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Adler Planetarium

Whether you have a full day or just an hour or two, this is a brilliant place to see in Chicago. Take in the immersive sky shows in the three full-sized theaters including the Definiti Theater, the recently renovated Samuel C. Johnson Family Star Theater, and the Grainger Sky Theater–Adler's most technologically advanced theater. 

Explore the evolution of the Universe over 13.7 billion years. In The Universe: A Walk through Space and Time, the sense of scale will leave you in awe. Begin by passing through a cosmic timeline that spans from the Big Bang to modern day, while exploding stars swirl afoot with each step through the luminous tunnel. Walking out further, the exhibit opens into various interactive stations, allowing you to control the overhead projections with the scroll of a finger on a touch screen.

We have found 3 ticket options for you!

Adler Planetarium - Anytime All Access Pass

Explore the best the Adler has to offer–its premier show, Destination Solar System, playing in the Grainger Sky Theater.

The Anytime All Access Pass offers access to all exhibitions, which features Adler’s world class collections, as well as the Atwood Sphere Experience and your choice of unlimited shows including, Destination Solar System.

Adler Planetarium Featured Shows:

Planet Nine - 

In July 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft gave us our first close look at Pluto, the most famous dwarf planet in the outskirts of our Solar System. The New Horizons flyby was big news, and the pictures it continues to send back to Earth reveal a world far more complex than anyone realized.

Destination Solar System - 



The year is 2096. Space tourism is booming, and you’ve signed up for a quick trip around the Solar System with Space Express Tours!

In this live show, your guides are Jesse, a lovable rookie tour guide who can’t wait to show you the wonders of your celestial neighborhood, and Max, the much more experienced—if slightly grumpy—shipboard computer.

With Max steering the ship and Jesse chattering excitedly about each place you visit, you’ll soar through the Asteroid Belt, explore the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and hover over the roiling surface of the Sun. Hold on tight!

Cosmic Wonder - 


Ever since the first curious person looked up at the night sky, people all over the world have challenged themselves to uncover its secrets. What are stars? How did they get there? Why does our view of the sky change throughout the year? What holds the Universe together?

Skywatch Live - 


The Adler’s view of downtown Chicago is magnificent, but the lights of the city make it a little tough to see the ones in the sky. What’s a stargazer to do? Join us for Skywatch Live!

In this show, your live presenter will turn down the city lights and crank up the stars to show you the night sky over Chicago like you’ve never seen it before. You’ll learn how to navigate by starlight, get to know the stars behind your favorite constellations, and witness the incomprehensible vastness of the Universe without ever leaving your seat.

Earth, Moon & Sun - 


With the help of Coyote, an amusing character adapted from Native American oral traditions, kids will laugh and learn as they explore the relationship between the Earth, Moon, and Sun. Coyote has lots of misconceptions about our world, the universe, and well… just about everything. Coyote’s humorous mistaken ideas about the universe help the audience understand how the Earth, Moon, and Sun work together as a great big system.

Undiscovered Worlds - 


Until very recently, the only planets known to us were the familiar worlds in orbit around our Sun. In the last two decades we have confirmed more than 1500 new planets, called exoplanets, orbiting other stars; thousands more are awaiting study. Undiscovered Worlds tells the tale surrounding this explosion of discovery and examines what will be required to determine which, if any, of these new exoplanets can support life.

Welcome to the Universe - 


In Welcome to the Universe, you’ll get a clear picture of your place in this jaw-dropping cosmic landscape. With the guidance of a live presenter, you’ll explore the Pleiades star cluster, sail past the Andromeda galaxy, navigate the galaxies of the Coma Cluster, and discover hidden wonders of the Universe.

One World, One Sky:  Big Bird's Adventure - 


Join Big Bird and Elmo on an unforgettable journey to the Moon and back!

When Elmo’s friend Hu Hu Zhu stops by Sesame Street for a visit, he notices that Sesame Street is a little bit different from his home in China. But when he looks up at the sky, he feels right at home. Elmo and Hu Hu Zhu may live in different cities, but they share the same sky!

