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Galaxy Club


Parkland Staerkel Planetarium photo
We offer various educational programs for school field trips, Scout troops, day care groups, park recreation, civic groups, and others.

Our World of Science lectures provides a monthly forum in which a local scientist discusses his or her specialties.

Enjoy weekend public Planetarium shows for residents of all ages. Explore this website for descriptions of our current shows. Contact us at See our calendar for what's playing.  The 2016-2017 "World of Science" lecture has been finalized. See the line-up of speakers here.

See our calendar for a full schedule of public programs. You don't need a reservation - all tickets are sold at the door!  The Spring, 2017 schedule is now live!  Visit us at Parkland College, celebrating its 50th anniversary year!     Check out our new solar eclipse site for 2017 - click on the Sun! 

Our public shows for 2016 are now over.  The offices will be closed from December 23 through January 3.  Public programming will resume on January 20/21, 2017.   Happy holidays from the planetarium staff! 


Traditional "Live" planetarium at its best! "Prairie Skies" Friday nights at 7pm

Take a live tour of the current night sky (and not have to swat mosquitoes)! Learn how to find the current constellations and planets, plus hear a few of the legendary stories featuring the imaginary figures above us!  The winter version of the show begins January 20.   




"The Stargazer" opens January 20, 8pm


Come along on a journey to the stars with University of Illinois Astronomer James B. Kaler in an exciting program written and produced by the Great Lakes Planetarium Association. Nichelle Nichols (from the original "Star Trek") and Dr. Kaler narrate this personal look at gravity, light, and the spectrum and how they help us decipher the lifestyles of the stars. The Stargazer has been updated and adapted for fulldome video! Tickets are $6 adults, $5 students, seniors, & kids, all sold at the door.












"One World, One Sky:  Big Bird's Adaventure" Saturdays at 7pm, beginning January 21


Explore the night sky with our friends from Sesame Street. Join Big Bird, Elmo, and Hu Hu Zhu as they take an imaginary trip to the Moon. See how the Moon is different from the Earth and learn how to find the Big Dipper and North Star from your backyard. "One World, One Sky" comes to us through a generous grant from the PNC Foundation and their "Grow Up Great" program. Tickets are $6 adults, $5 students, seniors, & kids, all sold at the door








February 3 "World of Science" talk to focus on Archaeological Discoveries in the state


How does geophysics help with archeological digs? Find out from Thomas Loebel, Cultural Resource Coordinator with the Illinois State Archeological Survey, as he discusses sites in McLean County and the French Fort DeChartes (1730). Hear “Seeing Beneath the Ground: Geophysics and Recent Archaeological Discoveries in Illinois” on February 3 at 7pm.  Admission is $2 at the door.   




The Starship Artemis returns to "dock" in the dome on February 11


The Artemis Bridge Simulator returns to the dome on Saturday, February 11, for a full day of gaming.   Why not assembly a team of 6-8 people to play with us?   Gamers sign-up for a two-hour time slot beginning at 9am.  Advance registration is required!   Decide who will be captain, science officer, engineering, weapons control, communication, and helm and then work together as a team to play against the game.   And Artemis is now updated with more detail!   Two people may now fly fighters to support the main starship.   To register & pay click here.  The cost is $12 per person (ages 13+ please) and you have to pay in advance to hold your spot.   Think you're ready?   A tutorial on the Artemis game can be found here.   Our thanks for radio station WPCD director Deane Geiken for making this possible.   





See the Goose Kaler Meteorite Collection now on display in our lobby

On loan from the Kaler family, the meteorite collection contains samples from Canyon Diablo, Esquel (Argentina), Gibeon (Namibia), and Sikhote-Alin (Siberia). The "monster" of the collection is a 16 kilogram iron meteorite that you can touch. A brochure containing background information on the samples can be picked up in our lobby or you can download one here.




Interested in sponsoring one of our new seats? 


The planetarium is beginning a program where individuals or companies may sponsor one of our new seats for that special someone.   The one-time, tax deductible $400 sponsorship will result in a plaque permanently affixed to the seat of your choice, plus we'll recognize donors online. Funds will be deposited in the planetarium's unrestricted foundation account and will go to support future planetarium programming.  For information, call or email Dave Leake at 217/351-2567.