There’s hardly a better way to embrace warm summer evenings than with a picnic under a starlit sky. Which is why we are thrilled to announce that the Taalmonument Stargazing Picnics are back. Hosted by the Orion Observation Group (OOG) (a small, informal dedicated stargazing club from the Boland), these relaxed get-togethers are a fun outing for the whole family.
Situated on a hill overlooking Paarl, Taalmonument offers unique and all-encompassing views of the beautiful surrounds. At each of the picnics, visitors have the opportunity to discover more about the night skies, while picnicking at the lovely landmark. The 2018/19 picnic season kicks off on 10 November 2018 and it runs until 9 March 2019.
Picnic by starlight
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, pizza 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. Telescopes can be used for free and local astronomers will share their knowledge. Also, please bear in mind that no smoking is allowed on the lawns, nor are dogs or fires permitted. While you’re there, you might want to enjoy a free 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:
10 November 2018
8 December 2018
5 January 2019,
9 February 2019
9 March 2019
Howl at the moon
Taalmonument also hosts full moon picnics, where chilling under the evening sky is not only recommended, it’s encouraged.