Ever look up into the Arizona night sky and wonder. Bright city lights keep us from seeing into the vastness of the dark canopy above, but how can we look at the constellations beyond?
Is it possible to get an astronomy fix here in Phoenix? Lucky for us, Arizona is a great place for budding and seasoned astronomers.
How about astronomy for the whole family. Best of all, it doesn’t cost much to see some great celestial sights. Keep reading for the best cheap options for stargazing and more astronomy fun.
Astronomy Nights at Mesa Community College Planetarium
Head on over to Mesa Community College to enjoy free planetarium shows for the whole family. The Mesa Community College planetarium is state of the art and offers an excellent chance to show your family and friends the wonders of a planetarium.
Astronomy Nights are the first Friday of the month in February, March, April, May, September, October, November, and December. The college takes summers off.
MCC’s Planetarium is located at the Dobson and Southern campus.
Shows run from 6 to 10 p.m. every 30 minutes, and tickets are free on a first-come, first-served basis. You must reserve tickets in advance.
Dorrance Planetarium at the Arizona Science Center
Located at the Arizona Science Center, Dorrance Planetarium is one of the largest, most advanced planetariums in the US. The planetarium features a NanoSeam design, “the world’s first of its kind at a science center or museum.”
With credentials like that, you can’t miss an astronomy show at the Dorrance Planetarium. Check out the current show, “Arizona Skies”. Not the cheapest venue, but well worth it for a special family outing.
Adults will pay around $20 and children, $15 for general admission to the Arizona Science Center. Admission to the Planetarium is an additional $10 for adults and $8 for children. Click here for showtimes, costs, and descriptions.
Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, Tucson
If you’re planning a trip to Tucson, visit the University of Arizona’s Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium for an affordable, interactive science center experience.
The Planetarium will cost around $12 for adults, $8 for children. Some discounts apply.
Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff
One of Arizona’s most famous historic landmarks, a true wannabe astronomer or space-fanatic won’t want to miss a trip to Flagstaff, Arizona to visit the Lowell Observatory. Learn about the solar system, galaxies, the history of astronomy, and enjoy an outdoor constellation tour.
A bit more expensive, but worth it for a chance to experience this historic observatory. Adults will pay $29 per ticket and children, $17. Click here for tour times and entrance fees.
Here’s a list of fall events from the Astronomy Association of Arizona.
For more options for stargazing throughout the country in 2023, try this site.
Any planetarium or free/cheap stargazing activities in Phoenix we missed? Please let us know in the comments.