SUMMER AT OBSERVATORY PARK – Special this season: meteors, moths, movies & more

Geauga Park District’s Observatory Park in Montville Township is open daily 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. through Labor Day, then till 11 p.m., and naturalists including “Astro-Nat” Chris Mentrek are eager to lead the way around your International Dark Sky Park during the following programs this summer.


Nights Out in the Park outdoor movie nights this year include “Jurassic Park” on Saturday, July 23, and “Raya and the Last Dragon” on Saturday, August 13. Guests may arrive as early as 8:30 p.m., with films beginning at dusk, and the August movie will also include free ice cream treats of your choice from a truck while supplies last! Bring blankets, lawn chairs and your own refreshments to make it an awesome evening under these internationally renowned dark skies.


The evening of Friday, August 12, sign up to 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 and 3 a.m.! Cool moths will be attracted to our black light and mercury vapor lamps, too, so you can help sample and survey nocturnal wildlife. Please check our website for camping guidelines. A naturalist will be on hand from sunset to sunrise.


Guided night sky viewing is offered on these Fridays and Saturdays: July 8 and 9, July 22, August 26 and 27, September 9, September 23 and September 24 (naturalist-led), as well as July 16, August 20 and September 17 at Nassau Astronomical Station (Chagrin Valley Astronomical Society volunteer-led).


Astronomy education on Friday evenings will be presented onsite July 8 in a program about measuring your sky’s darkness and how to fight back against light pollution; August 26 in a program about superhero constellations that includes a cool planetarium presentation; and September 9 in a program about how animals use the skies to help them navigate their migrations; while virtual Zoom programs will be presented on these following Fridays evenings: July 22 (Measure Your Sky’s Darkness) and September 23 (Migrations & the Sky).


Naturalist-led hikes will be hosted on Wednesday, July 13 (Full Moon Hike: The Green Corn Moon); Wednesday, August 10 (After-Work Walk); Thursday, August 11 (Full Moon Hike: The Sturgeon Moon); Wednesday, August 24 (After-Work Walk); Saturday, September 10 (Full Moon Hike: The Pawpaw Moon); and Saturday, September 24 (Backcountry Hike).


And did you know certain age groups get extra-special access? Young people ages 3 to 5 and their parents can sign up for Astrotots: Our Super Sun on Friday or Saturday, August 19 or 20; young people ages 6 to 11 and their parents can sign up for Astrotots XL: Daystar! on Saturday, August 19 or 20; and seniors can sign up for Elderberries: Astronomy Night the evening of Thursday, September 15.


Plus, last but certainly not least, “Astro-Nat” Chris presents his awesome The Sky Tonight Planetarium Shows on Sundays, July 24, August 28 and September 25, during two time slots each day.


Registration is required beginning June 20 for Geauga County residents and June 27 for out-of-county residents for the overnight event, education programs, Astrotots, Elderberries, naturalist-led hikes and planetarium shows. You can find more information and online registration at under Programs & Activities by filtering by Astronomy, or call 440-286-9516 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.


Our mobile-friendly website is also available 24/7 to learn more about Observatory Park, its features and its trails totaling almost four miles. By all means, enjoy!


For more on Geauga Park District offerings, please call 440-226-4695 or 440-226-4636 or visit Geauga Park District online via, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.


Geauga News
Author: Geauga News