Grandparents on the Go

Challenger Space Center Arizona

Challenger Space Center Arizona

Grandparents On The Go
By Cathy Droz and Cathy Burford


GOTG SpaceLet’s face it – most of us have imagined what it would be like to be an astronaut, to walk across that metal sky bridge into an awaiting space shuttle.  One can at least experience that walkway upon entering the Challenger Space Center in Peoria!  Once inside you will be able to peek inside the world of the men and women who have explored space through the wonders of NASA.  For grandparents, we will get to relive those first forays into space travel; some tragic, some heroic, all mesmerizing!  For our grandchildren a visit to the center will fill them with wonderful insights into both the past and future of space travel.

Since we were bringing a 4 year old and a 7 year old, we opted for a guided tour to get a nice overview of the entire facility.  Run by volunteer docents, the tour lasted about 45 minutes and kept the attention of our little ones without them getting ‘antsy’.  If your grandchildren are extra-rambunctious I would recommend that you opt for a self-tour or bring them to one of the programs designed specifically for their age groups, such as ‘Space Tots’ for 4-6 year olds.  If you are touring the facility on your own, allow at least an hour to see all of the exhibits. There are some interactive displays, and a simulator that were our grandchildren’s favorite areas.  Our relatively short visit just made us want to return for their special events.

Check their website before you go for special events and programs such as: Family Star Nights (next shows are Sept 7 & 21 and October 5); Space Tots (Saturdays @9:30am); Planetarium shows (not pre-sold); and the 2 hour Simulated Space Missions – the ultimate space experience (reservations are required, and they are scheduled for Saturdays and Sundays at 1pm. In addition, on the 2nd Saturday of the month they offer ‘Grandparent’s Day’ featuring ½ off admission when you bring your grandchild.


If You Go:

Challenger Space Center Arizona                              Admission: Adults $8.

21170 N 83rd Ave.                                                               55+ & Military   $7.

Peoria, AZ 85382                                                               Ages 3-12          $6.

p. 623.322.2011                                                                  Under 3         Free                                                       Strollers OK