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“Stargazing nights, plus wedding :)”

Cincinnati Observatory
Ranked #47 of 178 things to do in Cincinnati
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Attraction details
Owner description: Nineteenth-century observatory, designated as a National Historic Landmark, is known as the "Birthplace of American Astronomy."
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
25 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Stargazing nights, plus wedding :)”
Reviewed 29 July 2014

I grew up in the area, but didn't get to the Observatory until I was an adult. My then-fiance and I went to one of the public stargazing nights as one of our early dates. It was amazing. The staff were universally knowledgeable and kind and worked to ensure that everyone at the event had a good time. They were attentive to people of all ages, and worked to include everyone, very young kids to the more mature folks. The facility itself has a rich, interesting history.

About a year later, Mike and I had our wedding at the Observatory. The staff were again, unfailingly kind and helpful. We had a small wedding (the Observatory can't host a big one really), It was beautiful. We had a sunset wedding, so that we could have stargazing and dessert afterward (in lieu of a more typical reception). They worked with our caterer to allow dinner to occur before the wedding (we had children and other guests with blood sugar issues that wouldn't want to wait on the food). We had 4 volunteers working our wedding: 2 tour leaders and 2 general facilitators. One of the volunteers toted food outside for a couple of disabled guests, whose wheelchair wouldn't fit in the elevator. (Although I had checked for the presence of an elevator for these guests, I hadn't accounted for the non-standard size of the wheelchair involved.) The volunteers handled this glitch with aplomb, and no one was made to feel bad or awkward.

A few older guests told me later that the volunteers had escorted them down to the bathrooms, because the volunteers noticed that some of the guests felt a little unsteady on the stairs (old building, uneven step sizes). How nice is that?

The director let us borrow any items that we needed, for the caterer to use (tables, chairs, giant buckets for icing down the drinks, etc.)

The astronomy programs after the wedding were really fun (everybody saw Saturn in the big telescope, so that was thrilling) and a surprising number of the older guests participated in the tour-of-the-universe walk. The volunteers brought out a portable telescope that worked nicely for our disabled friends and some of the kids. I was really happy that everyone had such a fun time.

This is a small observatory, but it has the oldest, still-in-use wooden telescope in the country!

I highly recommend the Observatory for both stargazing AND weddings :)

Visited June 2014
1 Thank chiroxiphia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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50 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Cool and Awesome!”
Reviewed 17 June 2014

I grew up in the area and remember going to the Observatory for a field trip but I had never been at night. My son and I went for Saturnday Saturday. There are several telescopes set up and on two of them we got to see Saturn and one of it's rings. Before looking through the telescope, the guide told us " no it is not a sticker, it is really Saturn" I thought he was joking, but Saturn looked so clear and bright, and of course small, it did almost look fake. Sometimes all three rings are visible but it was a little cloudy that night, but to see one ring and the planet was still a wonder. We also got to see Jupiter and 3 of its moons. This exhibit is from 9-11 p.m. on Saturdays and is really a perfect way to end a Saturday evening out.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank lynne64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
123 reviews
96 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Small and beautiful”
Reviewed 2 March 2014

This is quite small, but a beautiful observatory. You will never feel bored, if you are interested in astronomy. Also they have lot of program, watch out for their calender.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank Nandhaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
163 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Wonderful Place To Visit”
Reviewed 15 September 2013 via mobile

My family and I have spent many an afternoon here. The Observatory consists of two buildings each of which have a telescope. The telescopes are very old and beautiful and still work. They are used almost daily. The Observatory had tours on the weekend and makes every effort to not only entertain, but also educate. The volunteers there seem to enjoy what they do, and there is a passion there.

The Observatory is located in the Mt. Lookout part of Cincinnati. It's not easy to find so be sure you use your GPS.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Sherlock6142
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
302 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Hidden gem in the Hyde Park area”
Reviewed 29 July 2013

So few seem to know about this place, nestled in with gorgeous historic homes. This is a fun site to visit for its historic and educational value and is located in a very pretty neighborhood area.
Be sure to check the hours and tour times, as they are somewhat limited.

Visited June 2013
2 Thank magsdj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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