Plan Your Field Trip

Field Trips at the Adler Planetarium

Create an out-of-this world field trip for your students!

The following planning guides can help you organize your visit. Suggestions are provided by grade level, but we encourage selecting the shows, experiences, and exhibits that will be best for your students and the goals of your visit.

Need help planning? Feel free to contact us at schools@adlerplanetarium.org.

Suggested Timing

Length of Trip: 2 – 3 hours
Shows: 30 minutes each
Experiences: 10 – 30 minutes each
Exhibits: 30 minutes – 1 hour
Lunch: 20 minutes

Shows

All shows are 30 minutes in length and take place in one of our domed theaters. Except for One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure, all shows are presented live. Purchase tickets when making your school group reservation.

Experiences

All experiences are free for Illinois schools or included with General Admission. Planet Explorers (available for Preschool – 3rd Grade) is free, but does require advance reservations. Limit of 60 students per 25 minute experience.

All other experiences are hands-on, facilitator-guided, and available to school groups on a first-come, first-served drop-in basis.

Exhibits

All exhibits are free with your admission. Explorer guides, which can be downloaded and printed prior to your visit, are a great way for chaperones to engage small groups of students with objects and ideas while exploring the museum’s exhibits together.

Exhibits at the Adler

Blast-off!

We look forward to seeing you and your students at the Adler Planetarium. We’re excited to explore space with you!

Field Trip Options By Grade Level

Adler Planetarium Sky Show

Preschool – Kindergarten

Show Options

ShowLengthDescription
One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure
10:30 am
Advance Tickets Required
30 minutesLearn about the Sun, the Moon, the Big Dipper, and the North Star with your favorite friends from Sesame Street.

Experience Options

ExperienceLengthDescription
Planet Explorers
FREE
Advanced reservations required
25 minutesAdventure from Earth through space to the imaginary Planet X in this interactive play space for our youngest visitors.
Community Design Lab
Drop-in daily from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Allow at least 20 minutesTackle an engineering challenge: roll up your sleeves, test your ideas, and creatively solve problems in this flexible workshop space.

Best Plan: Visit on a MONDAY, which is exclusively reserved for Preschool, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade groups. Special programs and activities such as Story Time Under the Stars, Constellation Yoga, and Young Astronaut Training are available, and the Community Design Lab challenge is geared specifically to little ones.

Young Explorers Mondays
9:30 am – 1:00 pm

Exhibit Options

Download Our Solar System Exhibit Guide
Download Planet Explorers Exhibit Guide

1st – 3rd Grade

Show Options

ShowLengthDescription
Destination Solar System
10:30 am, 11:30 am, and 2:30 pm
Advance Tickets Required
30 minutesSoar through the solar system with Space Express Tours, visiting a variety of destinations with tour guide Jesse and shipboard computer Max.

Experience Options

ExperienceLengthDescription
Planet Explorers
FREE
Advance Reservations Required
25 minutesAdventure from Earth through space to the imaginary Planet X in this interactive play space for our youngest visitors.
Community Design Lab
Drop-in daily from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Allow at least 20 minutesTackle an engineering challenge: roll up your sleeves, test your ideas, and creatively solve problems in this flexible workshop space.
Zoom In
Tuesdays – Fridays
Drop-in from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
About 20 minutesZoom in on one space topic such as meteorites, rovers, or plasma by investigating artifacts, performing experiments, or using scientific tools.
Activity CartsAbout 10 minutesDo science with us at our hands-on activity carts, located in exhibits throughout the museum.

Exhibit Options

1st Grade

Download Our Solar System Exhibit Guide
Download Planet Explorers Exhibit Guide

2nd – 3rd Grade

Download Our Solar System Exhibit Guide
Download Planet Explorers Exhibit Guide

 

4th – 5th Grade

Show Options

ShowLengthDescription
Destination Solar System
10:30 am, 11:30 am, and 2:30 pm
Advance Tickets Required
30 minutesSoar through the solar system with Space Express Tours, visiting a variety of destinations with tour guide Jesse and shipboard computer Max.
Skywatch Live!
12:15 pm and 2:45 pm
Advance Tickets Required
30 minutesTurn down the city lights and view the constellations as they appear over Chicago on the day of your visit in this planetarium show that uses real-time digital graphics technology.

