Mention Orlando, Florida to any traveler and their mind immediately goes to the fantasy playground that is Walt Disney World. However, there’s more to the city, and Florida for that matter, than Mickey Mouse and his crew.
In addition to great beaches and mouth-watering restaurants, Orlando is also home to the Kennedy Space Center, an attraction that’s sure to fascinate kids and big kids alike. The center is a unique change of pace from pricey theme parks and can create a spark in the imaginations of little ones. For mom Karen Akpan (@themomtrotter) and her husband Sylvester, opening children’s minds to the wonders of the universe is exactly why they recently visited.
As founder of Black Kids Travel (@blackkidsdotravel), homeschooling mom to son Aiden, 6 and aunt to Ethan, 6, Avery, 5 and Milania, 5, Karen and Sylvester are always looking for fun and exciting ways to combine travel with learning. So when they came across the activities at the space center, they knew this was the perfect opportunity for not only a family getaway but an experience that would encourage the children to dream bigger – and maybe have a little fun for themselves in the process.
“My husband and I had as much fun as the kids did, we low key wished we had our own costumes too, lol. This day was a whole homeschool lesson for the kids. We all learned so much,” she recalls.
ESSENCE caught up with Karen and her awesome family to find out more about why she thinks parents should hit the Kennedy Space Center on their next visit to Orlando, why travel is important and where this crew will be jetting off to next.
What made you choose the Kennedy Space Center for this adventure?
Karen Akpan: I chose the Kennedy Space Center because for one of our homeschool lessons, the kids were learning about space, planets, and astronauts. I then pulled out a video of how astronauts live in space and they were very intrigued by it. I knew then that a visit to Kennedy Space Center will help them connect the dots. I made sure to get them costumes as well because I wanted them to really be in character.
Why do you feel it’s important to incorporate travel into their homeschooling experience?
Travel helps them connect the dots. It is one thing to read it or watch a video about it, and it is another thing to see it in person and experience it. Experiences are a very essential part of our homeschooling journey.
What adventure will you take them on next?
We are very spontaneous and usually plan our trips very last minute based on where it is cheap/affordable to fly to or visit. We do try to travel every month and experience something new, so I’m currently planning out our next adventures for November and December.