Become a space explorer at Adler Planetarium’s new exhibit

Explore space while keeping your feet on the ground at the new Planet Explorers exhibit at Adler Planetarium. The interactive exhibit, which opens March 26, is designed for kids age 3-8 and their families.

While the planetarium has always worked to make the complex topics of space understandable to kids, this is the first time an exhibit is geared just toward kids, says Karen Carney, director of exhibits and programs.

Exhibit explorations begin with a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired house where kids learn what they need to survive on earth, such as a home, a bathroom and food to eat.

In Mission Control, kids pretend they’re members of the ground team that helps send astronauts into space. Kids can also enter a two-story rocket cockpit, where they’re surrounded by buttons and lights and even learn how astronauts eat and use the space toilet. In the Surface Expedition, they can explore life on Planet X.

The goal of the exhibit is to make connections between space and home, says Carney. “I want them to go home and start investigating,” she says. “We’re threading through, ‘Here’s what it’s like in space, what’s it like in your home?’ What’s my relationship with the air around me?”

Planet Explorers is included in the price of general admission: $10, $8 resident adults, $6 kids 3-14, $5 resident kids, free kids 2 and under. The exhibit area is wheelchair accessible and the touch and interactive elements are designed to accommodate children of all abilities.

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