Sensory-Friendly Science Centers and Planetariums

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Sensory-friendly science centers and planetariums are transforming the way individuals with sensory sensitivities experience the wonders of space and science. By making adjustments to their environments and programming, these institutions are creating inclusive spaces that cater to the needs of all visitors. From special planetarium shows with adjusted light and sound levels to educational programs tailored for diverse audiences, these centers are broadening access to scientific learning and exploration.

Key Takeaways

  • Sensory-friendly adjustments, such as reduced noise and dimmed lighting during specific hours, provide a more comfortable environment for visitors with sensory sensitivities.
  • A diverse selection of planetarium shows, including sensory-friendly options, ensures that visitors of all ages and abilities can enjoy and learn from the stars and beyond.
  • Educational opportunities such as K-12 field trips, virtual programs, and hands-on workshops are designed to be accessible and engaging for all learners.
  • Comprehensive visitor services, including detailed information on tickets, memberships, and accessibility accommodations, enhance the overall experience for guests.
  • Community engagement through events, group visits, and fundraising activities fosters a sense of involvement and supports the centers' mission to make science accessible to everyone.

Creating a Sensory-Friendly Environment

Adjusting Light and Sound Levels

Creating a welcoming atmosphere for all visitors, science centers and planetariums are now fine-tuning their environments to cater to sensory sensitivities. Adjustments in light and sound are pivotal to ensuring a comfortable experience for individuals with autism or other sensory processing disorders. By dimming lights and reducing noise levels, these spaces become more accessible and enjoyable.

Light and sound levels are carefully calibrated during special events like the Sensory Friendly Space Fest, providing a serene backdrop for exploration and learning. Here's a quick look at what to expect:

  • Quieter sounds: Background noise is minimized to prevent sensory overload.
  • Lowered lights: Brightness is subdued to create a calming environment.
  • Adjusted showtimes: Events are scheduled to avoid peak hours, reducing crowds.
Embracing inclusivity, science centers are transforming into havens of discovery for everyone, regardless of sensory needs.

Remember, a visit to a sensory-friendly science center isn't just about seeing; it's about experiencing science in a way that feels safe and inviting. With thoughtful design and consideration, these institutions are breaking barriers, making the wonders of the cosmos accessible to all.

Sensory-Friendly Space Fest

Experience the wonders of space in a comfortable setting at our Sensory-Friendly Space Fest. Tailored for visitors with sensory sensitivities, this event offers a unique opportunity to explore the cosmos with adjusted environmental factors to ensure a pleasant visit for all.

Join us every Saturday from 4:30 to 6:30 pm for an inclusive journey through the stars. Enjoy the galleries, engage in hands-on space games, and be captivated by a special 5:30 pm planetarium show, all in a setting that's mindful of sensory needs.

During Space Fest, dive into the intriguing world of NASA's Artemis space program through interactive Moon and Mars activities from 10 am to 4 pm. Discover the challenges of space travel and the excitement of extraterrestrial exploration.

Create Space, our versatile venue, is perfect for homeschoolers and afterschoolers alike, offering a range of activities that promote learning through play. Little Makers sessions are now available, fostering creativity and engagement in a sensory-friendly environment.

Design Considerations for Inclusivity

Creating a sensory-friendly environment goes beyond adjusting light and sound. It's about designing spaces that welcome everyone. Inclusivity is the cornerstone of a modern science center.

  • Visual aids and signage with clear, simple language.
  • Tactile maps and models for those with visual impairments.
  • Quiet zones for visitors who need a break from sensory stimulation.
Ensuring that every visitor can engage with exhibits and programs is not just good practice; it's a commitment to community and accessibility.

Accessibility features like high contrast toggles and adjustable font sizes on websites reflect this commitment in the digital space. Science centers and planetariums must also consider physical accessibility, from wheelchair ramps to autism-themed wall art that promotes creativity and awareness.

Planetarium Shows for All

Sensory-Friendly Planetarium Shows

Experience the wonders of the cosmos in a comfortable setting with our Sensory-Friendly Planetarium Shows. Every visitor deserves a stellar experience, and we've tailored these shows to ensure that individuals with sensory sensitivities can enjoy them to the fullest. With adjusted lighting and sound levels, these shows provide a calm and inviting atmosphere.

