10 Amazing Must-Do's at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor's Complex

10 Amazing Must-Do’s at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex

February 10, 2023Mary Henderson

Hey! Look at you reading up on the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex for your upcoming trip! Smart move! Thanks for stopping by! Before you read on, take minute to follow us on on Instagram and Facebook so you can stay up to date on all the fantastic things happening on the Space Coast. And feel free to share this post by clicking on one of the action buttons below! If you’re looking for a great place to stay for your trip check out the Courtyard By Marriott and the Little Black House AirBnB!


Let's get started!

Big question: Can you experience all the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex has to offer in a single day?

Um…no. You guys! I mean, we’re only talking about the entire history, present and future of space travel! There is so much to see and do here that I highly recommend that you plan for 2 days if you can. But if one day is all you have, you can do a heck of a lot! Below is our list of 10 Amazing Must-Do’s at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex. 

1 | Download the free App!!!

First things first…you gotta download the app! There are a few items on our list that require reservations or have special ticketing, and all of that can be done in the app. You can also easily view all the events happening during your visit, get directions to attractions within the visitor’s center, and much more! With the help of their new app, you can plan your day beforehand so when you arrive, you are ready for launch!

2 | Hyperdeck VR Mission Moon

Remember a few sentences ago when I said you’d need reservations for a few things? This is the first! Pro Tip: Reservations can fill up fast, so you’ll want to log in to the KSC free wifi the minute you’re through the gates and snag your reservation in the app! In the app, tap the map to explore and type the name of the experience in the “find attractions…” search bar. When you select it, you’ll be able to reserve your spot!

Hyperdeck VR Mission Moon is a brand new immersive, multi-simulator virtual reality experience. (whew! that’s a mouthful!) Suit up and take a trip to the moon where you and your team will need to collect valuable minerals and avoid dangerous asteroids to ensure your survival! It’s absolutely worth doing and with the reservation system, only takes 10-15 minutes of your time!

3 | Boldy Go Where No One Has Gone Before!

Take some time to explore Gateway: The Deep Space Exploration Complex. Here, you can explore the future of deep space travel in this interactive and immersive exhibit surrounded by futuristic prototypes and actual flight-flown space craft! There’s also a great restaurant inside: Space Bowl Bistro. Their menu includes, acai bowls, build your own savory bowls, poke bowls and more! I personally love the tuna poke bowl!

And our next must-do is inside Gateway too!

4 | Go on a Journey at the Spaceport

Spaceport KSC is a ride experience inside the Gateway Complex. Get ready for launch as you choose from four different adventures that will take you to the edges of the universe! No reservations are required for this so far, but you’ll want to double check in the app just in case as this could change. The line tends to get longer as the day progresses, so you may want to hit this one early! This trip, I was there early enough that I was able to ride twice in a row experiencing 2 different adventures: Red Planet, and Daring Explorers! Also, If you have sensitivity to motion, or cant transfer into the ride seat, there is an Observation Bay where you can get the full experience without the movement!

5 | Take a Tour!

The standard tour is included with your admission so head on over and hop aboard! The standard tour takes you through a security checkpoint and onto NASA property! You’ll be driven past the Vehicle Assembly Building: one of the largest buildings in the world by volume! It would take 250 billion ping pong balls to fill it! Then straight to the Apollo Saturn V Center where you will walk beneath a real Apollo rocket, Touch a moon rock, and more! There is a cafe in the Apollo Center as well (under construction as of 2/13/2024). So you can grab a snack or lunch while you’re here! Important: The last tour bus leaves 2.5 hours before closing, so if you’re saving this for the end of the day, make sure you don’t miss it! 

If you want a little more tour in your tour, you can purchase the KSC Explore Tour ahead of time. This tour sells out quickly, so you’ll want to snag these tickets as soon as you know you’re going! The KSC Explore Tour goes beyond the regular tour making several stops where you can capture once in a lifetime photos! The stops on this tour are subject to change as this is a real working spaceport, and you never know what you’ll see! You may be lucky enough to get an up close view of a rocket getting prepped for launch! I have done this tour a couple times and had the opportunity to walk inside the Vehicle Assembly Building and up to one of the launch pads! Totally worth it!

