Planetarium

planetarium-hero-crop

Photo: Yuliya Levit

From the mysteries of the moon and the search for life beyond Earth, to the stories that shape our stars, our Planetarium has shows for every level and interest. Planetarium shows are offered every Saturday and Sunday at 12:30, 2, and 3:30pm, with each time slot geared towards a different age group.

12:30pm shows are recommended for young children; 2pm shows, during which visitors explore what the sky will look like later that night, are live, interactive, and open to all ages; 3:30pm are recommended for ages 8–adult. Check individual show descriptions below for more information.

In addition to our weekend screenings, planetarium shows are also offered on select holidays and during school breaks, known as School’s Out, Stars Are In (SOSI). Check back for more updates in our calendar.

The Planetarium is equipped with Radio Frequency Assisted Listening Systems (ALSs). Please ask a member of the Planetarium or visitor services staff for more information.

On View in the Oliver J. Troster Gallery

A Century of Lunar Photography and Beyond
through January 12, 2020

A Century of Lunar Photography and Beyond

One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure

Ages 4–7 / Pre-K–Grade 2
25 minutes, plus Q&A

Please note: On October 12, 2019, this planetarium show will be in Spanish in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Un Mundo, Un Cielo, La Aventura de Big Bird
Sábado, el 12 de Octubre

Explora las estrellas, la Luna y el Sol en compañía de los personajes de Sésamo. Con la ayuda de Big Bird, Elmo y Hu Hu Zhu descubre cómo todas las personas del mundo están conectadas y todos observamos el mismo cielo.

On a trip from Sesame Street to the moon, Big Bird and Elmo with friend Hu Hu Zhu discover that planets are different from one another but people on Earth are often the same – they love to fly kites! Children can’t fly a kite on the moon because there is no wind but on Earth they can! More learning, too, about the Big Dipper, the North Star, the sun, and the moon. Produced by Sesame Workshop, the Beijing Planetarium, Chicago’s Adler Planetarium, and Liberty Science Center with major funding provided by the National Science Foundation.

Saturday & Sunday at 12:30pm

The Sky Tonight

Ages 4–adult / Pre-K–Grade 12
LIVE (up to 60 minutes total)

In this live and interactive show, planetarium educators take you on a tour of the sky as seen from our area. Every show is unique, with topics ranging from visible planets, bright stars, and the Milky Way, to periodic comets, seasonal constellations, black holes, alien planets, upcoming rocket launches, meteor showers, satellite spotting, and more!

Saturday & Sunday at 2pm

We Are Astronomers

Ages 8–adult / Grades 3–12
25 minutes, plus Q&A

Please note: On October 12, 2019, this planetarium show will be in Spanish in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. On October 13, in lieu of this show, there will be a Music Under the Dome performance. 

Discover how astronomers share knowledge and answer our questions about the universe. Narrated by David Tennant, the “Tenth Doctor” in the British sci-fi series Doctor Who.

Saturday & Sunday at 3:30pm

All Shows

Earth, Moon, and Sun

Ages 5–10 / Kindergarten–Grade 4
26 minutes, plus Q&A

This planetarium show explores the relationship between the Earth, Moon and Sun with the help of Coyote, an amusing character adapted from Native American oral traditions who has many misconceptions about our home planet and its most familiar neighbors. His confusion about the universe makes viewers think about how the Earth, Moon and Sun work together as a system. Native American stories are used throughout the show to help distinguish between myths and science.

The Girl Who Walked Upside Down

Ages 4–7 / Pre-K–Grade 2
33 minutes, plus Q&A

This is the tale of a girl who came to us one spring day, after a storm, walking upside down upon the rainbow. She has a unique way of looking at things, in particular the sky, and an affection for the Moon and stars. What would you notice, if you could walk upside down?

Habitat Earth

Ages 8–adult / Grades 3–12
25 minutes, plus Q&A

Habitat Earth Living networks connect and support life forms large and small—from colonies of tiny microbes and populations of massive whales to ever-expanding human societies. Discover what it means to live in today’s connected world. Dive below the ocean’s surface, travel beneath the forest floor, and journey to new heights to witness the intricate intersection between human and ecological networks.

Legends of the Night Sky: Perseus and Andromeda

Ages 8–adult / Grades 3–12
25 minutes, plus Q&A

The stars tell the story of beautiful Andromeda, who is punished by the gods for her mother’s bragging, sacrificed to a sea monster, and then rescued by Perseus.

Magic Tree House: Space Mission

Ages 4–8 / Pre-K–Grade 2
25 minutes, plus Q&A

Travel with Jack and Annie, stars of the Magic Tree House® best-selling children’s book series, as they search for answers to a mysterious riddle they discover in a written note signed “–M.”