Our Sensory-Friendly Shows are not just about seeing the stars; they're about providing a space where all guests can shine.

Here's what you can expect during a Sensory-Friendly Show:

  • Reduced volume and soft ambient lighting
  • A relaxed environment with a friendly, supportive staff
  • Freedom to move around and express oneself without judgment

Remember to check our schedule for the Sensory-Friendly Saturday shows from 4:30–6:30 pm. It's a time when the planetarium transforms into a haven for exploration and discovery, minus the sensory overload.

Diverse Show Selection

At the heart of every sensory-friendly science center and planetarium is a diverse show selection that caters to all interests and needs. From the wonders of the cosmos to the prehistoric world of dinosaurs, visitors can embark on a variety of educational journeys.

  • Accidental Astronauts: A family-friendly adventure through space.
  • Birth of Planet Earth: The story of our planet's formation.
  • Dinosaurs of Antarctica: A thrilling prehistoric exploration.
  • Laser Music Shows: Featuring AC/DC, Guns 'N Roses, Motown, and Taylor Swift.
  • Sensory-Friendly Shows: Tailored for guests with sensory sensitivities.
Please arrive before the show begins to ensure a seamless experience. Late seating is not available once a show has started.

Remember, our planetarium is a place where curiosity is ignited, and the sky is not the limit but the beginning. Explore our offerings and find the perfect show that resonates with your sense of wonder.

Incorporating Accessibility into Presentations

Creating an inclusive planetarium experience means ensuring that presentations are accessible to all visitors. Accessibility features are not just an add-on; they're a necessity for a truly inclusive environment. By incorporating assistive technologies and thoughtful design, planetariums can cater to a diverse audience with varying sensory needs.

  • Use of closed captioning and sign language interpretation
  • Availability of sensory-friendly materials and headphones
  • Training staff to be sensitive to the needs of visitors with disabilities
Ensuring that every visitor can engage with the content fully transforms a simple visit into an enriching experience.

Planetariums must also stay abreast of the latest accessibility guidelines and actively seek feedback from the community to continuously improve their offerings. By doing so, they become a beacon of learning and discovery for everyone.

Educational Opportunities

K–12 Field Trips & Groups

Science centers and planetariums offer a unique educational experience that can ignite a student's passion for learning and discovery. Field trips for K–12 groups are designed to be immersive and interactive, ensuring that every visit is not just a day out of the classroom, but a journey into the wonders of science.

Educators can choose from a variety of programs tailored to different age groups and educational needs. From the wonders of the cosmos in the Planetarium Theater Shows to the hands-on learning in Camps & Workshops, there's something to spark curiosity in every student.

  • History & Social Studies integration
  • In-School Programs
  • Hands-On Camps & Workshops
  • Summer Camps
  • Free Drop-In Workshops
Our programs are designed to complement classroom learning and provide students with a tangible connection to the curriculum. We strive to make science accessible and fun for all ages.

For a truly inclusive experience, we also offer Virtual K-12 Programs and a Traveling Planetarium to bring the universe to your school. Engage your students in transformative education that takes them off the screen and into the green.

In-School and Virtual Programs

In today's connected world, science centers and planetariums are not just physical destinations. They extend their reach into classrooms with dynamic in-school programs and virtual offerings. Bringing the universe to your doorstep, these programs are designed to spark curiosity and complement educational curricula.

  • In-School Programs: Tailored to enhance the learning experience, these sessions can include interactive science demonstrations, portable planetarium visits, and hands-on workshops.
  • Virtual Programs: Leveraging technology, students can embark on digital field trips, participate in live-streamed star shows, and access a wealth of online resources.
Embrace the opportunity to integrate real-world science into your classroom with minimal disruption. Our programs are crafted to align with state educational standards, ensuring that every session is not only engaging but also enriches your students' learning journey.

