Apollo 11 Celebration | July 18-20

Apollo 11 Celebration at the Adler Planetarium | July 18-20

Apollo 11 Anniversary Celebrations
July 18-20, 2019

In May 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced the seemingly impossible goal of putting a man on the Moon by the end of the decade. Nobody knew how it would get done. Yet eight years later, that dream was realized. Apollo 11 was the culmination of an enormous human effort and a monumental undertaking. It took the imagination, ingenuity, collaboration, and determination of thousands.

Like those thousands who made the unthinkable possible, each of us has the “right stuff” to realize the next impossible dream. This July, discover how small steps lead to giant leaps, be inspired by the Moon, and explore how NASA and other organizations are planning our return to the Moon and beyond—and how everyone can be a part of this ongoing story of discovery.

Moon Bash

July 19 & 20
9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Included with Museum Entry pass*
FREE for members

Join us for a two-day bash celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing!

Channel your inner explorer and help us imagine the next “Moonshot” and how the spirit of Apollo 11 can inspire and challenge us to achieve the impossible. Moon Bash includes hands-on programs, special talks and performances, one-day-only theater shows, and fun for the whole family!*

Learn More!

*Note that Museum Entry pass only includes access for one day at the Adler and does not include both days of the Moon Bash celebration.

Additional Apollo 11 Celebration Events

Adler After Dark: Moonshot

Thursday, July 18
6:30-10:30 pm
21+ Only

General: $20 in advance / $25 at door
Members: $10 in advance / $15 at door

Travel back to 1969 and celebrate the Apollo 11 Moon Landing! Wear your favorite 60’s-style attire, enjoy period-themed cocktails and music, and discover the untold stories behind the mission, as well as the 400,000 people whose hard work and dedication made Apollo 11 possible.

Why Go to the Moon? A Conversation on the Past and Future of Lunar Exploration

Friday, July 19
7:00 pm

$10 in advance / $12 at door

Join us for a night of reflections and questions on humanity and the Moon with space historian Roger Launius and historian of colonialism Margaret Huettl!

On July 20, 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the Moon. Fifty years later, five nations have sent spacecraft to the Moon and private enterprises are increasingly engaging with its exploration. From SpaceX to Virgin Galactic, the advancement of space science, the allure of profiting on lunar resources, and ideas for a permanent human presence on the Moon are raising attention. They also generate controversy and pose challenging questions. Why go to the Moon? Should we go back? Who benefits and who pays for going to the Moon?

Cash bar available with trivia (and prizes!) before the lecture. Limited tickets available.

Fly Me to the Moon Yoga

Saturday, July 20
8:30-9:30 am

Tickets: $20

Celebrate this special occasion with a special practice. Much like our monthly Sun Salutations Yoga, this slow Vinyasa Flow class under mesmerizing images in the Grainger Sky Theater will transport you through time and space to our planet’s nearest neighbor. Expect Moon salutations, half-Moon poses, crescent Moon shapes and an opportunity to contemplate the role of the Moon in our history and in our future.

To the Moon & Beyond: A Conversation with Jim Lovell & Beth Moses | SOLD OUT!

Saturday, July 20
2:30 pm

This event is sold out!

Join us for a special moderated conversation on why the Moon still matters with Captain James A. Lovell, Jr., Apollo 8 and Apollo 13 astronaut, and Beth Moses, Chief Astronaut Instructor and commercial astronaut with Virgin Galactic. This 60-minute ticketed experience includes a 45-minute conversation with Captain Lovell and Ms. Moses, followed by 15 minutes of Q&A.

*Limited tickets available. Membership pricing is first come, first serve. Once sold out, members may purchase tickets at the General ticket level.

Chicago Moonshot Murals

In commemoration of Apollo 11, we’re partnering with local street artists across the city of Chicago for a series of public art experiences titled ”Chicago Moonshot Murals.” 

We invite members of the community to visit us at their local libraries to color a 5’x4’ line art canvas created by local artists. These artworks are meant to visualize each community’s “moonshot”—something that is thought to be impossible (like landing on the Moon was 50 years ago), but with teamwork and determination, can be made possible.

This project will culminate at our Moon Bash event on Saturday, July 20. Guests at the event can contribute color to the Adler’s “Moonshot” and see the other “Chicago Moonshot Murals” on display.

How has the Moon landing inspired YOU?

Do you think we should go back to the Moon? Did you witness the event live, or did you know one of the 400,000 people who worked on the mission? We invite you to share these stories with us!

By capturing these memories, stories, and ideas on how the Moon Landing inspires you, we hope to spark conversations about the past, present, and future of innovation and exploration.

Select stories will be shared as part of an online exhibition through Google Arts & Culture, along with onsite programming as part of the museum’s Apollo 11 Celebration.