Catch These Events Celebrating Apollo 11 Moon Landing’s 50th Anniversary

This summer is chock-full of incredible space-themed events, as the nation celebrates the 50th anniversary of Neil A. Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin taking humanity’s first steps on the moon. 

The moon landing marked the culmination of America’s Cold War human spaceflight program and positioned itself as a global leader in science and technology. Apollo 11, the mission Armstrong and Aldrin flew with colleague Michael Collins, represented the U.S. accomplishing a seemingly impossible goal on a seemingly impossible timeline.

Fifty years later, the world is remembering the historic mission and its impact on society and science. And to celebrate the anniversary, institutions around the country are hosting events highlighting the first lunar landing and spaceflight in general. So pull out your calendars and start planning.

Related: Apollo 11 Turns 50: A Complete Guide to the Historic Moon Mission

NASA center events and exhibitions: 

July 13 // U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama

Celebration Car Show: Cars from the Apollo era will be on full display along with an Apollo Lunar Rover replica the week of Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary.  

July 16 // Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Florida

Apollo Celebration Gala: Taking place at the KSC’s Saturn V Center, this gala will feature astronauts and VIP guests in a grand celebration of Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary. 

July 15 – July 20 // Nationwide

Apollo Next Giant Leap Student (ANGLeS) Challenge:  NASA’s Science Mission Directorate’s Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline invites students to recreate the Apollo 11 moon landing with a drone and a Lego Mindstorm robot for the ANGLeS Challenge.

July 2019 // NASA’s Space Center Houston in Houston

Lunar Jubilee celebration: NASA’s Space Center Houston will hold Apollo-themed events in celebration of the Apollo 11 lunar landing’s 50th anniversary. 

New permanent exhibit // Virginia Air and Space Center Official Visitor Center for NASA Langley, Hampton, Virginia

Be the Astronaut/Apollo 50th: This interactive exhibit highlights the history and future of lunar exploration and moon missions. 

Ongoing exhibitions and celebrations: 

Now – July 16 // Anywhere

U.S. Space & Rocket Center Space Camp’s Global Launch: Anyone around the world can sign up to receive information about how to build and launch a rocket and how to record the results of your launch in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission launch.

Now – July 28 // Bell Museum, St. Paul, Minnesota

Year of Apollo: The Moon and Beyond: A range of events celebrating the moon and human exploration include hosting the Museum of the Moon, a massive model of our satellite, and displaying a lunar sample disk.

July 1 – July 31 // Exploratorium, San Francisco

Museum of the Moon: A massive, photorealistic sculpture of the moon spotlighting every cliff and crater will be on display for the month.

Now – Aug. 3 // Houghton Library, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Small Steps, Giant Leaps: A collection of rare books and artifacts document the history of science and engineering related to space science and spaceflight.

Now – Aug. 16 // Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana

Apollo in the Archives: Selections from the Neil A. Armstrong Papers Exhibit: This exhibit will explore Neil Armstrong’s legacy and his historic work as an astronaut.  

Now – Sept. 2, 2019 // The Museum of Flight, Seattle

“Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission” Traveling Exhibition: The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service partnered with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum for a traveling exhibition featuring the Apollo 11 command module Columbia. (The exhibit will land at the National Air and Space Museum for good in 2022.) 

Now – Sept. 8 // Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York

Apollo 11: Media, the Moon and Beyond Conveys Awe of Moon Landing Through Raw Emotions and Reactions Worldwide: The Intrepid will be celebrating Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary through a series of programs and events designed for all ages. The cornerstone of these efforts will be this new exhibit, which will show visitors just how awe-inspiring the historic event really was. 

June 29 – Jan. 31, 2020 // The Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York

Journey to the Moon: How Glass Got Us There: This new exhibit will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. The exhibit will feature a unique display that  demonstrates to visitors the role that glass played in the Apollo program. 

July 3 – Sept. 22 // The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York

Apollo’s Muse: The Moon in the Age of Photography: This exhibit will showcase visual representations of the moon from the birth of photography to the present. The exhibit will feature photographs of the moon along with prints, drawings, paintings, films, astronomical instruments and cameras that have been flown in space.  

Now – December 2019 // Framingham, Massachusetts

Moon Landing in Context: The McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning at Framingham State University and the Smithsonian Institution are collaborating to put together an ongoing program that includes panel discussions, lectures, exhibitions and student projects that explore the moon landing and the history surrounding it. 

July 14 – Jan. 5, 2020 // National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

By the Light of the Moon: A Century of Lunar Photographs: This ongoing exhibit will celebrate Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary with a collection of lunar photographs made over the century preceding the Apollo 11 mission, as well as photographs taken by Armstrong and Aldrin during their lunar excursion. 


July 13 – July 20 // Wings Over The Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver

Apollopalooza 2019: Taking place during the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, this festival will celebrate the moon landing and the future of space exploration. The event will include an Apollo astronaut speaker, STEM activities, exhibits, seminars and more.  

July 16 – July 20 // The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C.

First Moon Landing Celebration: For five days, visitors will gather at the National Air and Space museum and on the National Mall to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. 

July 18 // Purdue University’s Loeb Playhouse in Lafayette, Indiana

“Go or No-Go” The Untold Story of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing: This ticketed event will feature Gene Kranz, the Apollo 11 flight director who made it possible for the Apollo 11 astronauts to land on the lunar surface. 

July 18 – July 21 // Canberra, Australia

Apollo 50th Anniversary Celebration: Organized by a group of mostly former Apollo workers, engineers, technicians and managers, this four-day event will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing near NASA’s Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex. 

July 19 – July 21 // The Museum of Flight in Seattle

Lunar Landing Celebration Festival: This festival will celebrate the Apollo 11 moon landing, taking place during the 50th anniversary of the event. 

July 19 – July 21 // Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Ohio

Summer Moon Festival: Taking place in Neil A. Armstrong’s hometown, this festival will celebrate Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary with exhibits, demonstrations and activities surrounding the past, present and future of space exploration. 

July 20 // Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana

Apollo 50th Anniversary Events: This day is packed with Apollo 11 events. First, the university will premiere a documentary about Neil Armstrong by director Gareth Dodds. A static air show will feature the type of aircraft that Neil Armstrong flew, there will be STEM activities for kids K-12 and visitors will be able to take in the continuing Neil Armstrong exhibit. Later in the day, there will be panels and book signings. 

July 22 – July 28 // Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

67th Annual Experimental Aircraft Association fly-in convention: This year’s annual convention will honor the Apollo astronauts. On July 26, Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins will join the program with fellow Apollo astronaut Joe Engle at Theatre in the Woods in the evening. 

Follow Chelsea Gohd on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook


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