Adler Planetarium in Chicago, IL

1300 South Lake Shore DriveChicago, IL 60605
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Located in Chicago, Illinois, Adler Planetarium serves as America’s first planetarium and prime resource for inspiring future space explorers. Guests can enjoy seeing the various exhibitions (including Mission Moon, Our Solar System, Telescopes: Through the Looking Glass and more), shows (like Cosmic Wonder, Destination Solar System, Skywatch Live and more), programs and more.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Chicago Travel Experts
  • Eat at Café Galileo's by Food For Thought while at the planetarium.
  • The first planetarium in the United States of America.
  • All Access Pass includes unlimited shows, all exhibits, and the Atwood Sphere Experience.
  • Parking available in the lot adjacent to the planetarium.

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Insights from Reserve Direct's own team members

Amy Wallace

Did you know the Adler was the first planetarium ever built? As such, it's a top spot for out-of-this-world space exploration.

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from Adler Planetarium
Explore the outer reaches of the universe with this admission ticket to Chicago's Adler Planetarium, the first planetarium in the United States. Learn about space at the most advanced and oldest planetarium in existence today, with a plethora of shows and exhibits to delight visitors of all ages. Discover must-see shows like Cosmic Wonder, Destination Solar System and Skywatch Live and exhibits like Mission Moon, Our Solar System and the Universe: A Walk Through Space and Time. Admission includes choice of two Sky Shows and tour of historic Atwood Sphere.

Chicago's Adler Planetarium is America's first planetarium and a premier resource for inspiring the next generation of space explorers with its many must-see live shows, exhibits and events. With this full-day admission ticket, enjoy the benefits an Anytime All-Access Pass provides at the world’s most advanced planetarium. Discover all the live shows, including Cosmic Wonder, a journey to the deepest reaches of space, from the birth of stars to the mystery of dark matter; Destination Solar System, a breathtaking tour of the sun, moon and planets in the year 2096; Skywatch Live, the premier planetarium experience that navigates the abundance of objects that make up our universe and many more. Also, see all the exhibitions.

At Mission Moon, 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 an entire team to explore uncharted worlds. In Our Solar System, touch a piece of the Moon, the planet Mars or a distant asteroid. And at the Universe: A Walk Through Space and Time, travel to the distant corners of the cosmos and witness how the universe evolved more than 13.7 billion years ago, from the Big Bang to this morning’s sunrise. Additionally, enjoy access to the historic Atwood Sphere — to experience the night sky over Chicago as it appeared in 1913 — and select two Sky Shows upon arrival.

Hungry? Visit Café Galileo's by Food For Thought for a relaxing lunch of soups, sandwiches, salads, flatbreads, beverages and desserts — and the best view of the beautiful Chicago skyline. On the way out, stop by the Adler Store for educational toys and games, space books and videos, official Adler gear and much more.

Note: All tickets expire One (1) year from date of purchase.

