A telescope on an observation deck at the Cincinnati Observatory.

Go Stargazing at the Cincinnati Observatory

For a unique weekend activity, we suggest gazing at the stars through the oldest public telescope in the Western Hemisphere. You’ll find it at the Cincinnati Observatory. This National Historic landmark is also located within a five-minute drive from The Drexel at Oakley.

Astronomer-Guided Stargazing

The observatory is accessible to the public Mondays through Fridays. You can tour the observatory buildings and look through the two main telescopes on guided tours. The tours commence on the hour between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM.

If you’re looking to join an astronomy & stargazing event, you’ll need to sign up online for a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday evening session.

A local astronomer will begin each session with a 30-minute introductory presentation on a fascinating astronomy topic. After the mini-lesson, attendees will receive guidance on using the Mitchel Scope.

The telescope is the oldest public telescope still in use in the entire Western Hemisphere! If the weather is cloudy, you may also pay a visit to the second observatory building. There, you’ll use a 22-foot long telescope built in 1904.

Best of all, you’ll only pay a suggested donation of $5.00 for Astronomy Thursdays. However, you’ll have to pay $7.00 for Astronomy Fridays & Saturdays. Be sure to book your visit in advance as tickets usually sell out quickly. At any rate, the observatory is open throughout the year. So, you’ll have many opportunities to visit.

Sunday Historical Tours

To learn more about the historical significance of the observatory’s buildings and telescopes, we recommend one of the Sunday historical tours.

On the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month, a more in-depth tour explores the observatory’s national significance as well as its contribution to science and commerce. You’ll learn about the beginnings of the National Weather Service plus the names of the Cincinnati citizens who made the observatory possible. A $5.00 donation is suggested for admission.

Astronomy Classes and Events

If you’re keen to learn more about what’s happening in the sky, join one of the “Topics in Astronomy” sessions with astronomer Dean Regas. These laid-back workshops serve as great introductions to the story of space. For just $15.00, you can enjoy a memorable evening under the stars. Be sure to check out the All About Orion” workshop on December 10th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

You may also enjoy stargazing sessions at Stonelick State Park, which hosts the observatory’s Dark Sky Viewing sessions.

All in all, the Cincinnati Observatory offers plenty of value for astronomy enthusiasts. Want to live near this historic institution? If so, consider making The Drexel at Oakley your new home. For more information about making a move or to schedule a tour of our luxurious living spaces, contact us today.

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