July is going to be a spectacular month in Houston as the city celebrates the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. The entire nation will be celebrating this monumental achievement, but Houston – home to the Johnson Space Center – played a pivotal role in the Apollo 11 mission, so it will be at the center of it all with countless events and celebrations. Read on for our guide to things to do in Houston in July. You’re in for a treat!
Houston’s largest Fourth of July celebration returns with fireworks and live music. This year, however, visitors to this independence day event will get also get to celebrate the moon landing anniversary. NASA will be in the house with its Destination Station, which means you’ll get to get up close and personal with astronauts, enjoy robotics demos, take virtual reality field trips to the International Space Station, and more. Read more about Fourth of July festivities in Houston.
Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Celebrations at Space Center Houston
The natural starting point to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing is Space Center Houston. The main festivities will take place between July 16 (the date of the Apollo blastoff) and July 24 (the day the astronauts returned safely back on earth). Enjoy special movie screenings, lunches with astronauts and flight controllers, historical presentations, and pop-up science labs.
On July 20, don’t miss The Apollo 11 50th Live, an all-day celebration and countdown to the time when Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the moon. The event features special presentations, late-night tram tours, and a festival featuring with live music by Walk the Moon and Phillip Phillips.
A Giant Leap: Moon Landing Celebration at Discovery Green
Head to Discovery Green on July 20 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for a free celebration of the lunar landing. The event features a parachuter landing, demonstrations by the Johnson Space Center, NASA’s Destination Exhibit, a screening of Apollo 11, and an artisan market.
Moon Landing Anniversary Celebrations in Houston’s Museums
Houston’s museums will also partake in the moon landing 50th anniversary celebrations. At the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, enjoy some 40 moon-related photographs from the museum’s collection in the “Shooting the Moon: Photographs from the Museum’s Collection 50 Years after Apollo 11” exhibit.
If you have kids, take them to MFAH’s Summer Festival: Celebrating the Moon on July 20. From 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., you and the kids can enjoy interstellar crafts, star gazing, story time, a screening of The Jetsons, and more.
Over at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, don’t miss Moon (also known as Museum of the Moon), a gigantic, spherical sculpture by Luke Jerram on display at the museum’s Glassell Hall. As part of the exhibit, visitors can also take a virtual journey to space in “Destination: Moon,” an immersive experience at the museum. Other lunar events at HMNS include a 50th Anniversary Moon Lecture with Dr. David Kring and showings of “Apollo 11: First Steps”.
Community Moon Landing Celebrations
Communities all over Houston and its surrounding areas are joining in the fun with special moon landing celebrations. Alvin, Brazosport, Galveston, Conroe, Sugar Land, and Deer Park. While each celebration is unique, they will feature a special video message from the International Space Center and tons of fun activities.
NASA Visits Houston’s Sports Teams
NASA and its Destination Station will visit the Houston Astros on July 22 at Minute Maid Park so fans can join in the moon landing anniversary fun by enjoying special demonstrations and activities. Soccer fans, take note: you, too, can enjoy the celebrations on July 27, when NASA visits BBVA Compass Stadium during the Houston Dynamo game against the Seattle Sounders.