Skip to Content

JPL Tour in Pasadena


Last August, my children and I ventured out to Pasadena, CA for a tour of Jet Propulsion Laboratory with Julian Charter School.  A few months later, I set up a second tour of JPL for our homeschool organization.

Field Trip Participants on the JPL tour in Pasadena.

JPL’s educational tours are designed for schools and educational groups of 20 people or more.  The tour is specifically geared for children in 3rd grade and up for comprehension of information.  However, we had younger children in our group and it was fine.

Space Rover Replica

First, we saw a short multimedia presentation about JPL entitled “Journey to the Planets and Beyond,” which provides an overview of the Laboratory’s activities and accomplishments.

Next, we visited the von Karman Visitor Center, the Space Flight Operations Facility, and the Spacecraft Assembly Facility.

Field Trip Participants looking JPL’s space rover replicas. Space Fun! JPL’s Space Flight Operations Facility JPL’s Spacecraft Assembly Facility Field Trip Boy and Friends visiting JPL’s Spacecraft Assembly Facility.

For your information, planning a field trip to JPL can be very time-consuming, but it is worth it!

Just make sure that everyone in your group is properly registered and brings ID with them the day of.

“JPL requires that all U.S. citizens, 18 years of age or older, present official, government issued photo identification (driver’s license or passport) before being allowed entry. All non-U.S. Citizens 18 years of age or older must present a passport or resident visa (green card) before being allowed entry.  Individuals without proper identification will not be admitted to the Laboratory.”

Learning about JPL’s past and present work in space.

Here are my recommendations when planning a field trip to JPL:

1. Wear comfortable shoes.  The tour itself is .8 miles and involves a considerable amount of walking and stair climbing.

2. Wheelchair access can be accommodated with advance notice.

3. Dress for the weather.  In the summer, it is hot and dry.  In the winter, it can get a bit chilly since you are close to the mountains.

4. Bring water.

5. Cameras are permitted on the facility..

6. Babies are allowed as long as you can carry them.  I carried my then 3-year-old in a baby sling for some parts of the tour when she got tired.

7. All tours are conducted in English.

8. The tour lasts approximately 2 to 2.5 hours.

9. JPL tours are FREE to the public.

Beginning on August 4th, JPL will be accepting new reservations for tours in 2015.   I highly recommend that you sign up then, because JPL’s tours are very popular.  To make your reservation, please visit

In the meantime, encourage your children to build their own space mission compliments of NASA.

Happy Field Tripping,


Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are our own.  Images used by permission from Windi Eklund.

Erika Grediaga

Thursday 31st of July 2014

Once more, a wonderful tip! I will try and see if I can either get my daughter's school to to a field trip, or if I can get enough friends to sign up for a tour!


Thursday 31st of July 2014

Yay JPL!! Awesome FT!!