If stargazing is one of your biggest passions in life, you probably want to take it to the next level during your travels.
Well, luckily for all of us Astronomy geeks, there are many fascinating, family-friendly destinations we can experience together with our loved ones!
In this article, we’ve decided to help you plan your next family vacation by providing you with a couple of destinations that will leave you absolutely starry-eyed!
So, without any further ado, let’s get to the bottom of it.
1. Royal Observatory, The UK
If you’re planning on visiting the UK, the Royal Observatory in Greenwich should be one of your first stops. It’s a place of high cultural value, with a rich history behind it. Besides the observatory itself, there’s a museum that would excite every Astronomy nerd to their core.
Since you’ll be in London, if your family is disinterested in your passion, there are many other interesting places nearby they can enjoy while you take a tour through the Royal Observatory.
Either way, it’s one of the most interesting places an aspiring astronomer can visit, so we wholeheartedly recommend it to you.
2. SAAO, South Africa
South African Astronomical Observatory is one of the most significant astronomical sites on the continent. Astronomers all over the world visit it for its pristine sky conditions and a chance to use some of its telescopes that have been in use since the ’70s. It’s truly an experience to remember, especially if you or your family members are passionate about astronomy.
You can book a tour on certain days of the week, both during the night and during the day. We advise you to book it in advance as the site is packed with tourists quite often.
3. Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory, Italy
If you’ve ever wanted to feel like Galileo, Florence is the city you should be visiting. Arcertri Astrophysical Observatory is where he spent the last years of his life, which is enough to tell you how important it is for the historical developments of astronomy as a science.
The observatory is completely preserved, and although it won’t provide you with the clearest view of the night sky, it will give you a unique experience that cannot be replicated – you’ll look at the stars the same way Galileo used to do it centuries ago!
4. Mauna Kea Observatory, Hawaii
You’re planning a family vacation to Hawaii? Then don’t forget to visit the Mauna Kea Observatory!
It’s one of the most beautiful places on Earth from where you can observe the cosmos. The best part – touring it is completely free, you don’t even have to make a reservation! The observatory provides its own telescopes, but you’re free to take your own if you’d like to.
Either way, don’t forget to visit it if you’re able to. The view you’ll get is breathtakingly stunning- you don’t have to be an astronomy geek to enjoy it!
5. The Very Large Array, USA
If high-tech and pristine stargazing conditions are what interests you, The Very Large Array in New Mexico should be one of your first stops! It’s open to self-guided tours almost every day of the week, so you don’t need to book ahead. It’s truly a sight to behold, especially if you’re interested in Astrophysics and the technology around it.
Now, if you’re planning on taking your little ones to this extraordinary facility with you, try making their stay more enjoyable by talking to them about your passion in some more depth. If oyu want your children to understand the beauties of space and Astronomy in a way that’s suitable for them visit https://job-prices.co.uk/astronomy-for-kids/.
6. Cerro Paranal Observatory, Chile
Situated in the beautiful Atacama desert, Cerro Paranal Observatory is one of the most fascinating astronomical sites on the planet. It’s open to tourists and amateur astronomers from all sides of the world, which means you’ll have to book a tour in advance.
Either way, if you’re visiting Chile, make sure you reserve a day from your trip just to visit this observatory – it’s absolutely worth the effort.
7. Teide National Park, Spain (Canary Islands)
The Teide National Park has one of the most prominent observatories in the world, along with the most breathtaking stargazing conditions you’ll ever experience. The site is also the host of Starmus – an international astronomical and cultural event that takes place in September. It’s certainly a place every Astronomy geek must visit at least once during their lifetime if given the opportunity.
The site is also quite family-friendly, especially if your kids are passionate about space and stargazing like you are. There are many outdoor activities that you can enjoy as a family, so make sure you plan your trip in advance.
8. Hayden Planetarium—USA
Astronomers and stargazers depend on the weather to enjoy their passion. Unfortunately, you may not be able to travel when the weather conditions are optimal – during the summer for example.
However, you shouldn’t let that spoil your fun. Places like The Hayden Planetarium in New York City can provide you with a unique indoor experience related to your favorite hobby. Just hop onto their website and explore the events they’re hosting when you’re in town.
The best part about the Hayden Planetarium is that it’s perfectly kid-friendly – there are many interesting activities your children can participate in while you enjoy the Space Show! The tickets are around 22 dollars and can be bought through the American Museum of Natural History.
Either way, if you’re visiting New York City, it’s the perfect place to be.
The bottom line
If you’re an astronomy geek who wants to share your passion with your family and friends, there are many places you can do so for little to no money. In this article, we’ve listed a few that might be of interest to you for your next family vacation.
We hope you’ve found your next destination on our list and we wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors!