Field Trip: SpaceTime Park

Last Friday, Jamie and I took the little guys to SpaceTime Park. It was both simple and a lot of fun. We all learned a lot. It was kind of chilly (50s after weeks of 80s and 90s), but that ended up not being a problem.

The park makes about a 1 1/2 mile loop. The first half is the solar system from the sun to Mars.

At each planet, there was information and a button to press that told us all about the planet. They also had a thing that let you feel what 10 pounds on Earth feels like on that planet.

If you walk about 2 1/2 miles per hour, you are traveling through the solar system model at the speed of light. The boys had fun running and saying they were going faster than the speed of light.

The planets are 3-D printed from what NASA knows about the planets. They are made to scale compared to the size of the sun.

On the table with Earth is our Moon. Near the moon is a peephole you can look through to see a perfect solar eclipse.

Because the whole thing is a giant scale model, you can look from each planet back to the sun and see just how tiny the sun looks the further away you get. The planet models are very detailed and beautiful as can be seen in the up close picture of Mars.

At the halfway point is the Worm Hole. This is where the rest of the planets and my beloved demoted to dwarf planet Pluto reside. It would be way too long a walk to continue on to the rest as they get further and further away from the sun. We stopped at the Worm Hole and ate the picnic lunch I had packed.

The next third of the park is Dinosaur Island, full of models of dinosaurs and other dinosaur-era critters.

As with the planet section, there is a button to push at each dinosaur telling what it is and facts about it.

The giant snake was a bit freaky, but we all liked the tiny little Velociraptor. Not quite so scary as the ones imagined by Michael Crichton.

Most of the larger dinosaurs were just juvenile size. Full size, they’d be gigantic. After leaving Dinosaur Island, we entered the last third which is currently just empty space. They are raising money to put in a big history timeline.

Before we left, we got some astronaut ice cream from the gift shop. The boys weren’t very impressed, but to me it is wonderful. When I was a kid and we went to the Air and Space Museum in DC, my parents got us astronaut ice cream. I guess I just like the nostalgia that comes with eating it.

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