Where to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing

By Mikaela Amundson

"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." - Neil Armstrong

It's been 50 years since the United States put a man on the moon and this month of July will mark some extraordinary events for history and astronomy lovers alike! Five decades after the "Eagle" landed, mankind still looks to the sky in awe like they have for thousands of years. We love any excuse to get outside and bask in the awesomeness of nature, so let's honor this momentous leap that was taken in 1969 and where the space frontier will take us next!

Keep reading to find out where to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Apollo 11 astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, walks on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969,
in a photograph taken by Neil Armstrong.
Photo courtesy of History HD.

U.S. celebrations

Alabama

At the US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, otherwise known as “Rocket City," the whole area is celebrating its integral role in developing and building the Saturn launch vehicles for the Apollo Moon mission. There will be a whole week of events, including music performances, moon landing reenactments, and even an attempt to break a Guinness World Record by launching 5,000 model rockets simultaneously.

Photo courtasy of Nasa on Unsplash.

Washington, D.C.

D.C. is home to world-class museums, and the National Air and Space Museum is no exception. Their celebration of Apollo 50 will feature special, hands-on exhibits, an outdoor festival, and a chance to see Neil Armstrong's suit on display for the first time in 13 years.

The celebrations here culminate with a late-night party called, “The Eagle Has Landed," at 10:56 p.m. on July 20 to mark Armstrong’s first step onto the moon. The D.C. celebration focuses a lot on President Kennedy's leadership and promotion of the U.S. Space Program, which makes for a great history element to this event!

Portland

At the OMSI, a.k.a. the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, they're hosting a block party for stargazers. At Rooster Rock State Park and Stub Stewart State Park, starting at 9 p.m. on July 20, you can see some sky highlights—Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, star clusters, and the gorgeous waning gibbous moon. This museum is always great, but it has a lot of extra special fun up its sleeve this week!

Ohio

What better place to celebrate Apollo 50 than in Neil Armstrong’s hometown of Wapakoneta? The Armstrong Air and Space Museum is hosting a week's worth of events, filled with celebrations of their most famous resident that include rocket launches, interactive museum exhibits, music events, a fun run, a gala, and more.

U.S. stargazing

Photo courtesy of Joshua Earle.

If you can't make it to any formal celebrations for Apollo 50, you're still in luck for a star-filled July! There is a fair amount of notable celestial activity expected throughout the month that you can read about here. Below, you'll find the ones we're most excited about!

  • July 13: Close Approach of the Moon & Jupiter
  • July 16: Partial Lunar Eclipse (North and South America can expect to see this eclipse in the dusk and night hours of July 16, while Europe, Asia, Africa, India, and Australia can expect the early morning and before dawn hours of July 17.)
  • July 21: Peak of the α–Cygnid Meteor Shower
  • July 29: Peak of the δ–Aquarid Meteor Shower
  • July 31: Peak of the Piscis Australid Meteor Shower

TV

If you can't get out to any moon events this year, be sure to check out NASA's special TV programming on Friday, July 19, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m EDT for their showing of "NASA’s Giant Leaps: Past and Future" to celebrate. The show will be coming to you live from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with segments in Houston, Huntsville, D.C., Ohio, and Seattle. You'll see Apollo memorabilia, anniversary celebrations, and hear from Apollo astronauts. Find the stream here on NASA's Apollo anniversary events page.

Outside of the U.S.

Europe

If you're not in the U.S. for this momentous, month-long space extravaganza, don't worry! We've got you covered with a few other places around the world that are known for their incredible nighttime views.

La Palma, Canary Islands

The northernmost island of the Canary Islands' seven main islands, La Palma is known for its incredible stargazing and has been named an UNESCO Starlight Reserve, in honor of the amazing celestial views you can catch there.

Hella, Iceland

This small town in South Iceland is known for not only amazing star views, but also the Northern Lights! It's one of the southernmost viewpoints for the Aurora Borealis, making it perfect if you're not quite prepared for the arctic cold.

Tuscany, Italy

The birthplace of the telescope is another spot well known for its stargazing. See the same stars Galileo did when he first looked to the heavens, and enjoy a dazzling display out in the Tuscan countryside.

You can find more details about these places, as well as some more European stargazing locations here.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

Australia

There are some great spots for viewing the stars in Australia—its low light pollution and unique southern hemisphere placement make it a premier spot for star enthusiasts.

Parkes Telescope

At the Parkes Observatory in New South Wales, you'll find the telescope that was watching when Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the moon in 1969. This spot offers great views, interesting exhibits, and activities for the whole family to explore the stars.

Gingin Observatory

In Western Australia, visit the Gravity Discovery Centre to find this observatory, which houses the world's largest radio telescope ever built. The dark skies, guidance from expert astronomers, and accessible telescopes make this a top-notch spot.

Sydney Observatory

Back in NSW, just outside the capital city of Sydney, this observatory can be found on a hill overlooking the harbor. The Sydney Observatory houses the oldest working telescope in Australia, which was originally built to view the Transit of Venus in 1874.

For more details about Australia stargazing, check out these resources here.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

Check out more properties on Glamping Hub to find the perfect stargazing escape today!

Staff Picks: Our favorite summer traditions

By Jackie Dreyer

As we ease into July, we asked Glamping Hub staffers what their favorite summer traditions are. With 78 people from 17 different countries, we got a lot of fun answers that we wanted to share with you.

Maria

UX/UI Developer

"Going to music festivals around Europe!"

