Photo courtesy of Flickr/Adler Planetarium

Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum

Type: Museums, Planetarium / Observatory, Science Museums

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10Best Says

Family-Friendly Museums: Even rocket scientists have a hard time envisioning the size and composition of the ever-expanding universe, so imagine the task for kids who get space info from Pixar. The Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, the nation's very first planetarium, sends families forth on a voyage of planetary discovery through more than 35,000 square feet of exhibits, two full–size planetarium theaters, workshops, camps and special family programs. Educators lead demonstrations, telescope viewing, crafts or exhibit interpretation almost every day. Adler's historic Sky Theater has been accurately recreating the night sky on its dome since 1930 and the world's first StarRider Theater is a completely digital, virtual outer space environment that allows you to actively participate by operating controls on seat armrests. Young Explorers Mondays, for ages 2-6, offers hands-on activities for the youngest astro-nuts.  

Best Attractions & Activities, Museums: This eye-catching, twelve-sided building includes two sky theaters, one of which was the first planetarium in the western hemisphere. The theaters depict the night sky and allow visitors an up-close look at distant planets, moons and galaxies. The complex also features exhibition rooms, a cafe and a StarRider theater that offers amazing, interactive, virtual reality shows. In it, visitors use controls in their seats' armrests to participate in a 3-D simulation of space travel. On family-friendly Far Out Fridays, visitors get to see shows, sit in on lectures, view the night sky, play games and learn how to set up and use a telescope.


1300 S Lake Shore Dr
Chicago, IL 60605

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Expert Tips by Jacky Runice

Chicago Local Expert

Family-Friendly Museums: "After looking at the sky, turn your gaze outdoors - the Adler was voted "Best View of Chicago" by the American Institute of Architects."

Best for Family-Friendly Museums Because: Founded in 1930, the museum offers plenty of interactive experiences for the even the most challenged attention span.

Expert Tips by Jamie Bartosch

Chicago Local Expert

Best Attractions & Activities: "Fly your own spaceship."

Recommended as Best Attractions & Activities Because: On family-friendly Far Out Fridays, visitors get to see shows, view the night sky and learn how to set up and use a telescope.

Expert Tips by Megy Karydes

Chicago Local Expert

Museums: "Fly your own spaceship."

Best for Museums Because: Adler After Day is a 21+ event that occurs every third Thursday of the month. Tickets include admission, sky shows and cash bar until 9:30pm.

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