Birth charts, moon cycles, personal astrologers… we love everything to do with the stars right now. Take your special person on a stargazing date, and it’ll likely be one to remember.
Pick the right night
Been thinking of a stargazing date idea for a while, but not sure how to start planning it? Or maybe you’ve never considered a romantic stargazing date—don’t shooting stars seem too good to be true?
Well, we can’t promise shooting stars every time, but we can help you get prepped for an amazing date night. Let’s start with the basics: picking your stargazing spot.
Pick a location
We probably don’t need to tell you this, but light pollution is not your friend. Finding a dark spot won't be tricky if you’re lucky enough to live near wide-open countryside, but it could take some planning if you’re a city dweller. You could make a stargazing date night part of a weekend break, or scout for nearby locations on a map if you’re able to travel for just one evening. You’re looking for somewhere far away from city lights, up a hill, and facing south if possible.
The other major factors to think about are weather and moon cycles. You’ll want a clear, cloudless night, ideally when the moon is new. New moons are (confusingly) when you can’t see the moon at night, as it rises earlier in the day with the sun behind it. No bright moonlight means you’re more likely to spot planets, distant star clusters, and those elusive shooting stars.
Don’t want to leave your city? No problem—you can still make a stargazing date work. We recommend checking out events at your local astronomy club or observatory, which use telescopes and professional tools to star-spot. A night with the pros won’t be as private, but you’re pretty much guaranteed to see something extraordinary and learn something new together. Plus, there’s no need to read up about constellations as experienced stargazers will be there to help you out.
Stargazing date essentials
If you’re opting for the romantic, outdoor option, let’s talk about what to bring on your stargazing date.
Your stargazing date outfit
Your number one concern is likely warmth. Even if you live in a hot state, those temperatures drop once the sun goes down, especially on cloudless nights. Wear or pack all your warmest things, including multiple pairs of socks, gloves, hats, jackets, and extra layers. You can always take something off if you’re too toasty, but if you’re chilly and unprepared, you’re going to have a bad time. Not a typical date outfit, we know, but this is a stargazing date!
If you’re living the Nashville dream of a stargazing date from your pick-up truck bed, then a blanket or two is probably all you need. If you’re parking yourselves on the ground, bring a couple of blankets and a cushion or two.
Equipment-wise, bring binoculars if you have them—but they’re not stargazing essentials. You should be able to see about 2,500 stars with no equipment at all. Oh, and keep phones to a minimum. Although they can be useful for checking star maps (more on that later), looking at bright lights means your eyes won’t adjust to the darkness and you’ll miss out on the best stars. So, dim your brightness.
Make it a stargazing picnic date
No surprises here—we love the idea of a stargazing picnic. We won’t be too prescriptive on the choices, but we recommend something good to eat cold, easy to eat in the dark, and low in salt. Salty snacks mean drinking lots of water and… you see where this is heading.
But on the topic of drinks, hot ones are a huge plus to keep you warm and extend the stargazing date session. Grab a couple of flasks and fill them with your drink of choice, and remember to check in with your date about whether they’re a late-night coffee drinker or a hot chocolate lover.
So you’re dressed for sub-zero temperatures, flasks in hand, perched on a beautiful, south-facing, hillside spot, no moon, no clouds… what next? It’s finally time to look at some stars.
Finding your way
A great star map will dial up the wonder and help you work out whether you’re looking at a planet, open cluster, satellite, or plain ol’ star. We love maps with explainers about each celestial object's distance, constellation, and history, as they make it easy to turn a cool date into an incredible one.
Where to find the right star map? You can go old school and grab a book to guide you in the night. These are often published annually with specific info about monthly night sky events, so make sure you get your hands on the current one.
If you’d like to get live info and a ready-calibrated star map, we love using star map apps. They use your phone’s internal compass to point out exactly what you’re looking at, plus they can track objects like satellites zooming across the sky in real-time. Just make sure there’s cell coverage at your lookout spot!
If you’re going down the app route, you can also track crisscrossing planes with dedicated apps which can be addictive. You’ll see stats like where they’re going, how high they are, and how long they’ve been in the air. Then at least you’re guaranteed to spot something in the sky!
Our tips for a great stargazing date
Want to deep-dive into astrological significance and grab some facts to impress your date? We love starry Instagrammers like Bumble’s very own in-house astrologer, Aliza Kelly (@alizakelly). Watch their stories and get clued up on celestial goings-on before date night.
Don’t forget to keep an eye out for shooting stars! These won’t be on maps or apps as they’re actually random burning meteors, but it’ll make your night extra special if you spot one. You can check out active meteor showers on dedicated websites to show you the varying sizes entering the Earth’s atmosphere each day.
Lastly, and as always, we urge you not to travel at night or visit isolated places with brand-new dates or anyone you don’t feel 100% comfortable around. We recommend this date for later in your dating journey when you’re fully acquainted and ready for something more adventurous together.
We hope our complete guide to the perfect stargazing date night has given you all the tips and tricks to make it your best, most memorable date of the year. And if you’re looking for someone to chat about the mysteries of the universe with, sign up to Bumble now to find them!