A Family Guide to the Adler Planetarium

Not all museums are kid-friendly, but the Chicago Adler Planetarium has much to offer to visitors with children. Future astronauts will delight in the activities and shows at this unforgettable museum.

Planet Explorers

In 2010, the Planetarium opened a brand new hands-on exhibition called Planet Explorers. Designed for children ages 3 to 8, Planet Explorers includes three sections called Exploring Earth, Exploring Space and Exploring Planet X.

Exploring Earth allows visitors to play with MiScopes, special electronic magnifying lenses that display images on TV monitors. At Exploring Space, children act as members of the Mission Control ground team. By operating rovers and space orbiters, your family will prepare for a  simulated rocket launch. The kids will love the computer-simulated rocket system checks and blast-off! At Exploring Planet X, kids can research far-off Planet X in mini vehicles and learn about life in space.

Activity Carts

Throughout the Museum’s exhibits, you’ll find hands-on activity carts every afternoon. These carts encourage families to explore, discover and learn. Trained Planetarium staff are on-hand to introduce you to fun and interesting new things.

Theater Shows

The Adler Planetarium has several different theater shows for guests of all ages. Young kids will love seeing the beloved Sesame Street stars Big Bird and Elmo in On World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure. In this 25 minute-show, Big Bird and Elmo will teach you about the Big Dipper, the Sun, the Moon and the North Star. This show runs every weekday at 10am and 12:15pm and on weekends at 10am and 12pm.


Ever wanted to sleep under the stars? The Adler offers family-friendly sleepovers called Astro-Overnights, which include educational programs and activities for everyone. Registration dates and forms can be found on the Adler Planetarium’s website.


Finding appropriate dining options that your kids will enjoy can be tough. Luckily, the Adler’s Café Galileo has delicious foods that all guests will love. Or, if you’d like to bring food from home, you are welcome to bring a picnic lunch for the parks outside the building.

The Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum truly has a lot to offer to its youngest guests. With Smart Destinations’ Chicago City Pass, your kids can have this amazing experience during your next visit!

Leave A Comment...