I love the night sky! I love to find the constellations, watch meteor showers, and learn mind-blowing things about space. Last Friday was Space Exploration day and this Friday there will be a lunar eclipse. What better way to celebrate than by hosting a stargazing party?
I hope to pass my love of space to my son, so we started our star gazing with a little preliminary education for little and big minds alike. For budding astronomers, the ABCs of Space is a great book with progressive learning stages. My latest find is The Universe in Bite-Sized Chunks which is perfect for my busy schedule right now.
We set up a comfy space to watch the stars and enjoy food and drinks.
For soft lighting in our stargazing set up, I made a constellation paper lantern with a metallic sharpie.
We used the guide and star maps mentioned below and were able to see lots of wonders in the night sky as we sprawled out on our stargazing pillow fort.
Here’s some tips on how you can host a stargazing party this summer.
1. Location, Location
There are many ways to host a stargazing party, but when it comes time to watch the night sky, the most important thing to do is pick the right location. Choose a spot that is as free from light pollution and obstruction as possible. If you are in a highly urbanized area, you can always plan a get together out of the city, close to water, or perhaps even a rooftop.
2. Be prepared
Provide your guests with star maps and try to find as many stars as you can in plain sight before using binoculars or telescopes. Spotting satellites and planets, and finding constellations together is fun for everyone.
When you are ready to use a telescope, this is a great beginner set that is easy to transport and comes with an attachment that allows you to take photos and videos with your cell phone.
3. Start with the Big 3
In the summer, there are three bright stars that almost everyone can spot on a clear night. Finding these helps get everyone oriented and is the perfect starting point. Mr. Printables has a FREE star gazing guide and summer constellation map.
Here are some other ideas for a space exploration or stargazing party that I am over the moon for!
If you’re looking for stargazing party foods, try making some sparkly space cupcakes. I made simple star-shaped sugar cookies, but if you’re a craftier baker than I, you could attempt this adorable black velvet nebula cake from SprinkleBakes.com or these galaxy star cookies from Blyss Cookies.
For space themed parties, this beautiful lantern looks like a little bit of galaxy.
And the full moon martini from jojotastic.com is pure genius!
For party favors, you could make this quick constellation gift bags that I made.
Or send your guests home with these galaxy lollipops!
Happy stargazing everyone! Please share your stargazing party pictures and experiences with me. Be sure to check out my Pinterest boards for more ideas too!