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7+ ways to blast off and explore space this summer

dcef4ea2c13c34126d78e60006a750a4.jpg20 July 2019 marks fifty years since the world watched in wonder as humans stepped onto the surface of the moon for the first time. Space and space travel has fascinated earthlings young and old ever since and, to celebrate this landmark anniversary, there are all sorts of events and activities planned to indulge us over the coming summer. Here are some of our favourites:

1. Destination Space: The Moon at Thinktank, Birmingham

A fun action packed family show weekdays from 22 July until 30 August where we learn about the Apollo program, what it takes to get to the moon and what life is like working on the lunar landscape. This show is a celebration of human achievement in the exploration of the moon and a chance to highlight current and future missions including when we will be going back. It is part of a National STEM Programme, Destination Space created by ASDC and funded by the UK Space Agency.

Also, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the 1st Apollo moon landing on the 20th July 1969, Thinktank is holding a very special party. This evening event will allow you to experience Thinktank at night and take part in some great Moon themed activities including the Destination Space Moon Show, the brand new 4K planetarium experience, a chance to hold a an actual piece of moon rock, a silent disco and rocket launching to see who can reach the highest point. They would like to 0a09d1adead9fdb95bc0355bdf470a1c.jpgsee as many visitors as possible in space themed costumes and will award a great prize to the best dressed on the night.

2. The National Space Centre, Leicester

With six interactive galleries, the UK’s largest planetarium, and the iconic 42m high Rocket Tower, the award-winning National Space Centre is an out of this world experience.

3. To the Moon and Beyond at Market Hall Museum, Warwick

Visitors to the museum between 24 July and 31 August will be able to see moon rock, learn about how the moon was made, and see a collection of space memorabilia from the time. Also, add to the solar system art work then lie back and watch the new planets and satellites orbit the sun inside the black hole tent. Space themed dressing up, toys and books will be available too.

There will be pre-bookable astronaut training camps with Susie Imber, winner of BBC2’s Astronauts, on 24 July. You can learn more about the phases of the moon and the life of a star during the ‘The Moon and Stars’ session on 31 July. Also, don’t miss the space themed Mad Science sessions on 31 July and 14 August. Make your own mini rocket to launch across the museum and a space robot to take home on 21 August.

4. Space Junk Jet Packs at mac Birmingham

On 23 July (12pm - 4pm) mac Birmingham will be holding a free family drop in art session. 50 years 231bfba8c137874424b4e051a75ad682.jpgafter the Apollo 11 moon landing, MAC Associate Company Little Earthquake is joining forces with Midlands Arts Centre and the University of Birmingham to celebrate this special anniversary in spectacular style.

5. The Moon Walk at Wistow Maze

To mark the 50th Anniversary of the first man on the moon, the award-winning Wistow Maze, open 20 July until 1 Sept (daily), then weekends only until 22 Sept, has been designed in the shape of an Astronaut. The giant 8 acre maize maze has a fun Quiz Trail hidden amongst 3 miles of pathways, with high level bridges and towers giving stunning panoramic views. Visitors have to find 12 quiz boards which will test their knowledge on other historic first achievements.

6. Summer in Southside Festival with Birmingham Hippodrome

On Sat 13 July & Sun 14 July, Birmingham Hippodrome‘s FREE family festival goes intergalactic and explores the spectacle and wonders of outer space. The streets of Southside around the theatre will be transformed into a lunar landscape for a whole weekend packed with performances, installations and extra-terrestrial antics from a list of ‘out of this world’ acts. Recruit your space-crew (family and friends will do) and head down to our launch pad for a spot of summer stargazing in the city!

7. Take part in the Summer reading challenge

This summer, The Reading Agency and libraries will be taking children on a journey into space. Inspired by the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, Space Chase 7cdc38acf73c0aaf34aed399eac55f4e.jpgwill take young readers on an out-of-this-world adventure with our super space family, The Rockets.

The Summer Reading Challenge is an annual event aimed at 4-11 year olds. Children are encouraged to read six books of their choice during the summer holidays with collectable incentives and rewards, plus a certificate and medal for every child who completes the challenge. There are also a range of competitions open throughout the summer on the Summer Reading Challenge website. Children can sign up for the Challenge at their local library at the start of the summer holidays – and it is completely free.

8. MOONSTONES: Playing at The Rollright Stones

On Saturday 20th July, come and enjoy music performed by the Stratford Festival Orchestra and Choir, conducted by Simon Kemp, playing music inspired by the moon, the stars and the nighttime sky. This special concert in a truly ancient venue is held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the moon landings. Enjoy the performance sitting in the King's men stone circle; bring picnics and rugs with you and be prepared for whatever the weather offers! Expect to hear orchestral arrangements of songs such as...Across The Universe - The Beatles; Skyfull of Stars - Coldplay; 2001 a Space Odyssey; Doctor Who theme; Moon River; Clair De Lune; Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin.

After the performance, the Chipping Norton Amateur Astronomy Group will help you view the moon and the night sky with their telescopes (weather permitting). Please bring your own binoculars or telescope if you have them.

Nicola Maile

Nicola Maile

Local Mum of two boys and editor of Raring2go! in Solihull and South Warwickshire.

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