With so many heads turned upward to the southeast in early evening, to see earth's close encounter with Mars, it's worthwhile to take a look straight ahead at your screen as well. You can find some of the most spectacular images and in-depth information on what we know now about the Red Planet at these sites:
NASA - Mars
According to all the planetarium web sites I checked, Mars viewing will be spectacular in late October and early November, when Mars is a mere 43 million miles away -- the closest we'll be to it until 2018. With a small telescope it would be possible to see its polar cap.
In fact, between now and the end of October, Mars will double in brightness!
Take a walk after dinner. Look up. Feel the distances in our universe.