Star Gazing in San Diego

Sometimes I think that, thanks to living in San Diego, we should all have super smart kids. We have access to many incredible learning opportunities, and last night the kids and I took advantage of one we had never experienced before; the Palomar College Planetarium.

photo credit: Palomar Planetarium

Each Friday evening the planetarium hosts a program called “The Sky Tonight” and, WOW. If you have a child fascinated by what she sees in the sky like I do, this is a must-do trip.

We gazed upon the planetarium’s domed ceiling while the August night sky came alive with the milky way, saturn, constellations and, of course, stars and moons.



With humor and fact-filled narration, our host explained some of the myths behind constellations, how to find them, important scientific findings and why our night sky is so vivid in the summer.

The kids were engaged during the entire one hour program. Afterward, we were able to head outside and take a closer look at saturn and our moon through telescopes and ask questions from three planetarium docents who were full of answers (and questions for the kids!).



Our trip to the planetarium was an excellent way to spend a Friday evening, well worth the drive from La Mesa (to San Marcos) and totally worth the $14 we paid for two child and one adult admission.

The kids so enjoyed the sky program that they asked to stay for the 2nd movie of the night, “Moons, Worlds of Mystery,” which they though was even better!

A trip to the planetarium is an excellent compliment to anything your child may be learning about astronomy in school. Our trip has inspired us to plan a visit to Mount Laguna so that we can star gaze together in a night sky with limited “light pollution.” I’ll tell you all about that experience in a future post! 

What: Palomar College Planetarium “The Sky Tonight” program

When: Every Friday Night

Where: Palomar College in San Marcos

Cost: $6 per adult ticket, $4 per child ticket discounts for seniors and military

Telescope viewing is free each Friday night!

For more information visit

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