Looking for an astronomy fix? During the summer months, we don’t have the Friday night Public Viewings at the UofM’s Institute for Astrophysics, instead there is the Universe in the Park program on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer. These events are held in various parks — some close, some not so close. The program starts with a 20-30 minute presentation at 8:30 p.m. and then, weather permitting, an opportunity to view the sky through telescopes until 10 or 11 p.m. Participants can learn how to use a star map and go home with a free one.
Cost to Participate
This program is free, but a vehicle permit are required at the State Parks ($35 annual/$7 daily). Don’t forget to dress appropriately for Minnesota summer evenings (You know the drill — layers and insect repellent.) Since it IS a park, and you are paying for a day’s worth of parking, you might as well arrive early with a picnic and have some playtime.
Dress for a Minnesota summer evening. You may want to wear or bring long pants and sleeves in case it cools down after dark and bring the outdoor essentials, like bug spray, good walking shoes and and a water bottle.
Participating 2022 Universe In the Park locations:
Good news! The majority of the parks are within an hour’s drive of the mid-metro. (A few, specifically the North Shore State Parks, would fit well into a beautiful Minnesota summer road trip!)
|July 1||William O’Brien State Park|
|Dodge Nature Center (West St Paul)|
|Eastman Nature Center
Nerstrand Big Woods State Park
|July 29||Dodge Nature Center – Shepherd Farm (Cottage Grove)|
|July 30||Eastman Nature Center|
|William O’Brien State Park|
|Gooseberry Falls State Park
Tettegouche State Park
|August 19||Mille Lacs Kathio State Park|
|August 20||Father Hennepin State Park|
|August 27||Afton State Park|
More Astronomy Family Fun:
- Como Planetarium
- Minnesota Night Sky Viewing
- Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics – Public Viewing Nights
- Staring Lake Observatory, Eden Prairie
- We have found some fun items for learning astronomy as a family through Amazon. Family Fun Twin Cities does receive a commission on purchases made through our affiliate links.