Many astronomy clubs and organizations host events where astronomers of all ages can get together and share the observing experience. The largest of these events are known as star parties and can attract hundreds of amateur astronomers and casual observers. This page contains links and information about local and non-local observing events and star parties. Some events are free and open to the general public while others may require a registration fee. These listings contain links to the hosting organization Web site for additional information where possible. If you know of any astronomy events that are not listed here, please send an e-mail and we will consider adding the event to this page.
Orange Blossom Special Star Party
January 29 - February 2, 2014
Host: St. Petersburg Astronomy Club
Location: Withlacoochee River County Park near Dade City, Florida
The Orange Blossom Special Star Party is hosted by the St. Petersburg Astronomy Club. The event will be held at the Withlacoochee River County Park, Dade City, Florida. This location features darker skies, limited 30 amp RV hookups, limited 20 amp hookups, and unlimited dry camping. There is easy on/off field access to accommodate arrivals/departures, day trips, etc. One per-person registration fee includes camping. The meals, T-shirts and raffle tickets are extra.
Winter Star Party
February 23 - March 3, 2014
Host: Southern Cross Astronomical Society
Location: West Summerland Key, Florida Keys
Come to the warm, sunny Florida Keys for your complete latitude adjustment. Spend a winter vacation under dark, steady skies rubbing elbows with fellow astronomers and astro-imagers looking out over the ocean. Plan to join us this coming February for a wonderful time stargazing as the gentle waves of the ocean lap at your toes. During the day, there is so much to do. The event starts at Noon on Sunday, February 23, and the camp must be vacated by 10 a.m. Sunday, March 2. Accommodation are rustic at Camp Wesumkee Girl Scout Camp located on Scout Key between Marathon and Big Pine Key.
Hodges Gardens Star Party
March 26 - 30, 2014
Host: Baton Rouge Astronomical Society
Location: Hodges Gardens State Park, Louisiana
The Baton Rouge Astronomical Society invites you to join them in the piney woods of west-central Louisiana to share a few nights of stargazing and camaraderie. Hodges Gardens State Park is most noted for its beautiful botanical gardens (at one time it was the largest privately owned gardens in the country), but opportunities for other recreational activities abound. Visitors can rent canoes and fish in the park's lake. Numerous trails are available for hiking, cycling, or birding. If golfing is more your style, the Emerald Hills Golf Resort is located adjacent to the park.
Mid-South Star Gaze
March 26 - 29, 2014
Host: Rainwater Observatory and Planetarium
Location: Rainwater Observatory & Planetarium in French Camp, Mississippi
The Mid-South Star Gaze is an annual amateur astronomers conference and star party held at Rainwater Observatory in French Camp. Their hill top viewing site features a full view of the horizon. Amenities include electricity for scopes, showers, bunk room, cabins. The event will also feature talks by professional and amateur astronomers.
2014 Zombie Party
April 24 - 27, 2014
Host: Atlanta Astronomy Club
Location: Deerlick Astronomy Village near Sharon, Georgia
The Zombie party is a no-frills, open to the public, 3 night star party hosted by the Atlanta Astronomy club. No speakers, workshops or sessions just observing. This event if open to all, beginners and, experts alike, AAC members, and non-members (how else are we going to get you hooked!). The Zombie party got its name from the way we all look the next morning after staying awake all night observing and has nothing to do with the undead that are occasionally rumored to walk the area! Any contact with actual undead is completely coincidental and should not be confused with a star party function. In the off chance you do encounter the undead please run away a fast as you can trying not to lead them to the rest of us!
Starlight Festival 2014
May 24 & 25, 2014
Host: The Astronomy Outreach Network
Location: Big Bear Lake, California
The StarLight Festival is an educational and entertaining event geared towards children, young adults, and families. Held annually, this unique celebration of science and astronomy among an atmosphere of music and art has a mission to proliferate an awareness of and a better understanding of science and astronomy through interactive outreach and hands on experiences.