Hands-On Camps & Workshops

Unlock the wonders of science through our hands-on camps and workshops, where learning and fun collide in an explosion of creativity. Dive into STEM-based creation at Amherst Montessori's LEGO Camp, celebrating its 16th year starting June 10. Each week, a new theme invites campers to explore, from kid-friendly science to cooking with garden-fresh ingredients.

Embrace the intersection of nature and fantasy, where campers experiment, create, and perform in a nurturing environment.

Join the Wild Garden Farm Camp for an authentic experience in sustainable living practices like worm composting and First Nations planting traditions. Abundant snacks and art fuel the adventure. Sessions fill up quickly, so don't hesitate to become part of this enriching journey.

  • June 10 - August 2: LEGO Camp & Themed Weeks
  • Contact for Farm Camp: 413-231-4454

For a summer filled with discovery and hands-on learning, these camps are the perfect destination for young minds eager to grow.

Visitor Information and Services

Tickets and Membership

Unlock the universe at your fingertips with our range of ticket options and memberships. Become a member today and enjoy unlimited access to the wonders of the cosmos, all year round. Our members receive exclusive benefits, including priority booking for planetarium shows, discounts at the Curiosity Shop, and special invitations to members-only events.

Regular Admission

  • Adults: $20
  • Children (3-12): $15
  • Seniors (65+): $18
  • Students (with ID): $18

Membership Levels

  • Individual: $50
  • Family: $100
  • Patron: $150

For our Genesee County residents, remember to select the 'Genesee' ticket option for your millage benefits. Please carry a valid I.D. for proof of residency when visiting.

Embrace the stars and support our mission to make science accessible to everyone. Your contribution, whether as a visitor or a member, helps us create a sensory-friendly environment that inspires and educates.

Don't forget to check out our Autism-themed wall art, apparel, and decor in the Curiosity Shop. Free shipping is available for orders over $49, making it easier to take a piece of the universe home with you.

Hours & Directions

Planning your visit to our science center is a breeze with our straightforward hours and easy-to-follow directions. We're open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from Noon to 5 p.m. Make the most of your day by checking our schedule and arriving early!

  • Tuesdays-Saturdays: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Sundays: Noon-5 p.m.

Stay connected and never miss an update. Follow us on Facebook and join our email or mailing list for the latest on events, exhibits, and shows. Your adventure in science awaits!

Make your journey to discovery an unforgettable one. Our doors are open to welcome you into a world of wonder, learning, and fun.

Don't forget to explore our Autism-themed wall art, apparel, and decor in the Curiosity Shop. Free shipping is available for orders over $49, allowing you to express your style and engage with creativity and awareness products.

Curiosity Shop and Souvenirs

Discover a treasure trove of science-themed keepsakes at the Curiosity Shop! Every purchase fuels our mission to educate and inspire future generations. From educational kits to unique science decor, there's something for every curious mind.

  • Autism-themed wall art and decor
  • Science apparel and accessories
  • Educational toys and games
  • Books and sky guides
Remember, members enjoy exclusive discounts. Not a member yet? Join today and start saving!

Free shipping is available for orders over $49, making it easy to express your style and support for autism while contributing to our educational efforts. Visit our online store or stop by after your planetarium adventure!

Community and Group Engagement

Scout Groups and Home School Programs

Scout groups and home school communities are integral to our mission of fostering a love for science and exploration. We offer specialized programs that cater to the unique needs and interests of these groups, ensuring an engaging and educational experience.

  • Tailored educational content for different age groups
  • Hands-on activities that complement badge requirements for scouts
  • Flexible scheduling to accommodate various homeschooling curriculums

Our programs are designed to be inclusive and accessible, providing opportunities for all learners to thrive. Whether it's a badge-focused workshop for scouts or a science module for home-schooled students, we strive to ignite curiosity and a passion for learning.

Our commitment to transformative education extends beyond the classroom, offering real-world applications and adventures that resonate with young minds.

Community Group Visits

Science centers and planetariums are not just for individuals or families; they are vibrant community hubs perfect for group visits. Engage your group with a universe of wonders and create memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you're coordinating a visit for a scout troop, a library group, or a home school collective, we offer tailored experiences that cater to the interests and needs of your community.

