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Free Telescope Viewing at Grand Canyon National Park Star Party.Grand Canyon North Rim View with Kids Any visit to the Grand Canyon will be a WOW but during select days in June add stargazing to the list. It is the perfect time to explore the Grand Canyon with your kids by day and share universe by night.

Stand by for the WOW! Northern Arizona is one of my favorite family vacation destinations. Flagstaff, Williams, and Grand Canyon (North or South rim) offer not just awesome scenery and terrific opportunities to connect with nature but also living history and good old-fashioned family fun. The WOW part is the Canyon. The sheer size of the Canyon cannot be explained it must be seen and felt. True facts - the canyon measures a mile (1.6km) deep, is 277 river miles (446km) long, and in some places 18 miles (29km) wide. The sights, sounds, textures and aromas of the area, plus the rich menu of things within the park to be discovered and shared, will jam pack a family adventure and create memories good for a lifetime. So just imagine how cool it would be to have a star party on the rim - each June it is possible. GrandCcanyon National Park Free Star Party Fun

Here’s the scoop. The 25rd annual Grand Canyon Star Party will be held in June on the South and North rims of Grand Canyon National Park. This event is sponsored by the National Park Service, Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association (South Rim), and Saguaro Astronomy Club of Phoenix (North Rim), with funding from the Grand Canyon Association. Amateur astronomers from across the country will volunteer their expertise. Expect spectacular views of the universe (weather permitting). Bonus Points: Free slide programs will be offered and numerous telescopes will be set up to view planets, star clusters, nebulae, galaxies, the moon, and the sun. 
The view from the South Rim. On the South Rim, events include a slide show nightly at 8 pm in the Grand Canyon Visitor Center Theater followed by telescope viewing behind the building. The slide show is open seating and doors open at 7:40 pm. Bonus Points: Green-laser constellation tours will be offered during the evening. Stargazing is best after 9 pm. 

The view from the North Rim. On the North Rim, telescopes will be set up on the porch of the Grand Canyon Lodge every evening. Check the North Rim Visitor Center and park bulletin boards for additional daytime and evening events. Viewing tip: Nighttime temperatures on both rims can be quite cool, even in summer. Those attending the star party are encouraged to wear layers of clothing.Grand Canyon National Park Free Star Party Activities
Pack several red-glow flashlights.  As most 10-year-olds will tell you, red flashlights are best since the use of white lights is improper at a star party when near the telescope lot. Star party tip: A red flashlight may be created by covering any flashlight with red cellophane or painting the lens with red nail polish or even a red magic marker.
The annual star party is free. No reservations are needed except for astronomers wishing to share their telescopes, who register through the astronomy clubs sponsoring the event. Spend a night or stay for the whole eight-night event. The event is free however there is a park entrance fee of $25.00 per vehicle, good for seven days of coming and going to either rim.) 

Make it happen. Browse the Grand Canyon National Park's official website or view details about the star party activities. For additional information about the Grand Canyon's 24th Annual Star Party to be held on both South and North Rims in June.  

Grand Canyon South Rim Star Party
held by Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association Grand Canyon North Rim Star Party held by Saguaro Astronomy Club.

Content and images courtesy NPS and Grand Canyon National Park. Comments by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files.Copyright updated 2015.

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