Houston Space Center Fun


Space Center Houston is only about an hour south of the gringa’s little barrio apartment. With the caveman and myself being empty-nesters, it has actually been awhile since we’ve visited. In the past, the ninos always had a wonderful and awe-inspiring experience (mamasita, too) whenever we would visit.

Today’s activities and programs offered that are designed to appeal to kids has some massive appeal to a grown-up gringa as well. I may have to take the time to make a visit.

This month Independence Plaza has its grand opening.  Visitors enter a replica of shuttle Independence that is mounted atop the original NASA 905 shuttle launch aircraft. It is the only shuttle in the world the public is allowed to enter and explore.

When I make my plans for a return visit, the gringa wants to make certain it’s on a Friday. Every Friday at 11am  and 1pm it is “Meet an Astronaut Friday”. Astronauts make a presentation and are then available for a question and answer session with the public. And, if you are so inclined (the gringa is), “Lunch With an Astronaut” offers an interesting cosmic dining experience. It’s casual, no spacesuit required. Fare is catered by NASA (wondering if freeze-dried ice cream is for dessert?).  Astronauts featured for February:

  • Tom Jones, February 5
  • Mike Foreman, February 12
  • Brian Duffy, February 19
  • David Hilmers, February 26

If you want to dine with some stars from the stars, NASA advises that you order tickets early because it is first come, first served. If you arrive early, or stay a bit longer, after lunch, you can enjoy the “Meet an Astronaut Friday” presentation.  Don’t forget your camera and let NASA know in your reservation if you have any special dietary requirements.

And, if that doesn’t sound fascinating enough, the center opens a new exhibit February 13 that was designed by Scitech of Australia fame. This is the public’s big chance to pilot an airplane or drive a hovercraft. There are other interactive things to do in this exhibit but the gringa mentions her two favorites. Visitors are invited to explore travel and transportation technologies that have been around for years as well as new, emerging technologies.

And, if that’s not good enough for you, you can go on the Level 9 Tour as a VIP. The gringa believes she definitely ranks VIP status. VIPs get behind-the-scenes access on this five-hour tour which takes visitors through the astronaut training center and mission control for the ISS. Tickets for this tour need to be made in advance because only twelve people daily are allowed.

The gringa’s birthday is coming up and I’m pretty sure tickets for lunch with an astronaut and a Level 9 Tour are at the top of my birthday to-do list. The caveman may have quite a pout if he has to compete for my attention over lunch, but, my outer space madness is just all part of my charm.

Source: spacecenter.org

Photo credit: www.collectspace.com

Read With The Gringa “The Man in the Moon”


Join the gringa in a read along of a wonderful tale written by William Joyce. This fantastical journey to the Moon helps children use their imagination to overcome the nighttime fears that nightmares can bring.

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Photo Credit:  www.oakenbookcase.com

 

Read With The Gringa “Grandpa’s Surprise”


This short Christmas story shares the wonderful tradition popular in Puerto Rican culture of “Three Kings Day”.

 

Read With The Gringa “Santa’s New Helper”


Gather the children and join the gringa for a short and sweet Christmas story filled with wonderful Christmas dreams.

Read With The Gringa “The Gunnywolf”


This is a wonderful  tale in the style of an old fashioned fairy tale and retold by A. Delaney. It’s not just a read along adventure but also a sing-a-long alphabet story. Let the little ones join the gringa to learn their ABC’s or practice their alphabet skills!

 

Read With The Gringa “Goodnight Giant”


Join the gringa for a wonderful bedtime story about friendship and how to help one another fall asleep.

 

Read With The Gringa “Happy Hoppy Rabbit”


Join the gringa for a short, sweet read-along with a story written by June Woodman. It’s a wonderful birthday tale of friends who are all different and how those differences enrich their lives as they play, share and solve problems together.