Wisconsin Observers Weekend
May 29 - June 1, 2014
Host: Northeast Wisconsin Stargazers
Location: Hartman Creek State Park near Waupaca Wisconsin
One of the biggest highlights of the year for amateur astronomers and their families is the Wisconsin Observers Weekend (WOW), hosted by NEWSTAR. Amateur astronomers from all over the mid-west enjoy three days of summer camping and observing at Hartman Creek State Park just west of Waupaca Wisconsin. Whether or not you own a telescope or are a seasoned observer you will enjoy what WOW has to offer. Hartman Creek State Park is 1,500 acres of post-glacial beauty located about 30 miles northwest of Oshkosh on the upper Waupaca Chain-O-Lakes. Visitors can enjoy camping swimming, hiking, biking, picnicking, and fishing, amidst the gently rolling woodlands, prairies, lakes and wetlands. Ten miles of hiking trails, including a segment of the National Scenic Ice Age Trail, offer plenty of opportunity to stretch your legs while enjoying numerous wildflowers and abundant bird life. The park also has designated off-road bicycling trails and low-traffic roads surrounding the area provide safe routes for the touring cyclist as well. WOW reserves all five-group campsites at Hartman Creek State Park so that your evening observing environment is white light free and as dark as possible for your enjoyment.
Texas Star Party
May 25 - June 1, 2014
Host: Texas Star Party, Inc. and the Southwest Region of the Astronomical League
Location: Prude Ranch near Fort Davis, Texas
One of the premiere star parties held anywhere in North America is the Annual Texas Star Party. The event is held at the Prude Ranch, a 3500 acre mile-high ranch located six miles northwest of Fort Davis. This site in the Davis Mountains of West Texas features the darkest skies found anywhere in North America. Join a huge gathering of more than 500 of the most serious astrophotographers and observers in the United States and beyond for a week-long observing event where Milky Way rises over the mountains with so vivid a presence that you might mistake it for an ominous storm cloud.
Mid-States Regional Astronomical League Conference
June 6 - 8, 2014
Host: The Astronomical League
Location: Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri
The MSRAL 2014 conference will be held at the Washington University campus in St. Louis, Missouri. This year's events will include a Star B-Que Friday evening at the James S. McDonnell Planetarium and a banquet on Saturday evening in the Knight Center at Washington University.
Golden State Star Party
June 25 - 29, 2014
Host: Golden State Star Party
Location: Frosty Acres Ranch near Adin, California
The Golden State Star Party is a 4 night dark sky event held each summer at Frosty Acres Ranch in North-Eastern California, near Mount Lassen, alongside rural Adin, California. GSSP has dark skies from horizon to horizon, and room for 100s of astronomers.
Rocky Mountain Star Stare
June 25 - 29, 2014
Host: Colorado Springs Astronomical Society
Location: Gardner, Colorado
For over two decades, astronomers from across the U.S. and around the world have been gathering each summer in the mountains west of Colorado Springs. What draws them here each year? Dark skies. Not just dark skies, but dark skies with amazing transparency. These gazers of the stars are enjoying Rocky Mountain Star Stare! Held in June or early July, RMSS is one of this nation's premier star parties. This year's event will be held from June 25 - June 29, 2014 on our own private land just north of Gardner, CO. Average attendance is usually 300 astronomers.
Grand Canyon Star Party
June 21 - 28, 2014
Host: Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association
Location: Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
For eight days in June, park visitors will explore the wonders of the night sky on Grand Canyon National Park's South Rim with the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association and on the North Rim with the Saguaro Astronomy Club of Phoenix. Amateur astronomers from across the country will volunteer their expertise and will offer free nightly astronomy programs and free telescope viewing. Visitors will have the chance to view the planet Saturn along with a wide assortment of star clusters, galaxies, and nebulae by night, and the sun and planet Mercury by day. Grand Canyon is one of the best night sky observing sites in the United States because it has some of the darkest skies and cleanest air in the country. Participants will experience spectacular views of the universe! Everyone dress warmly, since temperatures drop quickly after sunset - even during the summer months.
