On July 20, 1969, the world stood still – or it felt that way. Everyone was glued to their televisions, watching grainy black-and-white images of Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong take humankind’s first steps on the moon.
Several local events and attractions commemorating Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary will give families a better understanding of how big this small step turned out to be.
Experience Apollo 11: The Immersive Live Show July 5-Aug. 11 at the Rose Bowl. A cast of 20 actors will perform this original theater production staged in the Lunar Dome, with 40,000 square feet of 360-degree video projections and life-size rockets. $25-$215
The California Science Center will present a giant- screen edition of Todd Douglas Miller’s critically acclaimed documentary, “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition,” July 15-Sept. 2, $8.95 adults, $7.95 students, $6.95 ages 4-12. The film reconstructs the spacecraft’s preparation, liftoff, landing and return to Earth in never-before-seen 70 mm footage and newly discovered audio recordings. On July 20, the center hosts an Apollo 11 celebration with hands-on space-related activities, including viewing of flown Mercury and Gemini space capsules. Science Center admission is free.
Discovery Cube OC is collaborating with NASA’s Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope program for an “Apollo 50: Next Leap Forward” exhibit July 13-28. Kids can learn about radio astronomy, operate a 112-foot radio telescope and enjoy activities that teach about energy, gravity and motion. Admission is $19.95 adults, $14.95 ages 3-14.
Continuing at the Richard Nixon Library into January, the “Apollo 11: One Giant Leap for Mankind” exhibit offers an historical look at the US/USSR space race and an original 360-degree VR experience that transports visitors to the lunar surface with the Apollo 11 crew. There’s also a nifty re-creation of a 1969-era American living room that provides a sense of what watching the moon landing was like. $21 adults, $15 students, $11 ages 5-11, free for ages 4 and younger.