Space Coast Florida with Kids: 96 Hour Itinerary

kennedy space center family trip

Looking for a family friendly beach destination? Pack your bags and head to this destination less than an hour from Orlando. This 96 hour itinerary will make planning your visit to Space Coast Florida with kids a breeze. This post is sponsored by Visit Space Coast. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This summer we packed our bags and hit the road for a fun road trip to a destination a few hours away. Summer came to an end more quickly than I could have ever imagined. After a crazy summer filled with at home activities and road trips, we were ready to end the summer with one last vacation. Visiting a destination close to home was a must, and I had the perfect place in mind. Space Coast Florida. Not only is it close to home but it is actually the place where my hometown is. I grew up on the Space Coast and taking a trip back to share more of what it has to offer with my family was the perfect way to end the summer.

Where is Space Coast Florida?

If you’re not familiar with Florida or haven’t had the chance to visit Florida’s Space Coast then you probably aren’t sure where it’s located. The Space Coast is located on the East Coast of Florida. It’s the closest beach to Orlando, about 45 minutes from East Orlando.

Cities in Space Coast include Port St. John, Titusville, Cocoa, Rockledge, Cape Canaveral, Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne, Satellite Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, Indialantic, Melbourne Beach, Palm Bay, and Viera.

Things to Do With Kids in Space Coast

space coast vacation

Spend the day at Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center is a main attraction in Space Coast Florida. It’s also the perfect way to spend an entire day with your family. Whether your kids are into STEM or they just love space ships and astronauts, the Kennedy Space Center is a place you need to add to your itinerary. I’ll admit I was a little bit skeptical at first visiting the Space Center with a toddler. I thought it may be too advanced or overwhelming for him but boy was I wrong. He loved it just as much as my middle schooler. There are so many exhibits and interactive displays to keep the kids busy.

Upon your arrival or even previous to your trip you’ll want to get a lay of the land. The easiest way to do this is by hopping online and pulling up one of the suggested itineraries. Kennedy Space Center does an amazing job at putting together itineraries for visitors. We were only visiting for one day so we looked at both the itineraries for families with children. We customized them slightly based on what our family wanted to experience but it was a great starting point for us.

If you don’t have time to plan out your visit before arrival, you can download the “Kennedy Space Center Guide” app or use a paper map located throughout the attraction to use as a guide for your visit.

We spent an entire day at Kennedy Space Center and did not regret it. It is a lot of walking so I would recommend bringing your own refillable water bottles to refill at the water stations throughout the center and stroller fans for the littles if you have them. If you need a second to cool down you can always pop into one of the buildings to check out the exhibits. You have to visit the LEGO Education Center and Planet Play while you’re there.

planet play
kennedy space center
kennedy space center
things to do in florida space coast with kids
kennedy space center tour tips

Favorite Mission Zones at Kennedy Space Center

Behind The Gates (Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour)

The bus tour that Kennedy Space Center is a must to add to your itinerary. It’s perfect for the middle of your day because it gives your family a little break from walking on an air conditioned charter bus. The bus takes you over to the Apollo/Saturn V Center. On the way you’ll get to view restricted areas of the center and the spaceflight facility. The bus ride is about 15 minutes.

Race to the Moon (Apollo/Saturn V Center)

Once you arrive to the Apollo/Saturn V Center you’ll want to spend about 2 hours taking everything in. During our visit we spent about an hour and it definitely wasn’t enough time. The center has everything from life-sized recreations from the Apollo 11 Moon landing to interactive exhibits and artifacts. Our kids really loved everything in the center and enjoyed walking through the Moon Tree Garden.

While you’re in the Apollo/Saturn V Center you can enjoy a meal at the Moon Rock Cafe and grab some souvenirs at the gift shop.

kennedy space center tour

Shuttle: A Ship Like No Other

Learning about NASA’s Space Shuttle program was a highlight for my kids. Trevor was completely captivated by all the space shuttles and Tatiana was sucked in learning about all of the science and technology behind it. I think the close-up view of the Atlantis was everyone’s favorite. In this mission zone, you can experience simulates and interactive exhibits as well.

space coast mural
kennedy space center with kids
space coast attraction
Things to Do in Space Coast Florida
things to do in space coast florida with kids

Take a surf lesson

Space Coast Florida is referred to as the East coast surf capital of the US. Surfing when you’re there is a must. Kelly Slater was born in Cocoa Beach after all.

