McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center

The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, in Concord, New Hampshire, is a great place for families of all sizes and interests to spend the day. The center not only has a variety of space and science related exhibits, it also hosts special events and programs for all ages and interests.

Permanent exhibits at the Discovery Center include the Redstone Rocket Plaza, which features a full-sized replica of a Mercury-Redstone Rocket. The Tribute to Two New Hampshire Heroes honors both Alan Shepard, America’s first astronaut, and Christa McAuliffe, NASA’s Teacher-in-Space.Other permanent exhibits include Looking at the Earth – Looking Beyond, which compares the planet Earth to other planets and moons in our solar system. Walk on the Sun projects images of the sun onto a large platform, which visitors can walk across and listen to music change pitches along with the images. The Mercury Capsule on display is a full-sized model of the capsule that carried Alan Shepard to space. The capsule is so real, one might not know it’s only a replica.

Also on site at the Discovery Center is the Planetarium Theatre. The 103-seat theatre features a full dome video system that takes visitors on an out-of-this-world ride. Shows include Black Holes, Dawn of the Space Age, Ice Worlds, Our Place in Space and many more.

Each Friday, the center is open for Super Stellar Fridays. These special nights include guest speakers and focus on a variety of topics, varying from new discoveries to historical events. These nights are recommended for ages 8 and up. Anyone under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Every second Friday night of the month, Friday nights are devoted to teens only. These nights are open for ages 13 to 19 only and pizza and soda are provided at no extra charge.

The Discovery Center is open daily from 10 AM until 5 PM. Super Stellar Fridays are held from 6:30 PM until 9 PM. Admission for regular hours are as follows:

  • Adults: $9
  • Children: $6
  • Seniors: $8
  • Students ages 13 through college: $8
  • Groups of 15 or more: $6

Super Stellar Friday admission is as follows:

  • Adults: $9
  • Seniors and Students: $8
  • Children: $6
  • Teen Nights: $8

Images courtesy of the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center.

The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center is located at 2 Institute Drive in Concord, New Hampshire. Browse this map for detailed directions.