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Adler Planetarium, Chicago

3.5
#2 of 11 in Childrens Museums in Illinois
Both a National Historic Landmark and one of the most well-known facilities of its kind in the country, Adler Planetarium is set in an Art Deco building on the shores of Lake Michigan. The planetarium was America's first, and today features multiple domed theaters and an extensive selection of themed shows that detail the universe and planetary systems. As you sit in the sky theater, you'll find that it is one of the most technologically advanced of its type. Visit the onsite museum to see exhibits on the history of astronomy, astronomical technology, the solar system, telescopes, cyberspace, and more. Use our Chicago online road trip planner to arrange your visit to Adler Planetarium and other attractions in Chicago.
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Adler Planetarium Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
1,735 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • An excellent choice to visit with children over 7 years old. I do not know that as recommended for children. Super interesting and highly recommended. This attraction included in the CityPass.
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  • They had a great display of the Gemini space program of the 60s, even a capsule from the period. The shows are the highlight of the location. It can make some people dizzy as it feels like the while r...  more »
  • We bought the City Pass which included the Adler Planetarium. We went on a weekday so it wasn't very busy with tourists other than school groups. We had two movies that were included in our passes. It...  more »
Google
  • Went here as part of the Chicago CityPass (which I highly recommend). Was able to see two shows and go on the Historic Atwood Sphere. The "Ninth Planet" show was worth my admission price and time. It was incredible with lots of information, cool graphics, a live narrator and an awesome theater with a screen that took up the whole ceiling. The "Cosmic Wonder" show was good with comfier chairs, but the content was more "look at this close up picture of a far away space thing" which was fine but I didn't retain much from it. The Atwood Sphere had a long line, was kinda cool but don't feel bad if you skip this one. My favorite exhibit was the "Our Solar System" area that gave facts and figures about the planets, space probes and more. The other exhibits were fine. Some of them had a strange layout where there would be a place to stop and read info but it would encourage you to stop in a highly trafficked space causing some congestion. Overall, the shows were a big 👍. The other exhibits were fine but hard to view when crowded.
  • One of the better planetariums I've been to. The staff were incredibly friendly. As a solo traveler I enjoyed their conversation, interaction and fun questions. I enjoyed the Cosmos show, especially that they had a real person narrating for us, rather than all automated voice. Overall, this was a great place to explore with lots of fun and interactive exhibits. The price was a good deal for everything included.
  • The planetarium shows were great and worth the experience alone! The shows were educational for adults and kids alike. The museum part was not as interesting for us but still good. Anyone who loves stars and space will enjoy the entire offering of this place!
  • We were impressed by the kind and helpful staff! I was so disappointed that there was no mention of the incredible work that the Incans and Ancient Egyptians did in astronomy, the museum began the journey of astronomical discovery with the medieval time period. I did not get through the whole thing though so maybe I missed it. I will have to go back and finish seeing everything!
  • Do not go here by any means unless you want astronauts to puke all over you or want to risk getting infected by parasitic aliens disguised as garbage cans. I came here on May 25 after my most terrifying experience at Water Tower Place. I regret the decision, of course. First, when I got my ticket and went in, I went to the star-gazing attraction. When I was in there, a crowd of astronauts flooded into the room and promptly vomited all over me. I have no idea what a bunch of astronauts were doing at the planetarium or why they puked on me, but it happened. They all apologized profusely, and then left the room making crow noises like half of everything in the city. I spent 10 minutes in the bathroom wiping red spaceman vomit off of me. Then when I was walking around the place trying to forget that strange occurrence, the smell an unfortunate constant reminder, I noticed one of the garbage cans moving around in the corner of my eye, then another. They stopped as soon as I looked in their direction, but then I witnessed one of the trash cans use a small tentacle to latch onto a man and pull him toward it. The creature then inserted another tentacle into the man's right ear, and then his eyes turned completely white before he walked away, movements stilted like a zombie. I asked one of the staff members about this, but he just nodded his head and told me that these aliens have been here for years, and they prefer taking the shape of trash cans. They occasionally turn people into zombie-like hosts, but the effect wears off after 5 days, and you can avoid them by simply acknowledging every trash can you see. No explanation as to WHY these things were allowed to linger and do this, but he assured me the police were complacent about it. I decided to leave before I had the chance to get infected, and being paranoid of the trash cans constantly distracted me from everything else, so I couldn't enjoy myself. One more Chicago staple to avoid.

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