  • Scout Troops
  • Library Groups
  • Home School Collectives

Our programs are designed to be interactive and educational, sparking curiosity and a love of learning in participants of all ages. From hands-on workshops to immersive planetarium shows, there's something for every group. Plus, with special discounts for community groups, planning your visit is both easy and affordable.

Ensure your visit is a success by booking in advance and taking advantage of our group-friendly amenities, including dedicated picnic areas and private event spaces.

Remember, a trip to the science center or planetarium is more than just a day out—it's an opportunity to explore, discover, and inspire. Don't miss out on the chance to bring science to life for your group!

Hosting Private Events and Functions

Transform our science center into your own celestial celebration venue. Host your private events and functions under the stars at our planetarium for an unforgettable experience. Whether it's a corporate gathering, a wedding reception, or a special birthday party, we provide a unique backdrop that inspires awe and wonder.

  • Event Services Offered:
    • Exclusive access to exhibits
    • Customized planetarium shows
    • Catering and event planning assistance
    • Specialized lighting and sound equipment

Our dedicated team ensures that every detail is tailored to your vision, making your event as stellar as the night sky. With a variety of spaces to choose from, we accommodate groups of all sizes.

Embrace the cosmos for your next big event. Our planetarium is not just a gateway to the universe; it's a versatile space ready to bring your special occasions to life.

For more information on booking and customizing your event, please visit our website or contact our events coordinator. Let us help you create a night that's out of this world!

Events and Fundraising

Social and Corporate Events

Transform your next event into a stellar experience at our science center and planetarium. Host your social or corporate gathering under the stars, where the universe becomes your backdrop. Our unique venues offer a captivating setting for a range of events, from networking mixers to galas.

Elevate your event with our customizable spaces that cater to your specific needs. Whether it's a product launch, team-building session, or an annual meeting, we provide the perfect ambiance for an unforgettable affair.

Our event services team is dedicated to ensuring your event is a cosmic success. Choose from a variety of event packages that include access to exhibits, private planetarium shows, and hands-on activities. Here's a glimpse of what we offer:

  • Exclusive use of event spaces
  • Tailored planetarium presentations
  • Interactive science demonstrations
  • Catering options for all tastes

Remember, when you book an event with us, you're not just getting a venue; you're creating an immersive experience that will leave a lasting impression on your guests.

Fundraising Event Highlights

Our science center's fundraising events are not just about raising funds; they're about creating unforgettable experiences that resonate with our mission to engage the public in science. From the high-octane excitement of the 'Cars & Bars' event to the enchanting 'Night At The Museum Fundraiser', each event is crafted to leave a lasting impact on attendees and the community.

With a diverse array of themes and activities, our fundraisers are designed to captivate a wide audience. Whether it's the thrill of adopting a classic car or the romance of stargazing during 'Romance Under The Stars', there's something for everyone.

Our commitment to inclusivity shines through in events like the 'Solar Eclipse Viewing' and the playful 'Lego Club', ensuring that guests of all ages and interests can find joy and inspiration. The success of these events is a testament to the community's support and the shared passion for discovery and learning.

  • 'Cars & Bars' Fundraiser
  • 'Mix & Mingle' Social
  • 'Night At The Museum' Adventure
  • 'Sloan Auto Fair' Extravaganza

By participating in our fundraisers, you're not just attending an event; you're becoming part of a larger story. A story that celebrates science, nurtures curiosity, and fosters a love for learning that transcends the walls of our center.

Engaging the Public in Science

At the heart of every science center and planetarium is the mission to ignite curiosity and foster a deeper understanding of the world around us. Engaging the public in science isn't just about imparting knowledge; it's about creating an experience that resonates on a personal level.

Interactive exhibits and hands-on activities are pivotal in transforming passive observation into active participation. By involving visitors in the scientific process, we encourage critical thinking and a lasting interest in STEM fields.

Our goal is to make science accessible and exciting for everyone, regardless of age or background.

To truly engage communities, we must also reflect their diversity and interests. This includes offering programs like the 'Discover Nature’s Lessons' which intertwine environmental philosophy with practical learning.

