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Also visit:

Bellaboo's Play and Discovery Center

Deep River Waterpark

Edge Adventures

Book your Aerial Adventure NOW!

Turkey Creek Golf Course

Conway Observatory and CAS web link

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Click here for 2017 calendar


The Lake County Parks Department is committed to providing quality parks and open spaces along with many recreational, cultural, and educational opportunities for the use an enjoyment of all Lake County residents and visitors.




Calumet Astronomical Society public observing dates

Expand Your Universe at Conway Observatory

The volunteers of the Calumet Astronomical Society invite the public to explore the wonders of the universe when they present their popular family-friendly free public programs.  Facilities, including access to the 16 inch telescope, are wheelchair accessible.  Volunteers guide visitors in the use of telescopes and astronomical binoculars as they observe the majesty of the skies.  Star charts, club information, and astronomy-related activities are presented.

Please park in the designated visitor parking area.  Because observing is conducted in a “lights-out” environment, parents are requested to keep their children under close supervision.  Do not use standard flashlights in the observing area.  Exposure to white light, even briefly, will seriously impair night vision making observing difficult.  Red-filtered flashlights can provide illumination without affecting night vision.  You can make a red light by cutting off the end a red balloon and putting it over a standard flashlight.

Of Special Note:  Observing with telescopes is contingent upon clear weather.  Cloudy or inclement weather conditions may cause programs to be cancelled without advance notification.  Check for updated weather conditions before heading to the event by visiting

Conway Observatory at Buckley Homestead is located 4.5 miles west of Interstate 65 just south of Route 2. Exit I-65 west at Rt. 2 toward Lowell to Hendricks Road, then south to the "T" at Belshaw. East (left) on Belshaw to the first right (Chase Street) and south for one mile.

2017/2018 Public Observatory Schedule at Conway Observatory











7:06 PM

11:47 AM

Next Day

1st Quarter

Orion, The Hunter

8-10:00 p.m.



7:36 PM

10:40 AM

6:13 PM

38% WX

The Stars of Spring

8-10:00 p.m.



8:05 PM

9:33 AM

Next Day

23% WX

Exploring the Crescent Moon

8:30-10:30 p.m.



8:25 PM

8:25 AM

11:13 PM

12% WX

Jupiter and its Moons

9:00-11:00 p.m.



8:22 PM

7:14 AM

9:50 PM

4% WX

The Stars of Summer

9:00-11:00 p.m.



7:54 PM

6:01 AM

8:22 PM


The Rings of Saturn

8:30-10:30 p.m.



6:12 PM

11:34 AM

9:28 PM

22% WX

Planets Galore

7:00-9:00 p.m.



4:35 PM

9:20 AM

7:04 PM

10% WX

Andromeda: Far, Far Away

5:30-7:30 p.m.





NIRo Overview

Cutting edge astronomical research and project-oriented science education has been incorporated into studies at Purdue University in Northwest Indiana thanks to a $150,000 National Science Foundation grant.  That money and other acquired through a variety of fund-raising efforts helped to construct the high-powered robotic telescope on the grounds of Buckley Homestead County Park.

According to Purdue Calumet Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy Adam Rengstorf, the Northwest Indiana Robotic (NIRo) Telescope contributes to expanding astronomical knowledge through high-quality research, advanced Purdue Calumet astronomical and physics course and laboratory curricula, improved science education in area middle schools and robust opportunities for community outreach activities. The 20-inch, advanced Ritchey-Chretien reflecting telescope is equipped with a thermoelectrically cooled CCD (charge-coupled device) imager, capable of producing a distortion-free image covering a field of view nearly as large as the full earth moon.

NIRo is housed at the Calumet Astronomy Center at Buckley Homestead County Park in Lowell. Also on the site is the Thomas Conway Observatory, which is operated by the volunteers of the Calumet Astronomical Society. The location provides a darker sky for better, more unobstructed viewing than other northwest Indiana location, including Purdue Calumet.

"The NIRo observatory provides a platform for education and research featuring rich datasets of various astronomical phenomena," Dr. Shawn Slavin said. "Purdue Calumet students have the ability to learn the science of astronomy through discovery from authentic data that they themselves obtain with the robotic telescope."

Rengstorf added, "The NIRo Telescopel enables laboratory sections of our 200-level astronomy courses to be completely revamped to incorporate actual data. More advanced observational experiments are available to our physics majors, independent research projects are also possible, and there is the potential for cross-over projects with engineering, mathematics and computer science students."

Robert Rivers, retired dean of Purdue Calumet's School of Education, called the NIRo Telescope "an exciting addition to the earth/space science curriculum" of local middle and high schools. "Purdue Calumet's Center for Science and Technology Education will work with physicists at Purdue Calumet to design exciting, hands-on astronomy projects using the robotic telescope that may allow secondary students to either study known sky objects and events or, even better, to make original discoveries of their own," he said.

The $300,000 project is a collaborative effort of Purdue University Calumet and astronomy/physics professors Adam Rengstorf and Shawn Slavin, along with the volunteers of the Calumet Astronomical Society and the Lake County Parks and Recreation Department. All are partners in the development of the Calumet Astronomy Center (CAC), which is assuming a role of coordinating astronomical education, outreach and research in northwest Indiana.


For reservations and more information about the Lake County Parks Call 219-769-PARK
Mon-Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm Central Time (Chicago Time)

Lake County Parks and Recreation Department Corporate Office
8411 East Lincoln Highway, Crown Point, Indiana 46307
Just west of Deep River WaterparK 4.5 miles east of I-65 on Route 30