Adler Planetarium, the first of its kind in America, is a museum of astronomy and astrophysics that is part of of Chicago's Museum Campus along with John G. Shedd Aquarium and also The Field Museum. It was established in 1930 by Max Adler and contains various exhibitions ranging from antique scientific instruments to space artifacts from various missions. It also has a research observatory, the Doane Observatory.


The planetarium was the work of Max Adler, a retired businessman. He initially envisioned the planetarium as part of the Museum of Science and Industry, an effort of his brother-in-law Julius Rosenwald, however this did not work due to delays in renovations of the Palace of Fine Arts that was supposed to house the museum. As such, a new location selected for construction of the planetarium.

Adler Planetarium opens its gates in 1930 just on the day of its founder's birthday and it featured the Mensing Collection, a collection of antique astronomical instruments bought by the him in Amsterdam.

Exhibitions and Collections

Building on the Mensing Collection, Adler Planetarium now houses 8,000 objects, books, works on paper, archival collections, paintings, and photographs forming one of the most important collections worldwide.

It also contains a large number of exhibits:

  • Mission Moon - Take "one little action for man, one huge jump for humanity" with Adler Planetarium's Goal Moon. Find out about U.S.A.'s very first moon touchdown and also experience an astronaut's trip with the point of view of Captain Lovell. In this interactive display, you could release a rocket, rush to rescue Apollo 13, and peek right into the real-life spacecraft Gemini 12.
  • Planet Explorers - One of the most hands-on exhibition developed for family members at the Adler, designed to involve and also delight kids ages 3-8.
  • Telescopes: Through The Looking Glass - Showcasing several of the globe's crucial telescopes as well as their remarkable charm and also modern technology. Shoot for the Moon, highlighting the interesting tales of area expedition, with the fully-restored Gemini 12 spacecraft zipped Captain Lovell and also Buzz Aldrin in 1966 as the focal point.
  • Our Solar System - Everything you want to know about our solar system: the Sun, the planets, asteroids, and meteors.
  • The Universe: A Walk Through Space And Time - Ever wonder what the Big Bang is? Want to know more about how the Universe has been created and is growing? This exhibition covers all of these and more.
  • Chasing Eclipses - This temporary exhibition will introduce you to everything about solar eclipses, their history and eclipse chasers.
  • Community Design Lab - This one is a hands on exhibition where you get to test ideas, solve problems, and perform scientific research.
  • Astronomy in Culture - You get a peek into how astrology was in Medieval European and Middle Eastern, from people to tools and culture around it.


The planetarium houses two astronomy research bodies: an Astronomy department and the Webster Institute for the History of Astronomy. Both of them conduct research in areas such as planetary geology, star formation, gamma-rays, and telescope observing.

Contributing to the research are programs such as Far Horizons high altitude balloon, the Doane Observatory, or the partaking in citizen science platform such as The Zooniverse.

Visiting the museum


It is located in Chicago’s South Lake Shore Drive, it sits elegantly on the waterfront and is very easily accessible by public transport, car or bicycle.

Tickets and hours

The planetarium can be visited daily between 9:30 am and 4:00 pm. On special occasions such as Memorial Day Weekend, Labor Day Weekend, Columbus Day Weekend, Thanksgiving Weekend, or Christmas Break, it is open between 9:30 am and 6:00 pm.

City Pass - adult $99.75, child $84.75 - save 53% оff Chicago’s 5 bеѕt аttrасtiоnѕ, plus bураѕѕ thе mаin tiсkеt linе. Chicago City Pass inсludеѕ priority еntrу tо Adler Planetarium inсluding all еxhibitѕ.

An Anytime All Access Pass costs $34.95 for adults while it costs $29.95 for children and it includes access to all exhibitions and shows.

The Basic Pass costs $24.95 for adults and $19.95 for children. While it includes access to all exhibitions, it only includes access to one show.

General admission costs $12 for adults and $8 for children and includes access to all exhibitions.