Adventures at the Adler Planetarium – part 1

Adler Planetarium in Chicago, external view of building
Finally used our Adler Planetarium membership. Better late than never!

A while ago I bought a Groupon for a discount on a membership at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.  I bought a family membership, then didn’t go for months and months.  Well finally, in the last two months of our year long membership, we went to the Adler Planetarium today!!!!  Here are some of the highs and lows of today’s overall very fun visit, and info about our next visit, which will be Thursday evening 6/16/11 for their monthly “Adler After Dark” over 21 event.

view of Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan taken by Adler
view of Chicago skyline & Lake Michigan taken outside Adler

OK first a brief note about our low point of the visit- the cafe.  I know someone who works for the Adler and I will try to find someone within the Adler who perhaps would use feedback about our cafe debacle in a constructive manner.  I had such high hopes, as the cafe windows provide  beautiful views of Lake Michigan.  Here’s a photo taken outside the Adler, which shows not only the lake but also the skyline.  It was so hot and humid today, so we snapped a few shots and headed for the car and air conditioning.

The acoustics inside the museum are not great, so the loudness of the children with no “indoor voices” is pretty noticeable.  One odd thing around one exhibit area was a boy being pushed in a stroller who kept making surprisingly loud nasal sounding honking noises, perhaps like an angry drunk duck yelling into a microphone while competing with a metronome.  Finally after an eternity the father said “Ok honker quiet down!” which bought us all a 45 second respite.  Silence never sounded so good.  🙂

sign for the Definiti theater at the Adler Planetarium
very cool domed theater at the Adler Planetarium

The Definiti Space Theater was where we saw two great shows about the stars, and the highlight of our visit.  The seats recline and the image projects onto the domed ceiling, which reminds me of the domed ceiling of the Omnimax at the Museum of Science and Industry.  I instantly enjoy reclining and viewing the images on the domed ceiling.  My body relaxes and my spirit becomes very present.  It’s a great feeling.  The person in front of you can fidget and knock you in your knees with their bobbing seat, if you are tall like me.  Note to self: try to pick seats behind mellow adults rather than fidgety kids.    We also saw a 3D show at the Universe Theater which really was not worth our time.  It’s a small-ish flat screen and the show would have been OK to watch at home on TV on a night when nothing else is on, but not up to what I expected for the Adler.  We will skip this theater in the future and stick with the Definiti Space Theater when we go to the Adler.

When we go back I’ll blog again.  I am going to bring our good camera so I can get good shots of some of the cool looking ornate and very old telescopes they have on display.  They are poorly lit, so the iPhone camera just didn’t do the trick.  Also when we return it’ll be for the Adler After Dark event, which will be over 21 only.  I will buy our tickets for that online in advance, to save a little money.  Have you been to the Adler Planetarium?  the Adler After Dark event?  Let me know what you think!  As always, feel free to post a comment on the blog.