Space and kids? They kinda go together like nut butter and jelly. There is just something magical when you think about how BIG the universe is… and what it might be like to blast off into the cosmos.
Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar mission. Lucky for families, there is no shortage of kid-friendly celebrations happening over the next few days to mark the occasion! Head to the Apollo 50th Festival in DC, make a galactic mobile at the library, enter the model rocket contest at Goddard Space Flight Center, play and learn during Mooniversary at Port Discovery, and MORE! Check out our find celebration finds below!
Kid-Friendly Apollo 50th Anniverary Celebrations
Tune-In Virtually: NASA’s Giant Leaps: Past and Future – Celebrating Apollo 50th as We Go Forward to the Moon
Friday, July 19 | 1 PM
Too hot to go out? You can celebrate at home! On July 19, NASA will broadcast live from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the historic, newly-restored Apollo mission control room at Johnson Space Center in Houston and the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. They will also be at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, with a special guest host. They’ll look in live on Neil Armstrong’s hometown of Wapakoneta, Ohio, see the Apollo 11 command module on display in Seattle, and see slices of Americana at other anniversary celebrations around the country. Learn the story of how they got to the moon, and how they’ll get there again, hearing directly from Apollo astronauts alongside current and future astronauts, scientists, engineers, and others sharing some untold stories, quirky facts, and personal reflections about journeying to the lunar surface. Watch it on the NASA Live page.
Play and Learn During “Mooniversary” at Port Discovery
Through July 24 | 10 AM – 1 PM | Port Discovery Children’s Museum
Join Port Discovery July 16th – 24th as they celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing through hands-on, educational activities even the smallest space explorer will love! Enjoy an Astronaut Photo Op, Moonwalking Lessons, making your very own Rockin’ Rockets, a Museum-wide Apollo 11-themed Scavenger Hunt and more! MORE
Head to DC for the Apollo 50th Festival
Thursday, July 18 – Saturday, 20 | 9 AM – 5 PM on July 18 and 19, 9 AM – 8 PM on July 20 | National Mall between 4th and 7th Streets
Join the National Air and Space Museum and NASA for the Apollo 50 Festival on the National Mall, an outdoor celebration of the first Moon landing. At the Apollo 50 Festival’s stage and 20 tented display’s visitors can enjoy hands-on exhibits and activities from exhibitors like NASA, Boeing, Raytheon, The LEGO Group, and PBS’s Ready Jet Go!; live performances on stage by Ready, Jet, Go! featuring costumed characters; and exciting speakers including Adam Savage, NASA scientists, Museum experts, and more. MORE
Play and Learn at Discover the Moon Day at the Air and Space Museum
Friday, July 19 | 10 AM – 3 PM | Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Join the Air and Space Museum for a day of educational and fun family activities in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. At Discover the Moon Day talk to scientists and learn about lunar science! MORE
Make a Galactic Mobile
Friday, July 19 | 2 PM – 3 PM | Baltimore County Public Library, Owings Mills Branch
Celebrate Apollopalooza by making a galactic mobile. This program is free, but space is limited. Registration begins 30 minutes before program. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. MORE
Take “One Giant Leap” at the Maryland Science Center
Saturday, July 20 | 10 AM – 4 PM | Maryland Science Center
It’s been 50 years since Apollo 11 put astronauts on the surface of the moon. Celebrate the science behind this amazing achievement during One Giant Leap–a special day of activities at MSC on the anniversary itself, July 20th. There will be a lecture in the MSC on the trials and tribulations that led to the historic moon landing, a chance to make DIY astronaut tools in The Shed, build a lunar lander, and even see a slice of a moon rock. Plus a special planetarium show, One Small Step, will be showing in the planetarium. MSC staffers created this special show to take an historical look back at what it took to get to the moon and back. (Can’t make Saturday? One Small Step plays for the month of July…) MORE
Design a Rocket and Enter the Model Rocket Contest at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
Saturday, July 20 | 12 PM – 4 PM | NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 Moon landing at the annual National Association of Rocketry Headquarters Astro Modeling Section model rocket contest. Watch a narrated demonstration launch of models of historic NASA space vehicles, and then attempt to land your own model rocket on the “Moon.” Trophies and prizes will be awarded to the top youth and adult finishers. The contest is free and open to the public. On-site registration is required on the day of the contest. The first 200 registrants will receive a commemorative Moon landing giveaway. You must bring your own rocket and motors, or purchase them at the nearby Goddard Gift Shop. An awards ceremony follows the contest. MORE
Meet NASA Laser Engineer Paul Stysley at the Library
Saturday, July 20 | 11 AM – 12 PM | Enoch Pratt Library – Light Street Branch
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Laser Engineer Paul Stysley designs, builds and tests laser systems to be used for remote sensing applications on aircraft & in space. Currently, he is working as a Formulation Manager assisting with proposals of new NASA missions. MORE
Celebrate the Moon Landing with Moon Sand!
Saturday, July 20 | 2 PM – 3 PM | Enoch Pratt Library, Central Branch
For young space enthusiasts, enjoy playing in moon sand, dramatic play, and science exploration. Recommended for ages 4-9 and their grown-ups. MORE
Build a Satellite to Orbit Mars
Sunday, July 21 | 2 PM – 3:30 PM | Baltimore County Public Library, Towson Branch
Design and build a satellite that meets certain requirements for traveling to the surface of Mars, highlighting the engineering design process that NASA uses, while learning the value of teamwork and problem solving. Sponsored by the Friends of the Towson Library. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is required for this event. MORE