Dakota Nights Astronomy Festival

Visitors enjoy a star talk led by a ranger.
Stargazing is one of the many activities offered by the park during the festival.

August 30 through September 1, 2019

Join astronomers, rangers, and historians as they come together for a three-day festival celebrating North Dakota's starry nights and rich heritage! Stand under the expansive night sky that influenced cultures of American Indian tribes, inspired modern space exploration, and is still yours to experience today!

Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Historic Medora welcome you to evenings of star viewing,special presentations, rocket building and launching, children's activities, and much more as we celebrate Dakota Nights!

Most activities are included with your park entry fee, except when otherwise noted.


Daytime Activities - Saturday & Sunday

People of all ages are welcome at all activities!

Discovery Dome Theater
Immerse yourself in films about outer space, planets, stars, and black holes!

Kids' Crafts and Activities
Take part in FREE hands-on activities that help kids learn about astronomy and unleash their creativity.

Rocket Building and Launching
Build, paint, and launch a rocket! Rocket kits are $10.

Solar Viewing
Have you ever seen a sunspot? Safely view the sun (and its spots!) through telescopes and by other means.

Solar System Hikes
Start at the Sun and hike your way to Neptune. (Sorry, Pluto!) Learn about the planets in our solar system as you walk. Distance: 0.5 mile Difficulty: Easy


Featured Presentations

Cottonwood Campground Amphitheater
Each night of the festival, a guest speaker offers their unique take on the night sky. Topics of past programs have included astronomy, star stories, cultural values and significance of the night sky, natural darkness, and we even heard what it's like to be in space from an actual NASA astronomer. Speakers for 2019 will be announced in the spring.

stargazers gather in a field of telescopes lit by red lights to look up at the starry sky
The telescope field at Peaceful Valley Ranch offers fantastic stargazing!

Stargazing and Telescopes

Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Get an up-close look at stars, star clusters, and planets in the telescope field at Peaceful Valley Ranch. Listen as astronomers and rangers share stories about the night sky.
Preserve your night vision! Get the most out of your experience and protect the night vision of others by leaving flashlights, cell phones, and all other light-emitting devices behind.

Last updated: November 5, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 7
Medora, ND 58645


(701) 623-4466

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