Matt’s birthday was a few weeks ago and I had to top last year’s excursion. Luckily I found that the Adler Planetarium holds a monthly adult only event called Adler After Dark. After we visited NASA in Florida this past spring, I knew Matt would love another space adventure.
But, before the space adventure could begin, I started with dinner. Ok, so I copied one thing that I did last year for Matt’s birthday and that was dinner in Chinatown. However, I did change restaurants. This year we dined at Lao Sze Chuan and it was delicious! Matt had the three piece chicken and I had the smoked duck. We left with leftovers and full bellies. Definitely time to walk it off at the Planetarium!
We arrived about 15 minutes before the doors opened. We found easy street parking a block away. We enjoyed the walk up to the Planetarium along Lake Michigan. I forgot how great of a vantage point the Planetarium. You get amazing views of the city including the Shedd. Plus the evening was perfect! Clear sky and a cool breeze. And by the time we reached the doors to the Planetarium we only had to wait 5 minutes.
The tickets for Adler After Dark are reasonably priced. The big selling point for me was you don’t have to deal with any kids! Although, you might run into a few folks who are just barely “21”. Even though we ran into a few of those folks, we had a great night exploring the Planetarium.
One extra benefit that I forgot about was a nibbling section of cheeses, fruits and desserts for you to graze on. Oh, and did I mention a variety of alcohol? I started off with the signature drink that was pretty similar to a long island iced tea. I only did one and then switched to a Blue Moon. Matt stuck with gin and tonics for the night. Both were very tasty and also reasonably priced.
So besides eating and drinking what did we actually do? We saw two movies, Cosmic Wonder (definite a must, the presentation was so cool) and Space Junk 3D (informative and funny). We also spent time in a few special special exhibits. Our favorite was the Historic Atwood Sphere. We had a great guide who was humorous and called me a square. I didn’t get offended because, I actually am a square, at least in the sky. My zodiac sign, the Libra actually forms a square box in the sky. See the fun things you can learn! Last but not least we spent quite a bit of time in the “Our Solar System” exhibit.
But, I couldn’t just end the night there. Because it was Matt’s birthday I purchased the extra ticket for a night viewing at the Doane Observatory. And we were in for a special treat. The Planetarium had the special telescope setup to view Saturn. It was amazing to see how zoomed in the telescope was able to go! I mean you could even make out Saturn’s rings! It was so cool how it was only focused on the planet. Plus, Saturn is only about 1.2 billion km away or so, at least that’s what I’m told.
All in all, I would definitely go back again.