When Should I Visit?

When Should I Visit?

Plan out your trip to the National Space Centre using our handy guide.

The National Space Centre welcomes over 300,000 people a year through its doors, including over 80,000 school children on educational visits.

Although we are busy throughout the year, February and October half term are our busiest times of the year, especially on rainy days.

During the summer holiday period and on lovely sunny days, the Centre is quiet, so why not plan your trip during the summer?


Don’t forget, you can upgrade to a FREE Annual Pass when you buy your ticket and buying online will help you beat the queues on busy days, so consider arriving later in the day and coming back to see anything you have missed (we put on lots of extra activities during the school holidays, so there is lots of new things to see and do every time).

Arrive after 14:00
During the school holidays and at weekends we close at 17:00, so you can enjoy a much quieter 3 hour visit at the end of the day (peak arrival is 11:00). In term-time the last two hours of the day are really quiet as any school groups will have gone, so it’s a great time to bring little ones along for a couple of hours (we close at 16:00 during term time). PLEASE NOTE – during busy periods our inclusive planetarium shows may sell out. If you arrive later, you can claim a voucher to see the show on a subsequent visit, so don’t forget to upgrade to the FREE Annual Pass.

Arrive early
If you want to spend the whole day with us, look to arrive in the car park by 09:45, so you are ready to go when we open at 10:00 (peak arrival is 11:00).

Car Parking
Car parking is £3 for the whole day and you can either pay at the machine upon arrival, or you can pay at the ticket desk and give us your car registration.

Visit popular areas first
The 3D SIM (check height restrictions before you join the queue) and Rocket Tower are very popular. Head here first.

Bring a packed lunch
Boosters café serves homemade sandwiches, soups, snacks, hotdogs, nachos, cakes and drinks, but it can get very busy between 12:00 and 14:00. At weekends and school holidays we have a picnic area in the John Egglestone. On hot days, there is a lovely canal side path to the park for a picnic as well.

Plan your parking
Although we have over 400 spaces, these can fill up on busy days. If you arrive before 10:00 you will get a space and from 14:00 spaces are normally available. We also have a park and ride option, which runs throughout the day. Just head to the Birstall Park and Ride site and hop on a bus to us.

The stop is on Abbey Lane, opposite ASDA supermarket and just a short walk to the Centre (just look for the Rocket Tower). The journey to the Centre is just 8-9 minutes and the service operates every 15 minutes. Parking and your return fare are just £3.50 (no service on a Sunday).

Off Peak Periods

School Term Time Midweek
During the week, we’d recommend visiting after 14:00, as this is the time school groups leave and the Centre is very quiet.

Weekends and Holidays
If the sun is out, we will be quieter, so pick a sunny day. The first two weeks of the summer holiday are our quietest of the year, as well as the holiday prior to Christmas.

Visiting with very young children
If you are planning to bring very young children to the Centre, please look out for our Small Space Days, which have been specifically designed to offer a toddler friendly environment and lots of extra activities to stimulate little hands and minds.

Adult only groups
If you can visit during the school week, then look to arrive after 14:00, after the school groups have departed. Alternatively, look for a sunny day, when a lot of the family groups will head to the park and zoo. We also host Space Lates evening events, which allow you access to the galleries, but add lots of talks and workshops. These events are great for adult only groups, or families with older children.

For regular updates, please join us on Facebook or Twitter. We are happy to answer questions, so why not check before you depart and plan your visit for the best experience.