The Burke-Gaffney Observatory Public Open Houses are a great way to learn about astronomy with your kids aged 8 and older. The open houses generally last one to two hours and involve looking at various astronomical objects through a big telescope and discussing the nature of these objects. The staff and volunteers who run the program also use a fenced-in observation deck on the roof of the building to show you the constellations or celestial objects in one their smaller portable telescopes.
Due to limited space, free tickets must be reserved online. Tickets for upcoming Public Open Houses are usually made available on the day of the next scheduled open house. (More information here). When an open house is cancelled due to bad weather, this gives a better chance for existing ticket holders to re-book. Recent experience is that all tickets are gone within a day of being available!
The Observatory warns that families may experience frustration in trying to get tickets, but please understand: there aren’t many clear nights in Halifax, the observatory can only accommodate about 24 people, and there are not enough resources to offer the program more than twice per month. But- families who have visited say: be patient: it’s well worth the wait!
The Observatory also also offer private tours for groups, such as school groups or clubs. These usually happen on Monday nights and must be booked weeks or months in advance. Details are here.
Note that the observatory is not accessible – there are two flights of stairs.
Burke-Gaffney Observatory Public Open Houses Details:
Friday, January 13th at 7:00 pm
Friday, January 27th at 7:00 pm
Friday, February 10th at 7:00 pm
Time: 7:00 pm
Where: Saint Mary’s University, Loyola Building, 5865 Gorsebrook Ave. Halifax, NS
Website: Astronomy Nova Scotia or Saint Mary’s University
Contact: Dave Lane, Observatory Director
Phone: (902) 496-8257
Although we do our best to provide you with accurate information, all event details are subject to change. Please contact the facility to avoid disappointment.