One of the premier children’s museums and STEM learning centers in Alaska is right in Kenai. The Challenger Learning Center was created after the devastating NASA Challenger accident. In the spirit of those on board, the Challenger Center for Space Science Education was founded. It’s a global network of centers all featuring space themes. Here, children can role-play STEM careers, classroom studies are brought to life and skills are honed for lifelong success.

The non-profit center has been attracting families to Kenai since 2000. It’s the 39th Challenger center in the world and offers space simulation, space/Earth science missions, a variety of hands-on workshops and distance education. At the heart of each activity is communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills. Educators depend on the Challenger center for help with reference and curriculum, but visit the center with your little ones and a whole new world opens up.

Out of This World

Group venues are available on site, and birthday parties are especially popular (although a holiday party would be “universally” fantastic here!). Parties for kids include science activities customized to your choosing. Pick from robotics, astronomy StarLab, the living in space program, rocketry and even ice cream engineering. Add on a Space Dorm for $300, or a cosmic kitchen access for $150.

In the community, the Challenger center offers workshops like paper engineering and spaghetti towers, programs such as “Our Changing Climate: The Arctic Impact” in rural areas, team-building simulated space missions and free community events including Star Parties. Find out more at the official website.