Editor's note: This has story been updated to show that the Denton event has been canceled due to rain in the forecast and the Lewisville event is sold out.
Here at GuideLive, we love to write about stars. But during August, there's a whole new set of stars shooting through D-FW, and the whole northern hemisphere, really.
They're called Perseids, a meteor shower that's popular to watch because of the bright, fast meteors that look like shooting stars.
When Perseids peak on Aug. 11 and 12 from midnight to 4 a.m., viewers can expect to see 60 to 80 meteors each hour. And if you attend a star party, telescopes will make the planets and other celestial bodies easier to see.
Here’s how to enjoy Perseids in D-FW this year.
Attend a star party
Dinosaur Valley State Park: On Aug. 11, make the hour and a half trek from Dallas to Dinosaur Valley State Park for the park’s star party program. In the park’s amphitheater, learn about the night sky and feel free to use the telescopes provided. The party begins at 9 p.m. and lasts until 11, but rangers advise showing up 15 minutes prior. Program included with $7 park entrance fee for all over 12. 1629 Park Road 59, Glen Rose, Texas. More about the event
Frisco Commons Park: Every second Saturday, weather permitting, the Texas Astronomical Society hosts Frisco Starfest, an event where members and guests can observe and learn about the stars. Although this event is not intended exclusively for Perseids viewing, it coincides with the meteor shower on Aug. 11, beginning at dark and ending at 10:30 p.m. A dozen or so telescopes will be set up. Note that Frisco will not have the most ideal viewing conditions, but is still far enough from city lights for decent visibility. Free to the public. 8000 McKinney Road, Frisco. More about the event
[Note: This event is sold out.] Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area: Night owls, flock to this Perseids watch party at LLELA, a 2,000-acre nature preserve. The watch party will be held at the Wildflower Platform on the east side of the park from 11 p.m. on Aug. 11 until 1 a.m. on Aug. 12. $5 per person. Guests must register online beforehand. Intended for ages five and up. 201 E Jones St, Lewisville.
[Note: This event has been canceled due to the weather forecast.] Rafes Urban Astronomy Center: Party all night long at UNT Astronomy’s Perseids Meteor Watching Party and Observatory Open House, lasting from 9 p.m. on Aug. 11 until 2 a.m. on Aug. 12. In the observatory, examine Jupiter, Saturn and Mars through telescopes. Listen to a presentation explaining Perseids, how to observe it and make a map of incoming meteors. Bring lawn chairs, blankets and non-alcoholic beverages to watch the meteor shower on the center’s fenced-in lawn. $5 per person over 4. Space is limited to 200 guests. 2350 Tom Cole Road, Denton.
Find a dark spot for a private party
Find the darkest spot near you here.
Erwin Park: The ruggedness of this park creates its challenging off-road biking trails, but another perk is that Erwin Park doesn't have much city light pollution. Find a clear space and watch the show with a moonlight picnic. Book a campsite if you want to stay until the wee hours of the morning. Otherwise, guests must leave by 10 p.m. No charge for guest admission. Campsites are $12.50 for residents and $20 for non-residents. 4300 County Road, Mckinney.
Tandy Hills Natural Area: This area is home to the Fort Worth Astronomical Society’s monthly star parties, which will not be held during Perseids. Only a five minute drive from downtown Fort Worth, the 160-acre expanse of prairie is dark enough for decent viewing in a convenient setting. Open 24 hours. Free to the public. 3400 View St, Fort Worth.
Watch a faux-show at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
In the museum’s planetarium, attend Live at the Noble: Texas Sky Tonight, a daily live presentation where night sky conditions and cosmic events are replicated through a digital projection. Beginning Aug. 6, the Current Science Wall in the museum’s Innovation Studios will also highlight information about Perseids. Admission to the museum is $16 for adults and $13 for ages 2 to 13. Texas Sky Tonight is an additional $5 and $4 for the same ages, respectively. 1600 Gendy St, Fort Worth.
Know before you go:
Visibility varies due to cloud coverage and city lights.
- Bring lawn chairs, blankets or other seating to get comfy and enjoy the show.
- Bursts of meteors come sporadically with lulls in between, so give yourself at least an hour of viewing time.
- The more open the area, the better. The meteors streak across the sky in many different directions.
- Don’t bring white lights, as they will affect your night vision. Opt instead for black or red lights.