While the moon can easily be seen in the night sky over the metroplex, the city lights make it highly improbable that you’ll be able to wish upon any falling stars. Luckily, folks in DFW don’t have to go far to connect with the universe. Whether you want to scan the night sky with professional star seekers or explore it on your own, these dazzling locations offer just the right amount of dark space to view mesmerizing meteor showers and captivating constellations. No telescope? No worries—most professional stargazers advise taking a good pair of 10X50 binoculars instead. You can also find more nearby starry sites listed here.
Fort Worth Astronomical Society
3812 Fenton Ave.
Fort Worth, TX 76133
www.fortworthastro.comYou don’t always need to venture far to get up close and personal with the starry skies. The Fort Worth Astronomical Society hosts free star watching parties every first Saturday evening of the month in the south parking lot of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. Here, star watchers can chat with astronomy pros and scope out the galaxy with the club’s high-powered equipment. Or if you’re a serious cosmic hunter, join the FWAS for $40 annually and score year-round access to the club’s three private dark observing sites. Be sure to follow FWAS’s Facebook page to find out about all of its stargazing events.

Texas Astronomical Society
(214) 800-6000
www.texasastro.orgStar peepers can hook up with the TAS astronomers four Saturdays a month to check out the skies over DFW from various viewing locations. The club meets at Spring Park in Garland on the first Saturday of the month; Frisco Commons Park of the second Saturday; J.W. Williams Park in Cedar Hill on the third Saturday and at The Shores Park in Rockwall on the fourth Saturday. Not only are these events free, but club members will also have around 12 telescopes set up for optimum viewing. Of course, you don’t need to wait for a star party to get your celestial thrills; these places are always a shoe-in for star watchers and moon stalkers alike.

Rafes Urban Astronomy Center
2350 Tom Cole Road
Denton, TX 76203
(940) 369-8213
www.astronomy.unt.eduAmateur star sleuths can go star hopping every first Saturday of the month at the University of North Texas’ Rafes Urban Astronomy Center— located near the Denton Municipal Airport. Here, gazers can take in the galaxy through telescopes while they enjoy a guided tour through the night sky. Along with star watching, visitors are treated to a tour through the Hudson Planet Walk, where they can check out semi-scale models of neighboring planets throughout eight display stations. Admission is $5 per person and free for kids ages 4 and younger.

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Purtis Creek State Park
14225 FM 316
Eustace, TX 75124
(903) 425-2332
www.tpwd.texas.govWhile it’s around 65 miles from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Purtis Creek State Park is a popular stargazing site for area astronomers and amateur star watchers alike. The Texas Parks & Wildlife hosts star parties out here often, including one coming up Saturday, August 22. The event is free with a $5 park admission for ages 13 and older. As well as being a place for celestial sightings, the park offers everything from fishing, hiking and camping to swimming and kayak rentals.

Hubbard City Lakes Park
Highway 31
Hubbard, TX 76648
(254) 576-2838
www.centexasatronomy.orgAccording to the Michael Green of the Central Texas Astronomical Society, star stalking doesn’t get any better than at Hubbard City Lakes, around 83 miles south of DFW. The area is isolated enough from any major cities that there is almost no light pollution. Here, beneath the starry skies, everything from the Milky Way to the Triangulum Galaxy show up in great detail, even when viewing with the naked eye. But if you want an enhanced star spotting experience, head over to the Hubbard City Lakes pavilion on the second Saturday of the month when CTAS members are there to help you navigate the skies with their arsenal of stargazing equipment.

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Ilene Jacobs is a freelance writer living in Dallas, Texas. Ilene enjoys writing about a variety of topics, ranging from food, fitness and travel, to kids, pets and senior care. You can find some of her work at Examiner.com.

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