Raleigh’s One Giant Leap Festival Celebrates Apollo 11

RALEIGH, N.C. — T-minus 3, 2, 1...and we have lift off! Fifty years ago, Apollo 11 became the first mission to put man on the moon. To celebrate the historic moment, the North Carolina Museum of History is hosting the One Giant Leap Festival. The festival is one of many events planned as a part of Lift Off NC: Apollo+Beyond, a yearlong collaboration between local organizations, highlighting space exploration and commemorating half a century since the lunar landing.

This celestial celebration will take place on Saturday, July 20, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with demonstrations, talks, and hands-on crafts. Featured activities include an immersive virtual-reality lab where visitors can “travel” to space as Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong, a bungee jump station designed for attendees to experience zero-gravity (if only for a second) like a real astronaut, and an interactive presentation on lunar tides. Parking and admission to the museum and event are free.  

Kids can experience out-of-this-world fun — courtesy of Kid Lab, Scrap Exchange, and others — with crafts and games, including sensory bins of moon sand, solar gazing, straw rockets, and space history trivia.

At the #OneGiantLeapFest, NCMOH will also host our Lift Off NC partners: Marbles Kids Museum, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, Museum of Life and Science, North Carolina Museum of History, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, North Carolina Space Grant, and North Carolina Symphony.

Throughout the festival, food and beverages will be available on-site from local food trucks.

What to expect

  • Travel to the moon and take “one giant leap for mankind” with a virtual reality simulation.
  • Walk through the One Giant Leap exhibit to check exclusive artifacts and learn about North Carolina connections to the space race and the infamous day 50 years ago that changed the world forever.
  • Board a real interactive Gemini training module from Morehead Planetarium and test your ability to follow critical directions from Mission Control.
  • Sit in on talks delivered in our Demonstration Gallery by NASA Solar System Ambassadors.
  • Stop by Daniels Auditorium for special screenings at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. of the Smithsonian Channel’s newest documentary, The Day We Walked on the Moon.
  • Dive into stellar concepts like seasonal and lunar cycles, eclipses, and phases of the moon with Sparkpoint Innovations’ interactive Orbit Earth Expo, featuring inflatable scale-sized models of planets at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.
  • Fun for the whole family with hands-on activities, space trivia, and solar gazing.
  • Feast from 5 local food trucks, including Fuzzy’s Empanadas, Stuft, MoonRunners, Baguetteaboutit, and Kona Ice.

For a full schedule of all performances and presentations, visit NCMOH-programs.com or call 919-807-7900.

The One Giant Leap Festival is supported, in part, by Corning Incorporated Foundation, First Flight Foundation, Publix Super Markets Charities, Lynnwood Brewing Concern, NASA, Manhattan Cafe, NC Museum of History Associates, and MoonPie. CBS 17 is the official media sponsor of the One Giant Leap Festival.

For information about the NC Museum of History, a Smithsonian-affiliated museum, call 919-814-7000 or access ncmuseumofhistory.org.

About the N.C. Museum of History:
The N.C. Museum of History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is located at 5 E. Edenton Street in downtown Raleigh. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The museum collects and preserves artifacts of North Carolina history and educates the public on the history of the state and the nation through exhibits and educational programs. Each year more than 400,000 people visit the museum to see some of the 150,000 artifacts in the museum collection. The Museum of History, within the Division of State History Museums, is part of the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

About Smithsonian Affiliations:
In association with the Smithsonian since 2006, the North Carolina Museum of History is part of a select group of museums, cultural, educational, and arts organizations that share the Smithsonian's resources with the nation. Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums, educational, and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. More information is available at www.affiliations.si.edu.

About the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources:
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the NC Zoo, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the NC Arts Council, State Preservation Office, and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call 919-814-6800 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.



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