These relaxed evening picnics at Taalmonument are hosted by the Orion Observation Group (OOG), a small, informal dedicated stargazing club from the Boland.
Situated on a hill overlooking Paarl, Taalmonument offers unique and all-encompassing views of the beautiful surrounds. At each of the picnics visitors will have an opportunity to discover more about the night skies, while picnicking at the lovely landmark. The 2017/18 picnic season kicks off on 11 November and runs until 10 March 2018.
Picnic by starlight (if the weather’s right)
You can either bring your own picnic, or pre-book one from Volksmond Coffee Shop (R300 for two people; R400 with basket included), which will be open for drinks and light snacks on each of the set evenings. The picnics only take place if the weather is playing along, so call ahead to check that it has not been cancelled. (For weather enquiries, call 072 181 6744.) Also, it’s a good idea to bring warm clothes and binoculars, if you own a pair.
Picnics start at 6pm, while the stargazing fun takes place between 8pm and 10.30pm, which is closing time. Also, please bear in mind that no smoking is allowed on the lawns, nor are dogs and fires permitted. While you’re there, you might want to enjoy a guided tour that commences at 6.30pm and does not require prior booking.
All picnics are held in aid of Let’s Read, the Taalmuseum’s reading project for children, so visitors are encouraged to bring new or used children’s books to donate.
Diarise these dates for upcoming stargazing picnics:
16 December 2017
13 January 2018
10 February 2018
10 March 2018
Howl at the moon
Taalmonument also hosts full-moon picnics, where chilling under the evening sky is not only recommended, it’s encouraged.