What if you could educate your kids, inspire their curiosity and entertain them with a weekend of outdoor fun all on the same trip? Well, you can by visiting Palomar Observatory and spending time at Palomar Mountain State Park.
The Palomar Observatory and nearby State Park are located in north San Diego County. The observatory is a world-class center of astronomical research owned and operated by the California Institute of Technology. The observatory is home to five telescopes that are used for a wide variety of astronomical research conducted by Caltech’s faculty and students.
The Palomar Observatory is open to the public for daytime visits daily (except December 24 and 25). Here are driving directions and information on any possible road closures. Check first if there’s been any recent weather events.
You can walk right inside the 200-inch Hale telescope building. This massive telescope was the world’s largest effective telescope for 45 years (1948 – 1993). It is still a workhorse of modern astronomy – used nightly for a wide range of astronomical studies. On average the awesome So CA weather allows some data collection about 290 nights a year. Just another day in paradise here in So CA.
The Visitor Center includes interesting and fun displays for the kids. Be sure to bring some coins and the kids will be mesmerized by this exhibit.
We were “coinless” but the curator provided us with the silver needed to capture this fun. Gotta love those reflections and expressions.
The campground is, like other local sites, chock full of fun, outdoor activities. The sites are well equipped with potable water and fire rings. I let Benjamin take a turn at chopping wood. Of course Rebecca was providing plenty of scrutiny while that was going on.
Jeremiah got in on the action scrounging up kindling for the fire. The boys took a well deserved break once the firewood was prepared.
Being family portrait photographers we never miss the opportunity to pose the grandkids. Of course, that doesn’t mean they are always in the mood. Rebecca quickly consoled the unwilling subject.
There was a great spot for climbing at the Palomar Observatory (free) parking area. Ben & Destiny did some rock scrambling …
as well as tree climbing. We were able to get a couple of family portrait photos and they had their fill of outdoor fun.
So – family fun and facts at one local location – it can’t get any better than that, right?
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