Science can be a frightening word, particularly when it's listed under cause of death and followed by three exclamation points. Overcome your fear of knowledge with today's Groupon: for $7, you get a star show for two at Barlow Planetarium in Menasha (a $14 value).
Open since March 1998, Barlow Planetarium uses its 48-foot projection screen, a 3-D-capable Digistar II projector, and 10,000 watts of digital surround sound bring guests into the night sky. Star shows demonstrate the importance of astronomy in guiding escaped slaves to the North in Follow the Drinking Gourd, recap a calendar page of Fox Cities starscapes in Wisconsin Skies, and discuss school closings on Mars during Space Storm. All shows include a guided tour of the current nighttime sky as seen from northeastern Wisconsin.
The night sky is a vast ocean of celestial objects such as the moon, the bright lights of our closest stars, and the warm glow of neighboring galaxies. Located at the University of Wisconsin Fox Valley, Barlow Planetarium helps uncover the vastness of the universe through a 3-D-capable Digistar projector, which—combined with 10,000 watts of digital sound and a 48-foot projection screen—transports guests into the deepest trenches of space. The facility's star shows include family programs that make astronomy easy to understand as well as feature shows that tickle the minds of more hardened astronomy buffs. Along with celestial exploration, the planetarium transforms with dancing lights and rich sounds during laser shows. These programs add visual touches to music from the likes of The Beatles or Isaac Newton's little-known punk band.
The planetarium also hosts academic programs for grade-school children. These include the Wisconsin Space Academy, in which students build and launch rockets, and the Wisconsin Astronomy Academy, which lets pupils peer through telescopes and discover vending machines floating through space.