Table Mountain Star Party
July 22 - 26, 2014
Host: Table Mountain Star Party Association
Location: Eden Valley Ranch near Oroville, Washington
The Table Mountain Star Party is an annual gathering of people interested in astronomy and its many related topics. Most people attending are amateur astronomers who enjoy the great viewing which the mountain provides, however, anyone with an interest or curiosity is welcome to register and enjoy the experience. Programming is provided for everyone from the seasoned astronomer to the beginning novice. We also provide well organized, fun and educational programming for the student. Each year our event is held in July or August (usually July) depending on the weather and the phase of the moon. Make your plans to attend and enjoy this event with hundreds of great telescopes and related equipment. Bring your telescope, or if you don't have one, most astronomers are happy to share the view and show off their equipment.
Mason Dixon Star Party
July 23 - 27, 2014
Host: York County Astronomical Society
Location: York, Pennsylvania
Located on a private grass strip airport near Wellsville, Pennsylvania at 380 Kralltown Road, The MDSP horizon is extremely flat, stars are visible at less than 10 degrees above the horizon and light pollution seems to be at a minimum. The Milky Way is easily visible. Observing can be made from the grass airport taxiway. The airport is closed for MDSP Star Party. Hope to see you at the MDSP! See MDSP photo gallery from previous years.
July 24 - 27, 2014
Host: Springfield Telescope Makers
Location: Springfield, Vermont
The Stellafane Convention is a gathering of amateur telescope makers. The Convention was started in 1926 to give amateur telescope makers an opportunity to gather to show off their creations and teach each other telescope making and mirror-grinding techniques. All telescopes, commercial and homemade are welcome. If you have made your own telescope, we strongly encourage you to display it in the telescope fields near the Stellafane Clubhouse. If you wish, you can enter your homemade telescope in the mechanical and/or optical competition. There are also mirror-grinding and telescope-making demonstrations, technical lectures on telescope making and the presentation of awards for telescope design and craftsmanship. Vendor displays and the retail sale of commercial products are not permitted.
Indiana Family Star Party
June 25 - 27, 2014
Host: Wabash Valley Astronomical Society, Indiana Astronomical Society, and Muncie Astronomy Club
Location: Camp Cullom, near Mulberry, IN
The Indiana Family Star Party is held under the dark rural skies of Camp Cullom, home of the Prairie Grass Observatory, about 50 miles NW of Indianapolis. Fees for the full event, including parking/camping on the observing field, are $20/individual or $30/family, if pre-registered by June 30. Single-day attendance (no parking/camping on observing field) is only $5/individual or $15/family, per day. July 24 is an optional, free, night for full-event registrants.
Green Bank Star Quest
June 25 - 28, 2014
Host: Central Appalachian Astronomy Club, Kanawha Astronomical Society, Green Bank NRAO
Location: Green Bank, West Virginia
The Green Bank Star Quest is a four-day educational star party held on the dark sky facilities of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank WV. Activities include guest speakers, optical and radio astronomy presentations, tours of the Green Bank National Radio Astronomy Observatory, kid's activities, vendors, and a gift shop.
Summer Star Party
July 25 - August 3, 2014
Host: Rockland Astronomy Club
Location: Peppermint Park Camping Resort in Plainfield, Massachusetts
The Rockland Astronomy Club's Summer Star Party is held at a pristine dark sky location in northwest Massachusetts. The event location is a large open-grass telescope field with a 360-degree view of night sky, horizon to horizon. The event features free wi-fi, a water & electric equipped observing field that can also be used for tenting next to your scope, a refreshment & game tent with daytime lemonade & unlimited evening refreshments, free daily continental breakfast, exclusive chicken starBQ (with all the fixin's) on Sunday July 27th, lectures, talks & demos, and vendors with astronomy gear and accessories for sale, including Camera Concepts & Teeter Scopes.
Cherry Springs Star Party
July 26 - 29, 2014
Host: Astronomical Society of Harrisburg PA
Location: Cherry Springs State Park near Coudersport, Pennsylvania
The Cherry Springs Star Party or CSSP will be held at Cherry Springs State Park near Coudersport, PA. Cherry Springs State Park is well known for nice dark skies and we hope you'll enjoy them with us at the Cherry Springs Star Party! Our last Star Party was a great success and featured talented speakers and opportunities for observing. The Registration Desk will open at approximately 12 PM on Thursday and will be open at various times throughout the weekend. We hope to see YOU at the Star Party!
