The end of 70-degree weather in Chicago didn’t slow us down over the weekend. We drove downtown to explore the Adler Planetarium, which participates in Bank of America’s free admission weekend the first weekend of every month. The free entrance applies only to general admission, normally $12 per person. To see any of the shows, you have to pay more; the price varies by how much you want to see. We ended up paying about $35 for both of us to see two shows, Welcome to the Universe and SkyWatch Live. (The original price was around $59 total.) We were also able to go into the Atwood Sphere, Chicago’s first planetarium, at more than a hundred years old. Your ticket has to list the Atwood Sphere in order to go into it. It’s a ride in which you are lifted into the sphere for about 10 minutes to see the positions of stars over the city.
Again, SpotHero has saved us from paying more than $22 in parking fees near the planetarium. We instead paid only $6 to park and walked about a mile to the planetarium. Afterward, we Ubered back to the parking lot. Watch a video of some of the fun below!
The video doesn’t show everything we saw. Photography isn’t allowed during the shows because of copyright laws and because the rooms are dark. Besides the shows, you can stroll through the various exhibits included in the general admission.
There’s stuff to see outside the planetarium, too. We noticed a few weddings and quinceañeras taking photos with the Chicago skyline in the background.
With a view like this it’s easy to see why the parties were braving the chilly weather for the photos. Inside, if you can snag a spot next to the windows in the Galileo Cafe, do it! The cafe was a bit slow to make the food, so plan accordingly. We had to eat our pizzas quickly in order to make it to our first show in time.
If you want to feel small and insignificant, I recommend the Welcome to the Universe show. You’ll be left pondering the vastness of the universe. Add the planetarium to your Chicago list!