Adler Planetarium

Planet Explorers


About the Exhibition

Planet Explorers lets families with children ages 3-8 take the helm in a modern-day space adventure. Future space explorers enter a world where they can play and learn what it takes to be a part of a mission to outer space. This immersive and interactive exhibition presents an opportunity for families to explore environments on Earth and in outer space and create their own unique experience. 

Planet Explorers consists of three different play areas: Exploring Earth, which includes backyard stargazing, Exploring Space, which includes Mission Control, a rocket, and space station, and Exploring Planet X, which includes the Planet X Research Station

Exploring Earth

Begin your adventure in a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home and backyard where families can explore using MiScopes, electronic magnifying lenses that zoom in on the fine details of products and then display the details on TV monitors.

Exploring Space

Children can role play as members of the Mission Control ground team. Families can conduct planetary research together by operating rovers and space orbiters. They can also make preparations for space flight during the simulation of a rocket launch.

Future astronauts can climb aboard a two-story rocket and experience a simulated blast-off into outer space. They’ll check rocket systems, turn on the rocket's internal instruments and launch the rocket. First stop, the Space Station where families will find out that some tools work differently in space than they do on Earth.

Exploring Planet X

Young adventurers become planetary explorers and conduct research on the surface of another planet far, far away. They’ll explore caves and tunnels in search for evidence of water or life. Using X MOVERS, mini land-based vehicles, they’ll maneuver and explore the Planet X terrain. Learn what life is like living in the Planet X Research Station.


Kid's Explorers Club

Enroll your family in the Kid's Explorers Club for a learning adventure at the Adler! Gain tools to play and learn in the Planet Explorers exhibition, throughout the museum, and at home. Kid's Explorers Club members receive a Mission Log and lanyard. In the Mission Log, kids collect stamps by completing activities, certifications, and special assignments. With the required number of stamps collected, kids can win a special prize!

Learn more on our Membership page.

Play, Explore, Discover!

Let one of our Mission Specialists help your child take on the role of a scientist in our Planet Explorers gallery. Use scientific tools and processes to playfully observe, compare, and discover new things about Earth and the mysterious Planet X. This activity is free with general admission.

Make your way through the Planet Explorers exhibition with this detailed guide.

Planet Explorers Exhibition Guide (PDF)


Sponsors and Partners

Lead Partner

The Boeing Company


A. Montgomery Ward Foundation
Dr. Scholl Foundation

In-Kind Partners

Lego Education
Orion Telescopes & Binoculars
WowWee USA, Inc.

Media Sponsors