Did you know that the Chicago Planetarium was America’s first planetarium? Adler Planetarium is one of the absolute best planetariums there is, because not only was it the first, it has continuously renovated and improved so tourists can continue to be amazed year after year.
- Adler Planetarium is part of Chicago’s Museum Campus, so it’s located right next to the popular Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum, which makes it easy for you to visit all three tourist attractions.
- The Chicago planetarium opened in 1930, and the architect who designed it was awarded a gold medal from the American Institute of Architects for its unique and iconic design.
- In 1987 the Adler Planetarium was declared a National Historic Landmark.
- The Doane Observatory is one of the only active research observatories where the public can visit.
- The large sculpture outside the Planetarium, called Man Enters the Cosmos, is actually a functional sundial.
- The Grainger Sky Theater projects images at a resolution of 8,000 x 8,000 pixels, making it the largest seamless digital image in the world!
- The Chicago Planetarium has one of the best views of the city skyline, just check it out:
A Basic day pass, which includes all the exhibits and one show, costs $25 for adults and $20 for children, but it’s worth it to pay $5 more and get unlimited access to the shows. If you don’t want to see any shows (even though you’ll be missing out) you can get limited acces tickets for $12 for adults and $8 for kids.
The Adler Planetarium is also part of the Chicago CityPass deal or you can use the Go Chicago Card from Smart Destinations to get a discount on admission.
Adler Planetarium offers an “Adler After Dark” event, for adults 21+ where people can visit the museum after hours, view the city skyline lit up, and watch a fun sky show. The event was voted “Best After Hours Event” by Chicago Reader and “Best Date Night” by Chicago Parent.
The planetarium also hosts “hack days” where software developers are invited to the museum to work with other hackers to solve interesting problems online. The event is a bridge between science and technology, and in the past participants have built rockets, launched high altitude balloons and, of course, explored space.
There are lots of fun exhibits and shows to see and experience at the Chicago Planetarium, so it’s a perfect way to spend the day.