Since we had never been before to this-particular observatory before, we decided to check it out. The kids and I are covering astronomy this semester and have had so-so success skywatching on our own. I have never taken an astronomy class before, so helping the kids has been a blind-leading-the-blind experience. We have previously located several stars by using our star chart, and I am not ashamed to say that we are learning astronomy together.
Due to my lack of astronomical experience, checking out a real-life observatory for free was just too much of a chance to pass up. I didn't know what to expect, but it was great! The guides utilized the large telescope in the observatory, as well as a telescope that was set up outside. Even better, they explained what the images were for the clueless among us.
Betelgeuse (A star that is actually larger than our sun.)
A double star (Two stars that rotate around each other. The ones we saw are farther away from us than the Sun is from Pluto.)
Our evening proves that you don't have to spend money to have fun. We will definitely be checking out the observatory again!