Apollo Anniversary Celebration

Celebrate the Apollo Moon landing's 50th Anniversary

Join us for a fun-filled daylong celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing, both commemorating the past and looking forward to a promising new era of inspiration, innovation, and discovery. With events inside and out, enjoy an array of Moon-related activities.

Note: July 20—Only limited tickets remain for our 3:30 showing of One Giant Leap remain.

5K & Kids Fun Run

A group of kids run on the field outside the Bell Museum in the summertime

Update: Due to weather, both races are cancelled today. The winding 5K course starts at the Bell Museum and runs through the U of M Twin Cities campus in Saint Paul—keep your eye out for the Collections and other CFANS classic buildings that help make the Bell great. After the race concludes, enter kids 12 and under can take on the Space Dash in the field adjacent to the Bell Museum.

Lunar Sample Disk

An Apollo astronaut takes a lunar sample

On loan from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, the six-inch disk holds encased lunar rock and soil collected by Apollo astronauts between 1969 and 1972. See bits of ancient lava flows, soil from sites across the Moon, and volcanic ash from a lunar eruption 3.5 billion years ago—all through clear Lucite. Click here to learn about other viewing dates.

One Giant Leap

Apollo 11 prelaunch

The Bell Museum’s new original planetarium production runs all summer long, putting audiences on the surface of the Moon with Neil Armstrong by transforming archival recordings of the Moon landing into a 360 experience. Hourly shows begin at 10:30 am and run through 3:30 pm. Advance tickets are available for purchase at bellmuseum.umn.edu/planetariumshows.

NASA artifacts

A girl looks at NASA artifacts, including a "Snoopy cap" or Communication Carrier Assembly Hood

Get a close look at NASA artifacts like the Teflon-coated pants Commander James McDivitt wore aboard the Apollo 9 Command Module in 1969; a handheld wireless radio that has been to outer space and back; and a other astronaut apparel including a glove, shoe insert, and “Snoopy cap” (official name: Communication Carrier Assembly Hood).

July 20 Schedule of Events

Space-themed programming will run throughout the day, including inside the Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Planetarium!

Cosmic 5K & Space Dash: 8 & 9:15 am

Race day activities are sponsored by 3M, McGough, SPIRE Credit Union and Anderson Race Management.

Free Outdoor Activities: 8 am–12 pm

Update: Due to inclement weather, all outdoor activities are cancelled today. Free, family-friendly outdoor space activities will be in the fields adjacent to the museum. Take NASA’s astronaut physical fitness challenge, launch a water rocket, walk the scale of Saturn V, the rocket that took astronauts to the moon, and more!

Horizon Hall: 10 am–5 pm

See archival NASA footage and Moon landing news coverage on view all day in Horizon Hall, share your lunar memories, and start a museum-wide scavenger hunt.

Roger E. Anderson Education Wing: 10 am–5 pm

NASA Solar System Ambassadors are bringing science and engineering activities and excited to answer all your questions! Also, find our DIY space diorama station to create a tiny masterpiece. Head to the Touch & See Lab to find NASA space program artifacts, and don’t miss the display case that highlights aspect of the space race and our journey to the Moon.

Nucleus: 10 am–5 pm

See genuine NASA lunar samples—ancient lava flows, soil from sites across the Moon, and volcanic ash from a lunar eruption 3.5 billion years ago! Also, make your own mission patch and collect a limited edition Bell Museum temporary tattoo.

Special Exhibits

Included with general museum admission!

City Stardust examines the mystery of micrometeorites—some of the oldest matter that exists. See these tiny but mighty objects from outer space thanks to local citizen scientist, Scott Peterson and researchers at the University of Minnesota Microprobe Lab.

In Solution Studio, meet researchers from the University of Minnesota who are using their imagination to solve real challenges facing people and the planet. Get hands-on in our creative challenges inspired by these research projects, including the U of M team that developed instruments aboard NASA’s Parker Solar Probe—a spacecraft on a fast track to the Sun.