Experience Options

ExperienceLengthDescription
Community Design Lab
Drop-in daily from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Allow at least 20 minutesTackle an engineering challenge: roll up your sleeves, test your ideas, and creatively solve problems in this flexible workshop space.
Zoom In
Tuesdays – Fridays
Drop-in from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
About 20 minutesZoom in on one space topic such as meteorites, rovers, or plasma by investigating artifacts, performing experiments, or using scientific tools.
Activity CartsAbout 10 minutesDo science with us at our hands-on activity carts, located in exhibits throughout the museum.
Telescope Observing
10:00 am – 1:00 pm in the Doane Observatory (weather permitting) or on the Skyline Terrace (near the café)
A few minutes per student, plus wait timeSafely observe the Sun with one of our telescopes! Ask a staff member if telescope observing is available on the day of your visit.

Exhibit Options

Download Telescopes Exhibit Guide
Download Our Solar System Exhibit Guide

6th – 8th Grade

Show Options

ShowLengthDescription
Planet Nine
12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, and 3:30 pm
Advance Tickets Required
30 minutesFollow “Pluto-Killer” Mike Brown and his team of scientists at CalTech as they hunt for a new ninth planet that may be hiding in plain sight.
Skywatch Live!
12:15 pm and 2:45 pm
Advance Tickets Required
30 minutesTurn down the city lights and view the constellations as they appear over Chicago on the day of your visit in this planetarium show that uses real-time digital graphics technology.
Cosmic Wonder
11:15 am and 1:30 pm
Advance Tickets Required
30 minutesExperience the story of astronomy through the ages and see how scientists continue to unlock modern mysteries of the unknown.

Experience Options

ExperienceLengthDescription
Community Design Lab
Drop-in daily from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Allow at least 20 minutesTackle an engineering challenge: roll up your sleeves, test your ideas, and creatively solve problems in this flexible workshop space.
Zoom In
Tuesdays – Fridays
Drop-in from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
About 20 minutesZoom in on one space topic such as meteorites, rovers, or plasma by investigating artifacts, performing experiments, or using scientific tools.
Activity CartsAbout 10 minutesDo science with us at our hands-on activity carts, located in exhibits throughout the museum.
Telescope Observing
10:00 am – 1:00 pm in the Doane Observatory (weather permitting) or on the Skyline Terrace (near the café)
A few minutes per student, plus wait timeSafely observe the Sun with one of our telescopes! Ask a staff member if telescope observing is available on the day of your visit.
Astronomy Conversations in the Space Visualization Lab
Drop-in daily from 12:00 – 1:00 pm and 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Allow at least 20 minutesMeet the people behind the science at the Adler. Get your astronomy questions ready so that you can exchange ideas with technology experts in this laboratory dedicated to creating new ways to visually explore the Universe.

Exhibit Options

Download Telescopes: Through the Looking Glass Exhibit Guide
Download The Universe: A Walk Through Space and Time Exhibit Guide
Download Our Solar System Exhibit Guide

9th – 12th Grade

Show Options

ShowLengthDescription
Planet Nine
12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, and 3:30 pm
Advance Tickets Required
30 minutesFollow “Pluto-Killer” Mike Brown and his team of scientists at CalTech as they hunt for a new ninth planet that may be hiding in plain sight.
Skywatch Live!
12:15 pm and 2:45 pm
Advance Tickets Required
30 minutesTurn down the city lights and view the constellations as they appear over Chicago on the day of your visit in this planetarium show that uses real-time digital graphics technology.
Cosmic Wonder
11:15 am and 1:30 pm
Advance Tickets Required
30 minutesExperience the story of astronomy through the ages and see how scientists continue to unlock modern mysteries of the unknown.

Experience Options

ExperienceLengthDescription
Community Design Lab
Drop-in daily from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Allow at least 20 minutesTackle an engineering challenge: roll up your sleeves, test your ideas, and creatively solve problems in this flexible workshop space.
Zoom In
Tuesdays – Fridays
Drop-in from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
About 20 minutesZoom in on one space topic such as meteorites, rovers, or plasma by investigating artifacts, performing experiments, or using scientific tools.
Activity CartsAbout 10 minutesDo science with us at our hands-on activity carts, located in exhibits throughout the museum.
Telescope Observing
10:00 am – 1:00 pm in the Doane Observatory (weather permitting) or on the Skyline Terrace (near the café)
A few minutes per student, plus wait timeSafely observe the Sun with one of our telescopes! Ask a staff member if telescope observing is available on the day of your visit.
Astronomy Conversations in the Space Visualization Lab
Drop-in daily from 12:00 – 1:00 pm and 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Allow at least 20 minutesMeet the people behind the science at the Adler. Get your astronomy questions ready so that you can exchange ideas with technology experts in this laboratory dedicated to creating new ways to visually explore the Universe.

Exhibit Options

Download The Universe: A Walk Through Space and Time Exhibit Guide
Download Telescopes: Through the Looking Glass Exhibit Guide
Download Our Solar System Exhibit Guide
Download Astronomy & Culture Exhibit Guide