Summer in St. Louis brings lots of natural pleasures. Warmer temperature, beautiful landscapes and magnificent summer skies. Stargazers know that our midwestern evening skies hold a magnitude of wondrous appeal. Check out the starry skies of St. Louis at these great locations.
Broemmelsiek Park
1615 Schwede Road
Wentzville, MO 63385
(636) 949-7535

Broemmelsiek Park in St. Charles County is the perfect place to take in the evening light show. Just a short drive on highway DD, south of highway 40, will take you directly to the astronomy viewing area, designed to accommodate any star gazer from expert to novice. Equipped with 10 uniquely constructed concrete viewing areas to accommodate electrical telescopes, the park comes alive with would-be astronomers. On Friday evenings, in good weather, the Astronomical Society of Eastern Missouri offers their expertise to anyone who might want to expand their knowledge of the constellations.

James S. McDonnell Planetarium At The St. Louis Science Center
5050 Oakland Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 289-4400

At the risk of stating the obvious, is there a better place in St. Louis to go to look at and learn about the stars than the James S. McDonnell Planetarium? The wide array of features and programs offered by the Planetarium are sure to offer something for everyone or anyone who has an interest, of any type, in constellation observation. Not only can you learn about space travel, space stations and ongoing scientific research, you can take advantage of the monthly star parties and view the stars through the telescopes on hand. And weather is never an issue at the planetarium! Come out to get the most interesting and updated info on current moon phases, meteor showers and the summer constellations. Admission starts at $5 for children and $6  for adults.

Lewis And Clark Confluence Tower
435 Confluence Tower Drive
Hartford, IL 62048
(618) 241-9101

One great thing about the St. Louis area is that living at the confluence of the two largest rivers in North America gives you the unique opportunity to observe one of nature’s most spectacular sights, and viewing it at night, under the stars, is even more spectacular. Climb 150 feet to see the rivers, or just to get closer to the stars Either way, the view is breathtaking. Twilight Thursdays at the Tower are great places to gather with family and loved ones to watch the sunset or gaze at the stars. Also, check out the Perseids Meteor Shower viewing party and the super moon viewing party in August for sky viewing fun. Admission is $2 for children, $4 for adults and $3 for seniors and veterans and military.

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Crow Observatory
Washington University
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
(314) 935-6276

On a clear night, near the northeast corner of the Wash-U campus, you can see forever. Members of the Wash-U and local communities can take advantage of city sky viewing by way of the Crow Observatory’s main telescope and view the stars from the St. Louis perspective. The telescope, with a six inch aperture, was donated to the university in 1863 and is great for viewing the moon scape. Admission to the observatory is free to the public, but groups of seven or more need to make reservations.

The Nature Institute
2213 S. Levis Lane
Godfrey, IL 62035
(618) 466-9930

Just a bit north of Alton, off the River Road, is the Nature Institute in Godfrey, Illinois. And if nature is your thing, and you  have kids who love to learn, you’re gonna want to make at least one trip there this summer. Not only is it more than 450 acres of protected wild and wetlands, it’s home to the Olin Nature Preserve, the Cora Hutchison Bird Sanctuary and the Mississippi Sanctuary. For star gazers, they host moonlight hikes and Astronomy Association meetings where guests can explore and engage constellation learning activities to entertain the entire family. Call ahead for reservations.

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Lisa Payne-Naeger, a native of the St. Louis area, is a freelance writer, blogger, political activist and a homeschooling mother of two children. Her work can be found at