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Planetarium Rental Information Frequently Asked Questions
What is the minimum age recommended for a children’s planetarium party? Children should be at least 5 yrs and older, please keep in mind that your group will be inside a dark room for about one hour and for some children this can be a bit scary.
When is the Planetarium available for rental?
The Planetarium is available for rental on Friday Evenings between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. and Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. All reservations are based on staff and date availability. The Planetarium is closed during August and September each year.
Can I reserve the Planetarium during a weekday? No - the Planetarium serves as a classroom for the college therefore it is not available for private events when classes are in session: Monday to Thursday
Can I reserve the Planetarium on a Saturday evening? No, during our regular public programming of Astronomy and Laser shows (which are presented from late September to early April) we are unable to reserve private events on Saturday evenings.
What do I need to do to reserve the Planetarium? Call or email our office and let us know the date and time you are interested in. We will check our calendar to see if there are no other events scheduled and if staff is available. We highly recommend inquiring a month or more in advance.
Why do you need a month or more in advance to reserve the Planetarium?
We need a month in advance to ensure that our staff is available for your rental and for better chance of date availability.
Why can't I just call and reserve a party for this weekend? The Planetarium does not have regular staff for rental events. Our presenters are only scheduled when needed therefore we need time to check their availability.
Why do you have to check if staff is available?
The Planetarium does not have regular staff for private rental events. Our presenters are only scheduled when needed therefore their availability varies and needs to be checked before we can reserve the Planetarium private events.
When is my reservation secure?
Once a presenter is available for the date, a rental agreement is mailed or faxed to you. When the rental agreement and deposits are returned to our office, your reservation is then secure. As a courtesy we will hold the date and time while the rental agreement is returned to our office.
Is there a limit on the number of guests that may attend my party?
The "Little Dipper" rental allows for up to 140 (which is the number of seats inside the Planetarium Dome)
The "Big Dipper" rental allows you use of the lobby to serve food and beverages, therefore the maximum number of people is 60 and includes children and adults in your party – no exceptions.
Why are the limitations on the number of people allowed to attend? Since we set up the lobby with tables and chairs, we need to allow for exit ways to remain clear of obstacles should an emergency occur, in addition the lobby area is not sized to accommodate larger groups of people.
Do you have a kitchen area where food can be prepared? Unfortunately we do not have a kitchen prep area, we recommend serving foods that do not require on site preparation such as pizza, sandwiches, finger foods, etc..
Do you allow piñatas and or bouncy houses at Planetarium parties? No – piñatas or bouncy houses are not allowed.
Do you allow magicians or character impersonators at Planetarium parties? You are welcome to have them at your party, but please let our staff know in advance.
What do I get if I reserve the "Little Dipper"?
You get private use of the Planetarium, a Full Dome Star Show and a tour of the night sky for up to 140 people (no food or beverage allowed duration of rental is one hour)
What do I get if I reserve the "Big Dipper"? You get private use of the Planetarium and a Full Dome Star Show, a tour of the night sky for up 60 people and use of the lobby to serve your food and beverage (we set up 5 tables and 30 chairs, duration of rental is three hours)
What is the difference between a Full Dome Star Show and a Laser show?
Star shows contain fun, engaging and educational information about the solar system, the stars, the constellations, etc... Laser light shows contain music accompanied by images created by Laser lights, which are then projected onto the dome (recommended age for Laser light shows is 12 years and older).
How long are the Full Dome Star shows?
Our shows vary in length, some are 30, 35, 40 or 45 minutes long, but we add a tour of the night sky to each one, which brings the entire presentation to about an hour long.
What is a "tour of the night sky"?
A tour of the night sky is a live presentation inside the Dome where our Astronomer displays the Stars using the Star Projector and identifies constellations and planets that are visible at night, during any given season.
What if I want to have a Laser show for my party? What is the cost?
We can arrange to present a Laser show instead of an Astronomy show for your party. Please add $200 in addition to the current rental rate, "Little Dipper" rental fee would be $585. For "Big Dipper" rental fee would be $685.
If I reserve the Planetarium and want a Laser show do I also get an Full Dome Star Show?
When you reserve the Planetarium and you choose a Laser show, your presentation will be a Laser show instead of an Full Dome Star Show and not both presentations.
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