a field trip to the moon

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Field Trip to the Moon

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John Hare

Field Trip to the Moon Hardcover – Picture Book, May 14 2019

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  • Reading age 4 - 8 years
  • Print length 40 pages
  • Language English
  • Grade level Preschool - 3
  • Dimensions 26.24 x 0.89 x 24.79 cm
  • Publisher Margaret Ferguson Books
  • Publication date May 14 2019
  • ISBN-10 0823442535
  • ISBN-13 978-0823442539
  • See all details

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Field Trip to the Moon

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Field Trip to Volcano Island

From the Publisher

Wordless;wordless picture books;picture books with no words;artistic books;artistic picture books;

A field trip that's out of this world. . . .

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with this wordless, imaginative exploration of the lunar surface., product description, about the author, product details.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Margaret Ferguson Books; Illustrated edition (May 14 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 40 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0823442535
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0823442539
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 1.05 kg
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 26.24 x 0.89 x 24.79 cm
  • #1,957 in Children's Books on Mystery & Wonders
  • #2,855 in Children's Books on New Experiences
  • #3,556 in Science Fiction for Children (Books)

About the author

John Hare spent his youth in Kansas drawing comic strips about snakes, making spoof yearbooks to entertain his friends, and writing stories about a crime-fighting crocodile. At some point, he decided he better actually do something for a living, so John earned an associate's degree in graphic design and got a job as a production artist at a sportswear company. There he worked his way through a comically bizarre work environment to became art director. Art director tasks included rescuing hummingbirds, fixing broken presses, and playing lots of Unreal and Marathon. Later, he moved to Kansas City and worked as a freelance graphic designer. One day, John picked up a brush and painted a scene for his son's nursery. That's when he realized he still wanted nothing more than to bring stories to life. John now lives in Gladstone, Missouri, where he is fortunate to work from his home studio when he's not corralling his two boys or tending to the biological needs of small animals.

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a field trip to the moon

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  • Field Trip to the Moon

ebook ∣ Field TRip Adventures

By john hare.

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9780823442539

Field TRip Adventures

Holiday House

08 February 2022

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Field Trip to the Moon (Field Trip Adventures)

Description.

It's field trip day, and students are excited to travel on their yellow spaceship bus from their space station to the moon in this wordless picture book. An ALA Notable Children's Book A Golden Duck Notable Picture Book Climb aboard the spaceship bus for a fantastic field trip adventure to the moon! Once their bright yellow ship lands, students debark and set out with their teacher to explore. They jump over trenches and see craters and mountains on the moon's surface and even Earth in the faraway distance. But when one student takes a break to draw some pictures and falls asleep, they wake up to discover that the rest of the class and the spaceship are gone. How the student passes the time waiting to be rescued makes for a funny and unexpected adventure that will enchant children all over the galaxy. With rich atmospheric art, John Hare's wordless picture book invites children to imagine themselves in the story--a story full of surprises including some friendly space creatures. A perfect complement to discussions and lessons on the moon landing. Don't miss Field Trip to the Ocean Deep , another wordless adventure! Recipient of the Pied Piper Literary Prize An ILA-CBC Children's Choice! A Pennsylvania Center for the Book Baker's Dozen Selection! A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year A Horn Book Best Book of the Year A Bank Street Best Book of the Year - Outstanding Merit A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

About the Author

John Hare is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. His first book for children, Field Trip to the Moon, was a Golden Duck Notable Picture Book and an ALA Notable Picture Book.  Its companion books are Field Trip to the Ocean Deep , also a Golden Duck Notable Picture Book, and Field Trip to Volcano Island , a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection.  John lives in Gladstone, Missouri with his wife and two children. You can visit him at johnhareart.com.

Praise for Field Trip to the Moon (Field Trip Adventures)

"A close encounter of the best kind."— Kirkus Reviews ★ "[The] sly but easy-to-follow linear narrative is told through a well-paced mix of panels (circular, horizontal, and vertical), full-pages, and double-page spreads, with pops of color (the yellow of the school bus–like space-ship, the color-filled crayon box) that are highly effective. The moon creatures, despite their minimalist features, are very expressive, as is the child—whose face remains hidden behind a space-mask until the last page."— The Horn Book, Starred Review   ★ "Hare’s picture book debut is a winner. . . . His gray yet surprisingly detailed moonscape is both the setting and a character in its own right; his depiction of the aliens as gray humanoids amazed by color is genius. A beautifully done wordless story about a field trip to the moon with a sweet and funny alien encounter; what’s not to like?" — School Library Journal , Starred Review "A perfectly paced paean to imagination, Hare’s auspicious debut presents a world where a yellow crayon box shines like a beacon." — Booklist "A clever and noteworthy tale of lunar adventure." — Publishers Weekly

Other Books in Series

Field Trip to Volcano Island (Field Trip Adventures)

Field Trip to Volcano Island (Field Trip Adventures)

Field Trip to the Ocean Deep (Field Trip Adventures)

Field Trip to the Ocean Deep (Field Trip Adventures)

Field Trip to the Moon (Field Trip Adventures)

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Field Trip to the Moon

Field Trip to the Moon

Buy from other retailers, what's this book about.

It’s field trip day, and students are excited to travel on their yellow spaceship bus from their space station to the moon. Climb aboard the spaceship bus for a fantastic field trip adventure to the moon. Once they land, students debark and set out with their teacher to explore. They jump over trenches and see craters and mountains on the moon’s surface and even Earth in the faraway distance. One student takes a break to draw some pictures, falls asleep, and wakes up to discover that the rest of the class and the spaceship are gone. How the student passes the time waiting to be rescued makes for a funny and unexpected adventure that will enchant children all over the galaxy. With rich atmospheric art, John Hare’s wordless picture book invites children to imagine themselves in the story–a story full of surprises including some friendly space creatures. Published in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the first moon walk, it is a perfect complement to discussions and lessons on the moon landing.

