Make the night unforgettable and build memories that will last a lifetime with these awesome stargazing tips! Whether it's a romantic date night or an evening with the whole fam, this budget-friendly activity will be a hit for everyone!
Stargazing is a fantastic way to spend a date night with your lover or a fun family evening with the whole crew. It can be intriguing, relaxing, romantic, awe-inspiring, and, best of all, FREE! Seriously… What's not to like?!
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Whether you're looking up in your backyard or you're driving to the best local stargazing spot, we've got some awesome stargazing tips to take your evening to the next level. From what you need to bring, to where you need to go, and so much more, we're here to help you make your night one for the books!
STARGAZING TIP #1: CHOOSE YOUR SPOT WISELY
No matter where you are in the country (or the world!), knowing the best places to stargaze can make or break your night. Use these stargazing tips to help you find a prime spot to view the stars right where you are!
- Drive to the Country – As long as you can find a dark spot with a clear sky, you're ready to stargaze! Drive out to the country to get away from the town and street lights. Lay a blanket out on the ground or relax in the back of a truck bed or SUV.
- Stay at Home – Yes, you can stargaze right from your very own backyard! Turn off all the lights inside and outside your home so it's completely dark outside for optimal viewing. Grab a red light flashlight to help you see without lighting up the sky! Trust us, you won't want to go back in… Backyard camping trip, anyone?!
- Planetarium – If it's just not possible for you to get away from the city lights, find a local planetarium and see the stars there. Since planetariums are open during the day, this is a great option for young kids who can't miss bedtime!
You don't have to spend a fortune traveling to some incredible stargazing location. Make it work right where you are, enjoy the fresh air, and soak in a slower pace of life for a bit!
TIP #2: KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Okay, so you've found a dark spot to view the stars… Now you just need to know what the heck to look for! Here's a list of some don't-miss things to watch for while you're looking to the sky!
- Constellations – Find as many as you can and check them off your list. If you're stargazing with kids, this is a great way to keep them interested and give them an introduction to astronomy!
- Shooting Stars – Don't forget to make a wish!
- Planets – Did you know you can sometimes see planets in a dark night sky, too? As a general rule, stars will appear to twinkle in the sky and planets will not!
- Meteors – Check the calendar and see when the next meteor shower will be in your area.
- Satellites – There are several satellites able to be seen in the sky at night. Look for a slower moving light that looks like a bright star moving across the sky in a straight line.
Count how many you can see on your stargazing outing. Make a stargazing bucket list and check off as many items in one night as you can!
STARGAZING TIP #3: BE COMFORTABLE
Stargazing usually happens at night, right? So let's be honest, a basic level of comfort should be top priority to keep crankiness at bay, especially if it's a date night! No matter where you choose to go, try these stargazing tips for staying comfy and making sure the evening goes smoothly!
- Dress for Comfort – Make sure you dress appropriately to your weather when you are stargazing. Take into account the temperature and dress warm if it's chilly or cool if it's hot out!
- Pack a Blanket – However you choose to watch the stars, you'll be thankful for a soft place to rest your head! Go ahead and pack an extra juuust in case there's a nighttime breeze.
- Bring Snacks – Avoid late-night hangry moments by packing some fun snacks! Moon pies anyone? 😉
- Lawn Chairs – If laying flat on your back doesn't sound ideal to you, pack a comfortable lawn chair so you can lean back and view the stars without craning your neck the whole time!
These stargazing tips are sure to keep you comfortable and happy during your fun-filled evening!
TIP #4: FIND THE BEST STARGAZING APP TO USE
Using an app to help you find constellations and planets can help you make the most of your stargazing experience. There are so many great stargazing apps out there. Here are a few of our favs!
- Star Tracker – The Star Tracker app can show you the sun, moon, and planets, 88 constellations, and over 8,000 deep-sky objects in real time. Pretty cool, huh?
- Skyview – The Skyview app has the ability to identify planets, satellites, and constellations by simply pointing it at the sky to help you know exactly what you're looking at.
- Star Walk 2 – The Star Walk 2 app will help you identify planets as well as notify you what you should be able to see from your area now and in the future. Use this app to help you plan a second stargazing adventure!
- International Space Station – The ISS Spotter app won't show you stars, but it does show you exactly where the international space station is and when the best viewing times in your area are.
- NASA – The NASA app is full of information on space. It won't help you stargaze, but it is sure fun to look at and explore while you're laying out under the stars!
Avoid staring into the night sky confused and unsure how to find anything with one of these free stargazing apps!
HOW TO TAKE STARGAZING TO THE NEXT LEVEL
All you really need to stargaze is a dark night, a clear sky, and yourself! However, if you want to take your stargazing up a notch, these are the best stargazing products to help you do that!
- Telescope – A telescope is a must for serious or seasoned stargazers!
- Binoculars – If you don't have a telescope, invest in an affordable set of binoculars so you can see the sky up close and personal.
- Star Charts – Get a paper version for young kids to feel involved, too!
- Warm Gear – October is a great month to stargaze because the cool weather often yields a clear sky. However, this means you need to take precautions to keep warm! Try hand warmers, wool socks, and a thermal mug to keep your drinks hot!
- Bug Spray – Remember what we said about being comfortable? Yeah… don't forget the bug spray! Try the handy wrist bands for small kids.
- Picnic Basket – Grab a picnic basket or a lunch box to take your late-night snack foods in!
- Stargazing Chair – Did you know they actually make chairs that recline for easy stargazing? Heck yes!
- Tent – Why not take your stargazing experience a little further and make it a campout?! Grab those sleeping bags and spend a night under the stars.
None of these items are required for stargazing with your spouse or your family! These are simply add-ons to take your stargazing experience to the next level. No matter how you choose to do it, these stargazing tips will help you find the constellations, enjoy your night, and make memories that will last a lifetime with those you love. We call that a success!
What is your favorite way to view the stars? Share your best stargazing tips below!
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Have a stellar day!