space station and Mars, which is enough to fill at least an hour of your time.
The Omnitheater film, Journey to Space, reflects on space travel over the past fifty years and outlines NASA’s very detailed plan for sending people to Mars, and back, as early as the 2030s. It’s a visual spectacle and amazing to imagine what may be achieved in many of our lifetimes!
Tips for visiting Space: An Out-of-Gravity Experience at the Science Museum:
- As I mentioned above, reserve your tickets online or by phone to move things along when you get to the museum.
- Your admission to the exhibit and film will be scheduled at certain times. See the film Journey to Space before visiting the exhibit so you’re not rushed.
- Plan for parking. You’ll probably pay $10 if you use the museum’s ramp. The way their rates work is, if you’re only there 3 hours you pay the same amount you pay if you’re there 11 hours 59 minutes (seriously, check it out), so plan to use your parking time!
- Discounts are offered for students on Fridays and for low-income families anytime.
- There are three options for dining on site. The food is good, but the prices are a bit high. The Elements Café’s menu is pictured below – it’s hard to see but just a hamburger and fries is $7.95. A kid’s PB & J is $6.75. To save money, bring some sandwiches, snacks and juice boxes and store them in your car or in the coin lockers in the lobby on level 5. There are tables in the lobby for anyone to use.
“Space was designed and developed by the Science Museum of Minnesota in partnership with the International Space Station Office of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, the California Science Center, and partner museums.”
(Disclosure: We received complimentary passes to the Science Museum, Space exhibit and Journey to Space film. All opinions are 100% mine.)