Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, Saint Johnsbury

4.6
#4 of 8 in Things to do in Saint Johnsbury
Natural History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium is a combination natural science museum, history museum, and planetarium located in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. It was founded in 1890 by businessman, politician, naturalist, and collector Franklin Fairbanks. The museum and its buildings are on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

The Eye on the Sky Weather Station is a meteorology and weather forecasting department operated regularly at the site since 1893. Meteorologists broadcast their unique weather forecasts for Vermont, and the areas immediately around the state, on Vermont Public Radio and Magic 97.7 daily. The museum also produces daily weather forecasts for three newspapers: The Caledonian Record, the Times Argus, and the Rutland Herald.

The Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium, first opened in 1961, is located at the museum, and produces public astronomy shows, as well as educational classes on various space science topics, and is named after famed scientist Lyman Spitzer Jr., a pioneer of modern astrophysics and astronomical observation. Displayed in the planetarium lobby are astrophotographs from the Northern Skies Observatory in nearby Peacham, Vermont and images from the Spitzer Space Telescope. Astronomers and educational presenters from the planetarium, along with members of the Vermont Astronomical Society, regularly contribute to and appear on science segments for local news stations, notably WCAX, and produce the Eye on the Night Sky astronomy program for radio broadcast.
For travelers who use our international travel planner, Saint Johnsbury holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
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Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
166 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Always something more to learn. I have been here a few times over the years. Although it hasn't changed much, there is always something else to learn and many things to relearn. It is a must for...  more »
  • Mostly consisting of stuff the family collected during its travels, there is a good mix of natural history and ethnographic history. A visit takes about an hour. Good toilets. If you miss it you...  more »
  • Such a wide variety of things here, from animal specimens, to insects, rocks, making of fabrics, planetarium, old artifacts, things for kids to experiment with, and us oldsters, we enjoyed our 2...  more »
Google
  • The Fairbanks Museum far exceeded my expectations. The images of the museum don't do justice to the displays. There are many interesting areas of the museum and their collection is impressive. There is a hands on area for the kids and the planetarium show shouldn't be missed. The host of the show Bobby was entertaining and insightful. Overall my family had a terrific experience.
  • A MUST visit. Great place to take the kids. Lots of interactive displays to entertain them for hours. The pieces in the original museum were very interesting. The highlight of the visit was the planetarium. The presentation was very compelling and the presenter was very enthusiastic and passionate.
  • Great museum space with so much to look at and learn. Hands-on exhibits and live looks at butterflies and bees. The planetarium show was excellent, we went to the one with the live host who was professional yet entertaining, who didn’t overwhelm us with information but went deep enough into explanations that it taught this amateur stargazer new things. Very pleased with this visit! Will probably plan a trip to return if I have the time!
  • A wonderful museum with an assortment of natural history and space science. Includes a live bee hive display, butterfly garden, and planetarium shows. Would definitely go again. Around $12 for an adult and $8 dollars for students and kids not from the area.
  • Echoing many 5 star reviews. Awesome and we’ll worth the cost. Hidden gem. Surprising composition for a seemingly small building. Very kid friendly. Our 2 1/2yo son had a great time. We had a blast!

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