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The Stars are Aligned for Family Fun!

by Casey | Posted on December 13th, 2011

An often overlooked family fun spot is the planetarium.

Think of it. It’s dark, the stars are bright and twinkling, and you’re not a bit cold even though it’s December.

Consider these planetarium events in the coming weeks as you entertain children on break from school.

Star of Wonder at the Virginia Living Museum

Star of Wonder at the Virginia Living Museum

In Newport News is the Virginia Living Museum Planetarium. This month you’ll find a variety of special star shows, including “Star of Wonder,” an immersive look at the journey of the Magi following the Star of Bethlehem. See “Star of Wonder” on these dates at these times:

  • December 14-16, 18 @ 2:30
  • December 17 @ 2:30 and 6:30
  • December 19-23, 26-31 @ 11:30 and 2:30

Also at the VLM is the show “Virginia Skies,” an ever-changing program with an astronomer. Take a current look at the skies above while the astronomer highlights visible planets and details signs of upcoming astronomical events. Q&A is encouraged! Visit┬áDecember 14 through 31 for 1:30 p.m. showings.

In Harrisonburg, James Madison University hosts free shows at their planetarium every Saturday at 2:30 and 3:30. Expect a 25 minute talk about the current night skies, including the identification of any visible constellations, planets, and comets.
Likewise, Radford University near Blacksburg offers free planetarium shows. “Star of Bethlehem” is akin to the “Star of Wonder” show at the Virginia Living Museum, and can be seen the following dates and times:
  • December 15 @ 7:30
  • December 17 @ 10:30
  • December 20-22 @ 7:30
Head to a college observatory for free star-gazing. Those you can utilize are:
  • Keeble Observatory at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland. Open Wednesday nights from 7:30 to 10 p.m. September through May as the weather and viewing conditions permit. Call ahead to verify availability.
  • Leander McCormick Observatory at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Open the first and third Friday of the month (except for holidays) from 7 to 9 p.m. Public nights are not for large groups. Groups should make a reservation for a second or fourth Friday night viewing. Call ahead to verify viewing conditions and availability.
Have fun exploring and put LOVE at the heart of your time together this month.



Family, The Holidays | 1 Comment

One Response to “The Stars are Aligned for Family Fun!”

  1. Thanks for sharing this post. Awesome event for families and hope they will enjoy a lot.