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!
Hayden Planetarium in the American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th St., Upper West Side, Manhattan
Space Show: Every 30 minutes between 10:30am and 4:30pm
Admission: General Admission Plus One includes general admission plus one special exhibition, giant-screen 2D or 3D film, or Space Show: $28; $22.50 seniors and students with ID; $16.50 children 2-12
The museum offers a variety of celestial programs and shows inside the planetarium. On Sat., July 20, the Museum will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing with an all-day SpaceFest, reflecting on the Museum's legacy. Visitor's will enjoy a day of family-friendly presentations, performances, and hands-on activities about the universe.
Charles and Helen Reichart Planetarium at the Vanderbilt Museum
180 Little Neck Road, Centerport, Long Island
Museum Hours: through June 27: Tuesday, Saturday-Sunday 12-5pm; June 27-Sept. 4: Monday-Saturday 11am-5pm, Sunday 12-5pm
Day-time Admission: $8; $7 seniors and students; $5 children 12 and under; Children age 2 and under FREE; additional cost $6 for planetarium show
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
Museum Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 9:30am-5pm; open Mondays on holidays and school breaks
Admission: $22; $19 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.
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Town of Ramapo Challenger Learning Center
225 Route 59, Airmont
Hours of Operation: Normal hours are Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:30pm. Weekend hours of operation depend upon when missions are scheduled. It is advised to call in advance if you would like to visit the Center.
Admission: varies by size of group and choice of program
A visit to the Lower Hudson Valley Challenger Learning Center is not just a simulated space trip—it is an interactive learning experience that engages children and adults and allows them to perform the same "hands-on" tasks that are done by real scientists, engineers, researchers, and astronauts.
Hudson River Museum Planetarium
511 Warburton Ave., Yonkers
Museum Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 12-5pm
Museum Hours: July 5-August 31. Friday & Saturday, 5-8pm; FREE planetarium shows Friday & Saturday at 7pm
Admission: $7; $5 seniors and students with ID; $4 children 3-18; planetarium additional $5; $4 seniors and students with ID; $3 children 3-18
The planetarium at the Hudson River Museum has celestial shows on Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30pm, 2pm, and 3:30pm. 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
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
Museum Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: suggested $15; $8 seniors, students with ID and children; free for members and Newark residents; planetarium additional $6; $4 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.