Fifty years ago, on July 20, 1969, NASA’s Apollo 11 mission made astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin the first people to walk on the moon.

This summer, The Franklin Institute marks the anniversary of the moon landing with Summer of the Moon—a museum-wide celebration featuring a series of lunar events designed to reflect on the historic achievement and look ahead to the future of space exploration.

Join us and be a part of this extraordinary historic moment!

Summer of the Moon counts down to the anniversary of the landing, transporting visitors back to a time that changed world history. Highlights include rooftop moon gazing at four Night Skies in the Observatory events, exclusive film and IMAX® screenings, engaging speakers, special live science shows, streaming footage of the 1969 landing, Apollo-era and space-related objects on display, and a spectacular anniversary celebration on July 20—both indoors and outdoors.

Photo of Astronaut and American Flag from Apollo Moon Landing

Moon Landing Featured Programming

Moon Landing: 50th Anniversary Day Celebration
Saturday, July 20 | 10am–3pm 

A daylong celebration commemorating the momentous anniversary! Tour the Institute’s lunar lander test small-to large-scale rocket demonstrations including Alka rockets, straw rockets, make-and-take paper rockets, and colorful trash can rocket explosions. Screenings of The Apollo Chronicles, IMAX showings of Apollo 11: The First Steps Edition, 1969 footage of the landing, and the popular favorite: World’s Cheapest Spacesuit live science show all takes place throughout the day making The Franklin Institute the region’s moon landing destination. 
Included with General Museum Admission 

Night Skies in the Observatory
June 11, June 13, July 16, July 18 | 7pm–10pm
Special screening of The Apollo Chronicles
Includes planetarium shows, astronomy activities, telescopic observing from the rooftop observatory

Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts hosts the popular rooftop stargazing event, expanded this summer! Each event features one episode of the four-part documentary miniseries The Apollo Chronicles—showcasing the people, events, and obstacles of the Apollo mission, and featuring untold stories and hidden perspectives from Apollo 11 participants, family members, historians, and other experts, including Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts. 

Speakers Include:
June 11: Steve Rotfeld and Liz Reph of Rotfeld Productions and producers of The Apollo Chronicles
June 13: Audra J. Wolfe, Ph.D., historian and author featured in The Apollo Chronicles
July 16: Frank O’ Brien, NASA Solar System Ambassador
July 18: Rebecca Kamen, creator of PLOT: a moving graphic video celebrating the Apollo 11 mission

Watch The Apollo Chronicles Trailer

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Free Screening: Chasing the Moon
Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - 6:30pm–8:00pm

Commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with WHYY and the Franklin Institute for a sneak peak of the new American Experience series, Chasing the Moon. The preview screening will be followed by a discussion from co-hosts of WHYY-FM's Skytalk, the Franklin Institute’s Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts and WHYY’s All Things Considered host Dave Heller.

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Moon Landing Daily Programming 
Activities take place daily beginning June 17*

Apollo 11: First Steps Edition in IMAX® | *Now Playing 
Exclusive to IMAX theaters; 47 minutes
A cinematic event 50 years in the making, created from newly discovered 70mm footage of the 1969 lunar mission to tell the story of the historic event in an entirely new way. 

Watch the Trailer and Learn More
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Moon-related Activities 
Discover the science of “slingshotting,” and how we got to the moon using gravity to boost the rocket’s speed, and then launch your own stomp rocket or Alka rocket. Learn more about spectroscopy—a tool scientists use to learn more about the moon, stars, and exoplanets.
Included with General Museum Admission 

World’s Cheapest Spacesuit  
Explore how a full spacesuit helps astronauts live and work outside of the International Space Station by using a spacesuit built on a budget at the popular Live Science Show. 
Included with General Museum Admission 

Apollo-era Artifacts | *Beginning July 20 
Celestial globes, historical moon drawings, a replica Galileo telescope, photos, and various space-themed toys are some of the 30+ objects from the Institute’s collections and on loan from private collectors curated for display during Summer of the Moon.

Tickets + Information

General Museum
Child (3-11)
Child (3-18)

Group Reservations

Groups pricing rates are valid for groups of 15+
Groups: General Museum Summertime Pricing
Child (3-18)