“When is Rocktoberfest at the Adler Planetarium?” by S.M. O’Connor

The Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum is kicking off Oktoberfest with the adults-only night event Adler After Dark: Rocktoberfest on Thursday, September 19, 2019 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.    This event is for adults (twenty-one-years-of-age-and-over).  Pretzels will be served along with brews from Empirical Brewery and Marz Community Brewing Company.  The German Oompah band Die Musikmeisters German Band, which is based in Crystal Lake, Illinois and performs in the region from Chicago to Milwaukee, will be on stage.

The Adler Planetarium stated Rocketoberfest will be an opportunity to “do some real rocket science with hands-on programs that will test your engineering mettle.”  Panel discussions will address issues including N.A.S.A.’s commercial partners such as SpaceX and Virgin Galactic launching rockets into low-Earth orbit and creating the prospect of space tourism while N.A.S.A. “focuses on the future of deep space exploration with the Space Launch System.”  Dave Mackay, Chief Pilot of Virgin Galactic, will deliver a talk.

Adler After Dark events occur every third Thursday of the month.  During Summer Hours (May-August), these events occur from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.  The rest of the year, Adler After Dark events occur from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  There is a different theme every month.  Click here to read the Cosplay & Costuming Weapons Policy.

Tickets are $20 for the general public and $10 for Members.  Click here to purchase tickets online in advance.  If any tickets remain unsold, they will be sold at the door at a cost of $25 for the general public and $15 for Members.  For a group of fifteen or more or for corporate booking, e-mail groups@adlerplanetarium.org.

Tours of the Doane Observatory are $8 for the general public and Members alike.  Please note that the observatory program may be altered or canceled due to weather conditions at the discretion of observatory staff.

Last month, I wrote about the remaining Illinois Discount Days in 2019 at the Adler Planetarium, and earlier this month I wrote about which days have free general admission (for Illinois residents) there this month.  Thursdays and Fridays in September are Illinois Free Days.  [As I also wrote about last month, the Adler Planetarium, a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum, is one of thirty-three (now thirty-nine) Illinois institutions participating in Smithsonian Magazine’s 2019 Museum Day® on Saturday, September 21, 2019.  Click here to get Museum Day® tickets.]   On Illinois Discount Days, Illinois residents receive free General Admission.  A valid identification card with an Illinois address is required at the box office.  This covers access to all exhibits, but excludes the Atwood Sphere Experience and sky shows. On Illinois Resident Discount Days, Illinois residents may also upgrade to an All Access Pass at a discounted price and thereby gain access to the Atwood Sphere Experience, as well as the Adler Planetarium’s sky shows.



3rd Week of September

19th and 20th


4th Week of September

26th and 27th



The Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum is located at the northeastern corner of Northerly Island, which is really a peninsula.  It is the only island from a chain of artificial islands Daniel Hudson Burnham, Senior (1846-1912) and Edward H. Bennett (1874-1954) called for in the Plan of Chicago.  Northerly Island is part of the Chicago Park District’s Burnham ParkThe Field Museum of Natural History, the John G. Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum comprise the Museum Campus at the northern end of Burnham Park, east of Grant Park in downtown Chicago.  Soldier Field and the Lakeside Center of McCormick Place are immediately south of the Museum Campus.  The Arie Crown Theater is inside the Lakeside Center.

Normally, the Adler Planetarium is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  It is open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from Memorial Day (May 27, 2019) through Labor Day (September 2, 2019) and during “Winter Break” from Thursday, December 26, 2019 through Wednesday, January 1, 2020.  It will be closed on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 28, 2019) and Christmas Day (Wednesday, December 25, 2019).

The address is 1300 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605.  The phone number is (312) 922-7827.  The Website U.R.L. is https://www.adlerplanetarium.org.


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