Adler Planetarium has been keeping a lovely little secret from all those field-tripping kids who usually fill its halls. Every third Thursday of the month the lights go down, the age-limit goes up and the grown-ups come out to play under the stars.
Jon and I visited one of the planetarium's monthly Adler After Dark events for our date night this month and came away smitten with the sky.
We were a little surprised at how many folks come out on a Thursday night to roam the halls of the usually kid-stuffed planetarium.
Couples young and old, sipping cocktails, browsed the exhibits, and partook in the astronomy lesson given in the Definiti Space Theater. Each Adler After Dark has a theme, and the night we visited it was a celebration of Chinese New Year. There were live performers, special exhibitions and craft tables matching the theme.
Jon and I also checked out one of the two astronomy shows available that night. We sunk back into the theater's soft reclining chairs, starring up at the domed "sky" while our witty presenter gave us the 411 on the night sky over Chicago. Sixth-grade science class came rushing back to greet us in all its "stars and planets" splendor, with old friends like Ursa Major and Cassiopeia and Orion's belt. (I did have to nudge my hard-working husband a few times to ensure he hadn't fallen asleep in the pitch dark, relaxing environment, but he assured me he was just breathing heavily. Whatever.)
You gotta love a date where you walk away smarter, have time to chat under the stars, and haven't paid an "astronomical" amount of cash at the end of the night.
Adler After Dark runs from 6-10 p.m., which allowed us to leave a little early and grab a quick dinner before heading home to the 'burbs.
Tickets to Adler After Dark are between $9-$12, and with a couple beers, you are still under $20. Perfect.
You can check out the upcoming themes and buy tickets for Adler After Dark by visiting adlerplanetarium.org.
Meredith Sinclair is a freelance writer and blogger living with three quirky guys on Chicago's North Shore.
See more of Meredith's stories here.