Road trips celebrate Ohio’s leadership in space flight

Staff report


To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ohioan Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon, the state is celebrating its history in space and aviation with celebrations throughout the year.

This summer, Ohio attractions, restaurants, breweries, dark-sky parks and more will honor the lunar landing and showcase Ohioans’ crucial roles in flight and space exploration.

As the birthplace of aviation, the first American to orbit the Earth and the first man on the moon, Ohio’s role in space and aviation is unparalleled.

To celebrate Armstrong’s 1969 lunar landing, TourismOhio has launched the “To the Moon and Back” webpage as a guide for planning an air and space road trip that includes museums, events and sites.

Museums, including the Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wapakoneta, NASA Glenn Visitor Center at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, COSI in Columbus, Cincinnati Museum Center and more, are featuring space-related exhibits, movies and special events this year.

Explore the stars in dark-sky and state parks, build a rocket, see Apollo 11 artifacts and moon rocks and enjoy the lunar-inspired food and drinks on the Moon Menu Trail.

The webpage is organized in six sections:

Road Trip Itinerary: Discover museums, exhibits, dark-sky parks, science centers and more showcasing aviation and space flight across Ohio. Some feature exhibits from NASA.

Lunar Landing Events: Celebrate the Apollo 11 lunar landing with festivities all-around Ohio, including in Wapakoneta’s 50th Anniversary Parade, build a model rocket at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, and hear first-hand accounts from an astronaut at the Ohio History Connection.

Outdoors and Beyond: Enjoy the wonder of the universe at these top spots for astronomy and stargazing.

Lunar Inspired Eats: The restaurants in Armstrong’s hometown of Wapakoneta have created a Moon Menu Trail with dishes from CinnaMoon pancakes to Houston – We Have a Pot Roast. Ice-cream shops and microbreweries have introduced flavors such Velvet’s Blue Moon, Young’s Jersey Dairy’s Moon Rocks, and Land Grant Brewing Co.’s Tranquility Base, a black IPA inspired by the depths of space.

Air and Space Experiences: Tour aircraft from the Wright Brothers 1903 Flyer to rockets, Gemini and Apollo space capsules, a Space Shuttle trainer and more at Ohio’s best space and aviation museums.

Meet Ohio’s Astronauts: From the first man on the moon (Armstrong), and the first American to orbit the Earth (John Glenn), to Sunita Williams, who has spent 322 days in space and is training for another mission aboard the International Space Station – read up on the fascinating stories of some of Ohio’s most well-known astronauts.