(cross posted from Unity of Truth) It's only recently - in the last year or two - through casual observation of the sky (and involvement with my kids) that I realized that you can identify planets at night partly because they are (generally? - besides the moon, not sure if there are other exceptions) the first objects you can see after the sun goes down.
I don't usually do a lot of observation in the pre-dawn sky, but I happened to be up early this morning and had to take a peek. A really bright object was in the southeastern sky - it seemed almost too bright to be a planet. So I had to "google" it. Turns out it was Venus. Wow!
Here is a sky calendar to help you identify what is currently visible.