After a very challenging 2020 school year, we are having one of the most bizarre Summer Holidays yet. But the holidays are not over and, with the new COVID-19 lockdown and social distancing rules relaxations announced today, there are plenty of family activities, both indoor and out, that we can now safely enjoy. 

Here is our guide to End-of-Summer family-friendly Space-themed activities and venues.

ALREADY OPEN:

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The National Space Centre in Leicester is finally open and if you are planning a fun-packed educational trip, look no further. No matter how many times we visit the Space Centre, it never gets boring! Make sure to pre-book your visit and don’t forget to pack your mask on the day.

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Kielder Observatory

If you’ve never been to the Public Kielder Observatory in Northumberland near the Scottish Border,you’ve missed seeing some of the darkest skies in the UK, looking at (and seeing through) some awesome telescopes and talking “Astronomy” with a bunch of very dedicated stargazers. Book your visit early, as at the moment the Observatory operates at the reduced capacity. On the day please remember to follow the social distancing rules, wear your mask, keep your eyes peeled and have your astro-questions ready!

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To see the giant Museum of the Moon installation by the artist Luke Jerram this August, head to The Coro, Ulverston in Cumbria (map). 

The exhibition will be open until August 31 every Thursday &  Friday (12-8), and Saturday & Sunday (12-6). Pre-book your FREE visit online. Due to social distancing rules only a limited number of people can be in the building at any time. On the same days a 10-12 slot will be available for “open viewing”. This is for people who cannot access or have difficulty with using the Internet.

As you might know, there are several “Moons” touring simultaneously. Another one of the 7-meter Moon replicas will be displayed at Enfield Library Green, Enfield (map), as part of the Enjoy Enfield Summer Festival on Thursday, August 20th from 10 to 3:30. The event is free.

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The Royal Observatory in Greenwich is a place where children and grown-ups sure will have a great day exploring the history of Astronomy in the UK and learning about space. Please note, all visits to the Observatory must be pre-booked.

ALMOST THERE:

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The former site of the Greenwich Observatory, The Observatory Science Centre in Herstmonceux, East Sussex, will be re-opening next week on Tuesday August 18th. 

The Centre’s hands-on experiments and interactive galleries are great fun and the iconic domes and the telescopes are an absolute “must see”. Visitors will be welcome 7 days a week, from 11 AM to 3 PM. Book your visit at least 48 hours in advance. 

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Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre will be opening its doors on Saturday August 22nd. 

Visit the Centre to see the legendary Lowell radio telescope (and hear the telescope talk), have a walk in the lovely Jodrell Bank Arboretum and have fun talking to your family using Whispering dishes (this video demonstrates how they work). 

Please note that the new opening times are Wednesday to Sunday 10 AM to 4PM. All tickets must be pre-booked, even if you have an annual pass. You will be asked to wear a face covering whenever using indoor facilities. 

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Stargazing

If you don’t yet feel confident to face the crowds, why not pop outside in the evening for a family stargazing session. Spread a blanket in a local park (or, even better, drive to the countryside) look up and enjoy the view. Make sure to find the Autumn constellations Lyra, Aquila and spot the evening planets Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. 

If you are a beginner stargazer and not sure what is what in the sky and why the celestial display changes all the time, you can 

Enjoy the rest of your Summer Holidays!

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