Sometimes, as a parent, nothing is more important than knowing when the sun will set (and to a lesser extent, when it will rise). If it’s 3:30 PM and you’ve got another hour at the museum, plus some time for dinner, is there also time to go to a playground or to play a little catch? Even more important, and harder to just know off the top of your head is how the same data might shape up for another area.
We live in Denver and often like to take day trips to some of the magnificent recreation areas and beautiful surroundings that Colorado has to offer. Between naps and meals and just plain the best times to go places or be at the house, the windows of opportunity can often be hit or miss. Knowing if the sun will be going down when you get there or if you still have 1 hour of daylight left are critical planning considerations.
Free Sunrise and Sunset Times Available
The US Navy, via the US Naval Observatory provides all manner of useful information on things like if tonight will be a full moon or a new moon, or something in between. It is also a great way to answer questions like, “What is that really bright star near the moon?” And, yes, it also has the sunrise and sunset times for almost any city in America as well as the moonrise and moonset times for those youngsters who like seeing the moon, or who just wonder where it is on some nights.
For example, a drive up to Estes Park takes about 90 minutes. Leaving the house at 3:00 PM means an arrival time of 4:30 PM. It isn’t worth it if the sun will be going down at 5:15 PM. A quick check shows a much later sunset for summer time, although the time the sun disappears from view will be much earlier thanks the neighboring mountains.
If you just Google something, chances are you’ll get some ad filled page with pop-ups that might actually just end up redirecting you to the Navy site anyway. Instead, bookmark: www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/astronomical-applications/data-services/rs-one-day-us
On the go, punch www.timeanddate.com into your web enabled cell phone to get the same information in a slightly less clean format, but with a much easier to remember address. Despite having more stuff on the page, it actually works better in mobile browsers, and once you’ve entered your home city the first time, you can bookmark the result page to always go directly to your hometown data.
Or, feel free to use my free no strings re-direct link for Denver’s data at: http://tr.im/UDsunset
Either way, it looks like a great day to pack up everyone and head up to Estes to get some cookie sandwiches filled with frosting and new nesting dolls for our daughter who is now old enough that we trust her with even the smallest ones.
Have a fun Memorial Day weekend. We will.