By: Sara E. Teller
Summer is a perfect time to stargaze, and luckily, Metro Detroit has many areas to do so all year around. From outdoor starry nights to indoor planetarium experiences, families can enjoy breathtaking natural views or fun and educational day trips into space. Here are a few of the best places to see stars in Metro Detroit!
BEST PLACES TO SEE STARS
Addison Oaks County Park, 1480 W. Romeo Rd., Leonard, MI, 48367, 248-693-2432, oakgov.com. This 1,140-acre recreation destination is known for its low levels of pollution, which makes nighttime views more expansive. Roll out your favorite sleeping bag or see stars in all their glory from the back of a truck bed.
The Angell Hall Observatory & Planetarium, University of Michigan, 435 S. State St., Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, 734-764-3440, lsa.umich.edu. The University of Michigan Astronomy Department’s campus observatory and planetarium takes visitors on a trip into space, with views of the milky way, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies from advanced telescopes. There are open houses on some Friday nights (call ahead), which include rooftop access.
Belle Isle Park, 2 Inselruhe Avenue, Detroit, MI 48207, 313-821-9844. One of Detroit’s best-known parks, Belle Isle is home to a wide assortment of educational and recreational opportunities. Seated on 982 acres, there are plenty of areas that are perfect to taking in the night sky in all its natural beauty.
Cranbrook Institute of Science, 39221 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303, 248-645-3200, science.cranbrook.edu. With plenty of options for space lovers, Cranbrook Institute of Science is a go-to for star viewing. The observatory includes a planetarium, dome, telescopes, and an expansive viewing area. The observatory is open Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Dassault Systemes Planetarium, Michigan Science Center, 5020 John R St., Detroit, MI, 48202, 313-577-8400, www.mi-sci.org. Specific show times vary Wednesdays through Sundays. Guests can see more than 9,000 stars alongside the planets in MSC’s three-story dome.
Hammond Planetarium, Henry Ford College, 5101 Evergreen Rd., Dearborn, MI, 48128, 313-317-1536, www.hfcc.edu. This Dearborn planetarium offers a state-of-the-art auditorium that seats 48 people. First come, first serve free planetarium shows are open to the public.
Kensington Metropark, 2240 W. Buno Road, Milford, MI 48380, 810-227-8910, www.metroparks.com/parks/kensington-metropark. Bring along a telescope and gaze up at the stars at this ultimate must-visit for family fun. The nature center holds stargazing events on select dates throughout the year, too.
Maybury State Park, 49601 Eight Mile Rd., Northville, MI 48167, 248-349-8390. Maybury State Park offers 944-acres to choose the perfect stargazing spot. During the day, enjoy the Trailhead Playground, or walk, bike, or even ride a horse through the park. By nightfall, settle in with your telescope and gaze into the night.
Seven Lakes State Park, 248-634-7271, 14390 Fish Lake Rd, Holly, MI 48442. Seven Lakes State Park in Oakland County has 1,434 acres with plenty of family fun activities during the day. With the option to camp out, you can grab your sleeping bag, snuggle in, and start naming the constellations.
Vollbrecht Planetarium, Morris Adler Elementary School, 19100 Filmore St., Southfield, MI, 248-746-8800. This local planetarium has one of the largest indoor star spots in southeast Michigan. Presentations are held on Wednesdays and run for 90 minutes. They include an interactive lecture, star show, and visual presentation perfect for the whole family.
Wayne State University Planetarium, Room 0209, Old Main Building, 4841 Cass Ave., Detroit, MI, 313-577-2107. Featuring a high-definition digital system, the planetarium is open to the public most Friday evenings. Groups can also book a stargazing experience ahead of time. Reservations are not required for public planetarium shows.
You don’t have to travel far from home to enjoy the stars this summer. Metro Detroit has plenty of options to spend the day at an indoor show or stare up at clear skies come nightfall. Gaze peacefully from your favorite spot and maybe you’ll even get to wish about a shooting star!