There's something about doing things after dark that makes the activity all the more exciting for children and youth. However if you are organising or taking part in any outdoor night activities, there are a number of Safety Guidelines you should be aware of, many of which are just as applicable to events organised during the day.
If you've never done it, find the chance to do so! To spend a little time just looking up at the stars gives you a sense of just how large the universe is… and can be a good social event for a group as well as educational. If you have the chance take a good star gazers guide and take / borrow some binoculars or a telescope so some of the finer details not readily visible to the naked eye can be seen.
General points: Apart from choosing a clear night sky, try to go somewhere well away from street lights or towns, as the glow from street lamps or any sort of lighting will stop you seeing the fainter stars. Unfortunately the best viewing conditions are also those nights which are cold and crisp usually in the spring or autumn, as warm air will cause image distortion due to the changes in air density as the heat rises. So although a warm sultry summer evening/night is more comfortable and conducive to lying out and just watching the night sky, be aware that these are not the best viewing conditions.
Give yourself a while to adjust to the light, and if you are trying to look at something specific which is faint, DON'T look directly at it but look slightly to one side of it. This because the light sensors in your eye are made of two types rods and cones. Cones are sensitive to coloured light and concentrated in the middle of your eye and provide much of your daytime vision, but rods although they only see as shades of grey are more sensitive to light and so need less light. Because they are towards the edges of the eye this means to see something faint better at night you should not look at it directly and its also why at night we only see in shades of grey (unless there is enough light to distinguish colour).
Google Earth also now has a great sky map that you can orientate to see the night sky and its features according to where and when you are.
Can be done as a separate activity or with star gazing. Occasionally you'll see what looks like a very faint star, moving fairly fast but too slow to be a shooting star (approximately the rate of the dot above), usually travelling on an east - west axis or north - south axis. These are satellites orbiting the earth in non geo-stationary orbits. On clear nights they are easily visible to the naked eye as they reflect the sun while they pass overhead. Its called Sputnik watching because some of these are the old Russian 'Sputnik' satellites.
Bats are an endangered species and protected by law. As a way of raising peoples awareness about these fascinating mammals many local authorities organise special events (ask your park rangers) and walks to locations where bats frequently hunt. It is definitely an activity to consider for youth groups as it quite often involves visits to at dusk to graveyards or local parks. Often these events can only take limited numbers so do check! Or if you have enough in your group see if the organisers would be prepared to organise one especially for your group.
If you've ever done a hike by day, doing it at night can be twice the fun! Hikes and night hikes are favoured by the scouting organisations, but not everybody likes walking long distances so you could try something a bit different a like a short orienteering course. With orienteering, the objective/challenge is for the group using a map and compass to go around a course finding various orienteering posts each of which has a unique stamp attached to them (usually a pattern of small punch holes). The team/s at each post stamp the card they have with them and you can choose how they succeed either by just finishing and finding all the posts or if in teams the first to finish with a completed card.
There are a lot of games that are great fun to play especially at night, particularly if you have a nice large bit of land to play on and places to hide. Remember to keep safety a priority when planning any of these.