The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is turning 40 years old on July 1, 2016 and they are celebrating all night long. Beginning at 8pm on July 1, visitors can spend 12 straight hours inside the fascinating museum along with special guests and the unveiling of their new Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall. Here is some of what will be going on:
This is a separately ticketed event costing $40 that will last from 8-10pm on July 1. Included in that price is a special program in the Moving Beyond Earth gallery, and a demonstration on what was done in the new Milestones of Flight hall. There will also be access to museum staff, special guests, and the all-important samplings of food and beverages. It is a 21-and-over event, so you can guess what some of the beverages will be.
Purchasing Launch Crew tickets also gets you guaranteed seating to the 10pm showing of Destination Moon, with live commentary by museum curators David DeVorkin and Layne Karafantis as well as Kevin Murphy of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame. Tickets are on sale right now.
For those not attending the Launch Crew party, the official opening will begin at 8:30pm outside on the spot where the building was first opened on July 1, 1976. Directly following the opening ceremony, the museum will be opened to the public: free of charge.
During the night, the museum will be showing air and space-themed movies: Le Voyage dans la Lune, Destination Moon, Galaxy Quest, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Top Gun, and Hugo.
Obviously, since it is an all night party, the museum would rather guests stay awake. Therefore, they have planned many activities during the night such as tours by museum staff, discussions with special guests, a performance by the U.S. Air Force Band at 11pm, a scavenger hunt at midnight, and other family-friendly activities as the morning hours approach.