One of my favourite memories of my childhood was lying out on the back lawn with my dad drawing the constellations we saw in the sky on the graph paper he used for work. A few years later, I went with a “gifted children” group to the Auckland Observatory for the first time and was fascinated by the telescope they use to look at the stars. Years slid by (almost twenty of them!) and as it was my turn to organise our Valentine’s date, I decided to get us tickets for the Stardome Observatory’s Give Your Partner The Stars event.
I picked Papa M up from work and we headed through to Royal Oak. I’d originally planned to do a picnic hamper but several events got in the way of my prep time and so we stopped to pick up burgers to take away. We continued on to Cornwall Park, where the observatory is located and spread out our picnic blanket to nom down our delicious dinner. Still with time to kill, we took an hour-long walk through the park. It was nice to get out in the fresh air and sunshine after being cooped up in our offices all day!
8:00 pm rolled around and we headed down to the observatory to enjoy the exhibits before the show started. We were greeted on arrival with champagne, some sweet little finger foods and a rather generous gift box – shown in the bottom right of the picture above. As well as the usual exhibits, they had a slideshow running with romantic space pictures – the rose nebula, the jewelbox cluster – and beautiful string duet music performed live. At 9:00 pm we moved into the planetarium that had a lovely heart-shaped cloud on the roof and enjoyed an hour-long show on the constellations in the night sky. What was very special is at the end they turned the night sky into heart shaped bokeh and played Bruno Mars’ “Marry You” which has very special meaning to us.
We would recommend this event a hundred times over as a romantic yet off-beat Valentines date – it was the perfect blend of love and fun. Stardome Observatory also runs a ton of other fun events, so check them out!
Have you ever had a slightly different but super-fun date?