Planetarium and Theater Programs

Shown in the Alden Digital Planetarium: A National Geographic Theater

Participants experience life on earth to the farthest reaches of space in these full-dome film programs. Students are encouraged to bring their questions for a grade-appropriate discussion with a Museum Educator following each show.

  • Programs available year round.
  • Programs run for 45 minutes in our planetarium.
  • Please visit Group Visits for pricing and reservation information.

One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure

Grades: PreK-2

Join Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Elmo to learn about the night sky with Hu Hu Zhu, a Muppet from ZhimaJie, the Chinese co-production of Sesame Street. Together, they learn about the stars and the sun, our closest star. Take an imaginary trip to the moon where they learn that the moon is very different from Earth, including the effect of forces on motion of objects in low gravity. An Adler Planetarium production produced by Sky-Skan, Inc.

Science Concepts and Behaviors: Earth in the Solar System, Forces and Motion

Download the One World, One Sky Educators' Guide.

The Zula Patrol: Under the Weather

Grades: PreK-2

Take a rollercoaster ride across the solar system with characters from the public television series, The Zula Patrol. Learn about the basic characteristics of the first four planets, and in particular, how their differences generate different weather patterns from the ones we experience on Earth. The Zula Patrol series and dome show were created by Zula USA, LLC.

Science Concepts and Behaviors: Earth and Space Science, Weather and Natural Hazards

Secret of the Cardboard Rocket

Grades: PreK-2, 3

Climb aboard a homemade rocket with two young explorers for an imaginative tour through our solar system. With a wise old astronomy book as their guide, they travel through space dodging through Saturn’s rings, cruising through an asteroid belt, and discovering what makes Earth unique among the planets. Animated production by Clark Planetarium.

Science Concepts and Behaviors: Earth and Space Science, Weather and Natural Hazards

Back to the Moon for Good

Grades: 3-5, 6-8, HS

The challenge: land a robotic spacecraft on the Moon, navigate 500 meters, and send video, images and data back to Earth. This full dome, animated program chronicles international teams competing for the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a global competition designed to spark imagination and inspire a renewed commitment to space exploration.

Science Concepts and Behaviors: Earth in the Solar System, Engineering and Technology Design

Passport to the Universe

Grades: 3-5, 6-8, HS

Experience the immense distances from Earth to the edge of the observable universe and discover how stars are born in the heart of the Orion Nebula. The journey ends with a trip home through a black hole in this immersive voyage. Developed by the American Museum of Natural History in collaboration with NASA.

Science Concepts and Behaviors: Universe and Its Stars, Earth in the Solar System

ASTEROID: MISSION EXTREME

Grades: 3-5, 6-8, HS

Set off on an epic journey to discover how asteroids are both a danger and an opportunity. Explore what it would take for astronauts to reach an asteroid and how such an adventure could benefit humankind. Co-Produced by National Geographic Studios and SkySkan.

Science Concepts and Behaviors: Universe and Its Stars, Earth in the Solar System, Engineering and Technology Design

Mysteries of the Unseen World

Grades: 3-5, 6-8, HS

Set off on an extraordinary journey! The film uses innovative high-speed and time-lapse photography, electron microscopy, and nanotechnology to transport audiences to an enthralling secret world of nature, events, and breathtaking phenomena not visible to the naked eye. Presented by National Geographic Entertainment and Day’s End Pictures. (Not full-dome. This program complements our hands-on Education Program: Pond Ecosystems.)

Science Concepts and Behaviors: Structure of Matter, Wave Properties, Technology and Engineering

Global Soundscapes: Mission to Record the Earth

Available March 1, 2017 / Companion Program to City Science: The Science You Live Exhibit

Grades: 3-5, 6-8, HS

Our world is full of sound! Global Soundscapes takes viewers on an ear-opening journey into the science of sound and the emerging field of soundscape ecology. Explore basic acoustics in an educator-led participatory theater experience with incredible slow-motion footage of pulsating musical instruments, vibrating vocal chords, and more. Discover what soundscapes tell us about our planet. With Global Soundscapes’ unique format—combining full dome imagery, surround sound, and live presentation—viewers will hear the Earth in a whole new way! Distributed by Foxfire Interactive.

Science Concepts and Behaviors: Waves and Their Applications, Ecosystem Dynamics, Biological Evolution, Observing and Analyzing Data

Live, Interactive Planetarium Programs
For the following three programs, our Museum Educators are the guides and the planetarium is your “spacecraft,” as you visit stars, planets, and the moon – using a fully navigable digital model of the solar system. Content may be customized to your class for an additional fee.

Our Solar System: Grand Tour of the Planets

Grades: K-2, 3-5, 6-8

Become a passenger on this live tour of our Solar System. Stunning graphics and flybys of all eight planets precede student generated questions. Topics covered include what makes a planet a “real” planet or a dwarf planet, planetary moons, and where you can find the Asteroid and Kuiper Belts.

Science Concepts and Behaviors: Universe and its Stars, Earth’s Place in the Solar System, Using Models and Scientific Tools

Earth Seasons and Moon Phases

Grades: 3-5, 6-8

Travel through space and time to learn about the relationships between the Earth, the Moon, and the Sun. Question how the Earth and the Moon were formed, find out where they exist in the solar system, and learn why the moon has phases and the Earth has seasons.

Science Concepts and Behaviors: Universe and Its Stars, Earth's Place in the Solar System, Using Models and Scientific Tools

Stars and Constellations

Grades: 3-5, 6-8, HS

Investigate the mysteries of the night sky and the motion of celestial bodies. Learn about the role of gravity in the life cycles of stars, discover what a star is, and find out why some constellations are only visible in certain seasons.

Science Concepts and Behaviors: Universe and Its Stars, Earth's Place in the Solar System, Using Models and Scientific Tools

Pricing and Reservations

Please visit Group Visits for pricing and reservations information.

For reservations or for more information, please call us at 508.929.2703 or email .