Above and Around Florida: Planetariums Perfect for Families
By Carrie McLaren
Florida's planetariums are a great way to learn about space and the stars that fill our skies each night, offering hands-on fun and educational experiences for the entire family.
Here’s a look at some planetariums in Florida:
South Florida Museum – Bradenton
The South Florida Museum’s planetarium in Bradenton is home to stadium-style seating and frequent ‘star talks’ by experts. The Bishop Planetarium is currently home to five rotating shows, including "Passport to the Universe" and a nighttime musical show called "The Rock Hall of Fame."
Museum of Science and History – Jacksonville
Located in Downtown Jacksonville, the Museum of Science and History’s planetarium is well-known for its collection of Cosmic Concerts on the weekends. The museum also prides itself in showing Sesame Street’s One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventures for preschoolers each Saturday morning. It’s a great way to introduce little ones into learning about space and the stars in the sky.
Frost Museum of Science – Miami
While the Frost Museum of Science has shows daily in the planetarium, don’t miss participating in the observatory session on the first Friday evening of each month. Use one of the museum’s two Meade telescopes to look at the planets and stars high above the Miami sky.
Museum of Science & Industry – Tampa
The Saunders Planetarium inside Tampa’s Museum of Science & Industry features the GOTO Space Simulator Chronos projection system, offering the capabilities to recreate the scenes in the night’s sky in less than 20 seconds -- and a look at anywhere in the world. Once a month, the museum hosts MOSI Skywatch night in the employee parking lot for star talks with astronomers and an up-close gander at the sky via the museum’s telescopes. For dates and times, contact the museum directly.
Challenger Learning Center – Tallahassee
The Challenger Learning Center located in the state’s capital of Tallahassee features a 50-foot, high-definition screen perfect for admiring the night’s skies. Daily shows cater to little ones, thrill seekers and those young at heart.