Caroline

Director of Business Development

"Strawberries, Pimms, and Wimbledon!!! Just kidding—glamping, of course!"

Talal

Co-Founder

"My favorite summer tradition is definitely to connect with nature in a new destination and do different activities that involve movement, like trekking, hiking, and cycling, as well as my two favorites, skateboarding and surfing."

Haitam

Business Development Intern

"Go as deep as possible in the sea in Tangier by boat and then swim for hours!"

Pablo

Product Analyst

"Music festivals or non-touristy places."

Maria C.

Financial Controller

"I'm very simple. My favorite summer tradition is going to the beach with my friends or family and spending all day swimming and rolling around in the sand. My favorite time of day is sunset—that moment when the whole world seems to stop and the sea is reflecting the pink and orange lights. For me, those days at the beach are the ones I feel most alive."

Lauren

Business Development Manager

"Barbecues!!"

Marta

Social Media Manager

"It's not very unique, but for me, the summer means the beach! There is nothing better then spending days at the beach swimming in the ocean and spending nights eating dinner, playing board games, and laughing with the people you love!"

Ross

SEO Content Writer

"The obligatory summer festival—music, mates, BBQs, and everything in between."

Inés

Growth Assistant

"Healthy food and drinks, sports, and the beach."

Alexa

Business Development Manager

"Summer in Miami is really hot, so we spend most of our time at the beach. Most locals have both mango and avocado trees in their backyards, and summer means that both are available in extreme abundance—lots of tropical meals and drinks! On weekends, we visit Key Largo or Key West, but typically spend most of our time at Miami's beautiful beaches because, let's be honest, it's Miami (and summer is actually our low season tourism-wise, so less tourists on the beaches and at the best restaurants!)."

Rocio

Operations Manager

"Celebrating my niece's birthday together with my family in Galicia."

Jessica Armstrong

PR Partnerships Manager

"Beach and BBQs."

Caitlyn

Host Specialist

"I'm from Martha's Vineyard, and a really special summer tradition is visiting the old fishing village, Menemsha, at least once a summer. You can order whole lobsters and fresh seafood at one of the fish markets and then enjoy it with some white wine at the nearby beach—all while watching one of the prettiest sunsets there is! People come from all around the world to enjoy this unique summer tradition."

P.S. You can tell we love the beach, right?


For more Glamping Hub staff favorites, check out our Staff Picks blog series!

Fun, outdoor summer adventures and activities for kids

By Eleanor Stanesby

School is out, and summer is here, so as temperatures warm up, it's no wonder that kids want to spend their free time outdoors, whether in the backyard or on a fun-packed day trip. Making sure your kids are entertained for the whole summer can be a daunting task for any parent, but rest assured, as we've complied a list of summer activities and adventures that will supply hours of endless fun.

Read on to find some awesome activities and adventures that will create summer memories your kids will never forget!

Backyard-based fun

1. DIY slip 'n' slide

Cool the kids down (and tire them out!) with this frugal, DIY slip 'n' slide. Visit the hardware store and invest in a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet or a camping tarp. Place the material on a slope, add flowing water from a garden hose and a bit of baby shampoo, and watch the hours of entertainment unfold for the kids, no matter what their age.

2. Outdoor arts and crafts

Photo from Broogly.

Kids love to get creative. When you supply them with paints, pens, and paper, though, things are sure to get messy. An outdoor arts and crafts station allows them to spend time outside on a sunny day and will hinder your worry of them spilling paint on the floors, walls, and everything in between. Combine bubble mix and food coloring, and watch the kids create a masterpiece while simultaneously in complete awe of this cool craft.

3. Obstacle course

Photo from Parents.

A backyard obstacle course can help kids use up the endless amount of innate energy they all seem to have. Create a mini competition for the older kids and offer a small prize, which is bound to make things more interesting. You could even include the aforementioned slip 'n' slide for even more enjoyment!

Using pool noodles is a great way to create your own obstacles while also being safety conscious and preventing injuries. Be sure to check out these other awesome backyard games just using pool noodles, too—who knew they were so versatile?

4. Scavenger hunt

Photo from Soeasybeinggreen.

A backyard scavenger hunt is a great way for kids to use there curiosity and discover new things. Hours of determined exploration to find these items—and the inevitable excitement on their faces when they do—will be a joyous afternoon for both you and them. Check out this free, printable scavenger hunt checklist to make your job even easier!

Day trip adventures

5. Visit a local fair or theme park

It's no surprise that visiting a fairground or theme park during summer holidays is a popular adventure. Kids love the epic rides, fairground games, and food and sweets that are likely to pair with this kind of day trip. With rides and activities catered to all ages, this is sure to be a hit no matter the age.

5. Explore a national park

Share the serene beauty of a national park with your kids, and prepare for a look of wonder to spread over their faces all day long, thanks to the views, lakes, and wildlife spotting sure to ensue. Many national parks have events, trails, and activities catered towards children, which is super helpful to know before choosing which one to head to.

The U.S National Park Service has a page where you can check out what park is best suited to your children's ages and what ongoing events there are to participate in. Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, for example, is perfect for visiting with kids, as there are many smaller hikes and free activities available, as well as some adrenaline-pumping activities for eager teens.

Quick tips:

  • Bring the basics, including SPF and plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Create games using the surrounding nature.
  • Be prepared for spontaneous exploration.
  • Don't forget to take snacks with you!

Feeling inspired? Want to plan an outdoorsy vacation with the kids? Tiny Camper Pro is ready to help you find the ultimate outdoor getaway for when you don't have a camper here!