Opportunities for fun, learning and wonder abound at this historic and state-of-the-art museum on the pretty shore of Lake Michigan.
One of the oldest of its kind in the United States, the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum has been delighting children and adults in the Chicago area since 1930. Located on Northerly Island in its nationally landmarked domed building, it is a necessary stop for anyone who loves to look at the sky. Learn about space and astronomy from its three planetarium theaters, fascinating exhibits and extensive collection of artifacts of space exploration.
Watch one of the museum’s fascinating star shows and explore the rest of the museum. Do experiments or build machines out of duct tape, marshmallows or bubble wrap at the Community Design Lab, where children and adults are encouraged to put scientific principles into practice. Join Mission Moon as you learn what it’s like to be an astronaut and how the United States got to outer space. Feel real meteors and bits of outer space or look at the elaborate instruments people used for understanding space before the invention of computers.
Get an unparalleled but safe view of the sun in the Doane Observatory, with the area’s only publicly accessible aperture telescope. Poke your head inside the metal dome of the Atwood Sphere to see how the night sky looked over Chicago in 1913. Tour guides will teach you how to identify stars and constellations. Wake up early on Saturdays to do yoga under the stars of the Grainger Sky Theater or stay up late once a month with Adler After Dark, an evening of astronomy and fun silhouetted against the Chicago skyline.
Drive to the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum in 10 minutes from downtown Chicago or half an hour from O’Hare International Airport. Public transportation hubs are located on Museum Campus. Metered parking is available nearby both on the street and in lots. Northerly Island is also often in use for events, so parking can occasionally be difficult to find.
The museum is open daily during business hours. There are a variety of ticketing options available for visitors to the museum that offer access to planetarium shows, tours and more.