Experience a Friday night to remember at Lick Observatory!
Our Evenings with the Stars programs are held annually as part of our Summer Series. Each year we bring world-renowned astronomers to the summit of Mount Hamilton for a night with the “stars” you won’t forget!
The event activities include:
- Astronomy talk by “star” scientists
- Viewing through the historic 36-inch Great Lick Refractor telescope
- Viewing through the 40-inch Nickel Reflector telescope
- Fascinating history talk about Lick Observatory
- After-hours gift shop access
- Astronomy discussions with amateur astronomers and viewing through small telescopes
Lick Observatory Evening with the Stars 2023 public event dates
Doors open 1 hour before the event begins. Numbered telescope viewing passes will be distributed in the order that guests come through the door.
General Admission: $25.00 per person (8 years and older).
VIP (August 11 and 25 only): $149.00 per person
- VIP ticket holders enjoy the general admission events plus:
- Private group tour of the Shane Telescope starting 2.5 hours before the event.
- Catered buffet dinner in our historic Dining Hall.
- Priority seating at the Astronomy Lecture.
- Priority viewing through the 36″ Great Refractor.
- Priority viewing through the Nickel Telescope.
- 20% Discount at our gift shop.
Tickets always sell out fast!
Tickets will be available to the general public on April 19th, 2023 at ucsctickets.com at Noon. There is a limit of 4 tickets per customer.
- COVID-19 safety protocols may change according to the conditions in Santa Clara County and the University of California Santa Cruz policies to ensure the safety of visitors, staff and volunteers. Ticket purchasers will be notified of the current safety protocols and masking rules shortly before the event.
- By purchasing a ticket, you agree to abide by the COVID policies in place at the time of the event.
Important Ticket Information
Doors open 1 hour before the concert begins. Numbered telescope viewing passes will be distributed in the order that guests come through the door.
Due to the historic construction of the telescope domes and safety concerns, the 36-inch Great Refractor Telescope and the 40-inch Nickel Telescope are not wheelchair accessible at this time. Those who have difficulty navigating stairs may also find the telescopes inaccessible. Funds are being raised to repair the elevating floor of the Lick 36-inch telescope to re-enable handicap access. Please contact Natasha Pedroza at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information about supporting these or any other fundraising efforts.
Please allow a one-hour drive from San Jose. The road is good, but windy. The event typically lasts between 4 and 6 hours; prepare to drive home late in the evening. Parking is limited at the Observatory, so we encourage carpooling. There are no automative services or gas stations for 20 miles, so please plan ahead. See more information on driving directions and parking here.
Casual, comfortable clothing and walking shoes. It can get surprisingly cold and windy after dark, so a sweater or coat is recommended.
Please be careful when walking around in the dark outside; bringing a flashlight is recommended. Children under age 8 are not allowed at this event, and it may be unsuitable for children under the age of 12 due to late hours.
The large telescopes will be available for viewing as soon as the sky is dark. Telescopes will remain open until every guest has had an opportunity to see through both the 36-inch Great Refractor and the 40-inch Nickel Telescope.
In order to view through the telescopes, guests will receive a numbered pass at the door. Guests with the lowest telescope numbers are admitted to the telescopes first – so we recommend getting to the observatory early!
Please note: Due to the historic construction of the telescope domes, the 36-inch Refractor and the 40-inch Nickel Telescope are not wheelchair accessible at this time.
Volunteer amateur astronomers also set up small telescopes in the back parking so guests can view additional cosmic objects.
Snacks and beverages will be available for purchase at the refreshment table and gift shop. Vending machines and fountain water are also available.
We strive to make your visit as complete and meaningful as possible. Please let us know if you will need special assistance (for example, if you will have difficulty climbing stairs) by emailing email@example.com, so we can make the necessary arrangements.
All events take place at the Main Building visitor center. Directions and parking
Join the Summer Series mailing list to get updates on when events are scheduled, when tickets will go on sale, and announcements of new programs.