Are you looking for a fun and educational activity for your kids? Would you and your kids like to fly through outer space? You can, as you sit beneath the 60-foot dome in the Vanderbilt’s newly renovated, $4-million Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium. The William and Mollie Rogers Theater has 147 new, ergonomically designed seats for maximum audience comfort. The state-of-the-art Konica Minolta star-projection system, designed specifically for the Vanderbilt – which includes advanced video and surround-sound technology, and stirring music – creates a thrilling, immersive journey through space. Science and space-related toys, gifts and books are available in the Gift Shop.
See a variety of all-new programs produced by renowned planetariums in Britain, China and the United States. Among the six shows, your kids will enjoy space adventures with Big Bird and Elmo in One World, One Sky, and Solar System Odyssey, in which a young girl becomes a space explorer with a team looking for a new earth-like planet. And they can witness the dramatic, awe-inspiring life cycle of stars in Stars, narrated by Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in Star Wars.
Each Friday night of the year, weather permitting the Vanderbilt Observatory (reached through the Planetarium lobby) is open for night-sky observation. Before the Observatory opens, you can learn what’s above our backyards on Long Island. Afterward, you can attend Long Island Skies, a live lecture and show created and produced by the Vanderbilt, conducted by an astronomy educator.
On Friday and Saturday nights, you can listen to classic rock tunes at a Rock ‘n’ Light show as you watch eye-popping imagery on the Planetarium dome.