StarDate logo
Star Parties

Visitors to the Grand Canyon will find a bonus beginning on Saturday: the Grand Canyon Star Party. The week-long party will offer tours of the night sky, telescope viewing, and other events on both the north and south rims. And the only cost is the usual park entry fee.

If you can’t make it, though, don’t worry — there are plenty of star parties to go around — from California to Maine, Washington to Florida. COVID-19 wiped out many events in 2020 and beyond. But most of them are back this summer.

Some will be held in national parks, such as Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon, in Utah, which offer especially dark skies. Others are hosted by private groups, although they, too, seek out parks and other locations far from city lights. The big parties last for days, with many attendees camping on site.

Many other groups, such as museums and observatories, offer shorter events — a night here and there. Some are free, some are not. But most offer nice views of the night sky for novices and veterans alike.

Of course, we’re partial to the star parties at McDonald Observatory. During the summer months, they’re generally offered four nights a week, beginning about the time the sky gets good and dark. Experts provide naked-eye tours of the stars under some of the darkest skies in North America. And several telescopes offer up-close views of galaxies, nebulas, planets, and other astronomical wonders — at parties that celebrate the beauty of the universe. You can find details at

Script by Damond Benningfield

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top