Apollo 11 Anniversary: How to Celebrate This Weekend

[Read all Times reporting on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.]

Summer is usually the season of sun worship, but this weekend that star will be eclipsed — at least in many hearts — by the moon. Saturday brings the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, the first mission to send astronauts to the lunar surface, and festivals, exhibitions, screenings and even stand-up comedy will commemorate the landing. (Outdoor activities are weather-dependent.) Here are selected highlights.

Times Square

Tranquility is not a word normally associated with this neighborhood, but that will change with this free event, which intends to transform Duffy Square into Tranquility Base, site of the lunar landing. Presented by the Aldrin Family Foundation — as in Buzz Aldrin — in partnership with “The People’s Moon,” an online project by the British artist Helen Marshall, the festival will turn the pavement into a giant mosaic featuring Neil Armstrong’s lunar boot print overlaid with photos collected from spaceflight enthusiasts around the world. Children can meet two former NASA astronauts and see robotics and other educational demonstrations take place on giant maps of the moon and Mars. Or you can just relive Apollo 11 with the help of enormous overhead screens, which will show footage of the launch and the landing.

Saturday from 9 a.m.-11 p.m.;

Cradle of Aviation Museum

Why not celebrate the space program where much of it began? This Long Island museum has an extensive collection of artifacts from the Apollo missions, whose lunar modules were designed and built at what was then the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation in Bethpage, N.Y. The daytime festival will offer opportunities to explore Apollo 11 in virtual reality, look through solar telescopes, drive lunar rovers around an obstacle course, meet two former shuttle astronauts and see “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition,” the Imax version of Todd Douglas Miller’s recent documentary. The evening party will recreate a 1969 living room, where guests can watch Apollo 11 footage, dance to a band playing the era’s hits and count down to that first step. (Wear your ’60s best.)

Apollo at 50 Moon Fest (Saturday from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.) and Apollo at Countdown Celebration (Saturday from 7-11 p.m.), Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, Garden City, N.Y.; 516-572-4066,

New York Hall of Science

Even the music will have a space theme at these festivities. The Amateur Astronomers Association of New York will bring telescopes for stargazing, and the museum, which will also show “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition,” will offer model rocket and robotics activities for children. If you’re interested in the spaceflights of the future, try Escape the Planet!, an escape-room adventure devised by the theater director Andrew Scoville and the astronomer Moiya McTier, who will both attend the celebration, along with other scientists and designers. “Above and Beyond: The Ultimate Flight Exhibition,” on view through Sept. 8, includes a mock ascent to space and an augmented-reality experience evoking the challenges of flying to Mars.

Saturday from 7-10 p.m., 4701 111th Street, Flushing Meadows- Corona Park, Queens; 718-699-0005,

Paley Center for Media

These are rare free opportunities to see both the real Buzz Aldrin (onscreen) and the actor Bryan Cranston portraying him. Each day will include two showings of the first 52 minutes of the moon walk, from Neil Armstrong’s first step to the placement of the American flag. The 1979 NBC special “The Day They Landed: July 20, 1969” includes interviews with all three Apollo 11 astronauts, and the 1979 ABC special “Infinite Horizons: Space Beyond Apollo” presents a look at the future hosted by the author Ray Bradbury. The center will also screen a segment of HBO’s Emmy-winning 1998 mini-series “From the Earth to the Moon,” in which Mr. Cranston blasts off.

Saturday and Sunday from 12:15-5:15 p.m., 25 West 52nd Street, Manhattan; 212-621-6600,

The Intrepid Museum

The Intrepid focuses on both actual spaceflight and flights of fancy. Its “Apollo 11: Media, the Moon and Beyond,” an installation through Sept. 3, features period televisions showing archived mission news reports. Friday evening, a free Astronomy Night, will offer stargazing; an outdoor screening of “First Man,” Damien Chazelle’s feature starring Ryan Gosling as an enigmatic Neil Armstrong; and a talk by Noah Petro, a NASA scientist. On both Friday and Saturday, members of the space-enabled research group of the M.I.T. Media Lab will present “Earthrise: A 50 Year Contemplation,” a pop-up installation intended to inspire the same awe-struck response astronauts had to the famous image of Earth captured during Apollo 8. “Giant Leaps,” a planetarium show on Saturday, will trace technological progress. The celebration ends with “To the Moon With the Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company,” an evening show of history and humor for adults, with guests including the comedian Lauren Adams and the former astronaut Mike Massimino.

Friday and Saturday at various times, Pier 86, West 46th Street and 12th Avenue, Manhattan; 877-957-7447,

American Museum of Natural History

How can you not be intrigued by a museum that has a director of astrovisualization? Or by a festival whose astrovisualizers include the performance artist Laurie Anderson? This daylong event will include the United States premiere of “To the Moon,” a 15-minute virtual-reality experience in which Ms. Anderson and the artist Hsin-Chien Huang chart a lunar journey that draws on Greek mythology, literature, science, film and even politics. (Although “To the Moon,” which continues through July 28, is close to sold out, the museum will make additional slots available each day, first come first served. Spaces remain on Sunday for a discussion about the work that will feature Ms. Anderson.) At SpaceFest, Carter Emmart, who has that exciting astrovisualization job title, will use data-visualization software from NASA to present a complete model of Apollo 11’s journey. You can also experience the sun in an immersive video installation, watch demonstrations of extraterrestrial volcanoes and embark on virtual-reality explorations of NASA spacecraft and models. Young space enthusiasts can look forward to children’s book readings, portable-planetarium shows and themed performances by the Story Pirates.

Saturday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Central Park West at 79th Street, Manhattan; 212-769-5200,

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