Nebraska Star Party
July 27 - August 1, 2014
Host: Nebraska Star Party
Location: Valentine, Nebraska
Plan now to sail off on your own voyage of discovery this summer with us! The astronomical views from Merritt Reservoir’s Snake Campground are fabulous, and there are plenty of recreational opportunities to keep the entire family entertained all week long at the 21st annual Nebraska Star Party. For newcomers, NSP is the perfect place to become acquainted with the wonders of the heavens which can’t be seen from cities. Our unique Beginner’s Field School will show you how fun it is to explore the sky here, as well as in your own back yard when you return home, with or without a telescope.
Oregon Star Party
August 19 - 24, 2014
Host: Oregon Star Party
Location: Ochoco National Forest near Prineville, Oregon
For over 25 years, amateur astronomers and their families have been gathering at Indian Trail Spring to enjoy the warm and friendly atmosphere, dark skies, low humidity and wonderful night sky observing. Located roughly an hour east of Prineville, Oregon in the Ochoco National Forest, Oregon Star Party is one of the three darkest and largest star parties in the United States. Don't have a telescope but still want to join the fun? Join us anyway, we're happy to share our telescope views with you!
August 21 - 24, 2014
Host: San Diego Astronomy Association (SDAA)
Location: Menghini Winery in Julian, California
Julian Starfest, an astronomy exhibition and public star party, is scheduled for the 21st through the 24th of August at the Menghini Winery in Julian, CA. Julian, at 4,200', offers some of the darkest skies in Southern California and the Menghini Winery offers a beautiful venue. Starfest, now a joint effort between the San Diego Astronomy Association and the town of Julian, will only get better as the years pass.
South Dakota Star Party
August 28 - 31, 2014
Host: Tri-State Astronomical Association
Location: Wally's Corner in Garreston, South Dakota
This year's South Dakota Star Party will be held at Wally's Corner in Garreston, South Dakota. Activities include solar observing during the day and night sky observing starting at dusk. There will also be instructions about telescope building and an afternoon astronomer's grill-out on Saturday.
Prairie Skies Star Party
September 18 - 21, 2014
Host: Prairie Skies Astronomical Association
Location: Bourbonnais, Illinois
Prairie Skies Star Party will be held at beautiful Camp Shaw-Waw-Nas-See 4-H camp, adjacent to Kankakee River State Park, near Bourbonnais Illinois. Attention ATMers! We place a special emphasis on amateur telescope making, by recognizing outstanding achievement through our ATM Telescope and Accessory Awards. In addition to all night observing; Prairie Skies features door prizes, ATM awards, an imaging contest, a swap market, guest speakers, vendors, and meals. Children can participate in their very own age appropriate door prize drawings. Gather with your friends at one or more of our traditional Prairie Dog Community Picnics; and don’t miss out on the famous Midnight Chili! As always; complimentary coffee, tea, and hot chocolate will be available in the Dining Hall all day and night throughout the event. Our popular Almost All Night Film Festival will feature a variety of films in the Dining Hall. Join us for a great time as Prairie Skies Star Party "continues the tradition" at Camp Shaw.
Great Lakes Star Gaze
September 18 - 21, 2014
Host: Great Lakes Star Gaze
Location: Gladwin, Michigan
Location and dark skies are the main attraction of this star party. Gladwin, MI is a central location that provides excellent observing without traveling hours into Northern Michigan. Limiting magnitudes are estimated to be around 6.5 at zenith with some minor light domes from the cities of Mt. Pleasant and Midland, some 30 miles away. This is a star party for the astronomer who loves to observe and mingle with other astronomers. Some practical and interesting talks are scheduled to enhance your weekend experience. The GLSG star party will be held at the River Valley RV Park in Gladwin, MI. Directions and more information about the star party can be found in the registration form.
Oki-Tex Star Party
September 20 - 28, 2014
Host: Oklahoma City Astronomy Club
Location: Kenton, Oklahoma
The Okie-Tex Star Party is famous for its incredibly dark sky, great food, presentations, fellowship and accommodations. They are also known for the Great Okie-Tex Giveaway! Over the years we have given away many telescopes, CCD cameras, eyepieces, software, star atlases and many other fabulous items! The event will also feature vendors, a swap meet, and meals.