What Kind of Book is .css-1msjh1x{font-style:italic;} Field Trip to the Moon

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Midnight on the Moon

The Creative Behind the Book

John Hare is a freelance illustrator, graphic designer, and space nerd. Field Trip to the Moon is his first picture book for children. He lives in Gladstone, Missouri, with his wife and two children.

What Has John Hare Said About This Book

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Plus One

Discover All the Books in the Field Trip Adventures Series

Field Trip to the Ocean Deep

Other Books You Might Enjoy If You Liked This Book

Jimmy Zangwow's Out-Of-This-World Moon-Pie Adventure

Book Details

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Field Trip to the Moon

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John Hare

Field Trip to the Moon Paperback – 14 May 2019

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Get ready for blast-off on an adventure to the moon! With stunning original artwork by John Hare and charming text by bestselling and award-winning author Jeanne Willis, Field Trip to the Moon is a wonderfully witty story about exploration, creativity and making friends in the most unlikely places. It’s not every day you find yourself on a field trip to the moon, let alone stranded in outer space! But for one student that’s exactly what happens when her curiosity separates her from the rest of her class. Why wouldn't you take the opportunity to get your crayons out, look back and draw planet Earth? Alone on the moon, she sits down to draw. But could there be an even bigger surprise when she realises she’s not alone? What would someone that lived on the moon even look like? Be prepared to find out what happens when you reach out to those that are different from us and greet them with an open pack of crayons!

  • Reading age 3 - 6 years
  • Print length 48 pages
  • Language English
  • Dimensions 24 x 0.5 x 25.5 cm
  • Publisher Macmillan Children's Books
  • Publication date 14 May 2019
  • ISBN-10 1529010624
  • ISBN-13 978-1529010626
  • See all details

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Field Trip to the Moon

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Book description, from the publisher, about the author.

John Hare spent his youth in Kansas drawing comic strips and writing stories about a crime-fighting crocodile. He earned an associate's degree in graphic design and became an art director for a sportswear company, later moving to Kansas City to work as a freelance graphic designer. Jeanne Willis was born in St Albans, Herts, in 1959. Jeanne is an internationally renowned, full-time writer and has published over a hundred books - ranging from picture books including The Bog Baby and Who's in the Loo? , to YA, poetry and fiction. She has won several awards, including the Children's Book Award, the Silver Smarties Prize and has also been shortlisted for the Whitbread Award.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Macmillan Children's Books (14 May 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 48 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1529010624
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1529010626
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 3 - 6 years
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 24 x 0.5 x 25.5 cm
  • 134 in Children's Books on Astronomy
  • 532 in Science Fiction for Children
  • 544 in Children's Books on Computers & Technology

About the author

John Hare spent his youth in Kansas drawing comic strips about snakes, making spoof yearbooks to entertain his friends, and writing stories about a crime-fighting crocodile. At some point, he decided he better actually do something for a living, so John earned an associate's degree in graphic design and got a job as a production artist at a sportswear company. There he worked his way through a comically bizarre work environment to became art director. Art director tasks included rescuing hummingbirds, fixing broken presses, and playing lots of Unreal and Marathon. Later, he moved to Kansas City and worked as a freelance graphic designer. One day, John picked up a brush and painted a scene for his son's nursery. That's when he realized he still wanted nothing more than to bring stories to life. John now lives in Gladstone, Missouri, where he is fortunate to work from his home studio when he's not corralling his two boys or tending to the biological needs of small animals.

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a field trip to the moon

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After watching the Field Trip to the Moon DVD, students continue their lunar exploration with classroom activities that investigate the moon’s habitability and sustainable resources. These activities culminate with plans for the design and creation of a lunar station. The students are assigned to one of six teams, with four to six students in each team. The teams are each given one of six topics to investigate: ecosystem, geology, habitat, engineering, navigation or medical. Field Trip to the Moon Educator Guide [5MB PDF file] Watch the introduction to the Field Trip to the Moon DVD .

Related materials: Field Trip to the Moon Companion Guide Field Trip to the Moon: LRO/LCROSS Edition Informal Educator Guide Field Trip to the Moon Informal Educator Guide

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FIELD TRIP TO THE MOON

by John Hare ; illustrated by John Hare ‧ RELEASE DATE: May 14, 2019

A close encounter of the best kind.

Left behind when the space bus departs, a child discovers that the moon isn’t as lifeless as it looks.

While the rest of the space-suited class follows the teacher like ducklings, one laggard carrying crayons and a sketchbook sits down to draw our home planet floating overhead, falls asleep, and wakes to see the bus zooming off. The bright yellow bus, the gaggle of playful field-trippers, and even the dull gray boulders strewn over the equally dull gray lunar surface have a rounded solidity suggestive of Plasticine models in Hare’s wordless but cinematic scenes…as do the rubbery, one-eyed, dull gray creatures (think: those stress-busting dolls with ears that pop out when squeezed) that emerge from the regolith. The mutual shock lasts but a moment before the lunarians eagerly grab the proffered crayons to brighten the bland gray setting with silly designs. The creatures dive into the dust when the bus swoops back down but pop up to exchange goodbye waves with the errant child, who turns out to be an olive-skinned kid with a mop of brown hair last seen drawing one of their new friends with the one crayon—gray, of course—left in the box. Body language is expressive enough in this debut outing to make a verbal narrative superfluous.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4253-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

CHILDREN'S SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY | CHILDREN'S SOCIAL THEMES

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PLUS ONE

BOOK REVIEW

by John Hare ; illustrated by John Hare

FIELD TRIP TO THE OCEAN DEEP

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the elephant & piggie series.

by Mo Willems ; illustrated by Mo Willems ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 4, 2014

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise .” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

CHILDREN'S ANIMALS | CHILDREN'S SOCIAL THEMES

More In The Series

THE THANK YOU BOOK

by Mo Willems ; illustrated by Mo Willems

I REALLY LIKE SLOP!

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ARE YOU BIG?

