Do you remember that feeling of being a kid on the last day of school before summer break? You know the feeling we’re talking about—the one that’d hit you right as the last bell would ring and you’d file out of the school doors with your classmates, the sun shining above you and endless possibilities ahead of you. We could really write a poem, or maybe even a book of poems, about how magical that feeling was. And while there’s a ton to love about summer as an adult, it’s just not quite the same. With more responsibilities, like jobs, bills, and in some cases, kids of our own to worry about, it’s gotten harder to capture that summer feeling.
The good news is that there are a few things you can do to bring some of that magic back, which is where stargazing comes in. Stargazing is one of those activities that can make anyone feel like a kid again—the wonder of the universe sprawled out above us just tends to have that impact. And there’s no better time to stargaze than on a warm summer night. Read on for just a few of the ways that stargazing can change your summer, plus a few ideas about how to do it just right.
So, you know those jobs and bills we were talking about above? We’re sorry to bring it up again, but it really leads us to our first point. Think about it—when was the last time you really took a moment to unplug? Even if it’s not for work, most of us spend so much of our lives in front of a screen, and we’re definitely not hating on that. After all, that’s exactly how we’re writing this now and how you’re reading it, and don’t even get us started on cozy night movie marathons. All of that said, though, it’s essential to step away from the screen sometimes.
Setting aside time to bring your throw blanket or sheet out to the yard and look up is an easy way to unplug, allowing you to slow down and create some truly magical summer memories.
One of the reasons that it was so easy to enjoy summer as a kid is because we spent so much of it outside. This is the season for it, after all. Well, with stargazing on your summer agenda, you have another activity that’ll encourage you to enjoy the great outdoors. You can enjoy the night sky wherever you are this summer that doesn’t have too much light pollution.
Whether you’re camping, at a beach bonfire, heading home from dinner on the boardwalk, or simply stepping into your own backyard (sorry, big city dwellers, this last one might not be your best option!), finding a comfortable place to sit or lay and looking up is a truly special way to appreciate being outside once the sun goes down. Just don’t forget to bring along a packable jacket in case the temperature drops just as the sun does!
When you think about the usual summer activities you do with your friends, your family or your significant other, stargazing might not be at the top of your list. But stargazing can be a sweet and special way to connect with the people you care about while you all connect with something much bigger than us all. It’s a way to break up the routine, to get quiet for a moment, and to carve out some time and space to really make a summer night count.
Pack a picnic or just a nice dessert and some summery wine into a tote bag and make stargazing part of a special summer date night, or organize a group of friends to get out there with. If you go out with a group, make sure there’s enough space for everyone to get comfortable under the stars by bringing an extra bed sheet or blanket and reminding everyone to bring some lightweight outerwear even if it’s a hot day.
Or turn it into a family-friendly activity by including the kiddos. With a king-size sheet big enough for you and the kiddos, some extra layers just in case, everyone can kick back and look up. You can even make the event even more memorable by turning it into a backyard camping trip for little ones by pitching a tent and bringing out their sleeping bags for kids—they’ll drift off to dreamland with visions of that shooting star you all saw, or the stories you told them about stargazing with your own parents when you were their age.
No matter what we have on our plates these days, there’s no reason to let summer pass us by. This season goes by fast, and it’s important to carve out moments to really appreciate it. By adding stargazing to your summer agenda, you’ll capture some of what makes this season magical and spread some of that joy to your family and friends!