The Cite de l'Espace, or the City of Space, is one of the most popular attractions in Toulouse France, especially for travelers who have families. A theme park of sorts, it offers a variety of exhibits that relate to exploration of the final frontier. All of the exhibits have a family-friendly appeal, and since there is so much to see and do, visitors are encouraged to dedicate plenty of time.
The Cite de l'Espace caters to visitors of all ages with its diverse array of exhibits and side attractions. At the Children's Base, for example, kids can lead a simulated space mission, and rare is the youngster who doesn't enjoy building a small rocket and then watching it take off. Other options for things to do at the Children's Base area include learning about different life forms that might be out there and gaining insight into why the planets revolve around the sun.
For adults, on the other hand, taking an exploratory stroll through the replica Mir space station is among the main highlights that can be associated with a visit to the City of Space Toulouse. The exhibit is modeled after the real Mir space station, which was built in Russia (the Soviet Union at the time of its completion) and was operational from 1986 to 2001. Crews that spent time on it carried out various experiments that revolved around such things as astronomy, biology, and meteorology.
At Cite de l'Espace, boarding the model of a Soyuz Spacecraft is on the priority list for many visitors. These kinds of crafts are used to transport people and supplies to space stations, and the International Space Station has one permanently docked outside in the event that its residents need to evacuate. City of Space visitors might also make it a point to check out the large Ariane 5 Rockets, which are used to launch satellites into space, and there is a fascinating collection of pictures on the top floor that shouldn't be missed. The pictures from this collection were taken during flyby missions that focused on Jupiter's moons, and there are a number of extra fascinating close ups.
Watching a show can be part of the mix during a visit to the Cite de l'Espace in Toulouse. There are three different venues for shows, and they include the Stellarium, the Planetarium, and the IMAX theater. In the Stellarium, short films designed for younger children are screened on the large, hemispherical screen, while the Planetarium specializes in longer shows that are for kids and adults alike. As for the IMAX theater that can be found at the City of Space, it boasts a screen that is as tall as a six-story building and often screens productions that revolve around space exploration.
The Cite de l'Espace is situated on the eastern fringes of Toulouse on Avenue Jean Gonard. Many visitors choose to arrive by way of bus when coming from central Toulouse, but there is parking if you are driving. The hours change according to day and season, and the complex closes down almost completely during the month of January. Children ages four and under get in for free, and there is a discount for kids ages five to fifteen. Guided tours can be arranged at the Cite de l'Espace for those who are interested, and audio guides are available as well. Visitors might also interest themselves in the complex's restaurant or its gift shop during a visit.