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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. You don't need a reservation - all tickets are sold at the door!  For the months of June and July we'll temporarily suspend Saturday programming and add matinees on Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings.  Be sure to check our calendar for a line-up of public programs!  Also note that our offices are now closed on Fridays through the day.   

Prairie SkiesTraditional "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 summer version of the show begins June 17.   







 Begins June 3, "From Earth to the Universe"   

The night sky, both beautiful and mysterious, has been the subject of campfire stories, ancient myths and awe for as long as there have been people. A desire to comprehend the Universe may well be humanity’s oldest shared intellectual experience. Yet only recently have we truly begun to grasp our place in the vast cosmos. To learn about this journey of celestial discovery, from the theories of the ancient Greek astronomers to today’s grandest telescopes, we invite you to experience From Earth to the Universe, a new fulldome show from the European Southern Observatory. Showing Fridays at 8pm in June and July.  Admission is $6 adults; $5 students, seniors, and children under 12.










Summer Matinees begin June 7

For the summer, we will again temporarily suspend Saturday programming in the months of June and July and add matinees for the kids.   Matinees will be Tuesdays at 1pm & 2pm and then Thursdays at 10am and 11am.  The schedule will appear in our online calendar soon!   





"Amazing Stargazing"
Learn all the sky watching basics with the fun radio DJs from “Radio Aahs.” Meet Aahsie and the gang as they happily explain the causes for day & night, moon phases, and the difference between comets and meteors. A great introduction to the night sky, originally produced by the Minneapolis Planetarium. Admission is $6 adults; $5 students, seniors, and children under 12.

"Coyote Explores the Earth, Moon, & Sun"
Explore the relationships between the Earth, the Moon, and the Sun with the help of Coyote, an amusing character adapted from Native American oral traditions who has many misconceptions about our neighbors in space. His confusion makes us think about how the Earth, Moon and Sun work as a system as we distinguish between myth and science. Examine how the Sun rises and sets and how the Sun shines, then learn about craters on the Moon, phases and eclipses. Finally, we look at past exploration of the Moon. Admission is $6 adults; $5 students, seniors, and children under 12. See both shows and get the second one half price! 

The planetarium will be replacing their 30-year-old seats on August 8.   Might you be interested in one of the old seats?   We have permission to sell the seats for $20 each, first-come, first-served.   Interested parties would have to come to the planetarium on Monday, August 8 as we have no place to store the chairs nor can we hold any.   All seats are "as is" and there is no warranty.   For more information, email   












Coming soon . . . . "Solar Superstorms!" 


A fury is building on the surface of the Sun - high velocity jets, fiery tsunami waves reaching 100,000 km high, and rising loops of electrified gas. What is driving these strange phenomena and will they affect Earth? Find out in this new production, featuring scientific visualizations from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) on the UIUC campus. Peer into the Sun using the latest scientific data.  Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch.   This show is sponsored by SuperValu.   Opens September 9! 








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.



  Coming this fall . . . . . .the return of music in the dome! 

Laser shows will return to the planetarium dome for the weekends just before and just after Halloween.   Look at the calendar section for a full schedule (but you can bet Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" and "The Wall" will be in the line-up!).  We will also offer two "Fright Night" laser shows at 7pm and 8pm on Halloween night, plus two family-friendly educational laser programs about legends of the night sky on October 29 and November 5 at 7pm.     Listen to win laser tickets on Rewind 92.5.  We have also acquired two Pink Floyd fulldome shows (which is not a laser show) from Starlight Productions that we'll run one weekend a month.   Again, check the calendar section.  The fall calendar should be up soon!