When I was little I wanted to be an astronaut, every summer I built rockets to shoot off into the sky. I loved going to space and flight museums so Adler has been on my to do list for awhile. I finally found both free time and a free day to go, found a friend and we made our way to Museum Campus. Adler Planetarium is at the very end of Museum Campus and it can be reached by the 146 bus. It’s by Soldier Field, The Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium and Northerly Island beach.
The Adler Planetarium is located at 1300 South Lake Shore Drive. I went on a day where it was free for illinois residents and since it was a weekday, full of school children. Adler is one of the oldest planetariums in existences and the first built in the West and opened on May 12, 1930 to the public.
We were given little passes to where to show that we had paid and since we had walked most of the way there stopped at Cafe Galileo for something to drink. The Cafe is beautiful with glass that lets you see the city and the lake.
The planetarium is broken up into different levels, the midlevel is mostly classrooms, but the upper level and lower level is filled with exhibits. We started with a tour of the solar system and took a look agh the gemini xii and history of exploration of the moon.
We ended our wandering with the a look at astronomy in culture, history of telescopes, a walk through space and time, and the Atwood sphere. In the Atwood Sphere you have a chance to go inside with a staff member and see what the sky over Chicago looked like in 1913, and have a chance to see all of the constellations and stars.
There is plenty to see at the planetarium and they have a wide variety of shows at their theater, however since we just wanted to look around we just went with the free general admission. Shows cost extra. Adler hosts a bunch of fun events as well, a popular one for people over 21 is Adler After Dark where they have open access to everything including telescope viewing, and tours of the Doane Observatory, and a cash bar. It happens every third Thursday of the month. I haven’t attended but have been told while the drinks are expensive it is fun.