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Life in Space immersive exhibition- a Family Guide

Updated: Feb 24

Temporary Exhibition about Space with VR games and simulators. Open until 26th of April 2024. Basel, Switzerland.

The "it" factor

Happyland Cherokee

What makes it special:

What needs to be considered:

  • Best for kids aged four and up as the simulators cater to this age group, and touching isn't permitted. Younger kids will still enjoy the atmosphere but might be disappointed they can't touch the "toys".

  • Suitable for around 1-2 hours exploration. If you are driving from far, consider combining witht Toy Museum or Basel Zoo.

The fun factor

Life in Space is truly an 'out of this world' (pun intended!) temporary exhibition (open until 26th April) at Messe Basel, showcasing the history of space exploration from its beginnings to today. We recently visited it with two 4-year-old toddlers, and we all had a blast!

With over a hundred unique items like satellite parts, Apollo capsule replicas, space suits, official NASA documents and even a moon rock, it's no wonder over 4 million people worldwide have already visited this exposition. There are also three VR simulators (two for kids aged 4 and up, one for 6 years up), a multi axis space trainer for 135 cm up, plus game stations.

Life in Space is perfectly suited for a family outing, though not a very long one; we spent around 2 hours exploring. For those coming from a distance, it pairs nicely with a trip to the Basel Toy Museum or the famous Basel Zoo, known as one of Europe's finest.


Here are our top Life in Space Family Fun Factors:

1. Embark on a galactic exploration

We're drawn to places that immerse us in a unique atmosphere, sparking our imagination. Life in Space does it very well. The journey begins before you even set foot in the museum. Greeted by a staff member decked out as an astronaut, they operated the elevator to the exhibition. Inside, the dim lighting and staff in space suits set the scene. The replicas of space shuttles, cockpits, and space suits provide plenty of fuel for imagination and role-playing. Our two 4-year-olds were very excited, exploring every nook and cranny with wide-eyed wonder.

Just a little heads up: touching isn't permitted, which can be a real challenge for parents with little explorers who have a magnetic attraction to anything they're not supposed to touch...

2. Step into virtual reality

Once you've finished exploring the exhibition, you'll enter the final room where three VR simulators await. Two are suitable for kids aged 4 and up, while one is specifically designed for those 6 years and older. Each simulator requires wearing a VR headset to be transported into space.

Our two 4-year-olds tried the ones suitable for them and had a lot of fun. One was a seated experience, while the other required walking through a corridor resembling a spaceship. We noticed some younger children feeling a bit frightened, which is completely normal. Offering them support and encouragement, such as holding their hand and talking to them, can help build their courage to continue the fun.

The third one was a flight simulator, bustling with dads (and moms as well!) eager to experience the thrill of being a pilot. Naturally, ours couldn't resist and hopped right in and reported it was a lot of fun.

3. Play games

If virtual reality isn't your thing but you're eager to explore space, there's also a flight simulator. Suitable for ages 4 and up, though we found it a bit too complex for our toddlers. However, parents seemed to enjoy it, and you can even experience it as a team.

For the kids, there's a small game corner with activities suitable even for younger ones. And for the brave souls unaffected by motion sickness (unlike me), there's the Multi Axis Trainer. This contraption spins you around to simulate an out-of-control atmosphere re-entry. Dad gave it a whirl (check out the video if you're curious!) and claimed it woke him up better than a cup of coffee.

4. Learn about space

The exhibition boasts an impressive array of a 100 space-themed items, ranging from replicas of space crafts to samples of astronaut food (no tasting allowed :) ), and of course, iconic space suits. But the real star of the show for adults and slightly older kids? A genuine piece of the moon that visitors can actually touch! It's an absolute treat for space enthusiasts and curious minds alike.

Just a heads-up: all the descriptions were exclusively in German and French. However, in this AI era, language barriers are no match for curious minds. Here's a tip: try using Google Photo Translate—it worked like a charm for us!

The food factor

There's a cozy café onsite with drinks, snacks, tables, and couches—perfect for relaxing while your kids enjoy the gaming stations.

For lunch, we suggest checking out the Klara Basel food court, just a 7-minute walk away. They have a diverse range of food options in a laid-back setting. While there's no play corner, they do have a foosball table and a family-friendly vibe.

The value factor

Ravensburger Spieleland

Children up to 3 years: Free


Adults: CHF 22

Children (4-15 years): CHF 15

Family: 65 CHF


Adults: CHF 35

Children (4-15 years): CHF 35

Family: 70 CHF

Simulators and VR experiences are paid extra (4-5 CHF per session)

We spent around 2 hrs at the exhibition

Life in Space - practical info

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