The space-cation staycation: Experience the wonders of space travel

Boldly go into the great beyond on this space-themed staycation, including a simulated flight to Mars.



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  • Photograph: Genevieve Hanson

    Space Program: Mars

  • Photograph: Denis Finnin/AMNH

    Mars rover at “Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration”

  • Photograph: Jim McDonell

    Human Sling Shot at Coney Island Luna Park

Photograph: Genevieve Hanson

Space Program: Mars

We’re betting that after seeing the arrival of the Enterprise space shuttle in New York, your mind has turned to moon landings, men from Mars and space travel. Before the Enterprise opens to the public on July 19, scratch that intergalactic itch with a space-cation staycation, including an exhibition that looks at the future of space exploration.

RECOMMENDED: Full list of staycation ideas

Lift off at Space Program: Mars at the Park Avenue Armory

We’ve got about a month before we can ogle the Space Shuttle Enterprise at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum; until then, simulate a flight to the red planet on the Upper East Side. In conjunction with Creative Time, Tom Sachs’s Space Program: Mars has transformed the Armory’s 55,000-square-foot hall into an odyssey of sculpture. The artist is closing out his month-long exhibition with two special events on Saturday 16: At “Breakfast with Mars Scientists” (11am), Sachs will talk with three academics about Mars exploration and their experiences working in the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. That’s followed by an endurance demonstration (noon), during which Sachs and his studio team will set out to reenact an actual journey to Mars over a 12-hour period. The artist has built a spacecraft, a mission-control deck and a setting fit for New Yorkers who dream of one day boarding a private flight to another planet. • $12, seniors and students $10, members and children 10 and under free.

  1. Park Avenue Armory 643 Park Ave, between 66th and 67th Sts
  2. Tue 4–7pm free. Through Sun 17.
More info

Explore “Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration”at the American Museum of Natural History

Before you stare up at the twinkling, burning bodies of gas in the Rose Center for Earth and Space, tour “Beyond Planet Earth,” the AMNH’s engrossing exhibit about the future of extraterrestrial travel and research. Check out a model of a proposed lunar elevator, hang out on an asteroid, give some new space suits the once over and pick up a few impressive cocktail-party factoids (moon rocks, apparently, smell like gunpowder). • $25, seniors and students $19, children 2–12 $14.50, children under 2 free.

  1. American Museum of Natural History Central Park West, at 79th St
  2. Until Sun Aug 12
Buy tickets

Experience g-force on the Human Sling Shot at Luna Park

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

If NASA has perpetually dismissed your astronaut-training application to the trash, zoom out to Coney Island and catapult yourself through Luna Park’s Scream Zone. The Human Sling Shot, one of the recent additions to the theme park, will shoot you 150 feet in the air at more than 90mph while you’re strapped to a neon-colored circular harness. If you don’t get abducted by the aliens you’ve been e-mailing for the past few years, the thrill ride will allow you to free-fall back to the ground. (See our Beach-cation for more on Coney Island.) • Admission free, rides from $1; weekdays unlimited rides $26, Sat, Sun $30.

  1. 1000 Surf Ave, (at W 10th St)
More info

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