BREC's Liberty Lagoon Waterpark

Star Struck at the Highland Road Park Observatory

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Baton Rouge area stargazers gather weekly to study the night sky with a 20-inch reflecting telescope at the BREC-owned Highland Road Park Observatory, which has been used to discover more than 50 asteroids. Visitors also have access to a 16-inch reflecting telescope. The observatory’s kid-friendly programming includes Saturday Science Academy, where budding astronomers dive into experiments that involve constructing their own comets and volcanoes.

Free, public stargazing on Saturday nights is also focused on youngsters, pairing celestial viewing with down-to-Earth activities like roasting marshmallows over a campfire. The observatory’s popular summer Stargazers Camp gives children the chance to build and launch their own rockets to the oohs and aahs of admiring fellow campers. Additional space-focused programming allows children to work on electronic circuitry and sample the fare consumed by International Space Station astronauts.

The parklands surrounding the observatory are also inviting. A one-mile trail winds through a bottomland hardwood forest. Shaded picnic tables and grassy fields provide a scenic place for a picnic and a place to play.