September 7-9, 2018 in Medora & Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Join astronomers, rangers, and historians as they come together for a three-day festival celebrating North Dakota's starry nights and rich heritage! Stand under the expansive night sky that influenced cultures of American Indian tribes, inspired modern space exploration, and is still yours to experience today!

Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Historic Medora welcome you to evenings of star viewing,special presentations, rocket building and launching, children's activities, and much more as we celebrate Dakota Nights!

Most activities are included with your park entry fee, except when otherwise noted.

Daytime Activities - Saturday & Sunday

Discovery Dome Theater 9:00 am to 4:00 pm - South Unit Visitor Center
Immerse yourself in films about outer space, planets, stars, and black holes! Films are shown in the full-dome theater on the hour from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Kids' Crafts and Activities 9:00 am to 4:00 pm - DeMores School Lawn
Take part in FREE hands-on activities that help kids learn about astronomy and unleash their creativity.

Rocket Building and Launching 1:00 to 4:00 pm - Chimney Park, Medora
Build, paint, and launch a rocket! Rocket kits are $10. 

Solar Viewing 1:00 to 4:00 pm - De Mores Park, Medora
Have you ever seen a sunspot? Safely view the sun (and its spots!) through telescopes and by other means. 

Solar System Hikes 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30 pm - De Mores Park
Start at the Sun and hike your way to Neptune. (Sorry, Pluto!) Learn about the planets in our solar system as you walk. Hikes begin at De Mores Park in Medora. Distance: 0.5 mile Difficulty: Easy

Astronomy at the Chateau
Free programs offered in the Chateau De Mores Interpretive Center auditorium. 
Space Adventure: Mapping our Night Sky for Exploration
with Brad Nasset, Saturday, September 8th, 11:00 am MT
Ben-tonight: the Cosmic History of the North Dakota Badlands
with Dr. Matt Craig, Sunday, September 9th, 11:00 am MT


Featured Presentations: 7:00 pm Cottonwood Campground Amphitheater*


Friday: Extrasolar Planets with Dr. Corinne Brevik
Over 2000 planets have been found around other stars. Learn how astronomers detect them, and discover some of their amazing properties.

Saturday: The Storyteller's Night Sky with Mary Stewart Adams
Once upon a time, every star had a name, and in every name was a story. These star stories told the people about themselves and guided them in building their sacred sites, farming the land, and practicing ceremony. What are our stories now, and how do they inform our daily lives?

Sunday: The Park After Dark with Park Ranger Andrea Martinson
Meet the park's nocturnal wildlife. Discover how their adaptations allow them to thrive at night.

*Located insdie Theodore Roosevelt National Park


Stargazing and Telescopes

Friday, Saturday & Sunday 8:00 pm
Get an up-close look at stars, star clusters, and planets in the telescope field at Peaceful Valley Ranch. Listen as astronomers and rangers share stories about the night sky. 
Preserve your night vision! Get the most out of your experience and protect the night vision of others by leaving flashlights, cell phones, and all other light-emitting devices behind.