Apollo 11: Fun Ways to Celebrate in Phoenix — and Beyond | Phoenix New Times

Apollo 11 Anniversary: Fun Ways to Celebrate in Phoenix — and Beyond

Fun ways to celebrate — including films, talks, and art exhibits.
Throwback to Herb Schultz's A Trip to the Moon spotted a while back at Art One gallery.
Throwback to Herb Schultz's A Trip to the Moon spotted a while back at Art One gallery. Herb Schultz/Photo by Lynn Trimble
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Look alive, space geeks. The day you've been waiting for has nearly arrived.

We know you're eager to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, which gave the world mankind's first steps on the moon, so we've found several places where you can moon out with art, lectures, films, and crafts. There’s even an online exhibit, where you can explore outer space even if your rover isn't programmed for road trips.

'Fifty Years Ago'

Tuesday, July 16
Southeast Regional Library
775 North Greenfield Road, Gilbert

Gordon Rosner of the East Valley Astronomy Club will discuss the technological and historical significance of the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle, the first manned module to land on the moon. His free talk at Southwest Regional Library starts at 7 p.m. Weather permitting, guests can join Rosner after his talk for stargazing at the observatory located at the neighboring Riparian Preserve. Register online.

Apollo 11

Wednesday, July 17
ASU Marston Theater
781 South Terrance Road, Tempe

ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration is screening the documentary film Apollo 11 during a celebration that also includes a pre-screening reception and a post-screening Q & A with Mark Robinson and Craig Hargrove. Robinson is a principal investigator with NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera. Hargrove is a principal investigator with the Lunar Polar Hydrogen Mapper. The free event at ASU’s Marston Theater runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. RSVP online.

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Checking out an impact crater on the Moon.

'Barnstorming the Moon'

Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20
214 East Roosevelt Street

A decade’s worth of amazing images of gathered by Arizona State University’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera will be on display during this monthlong exhibition at monOrchid, which runs until August 16. The opening reception on July 19 at 6 to 9 p.m. will include a “walking tour of the moon” by principal investigator Mark Robinson. An Apollo 11 celebration and panel discussion is on July 20 at 6 p.m. Free.

Science With a Twist: Apollo-Palooza

Friday, July 19
Arizona Science Center
600 East Washington Street

This monthly adults-only mixer will adopt an Apollo 11 theme and offer “lunar libations” and an appearance by the center’s Blue Crew “science interpreters.” 6-10 p.m., $12. Screenings of the Apollo 11 documentary and the Pink Floyd Laser Show will happen in the Dorrance Planetarium for an additional cost. 602-716-2000.

Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Celebration

Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20
Arizona Science Center
600 East Washington Street

Arizona Science Center will be celebrating space exploration with hands-on space- and moon-themed activities, educational displays, exhibits, and presentations from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. The family event is included with admission, which is $19.95 for adults and $14.95 for ages 3 to 17.

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Still image from The Day We Walked on the Moon.
Smithsonian Channel

The Day We Walked on the Moon

Saturday, July 20
Scottsdale’s Museum of the West
3830 North Marshall Way, Scottsdale

Scottsdale’s Museum of the West will be screening the Smithsonian Channel's documentary at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. The film includes conversations with Apollo 11 astronaut family members, members of the mission control team, and current astronauts. There are additional screening dates as well. The film is included with $15 museum admission.

Arizona Diamondbacks Space Night

Saturday, July 20
Chase Field
401 East Jefferson Street

Researchers from ASU, NAU, and the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Lab and OSIRIS-REx mission will conduct space-related activities at the stadium while the D-backs play the Milwaukee Brewers. The first 20,000 patrons get Nick “Ahmed on the Moon” bobbleheads. 5:10 p.m., $25-$190.

Lunar Landing Party

Saturday, July 20
W Scottsdale
7277 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale

Patrons of this nightlife affair at W Scottsdale, which raises a toast to Apollo 11, are encouraged to wear ’60s or space-inspired attire. 9 p.m., free with online RSVP.

The Day We Walked on the Moon

Saturday, July 20
Heard Museum
2301 North Central Avenue

Walking around any major museum, you’re likely to spot at least one artwork referencing the moon. Now, there’s a new way to experience the moon at the Heard Museum. It’s one of 70 or so Smithsonian Institution affiliates screening the Smithsonian Channel’s 44-minute film. Free screenings happen inside the museum’s Steele Auditorium, at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

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The Apollo 11 crew.

Apollo 11 50th Anniversary

Saturday, July 20
South Mountain Environmental Education Center
10409 South Central Avenue

The South Mountain Environmental Education Center is commemorating Apollo 11 with space-themed crafts, hands-on activities, astronomy chats, and telescope viewing. The event runs from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Arrive by 6:30 p.m. to hear the keynote lecture on space technology. The lineup also includes telescope time and space imaging demonstrations from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The event costs $5.


July 20 to December 20
University of Arizona Main Library
1510 East University Boulevard, Tucson

View the “Moon” exhibition presented by UA Special Collections online, where you can explore the science, history, and culture of the moon through sketches, photography, books, and poetry. The online exhibit is free.

One Giant Leap Day

Saturday, July 20
Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium
1601 East University Boulevard, Tucson

Planetarium shows happen hourly from noon until 9 p.m., capping off with a laser show inspired by Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon (natch). Meanwhile, lunar-related presentations will happen in the lunar laboratory. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., $5 for admission and $5 for each show.

Lowell’s Lunar Legacy

Saturday, July 20
Lowell Observatory
1400 West Mars Hill Road, Flagstaff

Lowell Observatory will celebrate its contributions to the Apollo program with a day of exhibits, interactive displays, panel discussions, documentaries, and more. 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; $17 for adults, $16 for seniors and active military, $10 for kids. An after-hours viewing at Lowell’s Clark telescope starts at 11:30 p.m. and is $50.

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Explore Manny Burruel's space-themed art at Urban Beans.
Manny Burruel/Photo by Lynn Trimble

'Apollo and Beyond'

Wednesday, July 24
Urban Beans
3508 North Seventh Street

See space-inspired works by Phoenix artist Manny Burruel during the free opening reception for his exhibit at Urban Beans, which takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. The artist will be on hand to discuss his work.

'Paul Calle’s Life of Exploration'

February 19 to October 11
Scottsdale’s Museum of the West
3830 North Marshall Way, Scottsdale

Scottsdale’s Museum of the West is showing work by Paul Calle, an artist whose works include an iconic 1969 First Man on the Moon postage stamp. “Paul Calle’s Life of Exploration: From the Mountains to the Moon” is free with museum admission, which is $15.

Spacefest X

Thursday, August 8, to Sunday, August 11
JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort
3800 West Starr Pass Boulevard, Tucson

This four-day extravaganza features appearances by astronauts (including Apollo 11’s Michael Collins and Apollo 13’s Fred Haise), NASA personnel, astronomers, and sci-fi authors. Programming at the resort includes autograph sessions, Q&As, panels, and parties. $10-$30 daily admission, $60 four-day passes.
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