If you're looking for a last minute adventure with the kids before school starts, you might want to check out the U.S. Space & Rocket Center's (USSRC) GPS Adventures exhibit. The exhibit features a 2,500 square foot indoor maze and hidden treasures scattered throughout the USSRC. The exhibit is appropriate for kids as young as six and is designed to introduce children and adults to the sport of geocaching. Admission to the exhibit is included with USSRC admission: Adults (13 and up) - $20, Children (6 to 12) - $15, and Children 5 and under - FREE. Discounts are available in a variety of categories; you can find a pricing and discount list here. The exhibit runs through November 2nd.
GPS Adventures examines the past, present, and future uses of global positioning software. Using special GPS equipment guests navigate through 4 satellite areas; each area focuses on a different aspect of GPS technology. Beginning with a look at traditional navigation, the exhibit then moves on to the outdoors. Boy and Girl Scouts will find this section interesting as it discusses Leave No Trace. Geocachers will appreciate the third satellite area as it focuses on the popular treasure hunting game. The final area explores the effects of GPS technology on modern living. As visitors move from area to area, they can decode messages, find treasures, and earn Adventure Card stamps. Collecting all four stamps will give visitors coordinates to a Treasure city which they can find at the World Map Station.
If you discover that you enjoy the geocaching experience, you can join other geocachers at Geocaching, the official site for the game. The game which began in the early 2000s boasts over six million participants and over two million geocache sites according to the Geocaching site. There you will find a history of geocaching as well as guides to getting involved. Typing in your area code you can find geocache stashes in your area, or you could just download the app for your smartphone. Alabama boasts several sites, and the USSR highlights many of them here.