Star Party Schedule

We host Star Parties West at the Landis Arboretum and Star Parties East at Grafton Lakes and Cherry Plain State Parks. Information for both West and East locations is below.

Star Parties West

Come to Landis Arboretum to view the stars and planets with members of the Albany Area Amateur Astronomers. A variety of telescopes will be set up for viewing the heavens. Club members will provide views of nebulae, star clusters, galaxies, double stars, planets (when visible), and other interesting celestial objects.

Please Note: Star Parties are canceled if the skies are mostly cloudy. Please call the Frenches at 374-8460 if you are in doubt. We decide 90 minutes before the scheduled start.

Will it be clear? Review the current George Landis Arboretum Clear Sky Clock (click on any box several times for a satellite map)

2023 Landis Arboretum Star Parties West

New dates coming soon!

Star parties at Grafton Lakes and Cherry Plain State Parks.

These events are open to the public and are sponsored by NYS Parks and Albany Area Amateur Astronomers.
Telescopes are not necessary, viewing is through scopes provided, binoculars are useful.
When arriving after dark, please use the winter entrance and follow signs.
In the event of rain or heavy clouds, the Star Party will not be held on the scheduled Friday, but the next evening, Saturday, again weather permitting.

The physical address is 100 Grafton Lakes State Park Way, Grafton, NY 12082. For directions call the Park office (518-279-1155).

Will it be clear? Current Grafton Lakes State Park Clear Sky Clock (click on any box several times for a satellite map)

Star Parties at Cherry Plain State Park

To Be Announced

Star Party Instructions

East and West Star Parties

Here are important tips and information for participants at our East and West Star Parties.

  1. Guests of all ages are welcome. Club activities are free and open to the public.
  2. In cold weather it is very important to dress warmly – and you will NOT be warm if you do not wear a hat! Wear boots if it’s snowy. You will be outdoors and it is very easy to get chilled when you are inactive (it feels 20 to 30 degrees colder!). Even cool weather requires extra clothing.
  3. If you are a smoker please do not smoke near the telescopes. Smoke can damage the optical coatings in a telescope. Also avoid applying insect repellents from spray cans when standing near the telescopes.
  4. You are welcome to bring a telescope if you have one. We will be happy to answer questions about using or buying a telescope. [There are many poor quality telescopes on the market and much of the advertising is misleading, so learn the basics about telescopes before buying!]
  5. The club has regular monthly meetings. They are held at 7:30 P.M. on the third Thursday of the month at the MiSci Museum of innovation and science on Nott Terrace Heights (except in August, when the meeting is held at the George Landis Arboretum). Club meetings are open to anyone interested in astronomy.

Star Parties Elsewhere

We also host occasional star parties at Five Rivers Environmental Education Center in Delmar (475-0291).

For further information about star parties, the Albany Area Amateur Astronomers, or buying a telescope, call one of the club contacts listed below. To get advice and more information about Star Parties, join the club’s Yahoo group, Astro_Albany. Do a search on Astro_Albany at, or request to join by sending e-mail to

Club Contacts

Star Party Directions & Maps

Octagon Barn

Octagon Barn star parties and lecture series are held monthly on Fridays from April-November. The barn is located at 588 Middle Road, Delanson NY 12053

Landis Arboretum

At the Arboretum, a reflective “Star Party” sign will be placed at the entrance to the Meeting House driveway. It is on the right up Lape Road beyond the farmhouse and main parking area. There is a locked gate at the entrance of the drive, and if you arrive too early, it may not be open.

Five Rivers Environmental
Education Center

56 Game Farm Rd.
Delmar, NY 12054

Grafton Lakes State Park – Deerfield
Pavilion area

Take Route 2 east out of Troy, NY to the town of Grafton. Bear right at sign for entrance to Grafton Lakes State Park. Deerfield Pavilion is on left less than 1 mile in on entrance road.

Winter entrance to Grafton Lakes State Park – use in off-season if main gate is closed. Go past entrance to Grafton Lakes State Park into village of Grafton. Left on No. Long Pond Road. Look for park entrance. The gate should be open. Turn right on main park road, Deerfield Pavilion is on left.

Cherry Plain State Park

NYS Rt. 43 east to Rt. 22. Turn left. About 6 miles to CC Dam Road with sign for Cherry Plain SP. Turn left, you are heading west. CC Dam Rd. becomes Black River Rd. then becomes Miller road and turns to the north. About 2.5 miles in from Rt. 22 look for the entrance to Cherry Plain SP. Turn left. Take first left past park entrance booth. If you arrive prior to 5 PM they may require a car admission fee. You can park outside and walk in the remaining 1/4 mile or drive in.