Winter Star Party Returns to Paramount Ranch to Celebrate
Mysteries of the Night Sky


It’s a mystery as old as the celestial heavens themselves: Gazing upon the sky at night and wondering what’s beyond. Each year, a free event near Woodland Hills provides the perfect chance to do just that when the Ventura County Astronomical Society hosts its Winter Star Party at Paramount Ranch in Agoura. This year’s Mysteries of the Night Sky is set to once again turn curious eyes upwards when it returns to Paramount Ranch on Saturday, January 20 from 6 pm to 8:30 pm. The free event near Woodland Hills gives locals and others the opportunity to experience the night sky with actual astronomers and National Park Service rangers in order to discover the vast expanse beyond our planet.

Telescopes will be directed at distant nebulae, star clusters and other fascinating space bodies in our seemingly infinite Milky Way Galaxy, and kids are invited to become an official Night Sky Junior Ranger. Attendees are asked to bring along a red lens flashlight to help preserve night vision throughout the free event near Woodland Hills, with staff to provide materials for a flashlight or mobile device should a guest not have one. The National Park Service will also be offering hot chocolate for the first 200 visitors, and food options will be available for purchase.


Telescope viewing will take place from 6 to 8:30 pm, while a “Ranger Talk” will run from 6 to 6:30 pm.

“It’s very special to be in the park at night, and we have felt that way ever since we put on the first Winter Star Party,” says Robert Cromwell, park ranger for the National Park Service“Despite being adjacent to a major metropolitan area, our park still provides great views of stars and planets in the night sky. It’s truly something that must be experienced first-hand to be appreciated.”

The aforementioned high-powered telescopes will be focused on such night sky objects as a waxing crescent moon, the Orion Nebula and Jupiter along with its beautiful moons.

19510295550_5e371320b9_kAs a matter of record, the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area (SMMNRA) is the largest urban national park in the country, encompassing more than 150,000 acres of mountains and coastline in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. A unit of the National Park Service, it comprises a seamless network of local, state and federal parks interwoven with private lands and communities. As one of only five Mediterranean ecosystems in the world, SMMNRA preserves the rich biological diversity of more than 450 animal species and 26 distinct plant communities. More information can be obtained by visiting

Paramount Ranch is located at 2903 Cornell Road in Agoura. Parking and entrance to the event are free, and attendees are encouraged to dress warmly. For more information about the fully-accessible event call the Visitor Center at (805) 370-2301.