6 | Space Shuttle Atlantis

Right here at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex is the real Atlantis! Like, the actual Space Shuttle Atlantis that went to space and everything! You guys! Let me break down a little bit of how cool this is…

6 Space Shuttles were built, 5 of them were flight worthy, 4 of them remain and are on display in various museums, and the Atlantis is the only one displayed as if it’s in flight!

How cool is that!?!

Also cool, the Atlantis hangs at a 43.21 degree angle…here on the Space Coast we love a countdown wherever we can get one!

There are more than 60 interactive exhibits and a walking tour in the Shuttle Complex as well as our next item!

7 | Shuttle Launch Experience

Step aboard this simulator and feel the earth shaking blast off aboard the space shuttle! While you wait in line, listen to former shuttle astronauts recount their experiences aboard the shuttles, and their experience on this ride! According to them, this is as close to real as you can get without leaving the atmosphere!

I vividly remember the shuttles launching. They were powerful enough to shake my house a good 10 miles away! Now, this simulator won’t dislodge your fillings, but it will give you a thrill!

8 | Astronaut Encounter!

Meet a real live astronaut! There aren’t many of them in the world, so meeting one is kind of a big deal! Check the Daily Schedule in the App for the show times and set a reminder! 

If you’re looking for something extra, Check out the specially ticketed Chat with an Astronaut. Join in this casual, small group setting with one of NASA’s space pioneers. This one does cost extra, but food and drinks are provided, and each guest will receive a special commemorative gift as well as a signed photo of the astronaut! This is a separately ticketed add-on and it fills up fast, so check out this link for times and prices.

9 | Blue Origins New Shepherd VR Simulator

Here’s another one you need reservations for! Remember, you have to be on property and connected to the KSC free wifi to make reservations, and they fill up! So get there early and make these reservations first thing! 

Once you have your reservation you can relax, check out a few exhibits and head on over at your reserved time! This immersive Virtual Reality experience is inside in a replica of Blue Origin’s New Shepherd crew capsule!  Climb in, grab a seat and prepare for launch! This experience utilizes actual data and imagery to mimic the astronauts journey as the rocket soars above the Karman Line, the internationally-recognized boundary of space. 

10 | Visit the Largest Space Shop in the World!

You know you have to visit the shops, so here’s the down low!

There are actually a few shops to visit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex! One at the Apollo Saturn V Center and one at the Atlantis Shuttle Complex. Go through them both. In each one there is merchandise specific to that exhibit that you won’t find in the others!

But the largest is…well…the Largest Space Shop in the World. (It’s right there in the name.) 

We’re talking 15,372 square feet of stellar memorabilia, collectables, and merch. There is no shortage of out of this world souvenirs to remember your trip, and maybe a few gifts as well! 

Check out the NASA colab Loungefly. Pick up a greater than average mug, a fit for the whole family, and maybe some astronaut ice cream! There is something for everyone at just about every price point, so head on in, take a look around, definitely check out the sales racks for some extra good deals!

ProTip: There’s a genuine piece of NASA history in here worth seeing! Head upstairs and follow in the footsteps of NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins and walk across the Apollo 11 gantry! This service gantry is the exact one they walked across to board the command module of Apollo 11 as they prepared for the first moon landing mission! 

10 Amazing Must-Do's at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor's Complex

With so much to see and do here, it’s hard to know where to start! But I’ve got some good news…no matter what you choose to do during your visit to the KSC Visitor’s Center, you will not be disappointed!

With interactive exhibits around every corner, flight flown artifacts that have been to space, rides and experiences that are out of this world, real NASA astronauts, and so much more you will have an incredible visit! 

Oh, and one last bonus must-do: The only reason this didn’t make our top 10 list is because there is no guarantee you’ll be able to do this during your visit! Click this link to check the schedule for upcoming rocket launches! There are fantastic views from the Visitor’s Center and it is definitely something you don’t want to miss! 

Hours of Operation

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex is open Monday-Sunday from 9AM to 5 or 6PM. Check their website for current times as they are subject to change.

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