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Best Places For Stargazing In DFW

August 3, 2013 7:00 AM

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(Photo by NASA via Getty Images)

(Photo by NASA via Getty Images)

Hubble Space Telescope Images ReleasedThere’s nothing like a country sky to appreciate the stars. Too bad all the DFW lights keep the stars from view. The easiest way to reconnect with Texas’ big, beautiful skies is to journey out a bit and relive what Texas folk songs revered and observe what brought lovers home after they’d said their goodbyes. Stargazing can still be inspirational at some of these areas around DFW. 
Cooper Lake State Park
1664 FR 1529 S.
Cooper, TX 75432
(903) 395-3100
www.tpwd.state.tx.us

About an hour northeast of Dallas, Cooper Lake State Park is one of the best places to find constellations and observe the night sky. Rangers meet with visitors at the Honey Creek parking lot. A telescope will be available to share, but the more equipment the merrier. Park rangers will help point out planets and other skylight delights. Check ahead for dates and times with james.beach@tpwd.state.tx.us.

Frisco Commons Park
8000 McKinney Road
Frisco, TX 75034
(972) 292-6500
www.friscofun.org

A regular site for the Texas Astronomical Society’s monthly star parties, Frisco Commons Park is just far enough from the big city to eliminate some of that pesky light pollution and find some glowing beauties. Between the pavilion, amphitheater, nature garden and pond, there are enough places to plant a telescope to fill a black hole in this 63-acre area. For those who have their own telescopes, this free park is available for stargazing year-round.

The Planetarium at UT Arlington
7000 Planetarium Place
Arlington, TX 76019
(817) 272-1183
www.uta.edu/planetarium

For stargazing anytime, regardless of Texas’ wacky weather, the Planetarium at the University of Texas in Arlington is very recommendable. In fact, this would be a great stop before heading out to check out the night sky to make a more educated stargazing experience, especially for families, so that instead of just admiring their beauty, adults and children alike can pick out constellations and stars they’ve learned about.  Programs range from child-oriented color and wave shows to astronaut-themed fun. Check the website for shows, times and pricing.

Related: Best Flying Adventures In DFW

Dinosaur Valley State Park
1629 Park Road 59
Glen Rose, TX 76043
(254) 897-4588
www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/dinosaur-valley

Night treks through Dinosaur Valley State Park, called Park After Dark Night Hikes, are perfect for getting some fresh air, exercise and some views of our sky that will be forever etched into the memory. Offered monthly, it’s best to reserve a spot. Hikes start in the store parking lot at 8:45 p.m. and last until about 10 p.m.

Star Parties
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
1600 Gendy St.
Fort Worth, TX 76107
(817) 255-9300
www.fortworthmuseum.org/star-parties

Come out for monthly star parties for free from dusk until about 10:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the museum where astrology fans from the Noble Planetarium and Fort Worth Astronomical Society can enjoy not only seeing the stars themselves but sharing their knowledge with newbies. Telescopes are provided for use during the parties by the museum. Star Parties take place in the south parking lot. The next star party is on August 10th.

Related: Ask A Guide: Packing List For Your Campout

Kena Sosa is a freelance writer in Dallas. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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