Non-Field Trip Days

Students with their backs facing the camera point and take in the cosmic wall in the Universe exhibition

In-person field trips at the Adler are fun, out-of-this-world learning experiences. Your group will enjoy hands-on, minds-on activities and explore mind-blowing facts about the universe that will stay with them long after they’ve left the museum. With two domed theaters, immersive sky shows, and 60,000 square feet of exhibitions, the Adler casts students in the role of scientist, engineer, astronaut, and creative problem solver.

Want to visit the Adler on a day not designated as a Field Trip Day?

School groups can visit any day of the week, except for Wednesdays, but on days that are not designated as Field Trip Days (Tuesday or Thursday during the school year), school groups will be exploring alongside the general public and our exhibitions and shows can get crowded and sell out.

Additionally, outside of Tuesdays and Thursdays, no lunch space or pre-purchased bag lunches are available. All items/coats must be left on the bus or carried throughout the museum. Please see the Group Registration Policies & Procedures for more information. 

Content Guides For School Groups

We’ve created four content guides inspired by 1st grade and 5th grade Next Generation Science Standards to help your students and chaperones engage more deeply while at the Adler! Anyone can use any guide. These guides can be printed out and brought with you on your upcoming field trip.

Book Your Visit On A Non-Field Trip Day!

Use the links below to book your visit on a Monday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday at least two weeks prior to the date of your visit.

Illinois School Groups (K–12) & Chicago Park District

Non-Illinois School Groups (K–12)


How do I make a Field Trip reservation on a Non-Field Trip Day?

There are no lead times required if visiting on a non-Field Trip Day. Field Trips are not available on Wednesdays. Reservations can be made using the links above at any time.

What information do I need to have ready before scheduling my reservation?

  • Select 3 possible dates for your field trip. Check school calendars for any potential conflicts, and contact your bus company to check transportation availability before booking your trip.
  • Select the sky show(s) you would like to see.
  • Determine the total number of students, teachers, and adult chaperones in your group and book accordingly. Additions to your group on the day of your visit will be charged full price admission and sky show fees. All same-day admissions are subject to availability.

Does my group need a reservation, or can we just show up?

Advanced ticket purchases are required for all guests including groups. 

When do I need to make payment?

Payment is made online at the time of booking.

What if I need to reschedule or cancel my reservation?

Refunds and the option to reschedule if plans change are not available at this time.

What happens when my group arrives?

Enter through the Accessible Entrance, located on the ground level to the right of the main staircase, to check in. Please have your group name and your confirmation letter ready.

What if our numbers day-of are different from our reservation?

If you bring MORE students, teachers, or adult chaperones than is indicated on your group confirmation, you will be charged full price admission and show fees for each additional person. All same-day admissions and sky show tickets are based on availability. If you bring FEWER students, teachers, or adult chaperones than were paid for at the time of booking, you will not receive a refund.

What happens if my group is running late?

Late arrivals for sky shows cannot be seated. Therefore, please take timing and travel distance into account when making your booking. We recommend an additional 15–20 minutes for travel and traffic to ensure that you arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to your first scheduled sky show.

Can members of my group bring backpacks? Cameras?

  • Backpacks are permitted in the museum, but they must be carried at all times. The Adler does not have storage space for backpacks. We recommend leaving backpacks and other personal items on your school bus so that you don’t have to carry them around the museum.
  • Cameras are also permitted and you are welcome to take photos in all of our exhibits. However, photography and videography is not permitted in any of the theaters during sky shows.

Can members of my group use their museum membership during our group visit?

Adler Planetarium memberships and annual Star Passes are designed for use during family and individual visits during public hours and are not valid for group visits.

Can I visit the Adler prior to my field trip?

Yes! Teachers are welcome to visit the Adler for free year round so that they can prepare for their field trips and help support their classroom curriculum. Teachers are granted free Museum Entry with a valid school ID. However, sky show tickets, as well as admission for any accompanying guests, must be paid at full rates. You can reserve your free Museum Entry here.

What is defined as a "school group"?

School groups are officially defined as a group consisting of students in Kindergarten through 12th grade accompanied by a teacher. We follow a Illinois state statute that reads:

“Any city or park district may charge, or permit such an aquarium or museum to charge, an admission fee. Any such aquarium or museum, however, shall be open without charge, when accompanied by a teacher, to the children in actual attendance upon grades kindergarten through twelve in any of the schools in this State at all times.”

My group exceeds 175 people

If you have a group that exceeds 175, please divide into two or more groups with separate registrations for each.

What other resources are available for educators like me?

We love to support educators however we can. Visit our educator hub for space resources to help supplement your classroom curriculum.

Thanks To Our Sponsors

The Adler Planetarium is grateful to Bank of America and the IDP Foundation for supporting field trips.


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