Discover Something Real at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex this Summer

There’s a whole lot to discover this summer at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex! Through August, a series of events will be available to guests that highlight the best of what the visitor complex has to offer.

The summer theme is centered around a new marketing campaign entitled “Discover Something Real,” a celebration of the authentic stories, artifacts, and science-based activities available to visitors. From veteran astronauts to flight-flown artifacts, displays featuring worn space suits covered in actual Moon dust and interactive experiences designed to replicate space flight, and more, the opportunities to become immersed in the past, present, and future of space exploration abound at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Discover Something Real Summer Events

Following are just a few of the exciting events to take advantage of this summer:

June Events

June 1, 11 a.m.: AHOF Induction Ceremony

This year, David Hilmers and Marsha Ivins have been selected to receive one of the highest honors in their industry as each has demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in furthering NASA’s mission of exploration and discovery. The ceremony will be held inside Space Shuttle Atlantis® and is included with admission.

US Astronaut Hall of Fame Image from Kennedy Space Center

June 2, 11 a.m.: 2024 U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame (Journey To Mars)

Hear captivating space stories straight from the newest Hall of Fame inductees! 2024 U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame® inductees, David Hilmers and Marsha Ivins, will host an exclusive presentation. There, they will share what it was like to live and work in space.

June 10, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.: BEYOND EARTH Series (Journey To Mars)

Meet veteran NASA astronauts Joan Higginbotham and Julie Payette and hear their stories first-hand. They will be inside Journey To Mars Launched by United Launch Alliance to share how every job in the space industry is important from launch to landing. These two trailblazing women will talk about their time at NASA and Payette will speak to her time with NASA and the Canadian Space Agency.  They will be available for photos after their presentation. This experience is included with admission.

June 25 & 26, 2 and 4 p.m.: Women in Space Presentations

Women in Space presentations return to the visitor complex this summer, featuring the space industry’s trailblazing women who will share their inspirational stories. Following each presentation, there will be a photo opportunity. (Their books can be purchased in the Space Shop or pre-purchased copies can be brought.) Following is the schedule of speakers:

  • Tuesday, June 25: Susan Kilrain, Barbara Morgan, and Nicole Stott
  • Wednesday, June 26: Susan Kilrain and Barbara Morgan

Women in Space Presentations are included with admission.

Related Post: Top 3 Exciting Things to Do with Kids at Kennedy Space Center to Learn About Artemis Missions

July Events

July 4 – 7: July Fourth Weekend Activities (Atlantis Pavilion)

A Fourth of July celebration visit to the visitor complex will be extra festive with the addition of several outdoor activities all weekend long. Guests can look forward to mini golf, corn hole, and much more. All activities will take place rain or shine and are included with admission.

Discover Something Real at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex this Summer Image from KSC

July 19 – 21: Moon Fest Weekend

Apollo 11 landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969. In celebration of the 55th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, the visitor complex will honor history while looking forward to NASA’s next giant leap – the Artemis missions. Visitors during the weekend will learn about the Apollo Program and hear the latest on the upcoming Artemis missions and our return to the Moon. Moon Fest Weekend includes: 

  • Space Shuttle Atlantis: Family-friendly activities (all day) and Silent DJ from 1 – 4 p.m. 
  • Apollo/Saturn V Center: “Astro and Orbit,” comedy duo performers at the People’s Moon exhibit at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Photo opportunity with the Moon rover (all day). 
  • Journey To Mars Launched by United Launch Alliance: “Apollo to Artemis” presentation from a space expert at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. 
  • Rocket Garden: “One Giant Leap” short film, every hour on the top of the hour (all day). 

Moon Fest Weekend is included with admission.

Don’t forget to check out Planet Play! It is a great way to cool off and get a little energy out of the kiddos.

August Events

August 2-4: Aviation Weekend

Celebrate the remarkable journeys of astronauts and pilots during Aviation Weekend at the visitor complex. Hear pilots and astronauts from different backgrounds share their stories of reaching the skies and discover how they embarked on their paths during Tales from the Flight Deck. 

On the bottom floor of Space Shuttle Atlantis®, guests can visit the Atlantis Aviation Center to craft an airplane and see whose flies the farthest. A photo booth will also allow visitors to take their very own pilot photo! 

There will also be an end-of-season block party with DJ Steve and his solar-powered DJ kiosk in front of Space Shuttle Atlantis from 12 – 4 p.m. all weekend long. A fun activity area including mini-golf, corn hole and four in a row will also be set up nearby. All activities are included with admission.

Kennedy Under the Stars Image from Kennedy Space Center

August 31, 6:30 – 10 p.m.: Kennedy Under the Stars

Kennedy Under the Stars returns this August! This exclusive after-hours event combines favorite attractions with a galactic glow party! The colors of the cosmos will be brought to life through a series of illuminated experiences designed to shed new light on a visit to the visitor complex:

  • An 80s to 90s Video DJ in the Rocket Garden
  • Techno DJ dance party in NASA Central
  • Cosmic Glow Mini Golf under the massive Saturn 1B rocket
  • Multisensory science experiments from the visitor complex STEAM Team
  • Glowing bar and lounge areas
  • Photo-worthy live entertainment

As an added bonus, Kennedy Under the Stars is the only place on Earth to spend a Saturday night with those who have traveled off-planet. Veteran NASA astronauts will mingle with guests throughout the evening.

During Kennedy Under the Stars, the main visitor complex’s key attractions stay open late, offering lower wait times and more time to venture to other worlds in Spaceport KSC®. Guests can also get up close to real flight-flown artifacts like Space Shuttle Atlantis, feel the rumble aboard the Shuttle Launch Experience® and more.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase throughout the night and select retail stores will also remain open. Annual passholders will receive discounts on food and a 30 percent savings on retail items.

Stellar, space-themed outfits are encouraged but for security reasons, costume masks that conceal faces are prohibited, as are any props that resemble weapons. Tickets are $65 plus tax for all ages.

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Meghan Roth