WHAT THE ROAD SAID

by Cleo Wade ; illustrated by Lucie de Moyencourt ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 23, 2021

Inspiration, shrink wrapped.

From an artist, poet, and Instagram celebrity, a pep talk for all who question where a new road might lead.

Opening by asking readers, “Have you ever wanted to go in a different direction,” the unnamed narrator describes having such a feeling and then witnessing the appearance of a new road “almost as if it were magic.” “Where do you lead?” the narrator asks. The Road’s twice-iterated response—“Be a leader and find out”—bookends a dialogue in which a traveler’s anxieties are answered by platitudes. “What if I fall?” worries the narrator in a stylized, faux hand-lettered type Wade’s Instagram followers will recognize. The Road’s dialogue and the narration are set in a chunky, sans-serif type with no quotation marks, so the one flows into the other confusingly. “Everyone falls at some point, said the Road. / But I will always be there when you land.” Narrator: “What if the world around us is filled with hate?” Road: “Lead it to love.” Narrator: “What if I feel stuck?” Road: “Keep going.” De Moyencourt illustrates this colloquy with luminous scenes of a small, brown-skinned child, face turned away from viewers so all they see is a mop of blond curls. The child steps into an urban mural, walks along a winding country road through broad rural landscapes and scary woods, climbs a rugged metaphorical mountain, then comes to stand at last, Little Prince–like, on a tiny blue and green planet. Wade’s closing claim that her message isn’t meant just for children is likely superfluous…in fact, forget the just .

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-26949-2

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 7, 2021

CHILDREN'S SOCIAL THEMES

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MAY YOU LOVE AND BE LOVED

by Cleo Wade ; illustrated by Cleo Wade

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a field trip to the moon

A Kids Book A Day

Field trip to the moon by john hare.

Published by Margaret Ferguson

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Summary:  At the start of this wordless picture book a school bus approaches the moon, and a group of space suited kids and adults head out to explore the surface, peering into craters and jumping over chasms.  One child hangs back, eventually propping herself up against a rock and using crayons and a pad of paper to sketch the Earth. She nods off, waking up to a deserted moon and a glimpse of the flying bus in the black sky.  With nothing else to do, she gets out her art supplies again. As she draws, a group of blobby gray aliens surround her to watch. They’re intrigued with the colors, and when she offers them crayons, they use them to decorate the gray moon rocks and each other.  When the bus reappears, they scatter. An adult comes out and hugs the child, then insists she clean the drawings off the moon rocks. The two go off to board the bus, as alien hands holding crayons rise out of the moon’s surface to wave goodbye. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  This ode to imagination stands out from the plethora of moon books being published this year in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.  There’s plenty to see on each page, yet the story is straightforward enough for kids to understand (something I sometimes struggle with in wordless books).

Cons:  What teacher doesn’t take attendance when the kids get back on the bus?

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.

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Fly Me to the Moon

Fly Me to the Moon (2024)

Marketing maven Kelly Jones wreaks havoc on launch director Cole Davis's already difficult task. When the White House deems the mission too important to fail, Jones is directed to stage a fa... Read all Marketing maven Kelly Jones wreaks havoc on launch director Cole Davis's already difficult task. When the White House deems the mission too important to fail, Jones is directed to stage a fake moon landing as back-up. Marketing maven Kelly Jones wreaks havoc on launch director Cole Davis's already difficult task. When the White House deems the mission too important to fail, Jones is directed to stage a fake moon landing as back-up.

  • Greg Berlanti
  • Keenan Flynn
  • Rose Gilroy
  • Bill Kirstein
  • Scarlett Johansson
  • Channing Tatum
  • Woody Harrelson
  • 12 User reviews
  • 14 Critic reviews
  • 2 nominations

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  • Trivia A launch did occur at Cape Canaveral during production. The second unit was able to record the launch with their 4K cameras.

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  • Jul 7, 2024
  • July 12, 2024 (United States)
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a field trip to the moon

Is Fly Me to the Moon based on true events? Explained

A pple TV's upcoming movie Fly Me to the Moon is all set to make its debut on July 12, 2024. The film, directed by Greg Berlanti and starring Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum, will explore the conspiracy theory about NASA's first moon landing.

Sony Pictures Entertainment released the first trailer for the movie on March 8, and it raises major questions like whether NASA really hired a marketing team for Apollo 11 and if they faked the moon landing. The movie centers around the marketing specialist, Kelly Jones, whom NASA hires to help get the American public's support for the mission of landing humans on the moon.

Is the movie based on a true story?

Fly Me to the Moon is not entirely based on a true story , but it draws heavily from historical events. There is no official evidence that NASA planned or staged a fake moon landing, and the organization vehemently denies theories that claim the moon landing was fake.

However, some parts of the movie are based on facts, which are then spun into a lighthearted, entertaining story for audiences. For example, it is true that NASA hired PR specialists to boost support for the space mission because Americans were not convinced about the Apollo 11 mission . With the Civil Rights Movement coming to a close and poverty affecting one-fifth of the population, many Americans considered the lunar missions frivolous.

The U.S. was also engaged in a decades-long Cold War with the Soviet Union at that point, and leaders believed beating the Soviet Union to the moon was empirical. In such a situation, it was important to get public support for the launch, and NASA hired PR experts, like Johansson's character, to market the mission.

What is Fly Me to the Moon about?

The Apple TV romantic comedy film revolves around the Apollo 11 moon landing and the controversies surrounding it. It follows marketing specialist Kelly Jones, who is hired to improve NASA's public image but who instead ends up wrecking havoc for Cole Davis, who is the launch director. In these circumstances, the White House instructs Jones to stage a fake moon landing in case things go south, and this leads to further complications.

The official plot synopsis for Fly Me to the Moon reads:

"Starring Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum, "Fly Me to the Moon" is a sharp, stylish comedy-drama set against the high-stakes backdrop of NASA's historic Apollo 11 moon landing. Sparks fly in all directions as marketing maven Kelly Jones (Johansson), brought in to fix NASA's public image, wreaks havoc on launch director Cole Davis' (Tatum) already difficult task. When the White House deems the mission too important to fail, Jones is directed to stage a fake moon landing as backup, and the countdown truly begins."

