Special this season: 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, meteors, moths, movies & more
Geauga Park District’s Observatory Park in Montville Township is open daily 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. through Labor Day, and Naturalist (“Astro-Nat”) Chris Mentrek and other naturalist staff are eager to lead the way around your International Dark Sky Park during the following upcoming programs this summer.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing this month, we’re hosting an indoor presentation on the fascinating history of this audacious undertaking: Apollo to the Moon two Fridays, July 12th and 26th, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., followed by night sky viewing using park telescopes until 11:00 p.m., weather permitting.
More hands-on astronomy education will also be presented these Fridays: August 9th and 23rd (Make a Spectroscope) and September 13th and 27th (Medieval Astronomers).
Our popular Nights Out in the Park return to Observatory Park this season include outside movie nights on Saturdays, July 27th (“Harry Potter & the Sorceror’s Stone”) and August 10th (“First Man”), with activities beginning at 8:00 p.m. and movies starting at dusk. Free popcorn and lemonade will be provided, as well as visits from Lake Metroparks’ owls on July 27th and free ice cream treats on August 10th. Movies are shown indoors in case of inclement weather. Come one, come all for the show, with blankets and lawn chairs in tow!
The evening of Monday, August 12th, stay late or spend the night to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower during the Meteors & Moths Overnight Event – the one night when tent camping is allowed at Observatory Park, with peak meteor time between 1:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m.! Also check out cool moths attracted to our black light and mercury vapor lamps and help sample and survey nocturnal wildlife. A naturalist will be on hand from sunset to sunrise to answer your questions.
Guided night sky viewing returns to the renovated Nassau Astronomical Station and its huge research-grade telescope these Saturdays:
- July 13th
- August 24th
- September 28th (naturalist-led),
- August 17th
- September 21st (Chagrin Valley Astronomical Society volunteer-led).
Enjoy full moon programs from on Tuesday, July 16th (The Human Moon); Thursday, August 15th (The Sturgeon Moon); and Saturday, September 14th (The Pawpaw Moon).
Did you know certain age groups get extra-special access? It’s true! Kids ages 3-5 can sign up to enjoy Astrotots: Once Upon a Time, about the 12 brave men who explored the moon, on Friday, July 19th, and Saturday, July 20th. Young people ages 6 to 11 can sign up for Nature Explorers: Meadow Insect Extravaganza on Saturday, September 21st. And seniors can sign up for Elderberries: Heavenly Bodies Astronomy Night the evening of Thursday, September 19th. Register for these soon at www.geaugaparkdistrict.org or 440-286-9516.
And finally, “Astro-Nat” Chris will open the Robert McCullough Science Center and Oberle Observatory these Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., all featuring The Sky Tonight Planetarium Shows at 2:00 p.m.:
- July 14th
- July 28th
- August 25th
- September 29th
For more details on any of these programs, please visit www.geaugaparkdistrict.org and filter by Astronomy, or visit the website to learn more about Observatory Park and its trails any time of day or night.
For more on Geauga Park District offerings, please call 440-286-9516 or visit Geauga Park District online via www.geaugaparkdistrict.org, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.