Featured Exhibits:

(Temporary) - What is a Planet? - 

What You’ll See And Do:

  • Witness how astronomers and the media reacted to Pluto’s reclassification in 2006.
  • Learn what the current definition of a planet is and hear what Adler Astronomers think of the current definition.
  • Voice your opinion about Pluto alongside skeptics and space enthusiasts through an interactive voting poll in real time.
  • Explore artifacts from the Adler collections that illustrate the ever-evolving definition of a planet.
  • This temporary exhibition, which is included with general admission, will be open to the public from March 19, 2016 through January 8, 2017.

Mission Moon - 


Mission Moon invites you to experience America’s first steps into space through the eyes of NASA’s Captain James A. Lovell Jr. and his family.

You’ll find out how the United States became the first nation to put a man on the Moon, what it’s really like to be an astronaut, and why it takes a team to explore uncharted worlds.

Community Design Lab - 

In the Community Design Lab (CDL), you can test different materials to find out which ones will survive the journey to 100,000 feet above the Earth’s surface. Your discoveries may find their way into a future flight with Far Horizons, the Adler’s high-altitude ballooning program!

If you could photograph an object in space, what would it be, and who would you share it with? In the CDL, you can build a DIY telescope-mount for your smartphone and become an instant astrophotographer! Test it out on one of our ’scopes and share your photos on social media.

Our Solar System - 


Our Solar System is much more than a star and eight planets; it is home to a set of diverse and amazing objects that we are only beginning to understand. Pilot your own adventure in Our Solar System and explore the variety of objects currently orbiting our Sun.

The Universe - A Walk Through Space & Time - 


Transport yourself to the distant corners of the cosmos and witness how the Universe evolved over 13.7 billion years, from the Big Bang to this morning’s sunrise.

Follow the Universe from its meager beginnings and see how galaxies, stars, planets—and all the atoms in your body—were created as the Universe grew. Explore regions farther than our Solar System, billions of light-years from home. Zoom from one wondrous location in the Universe to another and investigate the most diverse and beautiful objects in deep space in ultra high resolution from the world’s most advanced telescopes.

Planet Explorers - 


Are you interested in going to space and exploring other planets? Prepare for your out-of-this-world adventure in Planet Explorers.

Begin by exploring your home, your backyard, and the sky above. What you discover will prepare you for your mission to space and the mysterious Planet X.

Telescopes:  Through the Looking Glass - 


Astronomers have studied the cosmos for thousands of years, but until about 400 years ago, they did it without telescopes! In Telescopes: Through the Looking Glass, you’ll find extraordinary beauty and technology in some of the world’s most important telescopes and learn how these clever light-catching devices helped us discover our Universe.

Clark Family Gallery 


This futuristic, constantly changing environment features a one-of-a-kind architecture with vibrant lighting and video presentations. It was created using approximately 13,000 linear feet of aluminum tubing and 20,000 square yards of fabric. The gallery also has 125 LED lights, each capable of producing sixteen million different colors and over two billion different lighting combinations.

Astronomy in Culture - 


Go back in time and learn about some of the people and societies who have challenged themselves to understand our place in the Universe. This exhibition features spectacular astrolabes, armillary spheres, and sundials to illustrate the medieval European and Middle Eastern conception of the Universe. Visit our medieval classroom to find out how much different school was back then. Learn how to use early astronomy tools including astrolabes and sundials.

Atwood Sphere - 


Experience the night sky over Chicago as it appeared in 1913 in the Atwood Sphere – Chicago’s oldest planetarium. Although the star positions have not changed since then, we can see only a small percentage of these stars in our current night sky due to light pollution. The sphere is seventeen feet in diameter and has 692 holes drilled through its metal surface. These holes allow light to enter and show the positions of the brightest stars in the night sky.

Take a live guided tour of the Atwood Sphere and identify stars and the constellations they form.

Museum Campus 
1300 S Lake Shore Dr. 
Chicago, IL 60605

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Amendments to the date, the time and/or the number of tickets are permitted at the discretion of 365 Tickets Limited but subject to the terms and conditions of our individual suppliers and surcharges for amendments made may apply.

Whether you have a full day or just an hour or two, this is a brilliant place to see in Chicago