Celebrate 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing at these events in Atlanta

Apollo 11 - What You Need to Know

Has it really been 50 years since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took the first small steps on the moon? It has, and on July 20, the world will commemorate their gigantic leap. Of course, not everyone can make it to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to hobnob with astronauts, or to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, where NASA is unveiling its newly restored Apollo-era mission control facility. But there are still plenty of ways to celebrate the Apollo 11 moon landing right here in the Atlanta area.

» RELATED: How the AJC covered Apollo 11's historic flight to the moon 

Apollo Space Program lecture

Join Steve Jones, Hopewell Middle School STEM instructor and NASA Solar System Ambassador to explore the history of the Apollo Space Program. He's got a knack for making the space program alluring and will have everyone, from elementary schoolers to seniors, anxiously anticipating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

3:00-4:30 p.m. Thursday, July 11. Free. Milton Branch Library, Meeting Room C, 855 Mayfield Road, Alpharetta. 404-613-4402/

Moon Landing Celebration at the Fernbank Museum

Don't miss screenings of the movie “Apollo 11: First Steps” Edition 2D at the Fernbank. Activities include creating moon phases from Oreo cookies and building LEGO® Rockets.

10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Saturday, July 20. ValuePass Combo ticket is $27. Fernbank Museum, 767 Clifton Road, Atlanta. 404-929-6300.

Full Moon Hike at Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve

Here's one for the moon lovers who are more focused on nature than the Space Race. Luckily, the anniversary date also falls near a full moon. Ranger Robby will guide hikers to the summit of Arabia Mountain during the twilight hours to watch the full moon rise. Register via email (arabiaranger@gmail.com) or call the nature center.

8:00-9:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 16. Free. Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve, 3787 Klondike Road, Lithonia. 770-484-3060.

Museum of Aviation Apollo 11 Moon Landing Celebration

The moon landing anniversary is a great time to visit this collection of 85 historic U.S. Air Force aircraft about an hour and half's drive from downtown Atlanta. For the big day, there will be extra kids' activities and exhibits at the Nugteren Hangar and grounds (weather permitting).

10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Saturday, July 20. Free. Museum of Aviation, 1942 Heritage Blvd., Robins AFB. 478-926-6870.

Bright Star Theater: One Small Step

Geared to kids ages 5-12, this live theater event will fire the imagination with tales of flight and space travel beginning with Icarus and ending with modern-day space travel.

2:00-3:00 p.m. Friday, July 12. Free. Milton Branch Library, Meeting Room C, 855 Mayfield Road, Alpharetta. 404-613-4402.

» RELATED: Apollo 11 flight manual from historic moon landing could go for $9M at auction 

» How the University of Georgia helped send the Apollo astronauts to the moon