Community Design Labs

Curiosity, connections, and exploration await!

The Adler Planetarium’s Community Design Labs are flexible spaces for visitors to imagine, discover, and have fun together. Whether creating your own artwork in Star Studio or playing as a family in PlayLab, there’s a way for everyone to explore. 

Each one of these interactive areas provides a dynamic and themed experience. We invite you to become part of a special community of makers and thinkers at the Adler! Our staff hosts are here to welcome you and create a responsive, personal, and conversational environment. All Community Design Lab spaces are included with Museum Entry.


This family-friendly space has room for you and your littlest explorers to play, make, and have fun together! A staff host is available to support the curiosity and creativity of kids and their grownups. PlayLab is an engaging space filled with your choice of ways to play—from a block builder’s construction zone to a reading nook and even a tot-spot. Dive into making with a selection of hands-on activities at kid-sized tables that rotate seasonally.

  • Hours: Open on Saturdays pending staff availability
  • Located in Planet Explorers
  • Designed for families with children 6 and under
  • Please note: this space is not available to school groups

Star Studio

Star Studio is a space to reflect, imagine, and express yourself through art-making. Activities rotate seasonally from collaging to printmaking to drawing, and more. Inspired by the surrounding exhibition focused on the night sky, Star Studio offers an opportunity to explore the creative process and experiment with a variety of tools and materials. Staff hosts are there to answer questions and spark connections through conversation!

  • Hours: Open Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday–Saturday pending staff availability
  • Located in Chicago’s Night Sky
  • Designed for guests age 12 and up; all ages welcome

Stargazers Hub

Unravel the mystery behind tools of observation as you wander through Stargazers Hub. This exhibition offers a multisensory journey through time with a focus on historic objects. Head on over to the Cabinet of Curiosity to chat with our educators while looking at object replicas in a new way or peer through a field of lenses at the hands-on Observation Station. Examine rare astronomical objects and see some of the oldest known telescopes in existence. Snap a selfie at the wall of golden hexagon mirrors, find your footing at the extra large floor compass, and sit in row boat. Bring history to life—the tools of astronomy are yours to discover!

Red Rover Mars Activity Station

Students and chaperones are invited to use their senses to investigate Mars through this activity station on wheels. Inspired by real Mars rovers, Red Rover Mars Activity Station features hands-on elements designed to encourage curiosity and connect to the people, tools, and processes of space exploration. Students can make their own spacecraft, examine the terrain of Mars through satellite images and tactical all while experimenting in this collaborative group activity space. Make your mark as the universe becomes your laboratory!

  • Hours: 9:30 am–12:30 pm
  • Only available to school groups on Field Trip Days (available on a first-come, first-served basis)
  • Designed for grades 3rd–8th; best with a group size of about 10 students
  • Located in Our Solar System

Thanks To Our Sponsors

The Adler Planetarium is grateful to two anonymous donors for supporting the Adler’s Community Design Labs.


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