Adler After Dark at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago


The Adler Planetarium opened to the public on May 12, 1930. Designed by architect Ernest A. Grunsfeld, Jr., he was awarded the gold medal of the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 1931 was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.


“The Adler Planetarium welcomed 568,814 guests in 2016; an attendance number not seen since 1993 when the museum was free. Led by President & CEO Michelle B. Larson, PhD, the Adler has experienced unprecedented growth over the past few years fueled by enhanced and reimagined guest experiences in every aspect of the museum. In 2015, The Adler broke the 550,000 visitors mark for the first time in 22 years with attendance up over 22 percent from 2014.”

The Adler is home to three full size theaters, extensive space science exhibitions, and a significant collection of antique scientific instruments and print materials. In addition, the Adler boasts the Doane Observatory, one of the only research-active, public urban observatories. This lakeside observatory is the only place in Chicago where the public can see planets, stars, and galaxies up-close and in person.

The largest of Adler’s domed theaters, the Grainger Sky Theater, offers audiences unique shows using the most immersive, technologically enhanced theater experience ever developed for a planetarium. The Adler’s second domed theater, the Definiti Theater takes audiences on a spectacular journey in any one of its featured shows using an all-digital projection system. The Adler’s newly redesigned Samuel C. Johnson Family Star Theater allows audiences to the chance to see one incomparable show in dazzling, high definition 3D. The one-of-a-kind sky show experience just got even more spectacular with the installation of new 8K resolution projector systems in its Grainger Sky Theater and Definiti Space Theaters.

Check out Adler After Dark:

Exclusively for adults 21+, this evening offers you open access, unlimited shows, and unique entertainment every third Thursday of the month from 6:00–10:00 pm (6:30–10:30 pm May-August events). With themes that change every month, Adler After Dark is never the same event twice. Reinvent your Adler experience every month with friends, family, or that special someone on a date they’ll never forget!

What’s Included?

  • Full access and admission to museum exhibits and galleries
  • Unlimited sky shows in our 3 state-of-the-art theaters
  • Special guests and lectures
  • Stellar hands-on educational programs
  • Access to the Doane Observatory (weather permitting)
  • Live entertainment
  • The best view of the skyline from anywhere in Chicago!

Please note that ticketed tours of the Doane Observatory can be added to your General Admission ticket for $5.00 a piece. Cocktails and other alcoholic beverages are available for purchase at the event bars. Entrée items and snacks are available for purchase at Café Galileo’s.


Advance Purchase: 
$20 General Admission/ $15 Adler members

At the Door (Based on Availability):
$25 General Admission/ $20 Adler members

Doane Tours:
$8 General Admission / $8 Adler members

Doane Observatory tour tickets are available in limited quantity and sell out quickly. Tours last approximately 15 minutes and are always scheduled after sunset. Tours are subject to cancellation due to weather conditions.

Please be aware that event capacity is limited and likely to sell out. Purchase your tickets online before the day of the event as tickets may not be available at the door. Check back for up-to-date ticket availability details. For group (15 or more) or corporate booking, please contact Please bring your photo ID on the day of the event.

Upcoming Adler After Dark Events


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