Stars Align for Mount Wilson Observatory's New Season

Mavens of the mountaintop wonder can enjoy behind-the-scenes tours and the return of the Cosmic Cafe.

Jeff Dai/Stocktrek Images

What to Know

  • The astronomy landmark is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Nov. 29; free to visit, but tours will require a ticket
  • The Cosmic Café has reopened
  • Concerts in the 100-inch telescope dome return later this spring

Making a journey to savor the cuisine at a cosmic cafe?

You might need to find a rocket of some sort, if you don't own one, and the sort of hefty suit and helmet that you can wear while gallivanting around deep space.

And inviting a can-do companion along for the adventure?

Finding a friend who has decades to spare might be rather tricky, but then crossing the vast reaches of the galaxy will take quite a bit of time.

But you don't need to block off the next 30 years to do lunch at such a venue, for there is a Cosmic Café on this planet, and, if you're in Southern California, it only involves wending your way to Mount Wilson Observatory, which is home to the snacky spot.

The quick-nosh favorite just reopened, over the first weekend of April 2022, which is when the observatory officially launched its 2022 season.

The stars are aligned for several great events, including info-cool engineering tours, the kind of behind-the-scenes peeks that really give astronomy fans a look at the nuts-and-bolts operations of the historical observatory.

Those ultra-informative gatherings are happening on select dates, and a ticket? It's $75.

If you'd like to book a nighttime spot for telescope viewing? That will need to happen in advance.

Weekend tours of the observatory, helmed by docents, are also part of the new schedule, if you'd like a general overview of the landmark.

It's free to visit, and no reservations are necessary if you'd simply like to take a look around, though you should book your engineering tour ticket ahead of time. Weekend tour tickets, which are $15 for an adult and $13 for visitors ages 13 and under and 62 and older, may be purchased at the Cosmic Café on the day of your visit.

And if a concert tempts, especially one presented inside the acoustically awesome dome where the 100-inch telescope is housed, you'll want to look into advance tickets.

The concert dates for 2022 are on the site, with more information soon to come; check out the roster here, as well as a photo that reveals the cosmically cool setting.

Calling upon Mount Wilson Observatory, which can be seen from Pasadena, the city that sits directly below the campus, as well as points around the San Gabriel Valley?

The iconic observatory is a storied place, one that has been the setting for several important developments and discoveries through the decades, including Edwin Hubble's astronomy-changing revelations about the galaxies beyond our own.

It's a must-do for lovers of the cosmos, Southern California history, and science at its starriest. Find out more now at the observatory's online HQ.

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