  • Watch science fiction movies or documentaries
  • Conduct experiments or research projects
  • Build models or create thematic maps

These activities not only entertain but also provoke thought and discussion, making science a shared adventure.

Supporting Education through Exhibits

Planetarium Theater Shows

Step into a universe of discovery with our diverse selection of planetarium theater shows. From the wonders of the cosmos in Skies Over Michigan to the prehistoric realms in Dinosaurs of Antarctica, there's a celestial journey for every curious mind. Our shows are designed to be immersive experiences, combining stunning visuals with educational content that sparks imagination and learning.

Our sensory-friendly shows ensure that everyone can enjoy the marvels of space in a comfortable setting.

Here's a glimpse of what's currently showing:

  • Accidental Astronauts
  • Birth of Planet Earth
  • First Fridays
  • Laser Music Nights featuring AC/DC vs Guns 'N Roses, Motown, and Taylor Swift
  • Perfect Little Planet
  • Sensory-Friendly Planetarium Shows
  • Totality

Whether you're a space enthusiast or looking for a unique family outing, our planetarium shows offer an unforgettable experience. Don't forget to check out our Autism-themed wall art and other creative merchandise in our online store to remember your visit.

Spotlight Science Features

Dive into the heart of science with our Spotlight Science Features! Every day, we shine a light on the wonders of the cosmos and the marvels of technology through interactive presentations and expert Q&A sessions. Engage with the latest scientific discoveries and get a closer look at the cutting-edge research shaping our understanding of the universe.

  • 11:00 AM: The Moon’s Moment in the Sun with Staci Tiedeken, NASA Goddard Planetary Science Outreach Coordinator
  • 10:45 AM & 11:45 AM: Story time with 'Sun! One in A Billion' by Stacy McAnulty
Our Spotlight Science Features are designed to inspire and educate visitors of all ages, making complex scientific concepts accessible and exciting.

Whether you're a budding scientist or a curious explorer, our features provide a unique opportunity to connect with the scientific community. Don't miss out on these daily highlights that bring science to life right before your eyes!

Exhibits Calendar

Stay in sync with the stars and our ever-evolving exhibits. Our Exhibits Calendar is your guide to the cosmos of events and displays. Mark your calendars for a universe of learning and discovery!

  • Current Month: Explore the cultural significance of timekeeping with our interactive displays on calendar systems from around the globe.
  • Next Month: Dive into the history of February and leap years, and see how these concepts connect to Roman history and astronomy.
Don't miss the Chinese New Year celebration, an exemplar of lunar calendar festivities, featured in our upcoming exhibits.

Whether you're a constellation hunter or a history buff, our calendar is packed with educational and engaging experiences. Check back often for the latest updates and plan your visit to coincide with our special events and programs.

Outreach and Traveling Programs

Traveling Planetarium

Bringing the wonders of the cosmos to your doorstep, our Traveling Planetarium offers an immersive experience that is both educational and entertaining. Schools, libraries, and community centers can now host their very own star show, with a range of programs tailored to different age groups and interests.

  • Accidental Astronauts: A journey for the young and young at heart.
  • Dinosaurs of Antarctica: Prehistoric skies come to life.
  • Laser Shows: Featuring music from AC/DC, Guns 'N Roses, and Taylor Swift.
  • Sensory-Friendly Shows: Designed with accessibility in mind.
Our portable planetarium is a gateway to the stars, igniting curiosity and inspiring future astronomers. With easy setup and a variety of shows, it's the perfect addition to any educational event.

To book the Traveling Planetarium for your next event, simply visit our website or contact our outreach coordinator. Make sure to inquire about our special packages for educational institutions and non-profit organizations.

Outreach to Schools and Libraries

Bridging the gap between science centers and the community, our outreach programs extend the wonder of astronomy and space science to schools and libraries. Engage young minds with tailored presentations that bring the cosmos to the classroom. Our outreach initiatives include:

  • Interactive planetarium shows that transform school gyms into starry skies.
  • Customizable workshops designed to complement educational curricula.
  • Resource kits for libraries, featuring books, activities, and more.
Our mission is to ignite curiosity and foster a love for science beyond our walls. We believe in making learning accessible and exciting for everyone.

