With the Fourth of July holiday now over, the other half of your children's summer vacation has already begun. But there's still plenty of time for them to have some fun - and get their brains ready for the school year - all at the same time. When it comes to combining fun and education for your young ones, our friends at the Lafayette Science Museum have you covered.

“Leaving Earth – The Story of Space Travel” is great for that budding astronaut in your home. "It tells the story of international space travel from the very beginnings of the Chinese rockets all the way through to where we are now - commercial space travel and hopefully space tourism," says Lafayette Science Museum Director Kevin Krantz.

There is a station with simulated rocket fueling and a countdown to liftoff. Another exhibit lets you practice your skills operating robotic arms. “Want-to-be astronauts can also get excited about other parts of the museum,” Krantz explains, "because our on-going programs in our planetarium, along with our knowledgeable staff, are perfect for introducing older children to the night sky with live shows and special summer programs."

Krantz says the Lafayette Science Museum has progressed by leaps and bounds over the years. "It's not the planetarium as their parents remember it," says Krantz. "It's just two years ago in May that we replaced our system...It's completely digital and a great way to escape the heat or the doldrums of summer...And we're getting programs in on a regular basis to supplement the experience. There's always something new."

There is also another new exhibit jointly curated by the Science Museum and UL Lafayette's Geoscience Department. This significant collection of specimens from a variety of geological formations is now on loan from the University.

The Lafayette Science Museum is located in the heart of downtown Lafayette at 433 Jefferson Street. Museum hours are Tuesday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Call 337-291-5544 for more information, visit the Museum’s website at www.lafayettesciencemuseum.org, or go to their Facebook page.

To listen to Kevin Krantz’s interview on “Your Afternoon Drive Home,” CLICK BELOW: