Give your family some space — outer space! — at Family Space Day this Saturday

You probably spent a lot of time with your family over the Thanksgiving holiday, and we know just what you need: SPACE!

A couple hours (or days) to yourself aren’t gonna cut it. We’re thinking this year you need some major space. Like, we’re talking outer space.

And we’ve got just the ticket.

Join HMNS at the George Observatory in Brazos Bend State Park this Saturday, Dec. 1 for a day of family fun aboard the Challenger Learning Center, where families and individuals have exclusive access to participate in real-life astronaut training that’s usually reserved for groups and field trips.

Challenger Learning Center - CommunicationsAs astronauts for the day, child and adult participants are assigned jobs aboard the Space Station Observer. They will learn about teamwork and crisis management as they work together to solve problems on simulated space missions.

Tickets must be purchased before 5 p.m. Friday, so click here to reserve yours and see a schedule of mission times. You can also call 281-242-3055 on Saturday morning to learn about walk-in availability.

Missions are open to kids age 7 or older, and children age 7 to 9 must have an adult chaperone.

Bring the whole family and explore the George Observatory exhibits, then stay after your mission for stargazing on the George’s observation deck! Tickets to view the night sky through the George Observatory research telescopes are $5 and go on sale at 5 p.m.

Talk Like a Pirate Day has passed, now onto another stellar holiday: International Observe the Moon Day!

Come join us at The George Observatory for a night of fun underneath the moon this Saturday, Sept. 22!

International Observe the Moon Day

It’s International Observe the Moon Night and this year’s theme is “Under the Same Moon.” Kiddos are invited to wear their pajamas and come listen to Moon stories and learn about the Moon phases in our Starry Room.

Bring the family for crafts like making Moon craters and enjoy an evening in our Challenger Learning Center with a “Mission to the Moon.” You’ll board the “SS Observer” spacecraft and take on different tasks as a family to land safely on the Moon.

The mission will start at 6 p.m., and the cost is $10 per person. Early registration is encouraged.

As the day falls into night, amateur astronomers will have their telescopes pointed toward the Moon and other celestial objects. With the Moon being at first quarter, the public will be able to see craters, ridges, and other prominent features of the landscape. There will also be a telescope set up with a video camera for an extra up-close-and-personal view.

To reserve tickets, click here!

Family Space Day is Sept. 15 — one of only two left in 2012!

Got big plans this weekend? We’re here to help as always. Now that we’ve got your Friday night covered, we think you should head south on Saturday toward Brazos Bend for a day of family fun at the George ObservatoryFamily Space Day!

For the duration of Family Space Day, the Challenger Learning Center will be open for individual children and adults to learn the importance of teamwork in a simulated mission to space.

Challenger Learning Center

In 1988, the Houston Museum of Natural Science was the first organization in the nation to establish a learning center in memory of the astronauts who died aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger.

Since then we’ve taught more than 100,000 student astronauts the value of working as a team to accomplish a shared goal.

Be an astronaut for a day as you and your child are assigned jobs aboard the Space Station Observer and work in tandem to solve real-world problems. NASA volunteers will be running the missions and interacting with participants as they experience real astronaut training.

The Challenger Learning Center is usually only open to groups, so don’t miss this rare chance to complete a mission as an individual or as a family.

Missions will run this Saturday, Sept. 15 at 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Please note that missions are suited for children 7 years of age and older. Kids 7-9 must have a paid adult chaperone participate, and a minimum of 10 participants is required for each mission. (Refunds will be issued if the minimum is not met.)

Stay after your mission and see space from the other side during stargazing on the observation deck. Tickets to access the George Observatory telescopes go on sale at 5 p.m. for $5, weather permitting.

For more information on Family Space Day and the George Observatory, including mission times and rules, click here!

Watch a video of all the fun at Family Space day below!

Up for a challenge? Join us at the George Observatory on Saturday for Rocket Day, get special access to simulated space flight!

Attendees at The George Observatory’s Rocket Day this Saturday morning will have more than water rockets to show for it.

After a morning of learning about rockets and how they work, kids will build their own water rockets and launch them with the help of adult volunteers.

Afterwards, children and their parents can enter The Challenger Center, board the S.S. Observer and embark on a mission to the Moon, participating in real astronaut training and learning how problem-solving can make or break any mission.

Challenger Learning Center

Our simulated space flights are usually reserved for large groups, so Rocket Day represents a rare chance to enjoy simulated space flight for individuals! The mission is most appropriate for ages 7 and up; children 7 to 9 will need adult supervision.

Once you’re done exploring outer space, why not explore Brazos Bend State Park? With six lakes, multiple hiking trails and a fantastic hands-on nature center there is plenty to do and see.

In fact, stay all day and join us Saturday night for the Perseid Meteor Shower Party! Meteors will become visible around 10 p.m. and will become more frequent as dawn approaches. Snacks, blankets and sleeping babes are welcome.

To learn more about Rocket Day and our simulated space missions, please call 281-242-3055 or visit our website.

What: Rocket Day at the George Observatory
When: Saturday, August 11; 10 a.m. to noon
Where: The George Observatory at Brazos Bend State Park. Please note that regular park entrance fees apply: $7 per person, free for kids 12 and under.
How much: $20 per child, free for adults