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Stargazing and smugglers – North York Moors Dark Skies Festival 2023

Dark Skies Festival Moors

Look to the skies this February half term with the Dark Skies Festival 2023 in the glorious North York Moors. Taking place from 10th to 26th February 2023, there are fun activities for the whole family. As well as the usual favourites, from night zips at Dalby Forest to ghost walks in Robin hood’s Bay and stargazing, there are some new events including a dark skies exhibition and a mindful night walk. Keep checking back here for our highlights for families as details of this year’s event are confirmed.

Dalby Forest Stargazing with Hidden Horizons (18th to 26th February 2022)

Enjoy a guided tour of the night sky, focusing on objects in our solar system (the moon and other planets) as well as stars that reside far away from Earth within our Milky Way galaxy. View a range of constellations and the objects that reside within them, including deep sky objects such as nebulae, star clusters and galaxies. All attendees will get plenty of opportunities to view through the large telescope under some of the darkest skies in England in the heart of Dalby Forest. They also have an indoor planetarium on standby so if the weather is poor and you can’t see any stars, or if it’s very cold, you can come inside and warmup, and enjoy a tour of the night sky and some immersive films about our solar system, galaxy and universe. Adult £15, child £10 (suitable for 7+). Booking essential.

Nocturnal adventure at Keldy (19th February 2022, 6pm – 7.30pm)

Discover the forest by night. Venture out with the Forest Ranger, stalking through the woodland to try and catch a sound or glimpse of wildlife with your night vision equipment. If it’s a clear night, you can learn about the stars and revel in the beauty of the night sky. Wrap up warm and wear sturdy footwear. Adult £10, child £10 (age 10+). Booking essential – call 01751 417445.

Dark Skies Festival 2020

Robin Hood’s Bay Ghost Walk (19th February 2022, 6.30pm to 7.45pm)

Journey through the narrow streets and alleyways of Bay as you listen to tales of the strange and supernatural mingling with ancient legends, smugglers, shipwrecks, spiritual mysteries and rip-roaring ghost stories. Well-behaved dogs on leads welcome. Suitable for all the family. The walk lasts just over one hour. For further information, go to the Whitby Storyteller website

Lantern workshop (22nd February 2022)

Print workshop with Dark Skies artist Helen Peyton. Make a paper lantern using relief printing techniques inspired by the night sky. Suitable for adults and children, but children must be accompanied. Free, but booking required.

Owl pellet investigation (5th March, 11am to 3pm)

Join the Ryevitalise team to investigate what our hungry owls have been scoffing during the night! You’ll get up close and personal with an owl pellet, learn how to dissect it and see what the remains reveal…Wrap up warm, it’s outside. Look out for the Ryevitalise gazebo. Free.

The Starry Night art workshop (23rd February, 11am to 11.45am)

Be inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s famous painting and create your own starry work of art! You’ll also find out what to look for in our very own beautiful winter skies. Various workshop times throughout the day. Wheelchair accessible. All children to be accompanied by an adult. Child £4.50, accompanying adult free. Booking essential.

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