Watch the trailer of the movie here.

Fly Me to the Moon cast

The Apple TV comedy stars Scarlett Johansson in the lead role as Kelly Jones, the marketing specialist hired by NASA. She is hired by Cole Davis, the launch director, played by Channing Tatum. Others on the cast list include:

  • Jim Rash as Lance Vespertine
  • Anna Garcia
  • Donald Elise Watkins
  • Noah Robbins
  • Colin Woodell
  • Christian Zuber
  • Nick Dillenburg
  • Ray Romano as Henry Smalls
  • Woody Harrelson as Moe Berkus
  • Joe Chrest as Senator Vanning
  • Art Newkirk as General Alexei Leonov
  • Ashley Kings as Patricia Collins
  • Jonathan Orea Lopez as Beach Spectator
  • Eva Pilar as Secretary
  • Will Jacobs
  • Melissa Litow
  • Lauren Revard
  • Jesse Mueller

How to watch Fly Me to the Moon?

Fly Me to the Moon was originally envisioned by Apple as an exclusive title for its streaming service. However, after the studio saw Fly Me To The Moon's test screening scores soar, it was decided that the movie would initially be released in theaters. Due to Apple's partnership with Sony to handle distribution, the movie will be released in theaters on July 12, 2024 .

As of now, no release date for the streaming platform has been confirmed. However, if other Apple TV titles are anything to go by, the movie will be released approximately 100 days after its theater debut. This means Fly Me to the Moon could be on Apple TV+ by October 2024.

Watch this space for more updates on Fly Me to the Moon .

Is Fly Me to the Moon based on true events? Explained

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‘Fly Me To The Moon’ plays on moon hoax conspiracy theories and historical events

‘fly me to the moon’ starring channing tatum and scarlett johansson is loosely based on true events.

a field trip to the moon

By Margaret Darby

It’s been nearly 55 years since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to step foot on the moon. Still, between 5-11% of Americans believe the moon landing never actually happened, per Statistica .

Conspiracy theories claiming the Apollo 11 mission was a hoax have caught traction, pointing out minor inconsistencies in moon landing footage and photographs — such as the supposed lack of stars in the lunar sky.

Most theories rest on the foundational truth that the United States desperately wanted to win the Space Race. Some people believe the U.S. staged the moon landing for a guaranteed win over the Soviet Union.

“Fly Me To The Moon,” an upcoming romantic comedy starring Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum, might play on popular moon hoax theories, but it is not based on the true story.

In the film, marketing mogul Kelly Jones (Johansson) is hired by NASA to sell the lunar mission to the American people. On the off chance the moon landing fails, Jones is tasked with staging a fake moon landing video as backup — something NASA employee Cole Davis (Tatum) believes undermines the entire mission.

“The inspiration for this story,” director Greg Berlanti told People , “was to craft a big, fun, smart original movie around whether or not the American government could have possibly faked the Apollo 11 moon landing, which is still the most-watched live TV event in the history of the world and has since become one of the most talked about conspiracy theories.”

Is ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ a true story?

“Fly Me To The Moon” draws on historical events, but the majority of the plot is fiction. There is no official evidence that NASA ever staged a fake version of the moon landing.

NASA denies theories that claim the moon landing was fake.

“The arguments that have been arrayed on the side that the lunar landing were a hoax are very elaborate and they have to be to support a theory like this,” said Brain Welch, a NASA spokesperson, per a 2001 FOX special on the moon hoax theory.

“There are always gonna be people who believe some outlandish theories, and the notion that we somehow were able to fake the lunar missions is pretty outlandish,” Welch added. “There were probably a quarter of a million people who were directly involved in the Apollo program and another half million people beyond that — three quarters of a million people can’t keep a secret like that.”

‘Fly Me To The Moon’ isn’t entirely fictitious

“Fly Me To The Moon” is loosely based on a true story. The movie takes creatively liberty in spinning historical events into a lighthearted, entertaining story for audiences. But NASA really did hire PR specialists to boost dwindling support for the lunar mission.

As the Space Race escalated, Americans weren’t sold on the Apollo 11 mission. The Civil Rights Movement was coming to a close and many Americans considered the lunar missions frivolous, per The Atlantic .

The United States spent $25.8 billion on the Apollo 11 mission, money many American believed should have been spent fighting poverty among African Americans, per Smithsonian Magazine .

“One-fifth of the population lacks adequate food, clothing, shelter and medical care,” Baptist preacher Ralph Abernathy said outside the Kennedy Space Center during a peaceful protest, per History . “The money for the space program ... should be spent to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, tend the sick, and house the shelterless.”

Amid problems at home, the U.S. was knee-deep in a decadeslong Cold War with the Soviet Union. U.S. leaders believed beating the Soviet Union to the moon would signify dominance. But the mission required support from the American people.

To get American support for the lunar missions, NASA hired PR experts, like Johansson’s character, to market the moon, per Space . The PR specialists were not hired to film a fake moon landing though; they trained news media and made the mission more accessible to ordinary people by pushing for a live broadcast of the event.

“I believe the marketing aspect of Apollo was as important as the spacecraft, I absolutely do,” said David Meerman Scott, the author of several books on marketing, per The New York Times. Selling the scientific and cultural impact of the mission “was absolutely essential for us to have been able to do that program.”

Are Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum’s characters in ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ real people?

Johansson plays Kelly Jones, a marketing maven tasked with selling the Apollo 11 mission to Americans. Kelly Jones is a fictitious character likely based on the many PR specialists hired by NASA to market the lunar missions.

Tatum plays Cole Davies, NASA’s launch director for the Apollo 11 mission. Cole Davies is also a fictitious character. He is likely based on Eugene Kranz, who worked on NASA’s mission control for 34 years and was a launch director for the Apollo 11 mission, per the National Air and Space Museum .

