Adler Planetarium

Adler After Dark

Looking for the perfect date night? Want exclusive museum access?

Exclusively for adults, this 21+ evening offers you open access, unlimited shows, and unique entertainment every third Thursday of the month from 6:30-10:30 pm. With themes that change every month, Adler After Dark is never the same event twice. Reinvent your Adler experience every month with friends, family, or that special someone on a date they’ll never forget!

What’s Included?

  • Full access and admission to museum exhibits and galleries

  • Unlimited sky shows in our 3 state-of-the-art theaters

  • Special guests and lectures

  • Stellar hands-on educational programs

  • Access to the Doane Observatory

  • Live entertainment

  • The best view of the skyline from anywhere in Chicago!

Please note that ticketed tours of the Doane Observatory can be added to your General Admission ticket for $5.00 a piece. Cocktails and other alcoholic beverages are available for purchase at the event bars. Entrée items and snacks are available for purchase at Café Galileo’s.

The votes are in and the hands-down winner is Adler After Dark. What are you waiting for? Book your tickets today!



Purchase Your Tickets

Advance Purchase: 
$20 General Admission/ $15 Adler members

At the Door: 
$25 General Admission/ $20 Adler members

Doane Tours:
$5 General Admission / $5 Adler members


Tickets for July's event will go on sale Wednesday, July 1 at 9am

Doane Observatory tour tickets are available in limited quantity and sell out quickly. Tours last approximately 15 minutes and are always scheduled after sunset. Tours are subject to cancellation due to weather conditions. 

Please be aware that event capacity is limited and likely to sell out. Purchase your tickets online before the day of the event as tickets may not be available at the door. Check back for up-to-date ticket availability details. For group (15 or more) or corporate booking, please contact

Upcoming Adler After Dark

July 16: Save Pluto!

Pluto has always held a special place in our hearts, so come join the debate and celebrate our first up-close glimpse of this distant world at Adler After Dark!

Launched in 2006, the New Horizons spacecraft has been traveling toward the outskirts of our planetary neighborhood for almost a decade. But on July 14, it will fly by its mysterious target—the Pluto system. Join us for a first look at this distant icy world, and learn more in a special lecture by Dr. Shane Larson, a Live Podcast Story Time (featuring stories of Pluto and other runts of the litter) with our friends from the Nerdologues, one-night-only visualizations and theater shows about our outer Solar System, and “cool” hands-on programs fit for a warm summer evening.

Learn more about the New Horizons mission and countdown the days until closest approach here!

Your Stories with The Nerdologues

Nerd out with us! Come share your own stories, anecdotes or songs about being the “runt of the litter” (much like Pluto) in Your Stories, a live, presentational podcast hosted and produced by our friends at The Nerdologues. Your story can be as literal or figurative as you want it to be—just keep it short (5 minutes or less when read aloud).

Submit your piece for consideration (funny, serious, musical, personal, scientific, etc) via our online form. Up to four submissions will be selected. If selected, we hope you’ll read/perform your piece in front of a live audience at the event, have it recorded for the official podcast and receive our exclusive VIP Treatment (though we do reserve the right to read/perform your piece in case you chicken out). Tickets to Adler After Dark: Save Pluto will be available on Wednesday, July 1, at 9 am.

Save Pluto VIP Treatment

  • 4 drink tickets redeemable at event bars
  • 2 dinner vouchers redeemable at Café Galileo’s
  • Plutonian Gift Basket

August 20: Build It

We’re born makers. From Lego rockets to high-tech spacecraft, building things is in our blood. Come explore your creative side at this hands-on Adler After Dark!

September 17: Game On

From board games to video games and beyond (including some high tech games on the dome). We're pulling out all the stops for this game-changing Adler After Dark.


October 15: Nightmare

The universe is mostly dark. That may seem terrifying to contemplate, but we continue to learn more about the strange forces that dominate the cosmos—including dark energy. Explore the dark and more, only at Adler After Dark.

Chicago Reader's "Best After-Hours Museum Event" 


Chicago Reader named Adler After Dark Chicago's "Best After-Hours Museum Event" for 2013. With the best view of the Chicago skyline, open access to the museum, and unique entertainment, Adler After Dark is the place to be!