Reserve Chicago Customer Reviews

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TripAdvisor Reviews
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Toronto, Canada
"Lots to see and learn"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 18, 2018 NEW
We went to one film, Planet Nine, and then poked around. There are lots of exhibits on several floors, and when they closed the place at 4 pm there were a number of things I hadn’t seen yet. The other members of our group could also have spent more time. A bonus is that you get a wonderful view of the Chicago skyline. Highly recommended unless you’re allergic to astronomy.
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Taylor B
Chicago, Illinois
"The first planetarium in the United States"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 17, 2018 NEW
When planning a trip, I think it's wise to do some research in advance. How many days do you need to stay in a city or area in order to see all of the attractions? For example, I advise that Gettysburg and the Grand Canyon are three-day visits. So are Denver and Colorado Springs and Washington DC. Until now, I never thought about Chicago because I live here. I see it every day. But how many days do you need to see all that Chicago has to offer? At least three, maybe more. So many museums, so many historical sites, so many sporting events, so many restaurants, so many shopping and sight-seeing opportunities. The Museum Campus, which includes the Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum, is a day all by itself. The Adler is a public museum dedicated to the study of astronomy and astrophysics. Founded in 1930 by Chicago business leader Max Adler, it was the first planetarium in the United States. Located at 1300 South Lake Shore Drive, on the northeast tip of Northerly Island, on the shore of Lake Michigan, east of Shedd Aquarium, the Adler's mission is to inspire exploration and understanding of the universe. It was designated a National Historic Landmark and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. It is home to three full-size theaters, extensive space science exhibitions and a significant collection of antique scientific instruments and print materials. In addition, the Adler boasts the Doane Observatory, one of the only research-active, public urban observatories. The view of the Chicago skyline from the Adler is considered one of the most photogenic in the city. Architecturally, the Adler is a masterpiece. For its design, architect Ernest A. Grunsfeld Jr. was awarded the gold medal of the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 1931. Another trivia note: the Adler boasts the largest and most significant collection of historic scientific instruments in the Western Hemisphere. Opened in 1977, the Doane Observatory is the largest aperture telescope available to the public in the Chicago area. With its 20-inch diameter mirror, the Doane can gather over 5,000 times more light than an unaided human eye, allowing guests to see celestial objects like the Moon, planets, stars and galaxies that are trillions of kilometers, if not light years, away. Aesthetically, the largest of Adler's domed theaters, the Grainger Sky Theater, offers audiences unique shows using the most immersive, technologically enhances theater experience ever developed for a planetarium. The dome itself measures 21 meters across. A visit to the Adler affords visitors a unique opportunity to learn about the secrets of the universe unlike any other. Yes, for unexplained reasons, perhaps because it covers a subject so foreign to most people, it probably is the least visited of all the major museums in Chicago.
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Kaumudi P
Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
"Nice shows"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed November 11, 2018 NEW
We had the Chicago city pass and attended 3 shows here. The shows were informative. I was somewhat skeptical of the Plaent9, because it basically showed a theory as a well accepted fact. Other than that, the place is well maintained, the audience can go chat with the people who run the show at the end of the shows, and they have some interesting exhibits like the Atwood Sphere. Also, the view of Chicago are amazing from here!
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Sven-Roger K
Tilburg, The Netherlands
"A perfect way to spend a rainy day in a windy city"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed November 10, 2018 NEW
The Adler Planetarium offers a few interesting exhibitions related to astronomy and space flight. Their shows are informative and suit children as well as grown up's. So it is not the classical planetarium content you get, at least not at the standard shows. I enjoyed the trip a lot and would do it again to see all the other shows.
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Austin, Texas
"I do not go to planetariums so maybe this is a good one and I am the problem"
TripAdvisor user rating 2 out of 5
Reviewed November 10, 2018 NEW
The exhibits were a little boring. It was just wondering about. They also had this star chart exhibit from a worlds fair that was restored to it's original condition. If you are into this, you will love that. The shows were ok but not thrilling or interesting to an outsider. We did 2 of the shows and I just wasn't pulled in. I love to go out and camp so we can see a meteor shower, so I thought I would be more into this. The place is clean and well run and all the kids seemed to be having a blast. You will have to drive or ride-share because nothing is near it.
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Adler Planetarium is located at 1300 South Lake Shore DriveChicago, IL 60605
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Frequently Asked Questions about Adler Planetarium

Is parking available?
Parking is available in the lot adjacent to the Adler Planetarium or in the parking garage at Soldier Field. Metered street parking is also available. The standard rate for the lot adjacent to the Adler is $19 per car, but rates change frequently due to activities like football games, concerts, and other special events.

Is the museum handicap accessible?
Yes, the Adler Planetarium's is wheelchair accessible and the entrance is located at the South Box Office.

Is there a place to eat?
For a nice, relaxing lunch and the best view of the Chicago skyline there’s nowhere better than Café Galileo’s. Café Galileo’s provides a variety of freshly prepared options, including an array of soups, sandwiches, salads, flatbreads, beverages and desserts.

Does the Adler Planetarium offer a gift shop?
Yes, they offer the Adler Store for toys and games, space books and videos, Adler gear, and much more.