The romantic plot line between Cole Davies and Kelly Jones was created for the film.

Watch: Trailer for ‘Fly Me To The Moon’

“Fly Me To The Moon” is in theaters on Friday, July 5. The film will be available for streaming on Apple TV+ after it leaves theaters.

It is rated PG-13 for some language and smoking.

'Fly Me To The Moon' Review: In Space, No One Can Hear You Smooch

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The Big Picture

  • Fly Me To The Moon is a high-concept romantic comedy set in the Cold War era, focusing on the space race and a marketing guru tasked with selling the moon landing.
  • The film features a charming cast, including Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum, and balances predictable rom-com beats with the absurd concept of faking a moon landing.
  • Despite some minor issues with character development and pacing, Fly Me To The Moon is an enjoyable and memorable rom-com with strong writing and performances.

Certain places and times have that special something about them, a romantic je ne sais quoi that’s undefinable and undeniable. The canals of Venice, Italy. The beauty of Kyoto, Japan. The sensory pleasures of Paris, France. Last (but never least), the majestic government bases of Cold War Florida. In all seriousness, it’s not the first place most would think of as a rom-com setting (specifically one centered around an attempt to sell, and then fake, the moon landing). Fly Me To The Moon , the new Greg Berlanti romantic comedy about love in the time of the space race, really shouldn’t work. Surprisingly, like the Apollo 11 rocket whose launch it centers around, it somehow sticks the landing .

The film boasts a rare combination of factors that cohere into one of the most memorable high-concept rom-coms in recent memory. What if the folks from Thank You For Smoking prevented the world of For All Mankind from coming to pass (with echoes of Lubitsch and deep-net conspiracy theories)? The cast is genuinely charming, the dialogue hits, and the narrative itself nicely evolves as it progresses, keeping it from ever feeling stuck. The pivots into new territory at times need more nuance in their development, as do certain character choices. As a whole, however, Fly Me To The Moon escapes the gravitational pull of stale genre tropes and carves itself something new and beautiful among the stars.

Fly Me to the Moon (2024)

Marketing maven Kelly Jones wreaks havoc on launch director Cole Davis's already difficult task. When the White House deems the mission too important to fail, Jones is directed to stage a fake moon landing as back-up.

What Is 'Fly Me To The Moon' About?

Fly Me To The Moon takes place in a Cold War America that’s a little gun-shy about the space race following the tragic real-life Apollo 1 fire . This poses a problem for the United States government, which is locked in competition with the Soviet Union yet needing greater public and congressional support to light a fire under a new rocket. Enter Kelly Jones (a relentlessly charming Scarlett Johansson ), a marketing guru brought to the Kennedy Space Center to shine up the space program’s branding while ensuring Apollo 11 makes the United States look good. She butts heads with Apollo 11 project lead Cole Davis (a perfectly serious Channing Tatum ), a pilot-turned-NASA-bigwig who puts the mission first and fails to see the value in the government’s marketing concerns.

Potential lovers with secrets are a fairly common rom-com trope, fueling genre classics like Ernst Lubitsch ’s The Shop Around The Corner , its effective remake in Nora Ephron ’s You’ve Got Mail , or Gil Junger ’s Shakespeare modernization 10 Things I Hate About You . There’s a bit of that here, but the most important secret here comes straight from Uncle Sam. The project’s secretive handler Moe Berkus ( Woody Harrelson ) doesn’t just want Kelly to sell the moon landing, he wants her to insure it by staging a fake moon landing simultaneous to the real one. It’s a fail-safe to keep egg off Uncle Sam’s face, but it’s also an insulting bit of subterfuge behind the backs of NASA’s astronauts and engineers, a surefire way to cause tension between Johansson and Tatum’s mutually crushing coworkers. It’s this charmingly absurd turn of the wheel, borrowing from decades of real-life conspiracy theories, that turns Fly Me To The Moon into something genuinely special .

'Fly Me to the Moon' Lands a Novel, Absurd Tale With Charm and Humor to Spare

The first introduction to Scarlet Johansson’s Kelly is electric. She enters across the table from a room full of corporate men, and immediately it’s evident that she’s a mile ahead of them. There’s clear intelligence and charm in her every interaction, alongside layers of mystery that Johansson lands with aplomb. Channing Tatum’s Cole is tortured, serious, and stiff by design, at least until he rises to the occasion against a set of important challenges. Despite having the less flashy protagonist, Tatum has more than enough charisma to make Cole nuanced and engaging throughout. Johansson and Tatum are the heart of the film, and they’re well-supported by the rest of the cast. Woody Harrelson is a mysterious chaos agent as Moe, and Jim Rash is thoroughly hilarious as fake moon landing director Lance Vespertine.

While the relationship elements in Fly Me To The Moon do follow fairly predictable rom-com beats , they’re elevated considerably by the higher-than-usual stakes of their important historical moment set in the heart of the Cold War. Additionally, the absurdist concept alone sets Fly Me To The Moon miles above stereotypical rom-coms. It’s breezy and engaging to watch Kelly humorously push to sell the concept of space to the public against Cole’s serious reservations, but it ratchets up another level entirely when the real Apollo efforts are simultaneously mimicked with Hollywood magic. The back-and-forth between the plotlines is well-balanced and provides ample opportunity for different kinds of conflict and tension. The final act wraps up with further escalation around the fake moon landing, cementing Fly Me To The Moon as one of the highest concept rom-coms in years.

The Classic Romantic Comedy That Was Almost a Murder Mystery

The iconic rom-com almost took a very bizarre turn.

