Space Fun Around San Antonio

Did the frenzy surrounding the recent solar eclipse spark an interest in all things space? It certainly seems like it! Luckily, it’s easy to keep the out-of-this-world wonder going with all the space fun happening around San Antonio. Give your future astronauts more to enjoy – and learn! – by checking out these space-related exhibitions and attractions.

While some exhibitions are temporary – so get out and see them soon! – other opportunities for space fun around San Antonio stretch through the summer. And you could also add some road trip plans to your spring and summer schedules to pack in even more space fun.

Mission: Astronaut at The DoSeum

Through April 28, kids can immerse themselves in astronaut training and tackle STEM challenges that simulate real space missions – and learn a bit of engineering and physics at The DoSeum’s Mission: Astronaut exhibition. Explore the daily routines of an astronaut, dock a space capsule, operate a robotic arm and keep that love of space going strong.

Surviving Space at The Witte

A new, out-of-this-world exhibition brings a whole space lab full of scientific discovery and fun. Experience life as an astronaut, see real NASA artifacts – including the flight suit worn by Dr. Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic woman to go to space – and learn how scientists are defending Earth from future asteroid impacts at Surviving Space: Astronauts & Asteroids. On display through September 2 at the Witte, the exhibition explores what happens when mysterious objects from space collide with Earth. Experience what g-force feels like, conduct maintenance on a space station and see how astronauts live, eat and sleep in space (spoiler alert:  yes, you can sit on a space toilet).

children playing in a space capsule with dad looking on
Courtesy of Scitech

Bonus: Throw a little sparkle and dazzle into your visit when you check out Fiesta Looks to the Skies, the Witte’s annual Fiesta exhibition that showcases extravagant gowns, trains and formalwear of Fiesta royalty inspired by the stars and sky. The artistry and craftsmanship are stunning – and on display through September 29.

See the Stars at Scobee Planetarium

Scobee planetarium looks like a blue rocket headed into space night imageA San Antonio gem sure to fuel a fascination with the sky, San Antonio College’s Scobee Planetarium offers shows every Friday night. The spring schedule includes a family show at 6:30 p.m. where all ages are invited to enjoy a 40 minute movie in the planetarium. Children 6 and over can stay to enjoy “The Sky Tonight”, a live lecture that takes you on a tour of the San Antonio sky.  Note: they are strict about the 6+ age requirement for the 9:30 p.m. show and will not waive it, so please be kind and don’t ask. Tickets may be purchased online or sales start at 6 p.m. at the ticket booth – and they go fast, so if you’re interested in a show, advance purchase is recommended.

If you’re looking to see real stars, the Scalan Observatory offers Friday night viewing sessions at 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. subject to weather conditions and staff availability.  With a 10-inch refractor telescope and a 360-degree rotating dome, you can stargaze in any direction. A limited number of tickets are only sold in person the night of the viewing.

Bonus:  The Scobee offers programs year-round, including incredibly popular summer camps. Keep up with their news here.

Learn About Space at the McKenna

child in an astronaut suit display
Astronaut fun at the McKenna.

For hands-on space fun that littles will enjoy, check out Destination Space at McKenna Children’s Museum in New Braunfels. Kids can pretend to be astronauts, see the darkness of space, launch their own rockets, and be inspired by other space fun. It’s a great spot for younger kids and the McKenna is an easy place to explore. If you haven’t been, check out these tips and add it to your spring plans, or make a day of it and explore New Braunfels.

Check Out the Night Sky with SAAA

The San Antonio Astronomical Association hosts viewing sessions open to the community at a variety of spots across the city. Keep up with their Night Sky Network Calendar to see the stars and learn from local astronomers as they share glimpses through their telescopes. There are monthly evenings at Guadalupe River State Park and other parks around town, giving you the opportunity to enjoy a family dinner picnic and fun before you gaze in wonder at the night sky. Keep in mind that cloud cover and weather problems can cancel events, so be sure to check before you head out.

Journey to Space at the Mayborn

Want more space fun? Road trip to Waco to enjoy Journey to Space at Baylor University’s Mayborn Museum. Just off I-35 on the Baylor campus, the Mayborn features natural and cultural history exhibits – including dinosaurs! – and great hands-on fun for littles. The space station exhibition gives you a glimpse of what it’s like to journey into space.

Get Out of This World at NASA

A replica space shuttle, the Independence, on a Boeing 747.

Touring a real space shuttle? Seeing spacecraft and pieces of the moon? Checking out Misson Control? There’s a reason we all know the line, “Houston, we have a problem.” Though that’s not exactly what the astronauts on Apollo 13 said when they radioed Mission Control, you can see Mission Control and more at Space Center Houston. It’s fun for all ages and a must for any Houston trip.

See a Rocket Launch from the Texas Coast

SpaceX conducts rocket launches from the Texas coast on a routine basis – and many space fans are flocking to witness a launch. If you’re interested in heading south to check out a launch, you can get the details on viewing spots and more tips to help you see a rocket with Texas roots take off. Keep in mind that launch plans can be delayed due to weather and more, so you may need to be flexible.

If your little one was enchanted by the eclipse, keep their passion and fascination for space and the night sky alive! Let us know in the comments if you check out any of these space themed exhibits, and what your kiddos loved most.

An Army brat who came to Texas for college and ultimately managed to make the Lone Star State her permanent home, Dawn became a mom “AMA” (advanced maternal age), giving her the opportunity to use a stroller vs. a walker as she navigates the world of motherhood. Her growing up way too fast native Texan loves all things Star Wars, Legos, dinosaurs and keeping his parents on their toes. When she’s not busy parenting the original strong-willed child, Dawn runs Tale to Tell Communications, a San Antonio-based PR and marketing agency. An award-winning writer, Dawn also contributes to San Antonio Woman, Rio Magazine and Texas Lifestyle Magazine. She and her family enjoy exploring all that San Antonio has to offer, going on adventures and playing tourist together as much as possible. Favorite Restaurant: Clementine Favorite Landmark: The beauty of the River Walk, especially La Villita Favorite San Antonio Tradition: Celebrating anything and everything with color, music and food