2131 Tech Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
For a very special star gazing experience, visit the Dearborn Observatory on Northwestern University's Evanston campus. The building is historic, dating back to 1889. Its huge refracting telescope is turned to observe different sections of the sky. The observatory is open to the public on Fridays, but reservations are needed for the first hour. Walk-ins are OK during the second hour, and viewing is free. Summer hours are 9 - 11 p.m.
880 N. Old Rand Road at U.S. Highway 12
Lake Zurich, IL 60047
Turn the evening into a fun night out by driving over to Hackney's in the northwest suburb of Lake Zurich. The restaurant is part of the longtime family-owned Chicago-area chain known for its burgers and onion rings. But this Hackney's is on 11 acres, so sit on the patio to overlook the vast grounds and ponds, and to gaze at the stars.