While the movie’s pacing and various twists are well-developed overall, some individual pivots or moments of tension are resolved too abruptly or easily. Certain character turns emerge too suddenly and need better development. When Kelly starts to have visible doubts about Project Artemis, it’s a pretty sudden about-face for the character up to that point. A couple pivots in Cole’s journey similarly would benefit from more thorough development. The character feels almost universally change-resistant for much of the narrative, but there are a few key moments where he forgives too easily or changes too quickly given what's come before. Additionally, the evolving narrative leading into the faked moon landing is clever and exciting, but the pivot from the project of selling the moon landing to faking it is so thoroughly universal that it at times seems like a step into an entirely different movie.

All these are minor issues, however, in the context of a film that works quite well thanks to a strong, charismatic cast, solid world-building, and a clever script that’s well-structured and quite funny. Fly Me To The Moon has a bevy of quotable lines , like Anna Garcia ’s wonderfully blunt “this is what happens when you work for Richard Nixon ” or Lance Vespertine’s exasperated “stop looking at me and be on the moon… stop flirting, and be on the moon .” It may glide too easily along some major plot points, but the rom-com is still a wildly enjoyable ride anchored by spot-on comedy and a cast whose chemistry is out of this world.

Strong Writing and Performances Make 'Fly Me To The Moon' Soar

Altogether, Fly Me To The Moon really shouldn’t work as well as it does . Its handling of Cold War state politics runs the risk of having either too little context or being too dry and exposition-laden. Stiff, by-the-books characters like Cole Davies are sometimes a bore to watch in a genre that’s typically breezy. There are ample opportunities for missteps in its dealing with the more absurdist elements as the narrative proceeds. The script as a whole avoids these potential pitfalls well, carried by strong comedic moments, an excellent cast, and the continual charm of a narrative that never falls into a rut thanks to constant evolution. It uses traditional rom-com tropes, but sets them in wildly new contexts that give fresh life to what could be old material.

Fly Me To The Moon is essentially the movie equivalent of an improv troupe’s central “yes, and” commandment . “Yes, we sold the real-life moon landing like it was so many watches” becomes “yes, we built cutting edge rockets to land on the moon AND we also faked it” becomes… no spoilers here, but there’s a final, tense pivot that’s a strong finale. It’s good to see such a well-budgeted and ambitious high-concept romantic comedy. It's a rom-com that humorously enough exemplifies the adage to shoot for the moon, so that even a miss lands among the stars--it doesn’t quite land every beat to its fullest extent, but perhaps that’s the peril of trying genuinely wild swings. At its core, Fly Me To The Moon is a thoroughly enjoyable, memorably novel rom-com that regularly surprises in a genre that often doesn’t, and we're all better for it.

Fly Me To The Moon is an ambitious, charming rom-com with charismatic performances and a funny script, but some important plot and character pivots could have stronger development.

  • Greg Berlanti's confident direction and Rose Gilroy's funny, high-concept script deliver a memorable, novel romantic comedy.
  • Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum have full-tilt movie star chemistry and give excellent performances, anchored by a strong supporting cast.
  • Strong worldbuilding situates the audience in the Cold War-set world well without getting bogged down by needless details.
  • Certain important pivots in the story would benefit from honing in their introduction and development.
  • Some relevant character choices aren't adequately developed and contexualized.

Fly Me To The Moon releases in U.S. theaters on July 12. Click below for showtimes near you.

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Fly Me to the Moon (2024)

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‘Fly Me to the Moon’ Review: A Rocket’s Red Glare Gives Proof to Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum’s Screen Chemistry

Originally intended for streaming, Greg Berlanti's Apollo 11 crowd-pleaser is the rare 21st-century rom-com to boast the brains and heart to support repeat viewing.

By Peter Debruge

Peter Debruge

Chief Film Critic

  • ‘Longlegs’ Review: Nicolas Cage Worms His Way Into Your Nightmares With Dread-Filled Serial Killer Thriller 3 days ago
  • ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ Review: A Rocket’s Red Glare Gives Proof to Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum’s Screen Chemistry 3 days ago
  • Giving Voice to the New Hollywood Revolution, ‘Chinatown’ and ‘Shampoo’ Writer Robert Towne Brought Honesty to Artifice 6 days ago

Fly Me to the Moon

Trailers make “ Fly Me to the Moon ” look cute at best, when in fact it’s quite clever: a smarter-than-it-sounds, space-age sparring match of the Rock Hudson/Doris Day variety, in which the honest-to-a-fault NASA launch director responsible for sending Apollo 11 into orbit (a straight-faced Channing Tatum ) goes head-to-head with a mendacious Madison Avenue spin doctor ( Scarlett Johansson , delightfully wily). Set during the first half of 1969, director Greg Berlanti ’s high-concept screwball comedy values chemistry over history, bending the facts to suggest a fresh set of stakes for the operation, where romance fuels a rocket to the moon.

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It might literally take a rocket scientist like Tatum’s Air Force pilot-turned-NASA team captain Cole Davis to get America on the moon, but without the brains of Kelly Jones (Johansson’s quick-witted but fictional character), Apollo 11 might never have gotten off the ground — that’s how vital the PR component was to its success. By acknowledging that, Gilroy and Berlanti capture a turning point in American history, when spin became the coin of the realm … which seems all the more relevant in light of recent events.

Frankly, there’s little chance a movie like this would have flown in 1969 (remember, that was the year of the Manson murders, when “Easy Rider” became a surprise blockbuster and X-rated “Midnight Cowboy” won best picture). It’s unusual even by contemporary standards, when rom-coms have been all but relegated to streaming — where this Apple original was destined until test screenings showed it could support a theatrical run. With its retro-styled polyester costumes and relatively chaste love story, Berlanti’s film reaches back to an earlier, more innocent time, even as it presents a country in turmoil: The Vietnam War was dividing Americans at home, and President Nixon desperately wanted to make good on Kennedy’s promise to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

Enter Moe Burkus (Woody Harrelson), a shadowy government agent tasked with instigating conspiracies. He shows up at a Manhattan bar and offers Kelly (who’s been selling lies her entire life) a chance to redeem herself. Her assignment is to bring America around to supporting Apollo 11, which means convincing not just the public, but also a handful of politicians holding out on a much-needed vote on Capitol Hill.

