THING TO DO

Badlands Astronomy Festival

three people stand silhouetted atop a badlands butte, pointing at the night sky.

The Annual Badlands Astronomy Festival brings together space science professionals, amateur astronomers, educators, youth groups, and park visitors for a stellar experience. Celebrate the beauty of a dark night sky and the wonder of space exploration. 

Novices and experts alike will enjoy daily family-friendly activities and evening presentations with special guest speakers. In the past, activities have included planetarium visits, solar telescope viewings, technology demonstrations, and more. Nightly telescope viewings will be sponsored by the NPS Night Sky Program and Celestron.

This three-day celebration at Badlands National Park will support the continued protection and enjoyment of our incredible night skies as a precious natural resource. Although light pollution threatens dark skies across the globe, the Badlands are nestled in a corner of the Great Plains where light pollution is not a prevalent issue. Come celebrate the dark skies of the park with us!

The festival schedule and activities vary year-to-year. Stop by the Ben Reifel Visitor Center to pick up this year’s schedule when you visit. Most events and activities are located in wheelchair-accessible areas. Astronomy Festival events do not require advance registration or tickets. Please just drop by.

Details
Pets are permitted in Badlands National Park with some restrictions. Pets must be kept on a leash no more than six feet in length at all times. Pets are only permitted in developed areas, such as campgrounds and picnic areas, and other areas open to motor vehicles, such as gravel and paved roadways, roadway corridors, and parking lots. Pets are prohibited from hiking trails, public buildings (i.e. visitor centers), and backcountry areas, including the Badlands Wilderness Area, and areas with prairie dog colonies. Pet etiquette dictates always cleaning up animal waste and disposing of it in trash receptacles.
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
Accessibility Information

The event takes place in an ADA amphitheater. Certified service animals are welcome.

Last updated: December 29, 2020