Viewers peek into the treehouse and follow Jack and Annie on an exciting adventure as they meet a helpful astronomer and an astronaut. As they travel to an observatory and beyond into space, Jack and Annie nearly get . . . well, we don’t want to give the surprise away!

The planetarium show Magic TreeHouse® Space Mission features series author Mary Pope Osborne.

Moons: Worlds of Mystery

Ages 8–adult / Grades 3–12
35 minutes, plus Q&A

Where are the moons? What do they do? Follow the astronauts to our silvery moon, then journey to the outer planets to discover more moons. Come back to earth with newfound wonder for the dynamic solar system where we live.

Myths, Legends, and Travelers’ Tales

Ages 6–adult / Grades 1–12
LIVE (up to 60 minutes total)

Explore constellations and the myths behind them.

One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure

Ages 4–7 / Pre-K–Grade 2
25 minutes, plus Q&A

Please note: On October 12, 2019, this planetarium show will be in Spanish in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Un Mundo, Un Cielo, La Aventura de Big Bird
Sábado, el 12 de Octubre

Explora las estrellas, la Luna y el Sol en compañía de los personajes de Sésamo. Con la ayuda de Big Bird, Elmo y Hu Hu Zhu descubre cómo todas las personas del mundo están conectadas y todos observamos el mismo cielo.

On a trip from Sesame Street to the moon, Big Bird and Elmo with friend Hu Hu Zhu discover that planets are different from one another but people on Earth are often the same – they love to fly kites! Children can’t fly a kite on the moon because there is no wind but on Earth they can! More learning, too, about the Big Dipper, the North Star, the sun, and the moon. Produced by Sesame Workshop, the Beijing Planetarium, Chicago’s Adler Planetarium, and Liberty Science Center with major funding provided by the National Science Foundation.

Our Solar System

Ages 6–adult / Grades 1–12
LIVE (up to 60 minutes total)

Survey the Solar System in this live show, exploring the planets, their major moons, and the collection of all objects gravitationally bound to the Sun.

Regents Earth Science

Ages 12–18 / Grades 7–12
LIVE (up to 60 minutes total)

Students explore sky motions and the relationships between objects, while surrounded by an accurate and richly detailed universe simulator.

The Sky Tonight

Ages 4–adult / Pre-K–Grade 12
LIVE (up to 60 minutes total)

In this live and interactive show, planetarium educators take you on a tour of the sky as seen from our area. Every show is unique, with topics ranging from visible planets, bright stars, and the Milky Way, to periodic comets, seasonal constellations, black holes, alien planets, upcoming rocket launches, meteor showers, satellite spotting, and more!

The Sky Tonight—FREE

Ages 4–adult
LIVE (up to 60 minutes total)

Between July 5 and August 31, free planetarium shows are offered Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm.

In this live and interactive show, planetarium educators take you on a tour of the sky as seen from our area. Every show is unique, with topics ranging from visible planets, bright stars, and the Milky Way, to periodic comets, seasonal constellations, black holes, alien planets, upcoming rocket launches, meteor showers, satellite spotting, and more!

Please note, seating is available on a first come, first served basis.

The Sky Tonight: Holiday Edition

Ages 4–adult
LIVE (up to 60 minutes total)

Take a live tour of the heavens as seen from our area with a planetarium educator.

Starry Night Frights

Ages 4–adult
LIVE (up to 60 minutes total)

Take a live tour of the heavens as seen from our area with a planetarium educator.

The Victorian’s Guide to the Galaxy

Ages 12–adult / Grades 7–12
LIVE (up to 60 minutes total)

A new original show, The Victorian’s Guide to the Galaxy, explores what 19th-century scientists understood about their universe through developments in the field of astronomy at the time.

We Are Aliens

Ages 8–adult / Grades 3–12
26 minutes, plus Q&A

Earth. It’s now a small world. The human race is connected better and faster than ever before but what about elsewhere? Could we one day be part of a galactic community sharing our knowledge and ideas? Or is Earth the only planet with life? We Are Aliens! is a new 360° digital planetarium show narrated by Rupert Grint (from Harry Potter films) that takes you on an epic ride in the hunt for the evidence of alien life.

We Are Astronomers

Ages 8–adult / Grades 3–12
25 minutes, plus Q&A

Please note: On October 12, 2019, this planetarium show will be in Spanish in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. On October 13, in lieu of this show, there will be a Music Under the Dome performance. 

Discover how astronomers share knowledge and answer our questions about the universe. Narrated by David Tennant, the “Tenth Doctor” in the British sci-fi series Doctor Who.

We Are Stars

Ages 8–adult / Grades 3–12
26 minutes, plus Q&A

Join the Time Master, narrated by Andy Serkis (Gollum in The Lord of the Rings) on a 13.8-billion year adventure through time and space. Ages 8–adult.