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Best Summer Vacation Ideas for Science Fiction Fans
Pack your bags, science fiction fans! It's time for summer vacation, so here are seven ideas on how to bring some sci-fi into your travel plans.
Whether you're looking to mingle with other science fiction buffs, immerse yourself in an imaginary world, or get out into nature, there's a sci-fi destination that's right for you.
Summertime is packed full of science fiction and comic book conventions, for those who would like to mingle with other sci-fi fans. 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the "Star Trek" franchise, and there are multiple Trek-specific conventions and meet-ups happening around the country. Plus, a traveling museum exhibit lets fans attend Starfleet Academy for a day.
"Star Wars" fans should seriously consider visiting an exhibit of real costumes worn by actors in all seven franchise movies. In addition, Disney's theme parks have been jam-packed with "Star Wars" elements ever since the release of the latest movie installment in 2015. And read on to find out about other science-fiction-related museum exhibits to check out this summer.
For fans seeking a more outdoor-focused summer expedition, here are a few destination suggestions: Devil's Tower National Monument in Wyoming, which served as the iconic mountain from Steven Spielberg's landmark science-fiction movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"; Barringer Crater (also known as Meteor Crater) in Arizona, where key scenes were shot for the science fiction love story "Starman"; and the Very Large Array, which played a key role in the movie adaptation of Carl Sagan's novel "Contact."
NEXT: Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of "Star Trek"
Celebrate "Star Trek"Slide 2 of 15
Celebrate "Star Trek"
2016 marked the 50th anniversary of "Star Trek," one of the most successful sci-fi franchises ever created. There are still lots of ways to celebrate the Trek-verse this summer, in locations all over the country.
Attend a "Star Trek" Convention
"Star Trek" conventions are nearly as old as the franchise itself, and there are multiple convention events in the U.S. this year. A complete list of dedicated Trek conventions, as well as general science fiction and comic book conventions (where Trek fans can also unite), can be found at treknews.net. OConventions will take place in Las Vegas and Chicago in August 2018, and in Birmingham, England in October 2018.
Fans of science fiction in general may want to consider attending a comic book or science fiction convention this summer. The mother of all such conventions, Comic Con International in San Diego, is taking place July 19-22, but passes are sold out for 2018. If you're interested in attending Comic Con next year, now is the time to register. You can sign up for a Comic-Con Member ID if you are interested in attending San Diego Comic Con 2019. Check the following links to find out about other comic book conventions and sci-fi conventions.
Baseball and Starfleet
Under the United Federation of Planets, Starfleet is the organization responsible for deep-space exploration, peacekeeping, defense and diplomacy.
This year, celebrate baseball and the Starfleet with "Star Trek Night" on Aug. 25 at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida by purchasing a ticket to watch the Miami Marlins take on the Atlanta Braves. A collector's edition Marlins/Star Trek Starfleet Command badge hat is available with a ticket package.
The fourth annual Trekonderoga will take place from Aug. 24-26. It will be held in Ticonderoga, New York, nestled between Lake George and Lake Champlain in the Adirondacks. According to their website, Trekonderoga 2018 will again offer a small, intimate setting where guests can meet stars and participate in events up-close, matched by a beautiful setting.
There are many types of tickets guests can purchase. General admission tickets are $65, and tickets for kids ages 5-13 are $23. Special packages are offered to meet Star Trek stars over lunch and dinner, for guided set tours, photo ops and even an Elvis Presley tribute show.
Star Trek Set Tour
If you can't make it to Trekonderoga because the dates, don't worry. "Star Trek: Original Series Set Tour" is offered in Ticonderoga from April to Dec. 20, 6 days a week (closed on Mondays). According to their website, the tour offers the "most accurate rebuild of the original sets" of the Star Trek series. Tickets for ages 14-54 is $22.50, the senior rate for people 55 and older is $20.00, tickets are $11.00 for kids ages 5-13 and children under the age of 5 enter free.
NEXT: Harry Potter in NYCSlide 3 of 15
Harry Potter in NYCSlide 4 of 15
Harry Potter in NYC
The Big Apple is a hive of "Harry Potter" fun this summer.
"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" is now on Broadway! The full play is split into two parts, which means that you can choose to watch the first show on one day, and you can watch the second show later that day or later in your week. When you purchase tickets online, over the phone or in person, you choose the date for both shows so you don't have to worry about missing a piece of the story. The show runs Wednesdays to Sundays, with a 7:30 p.m. show each of those nights, and a 2 p.m. matinee on Wednesday and Sunday.
Many of the more affordable seats are sold out, but if you can't find tickets in your price range, check out their "Friday Forty" offer. Every Friday at 1:00 p.m. local time, 40 tickets for every performance the following week will be released for great seats in the theatre at $40 ($20 per part).
And these tickets will only be available through TodayTix.com or the TodayTix app, and according to the show's website, this "ensure[s] that as many people as possible have the chance to access these low-price tickets."
A History of Magic
If you visit New York this fall, consider taking a trip to the New-York Historical Society.
Through Jan. 27, 2019, the museum will host an exhibit called "Harry Potter: A History of Magic" The exhibition showcases the folklore and magic traditions from which the Harry Potter stories are based on, such as medieval descriptions of dragons and griffins to the origins of the sorcerer’s stone, according to the museum website."In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the U.S. publication of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, New-York Historical will display illustrator Brian Selznick’s artwork that will appear on the covers of the Harry Potter series to be published by Scholastic later this year," the description adds.
The exhibit opens Oct. 5.
NEXT: Visit Devil's Tower from 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind'Slide 5 of 15
Visit Devil's Tower from 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind'Slide 6 of 15
Visit Devil's Tower from 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind'
In Steven Spielberg's 1977 science-fiction epic "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," a man named Roy Neary has a run-in with a UFO, and subsequently experiences a strange obsession with a flat-topped mountain he's never seen before. Neary soon finds out he's not the only one who can't get the mountain out of his head.
It's no wonder Spielberg chose Devil's Tower as the object of a mysterious infatuation in the movie — the natural formation has an extremely strange (even alien) appearance. Its slopes rise gradually at the base, then shoot up almost vertically. Free of vegetation, the sides appear to be streaked with long, thin rocks that look almost like massive, stone spaghetti. Geologists agree the structure was probably formed by "the forcible entry of magma into or between other rock formations," according to the National Parks Service website, but there is still debate about how exactly the process took place.
Located in northeastern Wyoming, Devil's Tower National Monument is open year-round. Prime activities in the area include hiking, rock-climbing the tower, stargazing, and cross-country skiing. The monument is the starting point of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which takes place in the first week of August. Stop by the visitor's center to learn about the history between the monument and the native people who have lived in the surrounding area.
According to the National Parks Service, regularly scheduled ranger-led interpretive programs are offered during the summer, Memorial Day to Labor Day.
NEXT: Explore the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle.Slide 7 of 15
Explore the Museum of Pop Culture in SeattleSlide 8 of 15