Join us on FacebookAboutDirectionsSupport UsTeachers
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 2017-2018 "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!  Visit us at Parkland College.  The planetarium & theatre celebrate 30 years of operation this fall!     

Check out our solar eclipse site for 2017 - click on the Sun!  


Proud member of the new Champaign County Museums Network





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 autumn version of the show begins September 22.   The only exception to Prairie Skies is our "World of Science" Lecture Series.  The schedule is here



"Odyssey" opens October 6, showing Fridays/Saturdays at 8pm.


The quest to comprehend the universe is an ancient one, beginning when our first ancestors looked up. "Odyssey" takes us on a personal voyage of discovery through the cosmos, from the legends and monuments of early sky watchers to an imaginary flight through the Solar System and our home galaxy, and into the very depths of space and time. See the digital remaster of the very first show to ever appear on the Staerkel Planetariumdome, back for our 30th anniversary!   Tickets are $6 adults, $5 students, seniors, & kids, all sold at the door. 


Come to "Carl's" birthday party and open house on October 7 from 2-5pm.   Have some cake with us, sign a card for Carl, and bring a camera to have your photo taken with him!  The event is free.   Be sure to see the history of the "Cultural Center" in the lobby of the adjacent Miner Theatre. 







"One World, One Sky:  Big Bird's Adventure" opens September 9


Explore the night sky with our friends from Sesame StreetTM. 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. This interactive show for young children comes to us through a generous grant from the PNC Foundation. Saturday nights at 7pm.  Tickets are $6 adults, $5 for students, seniors and kids, available at the door.







Starlight Productions presents Pink Floyd's "The Wall" fulldome show


Thanks to Starlight Productions we are now showing Pink Floyd fulldome shows one weekend per month.  These are not laser shows, but fulldome movies with imagery accompanying both "Dark Side of the Moon" and "The Wall."   Admission is $6 per person at the door.   See:

   * Dark Side of the Moon . . . . December 1/2

   * The Wall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . October 6/7








Laser Shows Return to the Staerkel Planetarium!


The AVI SkyLase Laser projection system will again return to the dome for two weeks in late October and early November!  Get a little crazy with us as we bathe in laser light.   All tickets are $8 at the door or you can listen to win tickets on Classic Hits WKIO 107.9. On the schedule:


Friday, October 27

9:30pm = Laser Zeppelin

10:30pm = Laser Metallica


Saturday, October 28

7:00pm = Legend of Perseus (kid's laser show)

9:30pm = Pink Floyd's "The Wall"

10:30pm = Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon"


Tuesday, October 31

7:30pm = "Fright Night" Halloween laser show  (Michael Jackson, Warren Zevon, The Who, Alice Cooper & more!)

9:00pm = "Fright Night" Halloween laser show


Friday, November 3

9:30pm = Laser Beatles/Laser Pop

10:30pm = Laser Country (Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, George Strait, Charlie Daniels & more!)


Saturday, November 4

7:00pm = Legend of Orion  (kid's laser show)

9:30pm = Laser Spirit  (John Williams, U2, Kansas, Aaron Copeland, Lee Greenwood, & more!)

10:30pm = Laser Vinyl  (AC/DC, ELP, Van Halen, Queen, Kansas, Kiss, Journey, Aerosmith, & more!)



Command your own starship!   The Artemis Bridge Simulator returns to the dome December 9! 


Get a team of 6-8 people together and register for a two hour time slot to fly the Starship Artemis.   A member of your team will staff bridge stations, including weapons control, helm, engineering, science, communications, and, of course, captain.   Teams play against the game in two hour time slots, beginning at 9am.   Some instruction will be given on basic game operation.  The cost is $12.50 per person.   Advance registration is required.  To register, click here.






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.