Adler Planetarium

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Field Trip Experiences

Side view of the Adler Planetarium

Join Us in Exploring Space! 

This school year, the Adler Planetarium invites you and your students to join us in the great human adventure of space exploration. Imagine your students gasping in awe as they gaze up at Chicago’s night skies during a sky show, or making critical choices about planetary exploration in one of our programs.

Space exploration is more than science. It requires many skills and involves all kinds of people. In addition to science goals, a trip to the Adler can meet social studies, arts, mathematics and technology standards. Take a look at the programs linking Adler programs and exhibitions to the Illinois Learning Standards.

Download information about planning your field trip.
School Group Programs (PDF)
School Group Pricing (PDF)
School Group Procedures (PDF)
School Group Drop-Off and Pick-Up Map (PDF)

Sky Shows


Cosmic Wonder

Cosmic Wonder tells the compelling story of how we have pieced together an understanding of the cosmos, inviting audiences to ask questions and help scientists unlock modern mysteries.

Grainger Sky Theater
30 minutes
Grades: 6-12
Illinois Learning Standard: 12F, 13B


Earth, Moon, & Sun

Follow your animated guide, Coyote, as he tracks paths of the Moon and Sun across the Earth’s horizons and explains phases, energy, and craters, among other concepts.

Definiti Space Theater
Length: 30 minutes
Grades: 2-5
Illinois Learning Standard: 12F


Night Sky Live! 

After seeing this traditional planetarium show, you and your students will be able to recognize constellations, planets, and other objects visible in the night sky from Chicago!

Definiti Space Theater
Length: 30 minutes
Grades: 4-12
Illinois Learning Standard: 11A, 12C


One World, One Sky

Join Big Bird, Elmo, and their friend from China, Hu Hu Zhu, on a journey to learn about the Big Dipper, the North Star, the Sun, and the Moon.

Definiti Space Theater
30 minutes
Grades: PreK-1
Illinois Learning Standard: 12F
Available Mondays and Tuesdays


Undiscovered Worlds

Undiscovered Worlds tells the exciting story of the search for new planets and examines the possibilities of finding life beyond Earth.

Definiti Space Theater
30 minutes
Grades: 6-12
Illinois Learning Standard: 12F 


Welcome to the Universe

Leave the Earth behind and tour some of the most intriguing destinations in space. Welcome to the Universe expands your horizon to a billion light years.

Johnson Star Theater
30 minutes
Grades: 6-12
Illinois Learning Standard: 12F, 13A

Featured Exhibition

Kids doing an activity

Planet Explorers

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. All of the play areas engage and entertain families with children ages 3 through 8.

Illinois Learning Standard: 11A, 11B

Entry into the Planet Explorers requires a pre-arranged visit time and is only for students ages pre-K to 3rd grade. There is a limit of 60 students per 30 minute time slot. Groups exceeding 60 students will be booked into multiple time slots. 

Facilitated Education Programs


Constellations & Our Stories

In this interactive experience, students will view the night sky, learn about constellations and create constellation stories of their own.

Cyberspace Classroom
30 minutes
Grades: PreK-1
Illinois Learning Standard: 11A, 11B, 12F

Understanding the Universe

After watching a show in the Grainger Sky Theater, head over to the Space Visualization Lab to talk to an astronomer about visualizing data.

Space Visualization Lab
20 minutes
Grades: 6-12
Illinois Learning Standard: 11A, 12F, 13A
Available Wednesday - Friday

Solar System Expedition

Students will use content in the recently updated Our Solar System exhibition to analyze properties of planets and discover patterns in our Solar System.

Cyberspace Classroom
45 minutes
Grades: 2-5
Illinois Learning Standard: 11A, 12D, 12E, 12F


Planet Pursuit

Students learn how scientists hunt for exoplanets by participating in this hands-on, technology-rich classroom program.  

Cyberspace Classroom
45 minutes
Grades: 6-12
Illinois Learning Standard: 11B, 12D, 12F


Registering a School Group


Making Your Reservation 

Please make your reservation no later than two weeks prior to your preferred visit date. List three possible dates on the reservation form. 

Complete the online field trip reservation form. Once we receive your request, we will verify availability and send confirmation of the group reservation within two days. If we are unable to accommodate your request, we will contact you to discuss alternative dates. 

Register your school group today! 

Pricing Chart


Visiting the Adler

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Arrival and Check-in

If your group will be breaking into smaller groups during their visit, please do that prior to arrival. Groups should plan to arrive at the Adler at their designated arrival time and no later than 30 minutes before the first scheduled show or program. Groups should remain on their buses until an Adler representative has greeted them and given them directions for their visit. Groups should enter the Adler at the south entrance to the right of the main entrance on the ground level. Please check in with your group name. Groups arriving at the Adler with higher numbers of adults and children than reserved are subject to additional admission fees and will be included in any activities based on availability.


Bus Parking

All buses must drop off and pick up on the north side of the Adler. Motorcoaches are not permitted to park in the lot adjacent to the Adler. Information on motorcoach parking can be found on the Choose Chicago website.

Parking for cars and school buses is available in the lot adjacent to the Adler. School bus parking starts at $35 and is not included in your Adler group visit fees. For more information on pricing and Museum Campus events, visit or call 312.235.7701.


Bus Scholarships

Through the generosity of the William McDaniel Charitable Foundation, the Adler Planetarium is proud to offer bus scholarships for field trips to the museum.  

Schools must meet the following criteria:

  1. Part of the Chicago Public School system. Unfortunately we cannot offer scholarships to private or suburban schools at this time. 
  2. 51% of students must qualify for free or reduced price lunches or 51% of students must be classified as Low Income with the CPS Office of Research, Evaluation and Accountability

Schools may request funding for a maximum of two buses per school year.  There are a limited number of scholarships available and they are distributed on a first come, first-served basis.

Applications are currently accepted for field trips occurring through May 29, 2015.  Apply today!

Questions?  Please email

Youth programs at the Adler Planetarium are supported by Microsoft.