A Guide to Stargazing Events for Kids in North East England with Forestry Commission

*This is a collaborative post and contains affiliate links

We are super lucky here in the North East to have not one but two forests that are 'Dark Sky Discovery rated with Milky Way Status' (Kielder Forest in Northumberland and Hamsterley Forest in County Durham).  This means that you can actually see the Milky Way in these locations with the naked eye. Amazing!

Our guide to Stargazing Events for kids in North East England 2017

Stars are magical, inspiring and awesome - even more so to children and encouraging your children to look up at the stars at night is a fantastic and easy way to get them interested in anstronomy, science and the world around them from a young age.

Stargazing with Kids at Hamsterley Forest in County Durham

Our guide to Stargazing Events for kids in North East England 2017 | kids with telescopes

Sometimes it's too late/cold/scary for little ones and children to be out in the forest late at night and I love the idea of the 'Why stars matter' trails (available at both Kielder and Hamsterley). These daytime trails are self-led and FREE. You'll take a short walk around the forest and learn how stars affect people and the forest. Find out more about the trail here.

Stargazing with Kids at Kielder in Northumberland

Our guide to Stargazing Events for kids in North East England 2017 | Kielder Observatory Northumberland

As well as a day time 'Why stars matter' trail at Kielder, there are lots of ways to get the kids involved in stargazing.  Kielder Observatory runs seasonal family events including:

Easter Space Kids

Starting at 4pm, these events begin with a Q&A session with Kielder's resident astronomer followed by the chance to touch real space rocks and meteorites from Mars. Next up it's a guided tour of the observatory with a chance to use the giant telescopes as it gets dark before finishing up with rocket making! Tickets are £55 for a family of 4 and available here.

Family Astronomy

Running on most Saturday evenings from 1st April (beginning at 5pm), this is your chance to join Kielder Observatory for an interactive talk as they whizz you around the universe. This is followed by an observatory tour and a quick lesson on how to use the powerful telescopes. Family Astronomy is aimed at children aged 4+ and their families. A hot drink is included in the price too! Tickets cost from £55 for a family of 4 and are available here. 

Celebrate Earth Hour (25th March at 8:30pm) | Download Your FREE Beginner's guide to stargazing

Our guide to Stargazing Events for kids in North East England 2017 | Stargazing during WWF's Earth Hour 25th March 8:30pm

The Forestry Commission have put together a FREE beginner's guide to stargazing in association with BBC Sky at Night Magazine. Packed with fantastic stargazing tips for the whole family, the guide includes:

  • Stargazing top tips
  • Night sky facts and terminology
  • Winter star map
  • 3 games and activities to help you explore the stars 

When better to put your stargazing skills to the test than during Earth Hour? WWF are encouraging the whole planet to come together and demonstrate their support for action on climate change by switching their lights off for one hour as a symbolic gesture. Sadly, nearly 1 in 6 species are at risk of becoming extinct due to climate change. Earth Hour takes place on 25 March at 8:30pm. Put the date in your diary now! You can find out more about Earth Hour here. 

Our Stargazing Essentials

We recommend checking out Muddy Puddles for children's waterproofs and warm clothing.

Let me know if you're planning on taking your children stargazing this year.

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Our guide to Stargazing Events for kids in North East England 2017



  1. These are fab! I always say that we are so lucky in the NE to have all this on our doorstep. I can't wait to take my 2 to stuff like this.

    1. We are so lucky to live in the NE and have access to some of the darkest skies and stargazing opportunities in the world!

  2. This looks like a great event! Our friends are off to Kielder observatory! I'm trying to convince them to do a guest post for us!

  3. The stargazing looks amazing and i think even adults would love it (like me!). I'm forever looking at the night sky and wishing I knew more than just the prions belt!


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