Surf lessons are always something that I thought my kids would love. T got to take a surf lesson with the amazing people from School of Surf in Cocoa Beach. We had an early morning start at 9am. The lesson was about an hour long. It started with a safety lesson indoors which I loved. Before walking over to the beach for your lesson your instructor teaches you about safety, weather conditions, and how to get on/off your board.

The start of Tatiana’s lesson was a little bit rough because she does not like to get her face wet when swimming but that’s not something you can avoid when surfing. Her instructor, Calvin, was super patient with her. He helped her get back up on her board when she couldn’t balance herself and encouraged her to keep trying. I really was nervous about whether or not she was going to like the lesson but she ended up loving it. She even asked to take another lesson at some point.

I highly recommend adding a surf lesson or even a few lessons to your Space Coast itinerary. It’s a fun family friendly activity and it’s definitely something different than the traditional beach activity. Surf lessons at School of Surf are very affordable. Rates start at just $65/hour for a single surfer. They also offer semi-private and group lessons which are perfect for families.

things to do in floridas space coast with kids
School of Surf
florida space coast surfing lessons
surf lessons

Explore Downtown Cocoa Beach

Downtown Cocoa Beach has so much to offer. Beaches, restaurants and sightseeing are some of the things to do in Downtown Cocoa Beach. There are plenty of art murals and even a statue of Kelly Slater can be found downtown. Throughout the month they even have different events for locals and visitors. We spent a few hours each day exploring the Downtown area. Some of our favorite things to do there was find new murals and spots to take family photos, have a meal together and of course walked the beach. I highly recommend trying these restaurants when you’re exploring downtown: Coconuts on The Beach, The Tiny Turtle and The Fat Donkey Ice Cream.

Soak up the sun at the beaches in Space Coast

If you’re wanting to plan a low key beach day, grab some towels and beach toys and head to one of the many beaches Space Coast Florida has to offer. Check down below for a list of our favorites.

space coast beach

Go shopping at Ron Jon Surf Shop

If you’ve ever heard of Cocoa Beach then you’ve probably heard of Ron Jon Surf Shop. Their Cocoa Beach location is the largest surf shop in the world and their one of a kind flagship location. It’s about a 10 minute walk from the Cocoa Beach Pier and worth taking a trip to. There you can stroll through the store shopping for surf gear, beach essentials or even souvenirs. You can take pictures with the statues and photo spots both inside and outside of the store.

ron jon surf shop cocoa beach
ron jon surf shop

Go on a dolphin boat tour

A dolphin boat tour is such a fun way to sightsee on the water. We cruised the Banana River in Space Coast Florida for an afternoon with Cocoa Beach Dolphin Tours. For 2 hours, we learned so much about the ecosystem and Space Coast itself. This was a highlight of our trip for the kids. They love boats and being on the water. You can bring your own snacks and drink on the boat tour. However they do have drinks on the boat for sale.

dolphin boat tour

Take a photo tour throughout Space Coast

Space Coast is such a vibrant area. The towns and cities have art murals and statues throughout that are picture worthy. Some of the cities even offer a guide for self guided mural tours. You can check that out here.

Here’s a few spots you might want to add to your photo tour:

  • Space Shuttle Statue (located in front of Cape Canaveral City Hall)
  • Kelly Slater Statue (located in Cocoa Beach)
  • Shark mural (located in Eau Gallie Arts District)
  • Space and Time Capsule mural (located in Titusville)
  • Reflections of Our Past mural (located in Titusville)
  • Colorful surfboards (located on the side of Ron Jon Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach)
  • Sonny the Sun Bum mascot (located outside of the Sun Bum Cocoa Beach office)
ron jon surf shop
space coast florida
kelly slater statue space coast

Our Favorite Space Coast Florida Beaches

One of the highlights of Space Coast is the many beaches they have to offer. Travelers come from all over the world to experience the beaches in Space Coast, and I can definitely understand why. Growing up on the Space Coast I had the chance to experience many of the beaches as a kid. It’s probably one of the reasons why I love the beach so much now and have shared that passion with my kids.

There’s really no shortage of beaches in Space Coast but if you’re not sure which one to visit, here’s a list of our favorite beaches for you to start with.

Florida’s Space Coast owes us nothing. It has a piece of our heart and I’m glad we were able to recreate some new memories there. Being able to share some of the fun activities that Space Coast has to offer is an experience we won’t forget. Whether you’re planning a week long vacation, a weekend road trip or just a quick day trip I highly suggest using this itinerary as a starting point for your adventure in Space Coast.

floridas space coast with kids
Things to do in Floridas Space Coast with Kids

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