Twinkle, Twinkle: 7 Places to Take Kids Stargazing

a father and son go stargazing atlanta in the city iStock
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Longer nights are almost here. There’s no better time to go stargazing in Atlanta with the kids

When it comes to places to take the kids stargazing, Atlanta might not be the first city that comes to mind. But it actually has some great locations to see the stars. Like any major city, the city lights compete with the night sky, but if you know where to look, you and the kids can see the bright starry sky without going too far. From family-friendly parks in town to mountain views just an hour away, you won’t be disappointed with our favorite Atlanta stargazing spots.

Stargazing in Candler Park

By day, this neighborhood park is dotted with family-friendly restaurants and cafes. But when the sun goes down, the wide-open green space offers the perfect place to go stargazing. So whether you snuggle up on a blanket, park on one of the playground swings or walk the trails, you’ll have a cozy viewing area between the trees.

585 Candler Park Dr. N.E.
Atlanta
Online: candlerpark.org

two boys go stargazing looking through a telescope with a light night sky behind them

photo: iStock

Stargazing at Jim Cherry Memorial Planetarium at Fernbank Science Center

When the weather doesn’t cooperate, head inside to the Planetarium, about 20 minutes outside downtown Atlanta. Described as a celestial theater in the round, the Planetarium is an immersive experience that takes you on a journey through the starry galaxies. The 70-ft diameter theater is one of the biggest in the U.S. And, don’t forget, free public observations are offered in the observatory every Thursday and Friday evening from 9:00 – 10:00 pm (weather permitting).

156 Heaton Park Dr.
Atlanta
Online: fernbank.edu

Related: Your Insider’s Guide to Atlanta’s Best Family Museums Is Here

Stargazing in Stone Mountain Park

Tourists flock to this popular attraction located 30 minutes away (without traffic) from downtown Atlanta. During the day, you’ll love the family-friendly attractions and activities. And thankfully, the park is open until midnight and is an excellent place for late-night stargazing. Anywhere along the shores of Stone Mountain Lake or the Boating Dock are perfect spots to set up for a few hours of star watching.

1000 Robert E Lee Blvd.
Stone Mountain, GA
Online: stonemountainpark.com

Related: A Local Guide to Locomotives for Little Engineers

Stargazing at the Georgia Tech Observatory

Take the family to the Georgia Tech campus for some seriously fun stargazing. One Thursday a month, the staff moves the telescopes from the observatory to the grounds around the Howey Physics Building. Watch the weather forecast before you head out because you won’t be able to get a great view of the moon and stars without clear skies.

Ferst Dr. N.W.
Atlanta
Online: astronomy.gatech.edu

Stargazing at the Chattahoochee Nature Center

Head to the town of Roswell, about 45 minutes north of Atlanta, to find just over 100 acres right on the Chattahoochee River. The night sky over the river makes for an epic starry view. When you arrive, park in the onsite parking lot and walk back toward the pond for the best nighttime views.

9135 Willeo Rd.
Roswell, GA
Online: chattnaturecenter.org

Related: National Parks That ATL Families Love (& Cozy Cabins Nearby)

Stargazing in Hard Labor Creek State Park

About an hour outside Atlanta, you can stop at Lake Brantley for some incredible stargazing. The park is just far enough away from the city lights to allow the night sky to shine bright. The park stays open until 10 pm, and you’re welcome to reserve a camping spot and stay all night long. Set up your chairs in the small open field near the lake; it has the best views.

5 Hard Labor Creek Rd.
Rutledge, GA
Online: gastateparks.org

Stargazing at Arabia Mountain

Drive just 20 miles from Atlanta, and you’ll find Arabia Mountain. This National Heritage Area is home to historic sites and trails you can explore by all day before you set up for some stargazing at night. During the day, the park offers hiking, biking, fishing and geocaching. At night, you can sign up for an Astronomy Hike or one of the other cool events, including Moonlight Mountain Hikes or Cosmic Archery.

3350 Klondike Rd.
Stonecrest, GA
Online: arabiaalliance.org

Related: Leaf Love: Fall Family Hikes That Are Loaded with Color

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