Adler Planetarium Astro Overnights

We attended Adler Planetarium’s Astro Overnights for kids, the first week of November. Even though we visit Adler at least once every year, neither I nor the children have visited Adler after dark. It was an evening well spent. Everyone including adults had great time and learned stuff that we didn’t know.
The weather was very mild that evening. There was barely any wind by the lake. We spent some time enjoying the sparkly Chicago skyline and took photos. My kids don’t spend much time outside after dark in winter time. So they enjoyed their special outing.

We arrived at Adler Planetarium around 5:30. Check in was quick. We left our jackets. We were only staying until 10:30pm. Others who were going to sleep overnight, put away their sleeping bags, inflatable beds and cots in a big room.

We ate out prepurchased “pizza and cookie” dinner. Friday’s are our family pizza night, so that worked out perfect. They even had gluten-free pizza for me (I had notified them during reservation). After dinner, kids ran around and engaged in their favorite shuttle activities until the programs started at 6:30.

They started with crafts. They built a parachute for “eggs” using, plastic bags, coffee filters, egg cartons, craft sticks, straws and strings. Kids took their time to perfect their device. At 7:15 we went to our first show. “Planet Quest”. It was interactive. Kids had a lot of fun. I admit, I might have enjoyed this more than kids.

After the show, we came back and tested the parachute with real eggs. It was success.

After the successful landing of the egg, we went downstairs to observe dry ice experiments. All of us touched dry ice for the first time.

Volunteers not only showed and explained but also let the kids try the experiments themselves.

Next stop was Angry Birds Cosmic Challenge. This was my son’s favorite.

They setup the boxes themselves.

Then they tried to shoot and the boxes and the pigs, then topple them with plush angry birds using a sling.

Before they could really enjoy Angry Birds we had to go to our second show: Night sky! This show was more on the informative side. The commentator showed and explained important starts and constellations we could see in the sky that night.

Unfortunately, the big telescope was not working that night. I was very much looking forward to it, even though the sky was partially cloudy.

The show ended around 9:45pm. When we came out, my son was looking forward to have his cookies and milk. If I knew -paid more attention to the program- I had packed some beforehand, because “cookies and milk” was until 9:30pm. That caused a big disappointment, until I asked an attendant, if I could get a pack of cookie. He came out with one and I barely dodged a bullet.

Quite a number of kids and adults were dancing in the cafeteria. We completed our scavenger hunt, which gave us an opportunity to walk around the exhibits one last time before we left.

As we were leaving, many adults and children were setting up their beds. I preferred to skip the overnight stay, since we lived a short drive away from the Planetarium.

I highly recommend the Adler Planetarium Astro-overnight. I am planning to take the kids another time to see the telescope as well, most probably in May or June. We can skip one of the shows and spend more time on program activities. The next one is in February and April event is already sold out.

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