From the moment she appears on screen — wearing a fake pregnancy bump to an ad-agency pitch meeting — Johansson shows where Kelly’s morals lie. She’s playing a corporate con woman to Tatum’s overgrown boy scout. In a scene straight out of “Top Gun,” the two characters meet at a roadside diner in Cocoa Beach, Fla., the night before they’re destined to cross paths at Kennedy Space Center.

“You’re on fire,” Cole tells her, and Kelly deflects the line, not realizing that, in fact, her notebook is blazing. The next day, the pair are considerably cooler around one another, as Cole considers whatever she’s been hired to do a distraction to the task at hand, which is getting his men safely to the moon. (He still carries the deaths of the three Apollo 1 astronauts on his conscience.) Gilroy’s script may not be historically accurate, but it is rigorously researched and ingeniously structured, using forgotten or little-publicized aspects of the mission in unexpected ways.

Compare that to Damien Chazelle’s “First Man,” Hollywood’s more overtly hagiographic look at Apollo 11 (and Armstrong in particular). “Fly Me to the Moon” isn’t nearly as likely to be shown in classrooms, but I found it infinitely more entertaining — and more revealing of American society. The modern era is all about selling, and even such an important endeavor had to be sold to the people. After Kelly offers NASA-themed partnerships to some of America’s most popular brands (from Omega watches to Fruit of the Loom undies), Cole tells her he has no intention of turning his rocket into a giant billboard.

That’s why Moe takes to Kelly’s idea of televising the moon landing, insisting that they stage the historical moment in a controlled environment. Moe essentially blackmails her into playing along, which amounts to an even greater betrayal of Cole’s trust than she’s already done by casting actors to play him and lead engineer Henry Smalls (Ray Romano) for the cameras. But Kelly has no choice, and so she enlists an old friend, high-maintenance director Lance Vespertine (Jim Rash, flamboyantly over-the-top), to do what even Kubrick wouldn’t.

Considering how important sincerity is to Cole, it’s hard to imagine Kelly’s budding relationship with him surviving such a deception. But that’s where the chemistry between the two characters kicks in. In the end, “Fly Me to the Moon” only needs to sell one thing: that beneath Kelly and Cole’s fast-paced dialogue and combative flirtation, there exists a mutual attraction compelling enough to keep us guessing. We already know how the lunar mission turns out, but never tire of gazing upon stars such as these.

Reviewed at Regal Sherman Oaks Galleria, Los Angeles, July 5, 2024. MPA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 132 MIN.

  • Production: A Columbia Pictures release of an Apple Original Films presentation of a These Pictures production. Producers: Jonathan Lia, Scarlett Johansson, Keenan Flynn, Sarah Schechter. Executive producer: Robert J. Dohrmann.
  • Crew: Director: Greg Berlanti. Screenplay: Rose Gilroy; story: Keenan Flynn & Bill Kirstein. Camera: Dariusz Wolski. Editor: Harry Jierjian. Music: Daniel Pemberton.
  • With: Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Jim Rash, Anna Garcia, Donald Elise Watkins, Noah Robbins, Colin Woodell, Christian Zuber, Nick Dillenburg, Ray Romano, Woody Harrelson.

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Field Notes

The Rise of the ‘Earlymoon’

Many couples are no longer waiting until after their weddings to take a trip.

A couple smiles at the camera while holding fishing rods, with the ocean and horizon in the backdrop.

By Allison Duncan

One month before their July 2023 wedding, Shrestha Maharaj, 28, an analytics and insights manager based in South Africa, and Sumeeth Suthurgam, 31, a senior digital design lead, took an earlymoon.

The couple spent a long weekend in Umdloti, a small resort village along the northern coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa, just a 45-minute drive from their home. Ms. Maharaj described their earlymoon as a “break from the chaos,” where they enjoyed electric scooter riding, table tennis playing, beach walking and even practicing their first dance. “A change of scenery was necessary for that,” Ms. Maharaj said, laughing. “It’s amazing what that’ll do even when you’re still in the same city.”

For couples who want to bask in the engagement period before their weddings, going on a prenuptial trip — or an earlymoon — is becoming increasingly popular. It’s different from both a mini-moon — a quick getaway after the wedding to decompress — and a honeymoon, in which a couple takes a longer, more elaborate post-wedding vacation.

“We really just needed a break and wanted to de-stress before our wedding,” Ms. Maharaj said of their earlymoon. “Indian weddings can be intense. We had four wedding events over three days and D.I.Y.-ed a lot of it.”

Many hotels and resorts now tailor certain packages to earlymooners. Hyatt Centric Faneuil Hall Boston , for example, began offering an earlymoon package, “Get Away Before the Big Day,” last summer. The three-night stay, starting at $800, includes a day spa pass for two; a picnic at Boston Public Garden; dinner at the hotel’s in-house restaurant, Jules on Devonshire ; and a welcome bottle of champagne.

“Earlymooners just want quality time with each other, so couples have loved the stress-free aspect of it,” said Kevin Matheson, the general manager of Hyatt Centric Faneuil Hall Boston. “Some even joke they’ll be back for their babymoons.”

Stanly Ranch , a Napa Valley resort in California, has seen a 15 percent increase yearly since opening in 2022 in couples spending their earlymoons there, many from within driving distance in the San Francisco Bay Area, said Laura McIver, the resort’s general manager. At The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos, Calif., a roughly two-hour drive from Los Angeles, there has been a 25 percent spike in couples booking stays before their weddings since it opened in February 2023, said Joern Schwaiger, the inn’s general manager.

And at Ashford Castle in Mayo, Ireland, the earlymoon package — starting at $8,500 — includes two nights at the hotel’s private boathouse; a boat excursion and a picnic on Chief’s Island ; a rose quartz couples massage; and a private wine tasting in the property’s wine cellar. The hotel has also arranged private consultations with the Irish jewelry designer Nigel O’Reilly for earlymooners who want to commission custom pieces of jewelry to commemorate their upcoming nuptials.