Brothers Star Party for Oregon Observatory
September 24 - 28, 2014
Host: Oregon Observatory
Location: Brothers, Oregon
Our Brothers Star Party location is just 42 miles east of Bend and a bit over 2 ½ miles off of US 20 on a good gravel and dirt road. The elevation of the site is right at 4600 feet and the sky is dark, dark, dark. We’ve had two test star parties at this site and the attendees have given this location a solid “thumbs up.” The Brothers site is huge and there’s plenty of room for the largest RV’s as well as lots of places to set up. There are virtually unobstructed views to the western, southern and eastern sky. The tiny “town” of Brothers is about 2 miles away east on Highway 20 and they close up tight about 6 PM. The dates for our Brothers Star Party, which is a fund raiser for the Oregon Observatory at Sunriver, are September 24 through September 28. So, reserve those dates.
Enchanted Skies Star Party
September 24 - 27, 20143
Host: Enchanted Skies Star Party
Location: Socorro, New Mexico
The Enchanted Skies Star Party, held in Socorro, New Mexico, offers a unique Southwestern Astronomy experience with many exciting features. In this, our 21st year, ESSP will be held all four days at El Camino Real Historic Trail Site. One the many highlights for ESSP 2014 will be a swap meet. Look through your equipment and get ready for an opportunity to swap and score! We will host a fun Solar Saturday on September 27 with opportunities for the public to see solar scopes in action and learn how the native peoples used the Sun. Join us for 4 nights of dark, dark sky observing, an astronomy swap meet, door prizes, lectures, and Solar Saturday to be held at El Camino Real Historic Trail Site located 30 miles South of Socorro.
Deep South Regional Star Gaze
October 22 - 26, 2014
Host: Deep South Regional Star Gaze
Location: Feliciana Retreat Center near Norwood, Louisiana
Named one of the 19 Great Star Parties by ASTRONOMY magazine in the September, 1998 edition, we have a lot to offer - A great setting at a great time of year, among a lot of other eager amateur astronomers anxious to do some serious observing. Feliciana Retreat Center is located approximately 115 miles north of New Orleans, Louisiana (via I-10 to I-55), 120 miles south of Jackson, Mississippi (via I-55) and about 45 miles north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana (via Louisiana Hwy 67).
Heart of America Star Party
October 23 - 26, 2014
Host: Astronomical Society of Kansas City
Location: Butler, Missouri
The Heart of America Star Party is an annual gathering of amateur astronomers at the Astronomical Society of Kansas City’s Dark Sky Site, near Butler, Missouri, about 75 miles south of Kansas City. Our remote location offers dark skies and wonderful nighttime viewing. Each year, observing friends from across the country gather to share, to learn, and most of all, to observe.
Eldorado Star Party
October 20 - 25, 2014
Host: Austin Astronomical Society, San Antonio Astronomical Association, Hill Country Astronomers
Location: X-Bar Ranch near Eldorado, Texas
Sponsored by the Austin Astronomical Society, San Antonio Astronomical Association, and Hill Country Astronomers (Fredericksburg) with the support of the Texas Star Party, and volunteers from area clubs including Dallas and Houston, this event promises to bring dark skies closer to the amateur astronomer. The central location (46 miles west of Fort McKavett) is within easy driving distance of many Texas cities and enjoys the dry climate of west Texas.
October 23 - 26, 2014
Host: Riverside Astronomical Society
Location: Palm Canyon Hotel & RV Resort in Borrego Springs, California
Nightfall is Southern California's premiere star party and astro imaging conference. Unlike any other star party, it's held at a desert resort with full amenities such as hotel rooms, RV spaces with hookups, pools, hot tubs, and excellent workshop facilities. Get ready now for the 2014 Nightfall!
