Best Places To Go Star And Moon Gazing Near Detroit

July 18, 2015 8:00 AM

(Credit: Bruno Fahy/AFP/Getty Images)

Detroit is an urban city, so you wouldn’t think that there would be somewhere to go star and moon gazing – yet, there are many planetariums and other such places for your viewing pleasure in the nearby areas. Check this list for the best places to go star and moon-gazing in Detroit.
Dassault Systemes Planetarium
Michigan Science Center
5020 John R. St.
Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 577-8400
www.mi-sci.org

If you’re having trouble finding the stars in the city, the Michigan Science Center in Detroit features the top of the line Dassault Systèmes Planetarium, which includes a Digitar II projection system and 13,000-watt Dolby Digital sound system. The “virtual universe” includes 9,000+ stars, as well as planets and galaxies, all on a 50-foot, 3-story-high dome. During the school year, educational groups have first priority, and there are seven shows available every evening. Check out their website to see all of the shows available at this amazing planetarium.

University Of Michigan – Angell Hall
505 S. State St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
www.lsa.umich.edu

The University of Michigan’s Student Astronomical Society runs open houses/public observing nights on Angell Hall’s rooftops. Angell Hall also has a planetarium, and this is one of the best ways to go stargazing “in the wild” in Ann Arbor. The next open house is Aug. 2, from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m., and the full schedule can be found here. Angell Hall’s planetarium shows are held during every open house, rain or shine, and the first show starts 10 minutes after the open house’s start date; each show running about 35 minutes long. Both the roof and the planetarium are wheelchair-accessible, but the telescopes are not.

RiverWalk
Rivard St. and Atwater St.
Detroit, MI 48243
www.detroitriverfront.org

If you live in the city but find it hard to find the stars at night, check out the RiverWalk, located in between Detroit and Canada (you can literally see Windsor from its banks). Take a relaxing walk up the RiverWalk and back, or perhaps a bike ride. This would be a great place for a date, as well, as you could end the night at one of the many nearby restaurants.

Related: Best Places for Stargazing Near Detroit

Cranbrook Institute Of Science
39221 Woodward Ave.
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303
(248) 645-3200
www.science.cranbrook.edu

Cranbrook has one of the best planetariums in the metro area, the Acheson Planetarium, as well as an observatory. The planetarium features a Digistar projector, which enables star fields to be projected, and it recently received some upgrades, including a 360 degree experience, a 5.1 surround sound system, and an LED lighting system. Tickets are required for all planetarium programs, as well as museum admission, and Cranbrook does not permit late seating. Prices range from $5 per program plus museum admission, $4 per program for Institute members, or $1 per program for children under age 2. Programs run Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as every Saturday and Sunday.

Island Lake Recreation Area
12950 Grand River Road
Brighton, MI 48116
(810) 229-7067
www.michigandnr.com

Island Lake Recreation Area would be an ideal place to go stargazing at night; although it’s in Brighton, it has almost a rural feel to it. The area is a little confusing if you haven’t been before, so it would be wise to look up a map beforehand. There’s a pond area that would be perfect for stargazing, or you could bike along the trails while admiring the stars, too. There’s also a park area near the pond with picnic benches.

Related: Best Public Access Beaches to Spend the Day Near Detroit

Liz Parker is a freelance writer and a University of Michigan graduate with a degree in Creative Writing and Literature. Her work can be found at Examiner.com and yesnofilms.com.