Partner with us to create a unique educational experience for your students or patrons. From the smallest rural library to the largest urban school district, we are committed to providing quality science education resources. For more information on how to bring our programs to your community, contact us today.

Virtual Star Parties

Experience the cosmos from the comfort of your home with our Virtual Star Parties. These live-streamed events bring the wonders of the night sky directly to you, no telescope required. Engage with expert astronomers as they guide you through constellations, planets, and deep space phenomena.

Virtual Star Parties are perfect for families, space enthusiasts, and anyone interested in astronomy. Here's what you can expect:

  • Live commentary and Q&A with astronomy experts
  • Interactive sky-watching sessions
  • Special features on celestial events
Embrace the universe's grandeur without stepping outside. Our Virtual Star Parties make exploring the stars accessible to everyone.

Mark your calendars for our upcoming events and don't miss out on this unique opportunity to gaze at the stars in a new and exciting way. Remember to check our website for the latest schedule and registration details.

Research and Learning Resources

Access to Expert Q&A Sessions

Unlock the cosmos with our expert Q&A sessions, where curiosity meets knowledge. Engage directly with astronomers and scientists to deepen your understanding of the universe. These interactive sessions are designed to inspire and educate visitors of all ages.

  • Ask the Experts: Pose your burning questions and get real-time answers.
  • Discover More: Learn about current research and space exploration.
  • Connect with Science: Experience the thrill of scientific discovery.
Our expert Q&A sessions are a gateway to exploring the wonders of space, making complex concepts accessible to everyone.

Whether you're a student, educator, or space enthusiast, these sessions provide a unique opportunity to interact with professionals in the field. Don't miss out on this chance to expand your horizons and ignite your passion for astronomy!

Online Learning Materials

In today's digital age, science centers and planetariums are extending their educational reach beyond physical walls. Online learning materials offer a flexible and accessible way for individuals of all ages to engage with scientific concepts at their own pace. From interactive modules to downloadable activities, these resources are designed to spark curiosity and foster a deeper understanding of the cosmos.

  • Interactive e-books and guides
  • Downloadable worksheets and experiments
  • Virtual reality experiences
Embrace the universe from the comfort of your home with a wealth of knowledge just a click away.

Whether you're a teacher looking for classroom resources, a parent seeking educational activities, or a lifelong learner pursuing personal interests, the online offerings cater to a diverse audience. Stay connected with the latest in astronomy and space science through regularly updated content, ensuring a continuous and enriching learning journey.

Sky Guides and Audio Tours

Embark on a celestial journey with our Sky Guides and audio tours, designed to enhance your planetarium experience. Navigate the stars at your own pace, with insightful commentary that brings the cosmos to life.

  • Sky Guides: Your personal map to the night sky, featuring constellations, planets, and celestial events.
  • Audio Tours: Engaging narratives that accompany you through our exhibits, available in multiple languages.

Our audio tours are tailored to be accessible and informative, ensuring that every visitor, regardless of age or background, can appreciate the wonders of the universe. For those who prefer a more tactile experience, we offer braille guides upon request.

Embrace the beauty of the night sky with a guide that speaks to you. Whether you're a seasoned astronomer or a curious newcomer, our resources are here to make your visit unforgettable.

Planning Your Visit

Accessibility and Accommodations

Ensuring accessibility for all visitors is a cornerstone of our science center and planetarium. We've tailored our facilities to be welcoming and inclusive, with features like high contrast settings and adjustable font sizes for those with visual impairments. Our commitment extends to individuals with autism, offering a serene environment complemented by autism-themed wall art.

  • Toggle High Contrast
  • Toggle Font size

Our website mirrors this inclusivity, providing tools to translate content and enhance readability. Stay updated on all our accessibility initiatives by subscribing to our mailing list.

We believe in creating spaces where curiosity and learning are accessible to everyone, regardless of ability.