CSPG Fall Star Party
November 17 - 23, 2014
Host: Chiefland Star Party Group
Location: Chiefland, Florida
The Chiefland Star Party Group's mission is to engage in, and promote star parties in Chiefland Florida, as well as offering the amateur astronomy community an unequalled place to observe. Each year we will present the CSPG Weekend Spring Star Party & Picnic and the CSPG Fall Star Party. The field used for the star parties is open to members and guests on all new moon weekends. Our observing field in Chiefland boasts a wonderful array of amenities. First and foremost, it is dark. The private 20+ acre field is completely wired for power, having over 40 RV hookups and 2 dump stations, showers, a large, 1,800 sqft, air-conditioned clubhouse, restrooms, on field Wi-Fi, a picnic area, and much more. The ground is relatively flat providing easy setup of equipment, tents, and RVs. On top of that, it has the distinction of being virtually insect free. Fall nights are generally cool to cold and clear with daytime highs typically in the 70's. Summers on the other hand are full of hot, 90 degree days and warm, comfortable nights. And yes, there is the occasional thunderstorm, so come prepared!.
Star Parties at the South Physics Observatory, University of Utah
Every Clear Wednesday Night
Host: South Physics Observatory at the University of Utah
Location: University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
Free Star parties for all ages every Clear Wednesday night at the South Physics Observatory. The events are held all year and the times change so check the webpage for times and details. Hosted by the University of Utah Physics and Astronomy Department. The star party is held on campus at the University of Utah at 125 south 1400 East in Salt Lake City.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park Star Party
Select Nights During Summer
Host: Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Location: Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
This summer Carlsbad Caverns National Park will be hosting several Star Party events. The park is a perfect spot for viewing the wonders of the night sky due to its location away from the lights of the local communities. Weather permitting; telescopes will be available for viewing the celestial night sky and will provide an opportunity for visitors to see for themselves what spectacular views are available in the universe above. Rangers will be available to discuss a variety of topics from nocturnal creatures, cultural folklore and astronomy. The public is welcome. No fee or advance reservations are necessary. Bring a flashlight and dress for the weather. These events will be held immediately after Bat Flight, so please join us in the East parking lot in front of the visitor center (parking limited to the West lot). The visitor center and cave will not be open during these events.
Stars Over Yellowstone
Select Nights During Summer
Host: Southwest Montana Astronomical Society
Location: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
For 16 years the Southwest Montana Astronomical Society, along with the National Parks Service and the Museum of the Rockies, have hosted a star-party under the dark-skies of Yellowstone National Park. Astronomy club members come down from Bozeman, as well as other astronomers from Montana and Idaho, to descend on the Madison campground for a weekend of star-gazing. We are always happy to have traveling astronomers to join us for the star party, so bring your scopes.
Stargazing at the Public Observatory
Select Nights During Summer
Host: National Air & Space Museum
Location: National Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC
The National Air and Space Museum’s Public Observatory will be open for special nighttime stargazing. Do not miss this chance to see an array of celestial objects through a powerful professional telescope as well as additional portable telescopes.
Night Under the Stars Party
Host: Astronomers of Verde Valley
Location: Alamo Lake State Park, Arizona
Alamo Lake State Park is one of Arizona’s best kept secrets. The stark desert beauty is reflected off the water where cacti dot the mountainous landscape that surround the lake. Nestled in the Bill Williams River Valley, the park offers outdoor fun, premier bass fishing, rest and relaxation. In November, we will be holding our annual Night Under the Stars Star Party. Reserve campsites online. At the event, please note that no flash photos are allowed after dark to protect everyone's night vision. Please bring a red flashlight or for a small donation mini-red LED flashlights will be available at the event.
May 10 and October 4, 2014
Host: The Astronomical League
Location: Various Locations
Astronomy Day is an annual event intended to provide a means of interaction between the general public and various astronomy enthusiasts, groups and professionals. The theme of Astronomy Day is "Bringing Astronomy to the People," and on this day astronomy and stargazing clubs and other organizations around the world will plan special events. You can find out about special local events by contacting your local astronomy club or planetarium.
Northeast Astronomy Forum
April 12 & 13, 2014
Location: Suffern, New York
America's Premiere Astronomy ExpoNEAF is quite simply the world’s largest and most exciting space & astronomy event of its kind. Two amazing days feature world-renowned speakers, exclusive product showcases with more than 115 on-site vendors & exhibitors, NEAF Solar Star Party with daily solar observing, Pro/Am conference, STARLAB planetarium shows, getting started classes for beginners, children's space & astronomy program of activities, and hourly door prize giveaways.