Having fun on the Space Coast of Florida does not need to break the bank, there is plenty of free stuff to keep the whole family busy. Mix in a few of these events with other activities that do require admission fees to put together a fantastic space coast vacation or to spice up family days outings.
Viewing a rocket launch on Kennedy Space Center property is always a privilege, but special tickets need to be purchased ahead of time and it can get pricey for the whole family. Instead of paying for the experience, set up along the coast, on either a beach or park location and make a day of it. Be sure to bring along chairs, a cooler filled with drinks and food and a good camera to capture the moment.
U.S. Space Walk of Fame and Museum
A lot of the space coast is about celebrating the nation’s accomplishments in space exploration, but a huge part of those achievements are often overlooked. The engineers, designers and everyone that works behind the scenes on space projects came together to offer the public a unique view of their work. The U.S. Space Walk of Fame is a public park dedicated to all the men and women that contributed to all projects. The park is a great way to discover and learn about each NASA mission in greater detail. After exploring the park, head over to the U.S. Space Walk of Fame Museum and let the kids get hands on with actual control room exhibits and memorabilia from all aspects of space exploration.
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
The family can easily spend an entire day exploring the whole of Merritt Island, or even just a small part. If spotting wildlife is something that the whole family will enjoy, take one of the designated wildlife drives around the island. For a special treat, head up to Haulover Canal to view entire pods of manatees feasting in one of their favorite spots along the coast. Getting on a boat for the same viewing privilege costs anywhere between $30-$50.
Historic Cocoa Village is an eclectic mix of boutiques and restaurants all laid out in a grid that is easy to walk around and enjoy. There is something for everyone too, with handmade candy stores, an ice cream parlor, clothing stores, an art gallery and surf shops. Keep an eye on the town’s website for family movie nights, free musical concerts and open markets.
Cocoa Beach, Pier and Surf Shop
Cocoa Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the country, and there are several public beaches that don’t charge fees to enjoy, or parking fees either. The pier at Cocoa Beach is great for taking a relaxing stroll, people watching or to sit back and watch the waves roll in. Before heading out to either, stop at Ron John’s Surf Shop to get a look at everything you might ever need to enjoy a day out in the sun.