Drake Municipal Observatory

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Plan your Visit

The Drake Municipal Observatory is located at 4849 Observatory Road, on the grounds of the Waveland Park golf course. 

The entrance is located behind the McCollum Waveland Tennis Complex off Polk Blvd. The gate will be open 15 minutes before public events. There is a small parking lot immediately next to the observatory, or you may park along the edge of the road leading up to the observatory.

Having trouble?

If you have trouble finding the observatory on the evening of a public event, please call 515-271-2174.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do the Public Nights last?
The lecture is usually between 45 minutes to 1 hour, followed by observing. Observing will continue until all guests have an opportunity to view the sky through one of Drake’s telescopes.

Where do I RSVP to public nights?

No reservations are required for public nights. Whether you decide 5 weeks or 5 minutes before the event to join us, you are welcome to come!

Can I bring my children to the observatory?

Yes, we love to help young people enjoy the night sky. We do ask that children 15 and younger are accompanied by an adult.

Can I schedule a private daytime tour of the observatory?

Drake Municipal Observatory only has staff available during the weekly public night events. Our telescopes cannot be used during the day – observing is only possible after the sun is fully set. As much as we would love to accommodate homeschooling students’ schedules during the day for field trips, there isn’t much to do at the observatory until dark.

Where can I learn more about Astronomy?

Glad you asked! Below please find some of our favorite resources:

What if I have other questions?
Call the Drake Physics/Astronomy department at 5115-271-2174.

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