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Marking a milestone: Where to celebrate this summer's 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing

Beth J. Harpaz, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Travel News

You can also see astronaut Alan Shepard's boot prints on a sidewalk and leave a banana on the tombstone of a monkey who flew a test flight 300 miles up in 1959. (The monkey lived out her life, another 25 years, at the Rocket Center.) For stargazing, check out the Von Braun Astronomical Society at Monte Sano State Park.

How about visiting a galaxy far, far away? Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opened at Disneyland in California in late May and launches at Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios in Florida on Aug. 29. The themed lands take guests to Batuu, a new planet that "Star Wars" fans haven't seen before. Visitors can build a droid or a lightsaber, engage in battle from the cockpit of a Millennium Falcon and have a drink at Oga's Cantina. Another attraction, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, is slated to open later this year.

In Washington, D.C., a July 16-20 Apollo 11 anniversary celebration is planned for the National Mall. And the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum will display Armstrong's Apollo 11 spacesuit for the first time in 13 years following a restoration funded by a Kickstarter campaign.

In California, the Richard Nixon Library and Museum hosts an interactive exhibit, "Apollo 11: One Giant Leap for Mankind," through early January. Downey, Calif., birthplace of the Apollo capsules, plans events ranging from a Lunar Pub Crawl to an Apollo 11 Landing Day celebration where people are encouraged to don their best '60s attire.

Finally, the award for best name for an anniversary shindig might just have to go to Denver's Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum: ApolloPalooza, July 13-20.


(Beth J. Harpaz is a freelance writer.)

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