It may be icy and windy, but this park still offers oodles in the snow
For casual visitors, Observatory Park is open daily 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. at 10610 Clay Street in Montville Township.
For those wanting a more guided experience, however, the astro-nats (astronomy naturalists – get it?) are glad to help, and will continue their special program offerings despite this new park’s blustery cold.
Each Friday and Saturday night Observatory Park buildings will be open from 6 – 10 p.m. (November – February), 6 – 11 p.m.(March – October) and staffed with an astro-nat for self-guided night sky viewing as weather permits.
Each Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. enjoy building open houses of the Robert McCullough Science Center and the Oberle Observatory to view the meteorite display (featuring a real meteorite you can touch!) and the huge Oberle reflecting telescope. These hours also include The Sky Tonight Planetarium Show each Sunday at 2 p.m., offering a naturalist-hosted preview of what’s happening in the sky during the month.
More structured programming is available for visitors of all ages and interest groups as well.
Biweekly Friday programs from 7 to 9 p.m. this season include Galileo’s Discoveries on January 11 and 25, Ohio’s Place in Astronomy on February 8 and 22, and Ohio’s Mound Builders on March 8 and 22.
Programs to study the full moons are scheduled for Saturday, January 26 (the Wolf Moon) from 5 to 7 p.m.; Sunday, February 24 (the Snow Moon) from 5 to 7 p.m.; and Wednesday, March 27(the Worm Moon) from 8 to 10 p.m
Boy scouts can earn their astronomy belt loops and pins on Saturday, January 12 from 4 to 6 p.m.
Do you have a telescope that’s collecting dust in your attic? Bring it to the drop-in telescope clinic on Saturday, January 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. and an astro-nat will help you clean, configure, and figure it out so that you can go back to sky-watching.
In honor of Groundhog Day, visit on Saturday, February 2 from 2 to 4 p.m. for Weatherwise: Groundhog vs. Science and walk away with some meteorological know-how that’s a bit stronger than a shadow.
Then, as winter comes to a close, visit Observatory Park on Wednesday, March 20 from 7 to 8:30 a.m. – bright and early! – to watch the sun rise on the first day of spring.
Only the boy scout program and telescope clinic require registration; all others are free to attend and wheelchair/accessible without registration. For details on these and other Geauga Park District programs, visit their website and click Find a Program.