By NYMetroParents Staff

Explore the Night Sky Inside at Planetariums

May 14, 2014   |  Museums & Planetariums  

On warm summer evenings, it's fun to go outside, direct your gaze up, and count all of the stars you can see. When the clouds cover the sky, go inside to look up at the stars at these planetariums near the New York metro area.

night sky

Sometimes stars aren’t at peak visibility—whether it’s due to a summer storm or the bright New York City lights—but you can still enjoy celestial wonders at local planetariums! Gaze at the night sky even in the middle of the day at one of these locations. (Please note planetarium and observatory hours may differ from museum hours. We recommend you call ahead prior to your visit.) If the night is nice enough to view the stars outdoors, follow our instructions to make a DIY telescope and stargaze away!


Manhattan

Hayden Planetarium in the American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th St., Upper West Side, Manhattan
212-769-5100; http://amnh.org
Museum Hours: 10am-5:45pm daily
Admission: $27; $22 seniors and students with ID; $16 children 2-12; includes admission to museum, Rose Center for Earth and Space and a planetarium show
The museum offers a variety of celestial programs and shows inside the planetarium. On June 24, weather permitting, an outdoor telescope viewing will follow the Astronomy Live: Summer Skies Telescope Party program. Details for programs can be found on the event schedule online.


Long Island

Charles and Helen Reichart Planetarium at the Vanderbilt Museum
180 Little Neck Road, Centerport, Long Island
631-854-5579; http://vanderbiltmuseum.org
Museum Hours: through June 29: Tuesday, Saturday-Sunday 12-5pm; June 30-Sept. 7: Tuesday-Saturday 11am-5pm, Sunday 12-5pm
Admission: $7; $6 seniors and students; $3 children under 12; additional cost for planetarium depending on activity
The Vanderbilt Planetarium offers seasonal shows and fun, educational programs for family. Check the online schedule for details. The rooftop observatory is open every Friday night, weather permitting, 9-10pm.

JetBlue Sky Theater Planetarium in the Cradle of Aviation Museum and Education Center
Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City, Long Island
516-572-4111; http://cradleofaviation.org
Museum Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 9:30am-5pm; open Mondays on holidays and school breaks
Admission: $19; $17 seniors and children; includes admission to museum and a planetarium show
Check the online schedule to see what shows are offered in the Sky Theater at the time you plan to visit this immersive, all-digital planetarium. Prior to each show is a Your Night Sky presentation, taking viewers on a journey of the seasonal sky.


Rockland County

Town of Ramapo Challenger Learning Center
225 Route 59, Airmont
845-357-3416; http://lhvcc.com
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:30pm; visits must be scheduled in advance
Admission: varies by size of group and choice of program
The Challenger Learning Center offers an immersive program allowing visitors to be astronauts for a day. Missions are available for groups of 8-34 and can include a visit to the planetarium.


Westchester County

Hudson River Museum Planetarium
511 Warburton Ave., Yonkers
914-963-4550; http://hrm.org
Museum Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 12-5pm
Admission: $6; $4 seniors and students with ID; $3 children 3-18; planetarium additional $4; $3 seniors and students with ID; $2 children 3-18
The new planetarium at the Hudson River Museum has celestial shows on Saturdays and Sundays. Some shows are geared toward specific age groups; the schedule can be found on the website.


Fairfield County, CT

Observatory and Planetarium at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center
39 Scofieldtown Road, Stamford, CT
203-322-1646; http://stamfordmuseum.org
Museum Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 11am-5pm
Admission: $10; $8 seniors; $6 students with ID; $5 children 4-17; free for members; observatory additional $3; $2 children
The planetarium is available for school programs, scout groups, special events and private parties; the observatory is open to the public on Friday evenings, 8:30-10:30pm, weather permitting. On selected Friday nights a special series of Astronomy Nights: An Evening at the Stamford Observatory will begin at 7:30pm; see website for schedule.


Essex County, NJ

Alice and Leonard Dreyfuss Planetarium in the Newark Museum
49 Washington St., Newark, NJ
973-596-6550; http://newarkmuseum.org
Museum Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: suggested $12; $7 seniors, students with ID and children; free for members and Newark residents; planetarium additional $5; $3 seniors, students and children
The first planetarium built in New Jersey, the Dreyfuss offers a variety of shows, special events, and programs for families to enjoy. Visit the website for the planetarium’s summer schedule.

 

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