History & Tourism

Summer Road Trips: Fly Me To The Moon

17 Jun , 2019  

This year we’re continuing our weekly look at unique festivals, events, and attractions that are within an easy driving distance of the Mansfield area. We call these “Summer Road Trips.” One of the perks of living in north central Ohio is its proximity to world-class entertainment, sporting opportunities, and more.

Of course, we want to share that there are many extraordinary places to visit right here in Richland County this summer and encourage our readers to get out and experience what is on offer in our own backyard.

It’s the 50th anniversary of man’s first lunar this summer, and Ohio – home to an extraordinary history of firsts in the whole field of aviation and flight – is celebrating that milestone in a huge way.

Not surprisingly, one hotspot of that commemoration is in the northwest Ohio community of Wapakoneta. Home to the first man to walk on the moon, it is now the home of the Armstrong Air and Space Museum. The museum was opened in 1972 with Neil Armstrong in attendance. The museum houses a Gemini 8 spacecraft, Armstrong’s Gemini and Apollo spacesuits, two full-sized aircraft, and of course an actual moon rock.

From July 12 to July 21, the museum will be one of the primary venues for the Wapakoneta Summer Moon Festival. The festival will include a hot air balloon rally, concerts, car shows, a grand parade – even a moon-themed escape room! A full schedule of events can be found here. Wapakoneta is about two hours west of Mansfield via US30 and I75 — four lanes the entire way.

This anniversary is also being recognized in other locations across the state in a new “To the Moon and Back” road trip created by TourismOhio. On a new “Lunar Landing” page, you can view the road trip itinerary, learn about Ohio’s astronauts, and even view some lunar-inspired eats.

The eight stops on the new road trip include:

  • Armstrong Air and Space Museum, Wapakoneta
  • National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and the National Aviation Heritage Area, Dayton/Fairborn area
  • Ohio History Center and COSI, Columbus
  • John & Annie Glenn Home & Museum, New Concord
  • Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland
  • Observatory Park, Montville


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