You see the skies light up this summer at Sleeping Bear Dunes!

When I was kid and my parents would take the family to the cabin. At night, we would lay on the sand dunes and watch the stars fly through the night. It is a wonderful memory and you can make those kinds of memories yourself this summer!

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is hosting what they are calling “Star Parties". Mlive reported that...

Each event will have telescopes and information stations for visitors to observe stars, planets and deep space objects like the Milky Way. Park rangers and members of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will also be on hand to help visitors learn about and appreciate the globally diminishing resource that is the dark night sky.

When attending a star party you are asked to bring...

  • A flashlight
  • Bug spray
  • Binoculars
  • Beach chairs
  • Blankets

Here are the dates for the “Star Parties”...

May 25 (9:00-11:00 p.m.) Location: Dune Climb. Highlights: Binary stars, brighter deep sky objects.

June 8 (4:00-6:00 p.m. and 9:00-11:00 p.m.) Location: Dune Climb. Highlights: Solar viewing in the afternoon; later, Moon, Mars, and Jupiter.

July 6 (4:00-6:00 p.m. and 9:00-11:00 p.m.) Location: Dune Climb. Highlights: Solar viewing in the afternoon; at twilight, Moon, Jupiter, Saturn.

August 10 (4:00-6:00 p.m. and 9:00-11:00 p.m.) Location: Thoreson Farm. Highlights: Solar viewing in the afternoon, followed by the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, plus some brighter deep sky objects.

August 31 (4:00-6:00 p.m. and 9:00-11:00 p.m.) Location: Dune Climb. Highlights: Solar viewing in the afternoon; evening, Jupiter, Saturn, summer Milky Way.

September 21 (9:00-11:00 p.m.) Location: Dune Climb. Highlights: Jupiter, Saturn, summer Milky Way.

October 21 (8:00-10:00 p.m.) Location: Dune Climb. Highlights: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore 49th Anniversary Star Party. Saturn early; after dark, Pleiades, northern Milky Way.

All Star Party events are free, though a visitor’s pass ($25 per vehicle, good for seven days) is required for entry to the park.