Community Design Labs

Three adults collaborating on a project in the community design spaces.

Collaboration, curiosity, and experimentation await!

The Adler Planetarium’s Community Design Labs are flexible spaces for guests to play, come up with and test ideas, create art, and reflect.

Each one of our Labs has its own unique theme: play, art, social science, and history. All Community Design Lab spaces are included with Museum Entry. They are open daily* from 9:30 am to one hour before the museum closes.

Community PlayLab

  • Now Open!
  • Located in Planet Explorers
  • For children 6 and under and their families

In the Community PlayLab, children will have many opportunities to learn through play; they can transform into an astronaut, design a launch pad, experiment with water, or explore robots all using developmentally-appropriate tools and materials!

Designed to include four areas of exploration—the imagination station, table-top STEAM activities, a sensory table, and a tot-spot—the Community PlayLab encourages creativity, curiosity, exploration, and language and social skills in young learners.

Community Star Studio

  • Now Open!
  • Located in Chicago’s Night Sky
  • For all ages

Explore the Community Star Studio, an interactive workshop where you can roll up your sleeves and discover ways to creatively connect to the night sky using a variety of mixed media to interpret, design, draw, color, or construct an image of your own unique personal connections. The sky’s the limit!

Community Mobile Lab

  • Opening April 2022
  • Located in the Our Solar System gallery
  • For all ages

Experiment and test out ideas in a collaborative space. Build on others’ design ideas and make your mark as the universe becomes your laboratory.

Community Workshop

  • Opening 2023
  • Located in History of Astronomy exhibition
  • For all ages

Tinker, invent, and become your own maker. Examine the tools from the past and discover the stories of their inventors, both great scientists and amateur students of the stars. Solve real challenges using history as your toolkit to the future.

*Note that select spaces may be closed during the summer for use in Adler Summer Camps.

Deeper Exploration

The expansion and enhancement of the Adler’s Community Design Labs was funded by a generous anonymous donor in memory of Adler Planetarium Life Trustee, Jay Whipple. We appreciate and thank that donor for their support and partnership in our museum’s work to continue to spark imaginations, ignite curiosities, and connect everyone to the sky we all share.


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