Planetarium Showtimes

Planning your visit to the stars? Our planetarium showtimes are designed to fit into your schedule seamlessly. Catch the latest cosmic features at times that work for you. From the awe-inspiring The Incredible Sun short film to the thrilling Totality, there's a universe of discovery waiting.

Here's a snapshot of what's currently lighting up our dome:

  • The Incredible Sun short film

  • Sensory-Friendly Planetarium Shows

    • Tailored for comfort, with adjusted light and sound
  • Skies Over Michigan

    • Explore the night sky above our great state
  • Laser Music Shows

    • Featuring AC/DC, Guns ‘N Roses, Motown, and Taylor Swift
Ensure your experience is out of this world by arriving 15 minutes early to your selected showtime. This allows for a stress-free check-in and the chance to grab your favorite snacks.

For a complete list of shows and to plan your visit, check out our Full Show Schedule. Don't forget to explore our curiosity shop for Autism-themed wall art, apparel, and decor to remember your interstellar journey!

Visitor FAQs

Got questions? We've got answers! Our Visitor FAQs section is designed to help you navigate your visit with ease. From ticketing quirks to exhibit details, we've compiled the most common inquiries to ensure your experience is as smooth as the night sky.

  • What's the best time to visit? Check our peak hours guide to plan your trip during quieter periods.
  • Can I bring my own food? Yes, but we also have a variety of dining options on-site.
  • Are pets allowed? Service animals are welcome, but please leave other furry friends at home.
Remember, our staff is always ready to assist you with any additional questions during your visit.

Customer feedback is vital to us. With a stellar 4.4 out of 5 stars from over 11,000 global ratings, we're constantly improving to make your experience unforgettable. Dive into detailed reviews to get the scoop on what to expect and how to make the most of your visit.


In conclusion, sensory-friendly science centers and planetariums are paving the way for inclusive and accessible educational experiences. With initiatives like Sensory Friendly Space Fest and tailored planetarium shows, these institutions demonstrate a commitment to welcoming visitors with sensory sensitivities. The variety of programs, from 'Accidental Astronauts' to 'Laser Taylor Swift', ensures that there is something for everyone, while special events and accommodations like quieter sounds and lowered lights create a comfortable environment for all guests. By fostering an understanding and supportive atmosphere, science centers and planetariums are not only educating but also empowering individuals of all abilities to explore and appreciate the wonders of science and the cosmos.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Sensory Friendly Saturday?

Sensory Friendly Saturday is a special event held from 4:30–6:30 pm for visitors with sensory sensitivities. It features quieter sounds, lowered lights, and fewer visitors, along with hands-on space activities and a planetarium show at 5:30 pm.

Can you list some of the current shows at Longway Planetarium?

Certainly! Current shows include Accidental Astronauts, Birth of Planet Earth, Dinosaurs of Antarctica, Laser Shows (AC/DC vs Guns ‘N Roses, Motown, Taylor Swift), Perfect Little Planet, Sensory-Friendly Shows, Skies Over Michigan, STARS, and Totality.

What are the hours and admission details for the Sloan Museum of Discovery?

The Sloan Museum of Discovery is open Tuesdays-Saturdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sundays from Noon-5 p.m.

Are there any educational programs available for K–12 groups?

Yes, we offer K–12 Field Trips & Groups, Virtual K-12 Programs, and a Traveling Planetarium to provide educational experiences for students.

What can I find at the Curiosity Shop?

The Curiosity Shop offers a variety of science-themed souvenirs. Proceeds from the shop support the museum's programs, collections, and educational efforts.

Does the planetarium host any special events or fundraisers?

Yes, we host a range of events including Social & Corporate Events, Birthday Parties, Weddings and Receptions, and fundraisers like Cars & Bars, Mix & Mingle, and Night At The Museum.

How can I find out about upcoming programs and events?

You can visit our events calendar to learn about upcoming programs such as virtual Star Parties, special events, and both online and in-person programs.

Are there any resources for those interested in astronomy and space exploration?

Absolutely! We offer access to expert Q&A sessions, online learning materials, sky guides, and audio tours for those looking to expand their knowledge.

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