“Before this year, we would have simply called an earlymoon a vacation or getaway,” said Nicole Janoff, a senior manager of leisure travel at Magma Global , a travel agency in New York, who credits social media posts from couples for the 10 percent increase in travel inquiries from earlymooners that Magma Global has received so far this year. “The earlymoon trend represents a shift in how couples approach their wedding prep and prioritize their time together before the big day.”

Ms. Janoff also mentioned that typically couples take their earlymoons six to eight weeks before their weddings, following the bridal shower and bachelor/bachelorette parties. She has sent couples to places like Montauk, N.Y., Bermuda and Aspen, Colo., for spring and summer nuptials, while couples marrying in the fall or winter often travel to Mexico and the Caribbean. “No matter which destination they choose, there is always a massage appointment made,” she said, jokingly.

Those with longer engagements who want to go on earlymoons tend to travel several months before their wedding. Jillian Moya, 36, a corporate accounting software trainer, and Reggie Blackburn, 40, who works for the Department of Justice, are marrying on New Year’s Eve in their home state of Florida. Last month, they embarked on an earlymoon that started in London, made a stop in Croatia and ended with a Mediterranean cruise through Italy and Greece.

“We initially wanted a destination wedding but fell in love with a local venue so decided to marry in Florida,” Ms. Moya said. “Our Europe trip was the perfect romantic getaway. We enjoyed peaceful times together before diving into full-on wedding planning.”

Tom Marchant, a founder and the chief executive of the luxury travel company Black Tomato , said earlymoons unlock more destination options as couples aren’t traditionally bound to a specific post-wedding time frame.

He organized an earlymoon to Bhutan and India for a client couple six months before their August 2023 wedding. Then, after the couple’s summer nuptials in Newport, R.I., they took a New England road trip through Rhode Island, Maine and Connecticut.

“Even those who have wedding planners feel the heat as the date approaches, so we find people are more at ease with some distance between the big day and the earlymoon,” said Mr. Marchant, who has noticed a 13 percent uptick in earlymoon inquiries through his company this year. “Traveling right after a wedding can be frantic. An earlymoon strips away the noise from that and allows more focus on spending meaningful time with each other.”

Dri Buono Patel, 28, a corporate health care manager in Marlton, N.J., and her husband, Matthew Patel, 29, a manager at the global consulting firm EY, planned an eight-day earlymoon to Maui in September 2022, nine months before their wedding.

“We are an ‘any excuse to travel’ type of couple,” said Ms. Patel, who also took a two-week honeymoon to Italy with her husband after their wedding. “Being engaged is so special, but the logistics, decision-making and nuances of planning a wedding take some of that excitement away. The trip gave us time to appreciate this phase of life.”

The couple rented a Jeep for a self-guided food tour during their earlymoon, trying banana cream pie at Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop; fresh poke from South Maui Fish Company; fresh baked slices of bread from Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread; and coconut ice cream from Coconut Glen’s. They also snorkeled, hiked and took a sunset dinner cruise.

“Everyone kept asking us if we were on our honeymoon, and we’d giggle,” Ms. Patel said. “It was a great escape from wedding planning, although my husband would add that it was also an extra expense on top of the wedding and honeymoon.”

Couples that can afford both an earlymoon and a honeymoon can enjoy “two distinct phases of celebration and relaxation surrounding their wedding,” Ms. Janoff added. “The earlymoon provides a pre-wedding retreat, while the honeymoon serves as a post-wedding getaway to mark the beginning of married life.”

Weddings Trends and Ideas

The Rise of the ‘Earlymoon’: Many couples are no longer waiting  until after their weddings to take a trip.

Celebrity Wedding Singers: To delight their guests or surprise their partners, some weddings feature live performances from musical headliners .

Bubbly and Botox: For some brides and their party, undergoing a cosmetic procedure or two is an essential component of wedding prep .

Keeping Friendships Intact: The soon-to-be-married couple and their closest friends might experience stress and even tension leading up to their nuptials. Here’s how to avoid a friendship breakup .

‘Edible Haute Couture’: Bastien Blanc-Tailleur, a luxury cake designer based in Paris, creates opulent confections for high-profile clients , including European royalty and American socialites.

Reinventing a Mexican Tradition: Mariachi, a soundtrack for celebration in Mexico, offers a way for couples to honor their heritage  at their weddings.

COMMENTS

  1. Field Trip to the Moon (Field Trip Adventures)

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    John L. Hare. 4.27. 978 ratings204 reviews. It's field trip day, and students are excited to travel on their yellow spaceship bus from their space station to the moon. Climb aboard the spaceship bus for a fantastic field trip adventure to the moon. Once they land, students debark and set out with their teacher to explore.

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  7. Field Trip to the Moon

    It's field trip day, and students are excited to travel on their yellow spaceship bus from their space station to the moon in this wordless picture book.An ALA Notable Children's BookA Golden Duck Notable Picture BookClimb aboard the spaceship bus for a fantastic field trip adventure to the moon! Once their bright yellow ship lands, students debark and set out with their teacher to explore.

  8. Field Trip to the Moon

    Field Trip to the Moon. Hardcover - Picture Book, May 14 2019. by John Hare (Author) 4.7 163 ratings. See all formats and editions. It's field trip day, and students are excited to travel on their yellow spaceship bus from their space station to the moon in this wordless picture book. An ALA Notable Children's Book.

  9. Field Trip to the Moon

    Climb aboard the spaceship bus for a fantastic field trip adventure to the moon! Once their bright yellow ship lands, students debark and set out with their teacher to explore. They jump over trenches and see craters and mountains on the moon's surface and even Earth in the faraway distance.

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  29. The Rise of the 'Earlymoon'

    The trip gave us time to appreciate this phase of life." Image In September 2022, nine months before their wedding, Dri Buono Patel and Matthew Patel planned an eight-day earlymoon to Maui.