’Scopes in the City

Adler staff and volunteers bring the museum—and the universe—a little closer to you! With ’Scopes in the City, we lead free telescope observing programs in Chicago neighborhoods and elsewhere. Join us to #LookUp together!

Because all ’Scopes in the City events are weather permitting, subscribe to our Adler Events (Digital and In Person) or Night Sky Observing email lists. And, like us on Facebook to be the first to hear about upcoming events near you. You never know where our telescopes will pop up next!

Upcoming 'Scopes In The City Events

June 19, 2023 @ DuSable Museum of African American History

1:00 pm–3:00 pm
740 E 56th Pl.
Chicago, IL, 60637

What will we be observing? The Sun

June 22, 2023 @ Back Of The Yards Branch Chicago Public Library

3:00 pm–5:00 pm
2111 W 47th St.
Chicago, IL, 60609

What will we be observing?  The Sun

July 8, 2023 @ Forest Park Public Library/Park District

10:00 am–12:00 pm
7501 Harrison St.
Forest Park, IL, 60130

What will we be observing?  The Sun

July 25, 2023 @ Fountaindale Public Library

2:00 pm–4:00 pm
300 W Briarcliff Rd.
Bolingbrook, IL, 60440

What will we be observing?  The Sun, and possibly the Moon towards the end of the event.

August 1, 2023 @ Richard M Daley Branch Chicago Public Library

12:30 pm–2:30 pm
733 N Kedzie Ave.
Chicago, IL, 60612

What will we be observing?  The Sun

August 11, 2023 @ Glenside Public Library

1:00 pm–3:00 pm
25 E Fullerton Ave.
Glendale Heights, IL, 60139

What will we be observing?  The Sun

August 24, 2023 @ Roden Branch Chicago Public Library

8:00 pm–10:00 pm
6083 N Northwest Hwy.
Chicago, IL, 60631

What will we be observing?  Saturn, the Moon

Where We’ve Been | 2015-Now

What happens at a ‘Scopes in the City program?

It’s simple! We set up 1-2 telescopes, and anyone walking by is invited to look up with us and chat about what we’re seeing. Depending on how busy it is, we may also have a few quick hands-on activities to share with guests.

Is there a cost?

No! There is no cost to the host or participants for a Scopes in the City appearance. This is a FREE event!

Where does ‘Scopes in the City go?

We are happy to take Scopes in the City anywhere in the Chicagoland area! We appear often at Chicago Public Library branches, parks, neighborhoods, and other places where people gather. While we are not limited to taking Scopes only to locations in Chicago, we give priority to scheduling programs within Chicago.

Is this program only for a particular age group?

The sky belongs to everyone, and we invite everyone to join us in looking up!

How long is a typical session?

We usually set up our telescope(s) for 1-2 hours.

Is ‘Scopes in the City only available at night?

No! In May, June, and July, we often book times during the day to view the Sun, primarily because sunset is so late during these months.

Is ‘Scopes in the City only available during warm months?

No. We schedule Scopes in the City throughout the year. In fact, some of the best sky viewing is during the winter. Bundle up if you join us for one of those dates!

What do you look at through your telescopes?

It depends on what is in the sky throughout the year and the light pollution situation at the site. Generally, we try to schedule dates/times when the Moon or a bright planet (such as Venus, Mars, Jupiter, or Saturn) is visible, or we may schedule a daytime event to view the Sun safely.

What do you do if it is cloudy?

Usually, a Scopes in the City appearance is completely at the mercy of the weather. If it is cloudy or too windy, we generally have to cancel the program. In limited cases, we may be able to reschedule. We can usually make the go/no-go call about 24 hours prior to the date/time of the program based on the weather forecasts. This gives us and our program partners time to get the word out about the cancellation. (Check the Adler website and Facebook.) For a small number of programs, we may be able to take the appearance indoors with some hands-on activities, though this is not an option available in all cases.

Can I book ‘Scopes in the City to appear at my event?

We welcome suggestions for where Scopes in the City can appear. The program is not available for private (non-public) events. If you have a location suggestion, please fill out this form. We generally schedule 25-40 Scopes in the City programs throughout the year.

How do you select a site for ‘Scopes in the City?

The program must be open to the general public—ideally in a high-traffic area—and the site must have a clear view to the southeast, south, and/or southwest sky. If there is a question about the sky viewing suitability of a particular site, we may request to make an advance visit to ascertain this before we schedule a program, or we may request pictures of the site from the host.

Does a site need access to electricity?

No, our telescopes include both unpowered and battery-powered models. We’re self-sufficient.

I have additional questions.

We welcome your questions! Please email us at ScopesInTheCity@adlerplanetarium.org.

Thanks To Our Sponsors

A special thank you to the Founding Donor of our public observing programs, The Petrovich Family


Your all-access pass to our universe!

© 2023 Adler Planetarium | Privacy Policy | Contact Us