Click above to buy a $40 family membership to the Adler Planetarium ($95 value). Buy here for a $30 individual membership ($65 value).
As Earth places its bid for the 2020 Intergalactic Winter Olympics, today's Groupon invites you to rediscover what makes the universe so neat (hint: pretty much everything). For $30, you get a one-year individual membership (a $65 value) to the Adler Planetarium. You can also get a family membership for $40.
The Adler Planetarium has been making an argument for the existence of space since it opened its doors as America's first planetarium in 1930. Its majestic Sky Theater translates the enormity of the night sky into a more easily comprehended dome ceiling. Unlimited daytime tickets and discounted evening tickets are available to members. Future astronauts and doubting astro-nots will receive a mind-expanding crash course in constellations, atmospheric gases, dark matter, black holes, lunar expeditions, nebulae, supernovae, and the odd profligacy of space-battles that have been observed in a galaxy far, far away—for starters. But like the cosmos themselves, there's more. So much more.
This membership grants you unlimited admission to the planetarium and its many shows and exhibitions, including One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure, the Robert Redford–narrated meteor-fest Cosmic Collisions, and the musically coordinated 3D Universe: A Symphony, which proves that the music of the earth can elevate even the music of the spheres. The family membership covers unlimited admission and theater tickets for two adults and up to six children under 18 years old, while the individual membership covers unlimited admission for you and one guest. Both memberships include the added benefits of a 15% discount at the Infinity Gift Shop, 10% off in Galileo's Cafe, VIP access to new exhibitions, two complimentary guest passes for general admission, discounts on guided tours, and more. See the full list of privileges here. If nothing else, the planetarium provides a place where your love for dehydrated ice cream can blossom without judgment or water.
Frommer's recommends the Adler Planetarium, saying:
- The building may be historic (it was the first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere), but some of the attractions here will captivate the most jaded video-game addict. Your first stop should be the modern Sky Pavilion, where the don't-miss experience is the StarRider Theater. Settle down under the massive dome, and you'll take a half-hour interactive virtual-reality trip through the Milky Way and into deep space, featuring a computer-generated 3-D-graphics projection system and controls in the armrest of each seat. Six high-resolution video projectors form a seamless image above your head -- you'll feel as if you're literally floating in space. – Frommer's
- When it comes to Chicago museums, the Planetarium is often forgotten or overlooked. However, it's a great place to spend a day during any season. – Neal H., Insider Pages
- The Planetarium is a fascinating place to visit. The exhibits, telescopes, and tours all-together make the Planetarium a worthwhile place to see. – Oscar Y., Judy's Book
- There are tons of hands-on displays, and not just for kids.... All the displays really get you involved and find a way to make sometimes dull topics interesting. – Jenny S., Insider Pages
The Adler Planetarium
Explore space at America’s first planetarium! With two domed theaters featuring breathtaking sky shows, 60,000 square feet of exhibitions offering hands-on, minds-on activities and the Doane Observatory’s research quality telescope, spend a day seeing why “Space is Freaking Awesome.”
- Eye Catcher: Earth's neighbors and one massive yellow Sun hang overhead in Our Solar System, which also includes a meteorite that crashed into the basement of an Illinois resident and a replica of the Mars rover. The Adler is the only place where visitors can touch a piece of the Moon, Mars, and three different asteroids under one roof.
- Permanent Mainstay: The Historic Atwood Sphere, Chicago's oldest planetarium, where guests can step under a steel dome to view the night sky as it appeared in 1913 thanks to 692 drilled holes.
- Hands-On Experiments: In the Community Design Lab guests are encouraged to design, build, test and explore. Think (and act) like a scientist as they tackle one of our design challenges using unconventional items like marshmallows, duct tape, and popsicle sticks.
- Hidden Gem: Doane Observatory houses the largest publicity accessible telescope in the Chicagoland area. The Doane can gather over 5,000 times more light than an unaided human eye, allowing guests to see celestial objects like the Moon, planets, stars, and galaxies that are trillions of miles away.
- Don't Miss: Planet Nine! The Adler’s newest sky show follows “Pluto-Killer” Mike Brown and his team of scientists at CalTech as they hunt for a planet that may be hiding in plain sight. Something big is out there lurking at the very edge of our Solar System and could very well be the new ninth planet.
- Special Programs: Every third Thursday of the month, Adler After Dark allows space enthusiasts, 21+ open access, unlimited shows, unique entertainment and programming with cocktails in hand. Young Explorers Mondays gives pint-sized space cadets the chance to explore the museum and participate in hands-on activities designed to spark their curiosity.
Get the most out of your stargazing gear with these tips.