By amusementtoday | December 18, 2012
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is celebrating the holidays by opening to guests on Christmas Day for the first time in 45 years, and offering a holiday gift to visitors: one child age 11 and under free with the purchase of a paid adult admission Dec. 17 through Jan. 7.
Guests can enjoy the holiday sights and sounds of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s second annual “Holidays in Space” now through Jan. 1. The Visitor Complex is adorned with a stunning array of holiday decorations and features daily visits and storytelling with Santa and Mrs. Claus through Dec. 24, as well as heartwarming performances of favorite holiday songs by strolling carolers. As an international ensemble of astronauts celebrate the holidays 225 miles above on the International Space Station (ISS), Visitor Complex guests can learn about the holiday traditions of each of the ISS partner countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.
To take advantage of the free child with paid adult admission special, please mention the offer at the front gate ticket plaza when purchasing tickets. The offer is not available for advance purchase. For more information, visit kennedyspacecenter.com or call 877-313-2610.
In addition, the holidays are the perfect time to share mankind’s greatest achievements and future of the space program with the entire family. Visitors can get rare behind-the-scenes access to areas of Kennedy Space Center that have been off limits to the public for decades. The KSC Up-Close Tour Series includes tours of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), Launch Control Center (LCC), and Launch Pad. The VAB tour has been extended through 2013 and the LCC and Launch Pad tours are confirmed through Mar. 31.
Open to the public for the first time in more than 30 years, the VAB Tour provides visitors a look inside the 525-foot-tall structure – one of the largest buildings in the world – where the Apollo rockets and space shuttles were assembled. The Launch Control Center Tour allows guests inside the Firing Room, where NASA directors and engineers supervised all of the launches for the space shuttle and Apollo programs. For the first time in the 50-year history of Kennedy Space Center, the Launch Pad Tour takes visitors to one of the launch pads from which the space shuttles and Saturn V moon rockets were launched.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex features many attractions and year-round interactive programs, including meeting real astronauts. The standard bus tour, included with admission, explores the history of the Apollo moon and space shuttle programs with panoramic views of Kennedy Space Center, the VAB’s exterior and a stop at the Apollo/Saturn V Center, where visitors see an authentic 363-foot Saturn V moon rocket and relive the historic Apollo missions that saw man land on the moon.
Other Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex attractions and activities include Shuttle Launch Experience, an incredible simulated journey of vertically launching into space and orbiting Earth aboard the space shuttle, as well as the Astronaut Training Experience ® (ATX®), Rocket Garden, two IMAX® theaters, Astronaut Encounter, Lunch With an Astronaut, U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame® and Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted.
In addition, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is the future home of the space shuttle Atlantis, with a multimillion-dollar exhibit scheduled to open in July 2013.