Daytime Tours and Activities
Join a Guided Tour for an up-close look at large research telescopes at McDonald Observatory in West Texas.
Your purchase of a Daytime Pass is the ticket to many great activities. Inside the Frank N. Bash Visitors Center, explore the Decoding Starlight exhibit and enjoy a Solar Viewing Program (typically 45-50 minutes) in our theater featuring interactive telescope views of sunspots and flares every day of the week at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. For insight into the workings of a professional scientific research facility, take a 90-minute tour with a knowledgeable guide to one of our large research telescopes immediately following the Solar Viewings. Tours often sell out, especially on holiday weekends and during summer months, so we recommend you reserve tickets online in advance.
Passes for the Solar Viewing only may also be purchased for those who may not have the time to spend on a Guided Tour.
Self Guided Tours of our largest telescope, the 362-inch Hobby-Eberly Telescope, are available at no charge from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Daytime and Solar Viewing Only passes are refundable up to one week prior to the program after which rescheduling will be offered ($5 administrative fee). Missed programs will not be refunded or rescheduled. Contact us for more information or to let us know if you have special needs. Check the calendar for program offerings and start times for the date you plan to visit.