Frequently asked questions

Questions and answers about the Wayne State University Planetarium.

  • Can I bring young children?

    We have had very young children enjoy the show before, but keep in mind that the subject matter in Friday night shows is at the college level. We do not have any firm guidelines on children. If a child can remain reasonably quiet for the 75 minute show time, then it's fine for them to attend our general audience shows.

    If your child has more difficulty sitting quietly for 75 to 90 minutes or may have less familiarity with astronomy, feel free to bring them to one of our Saturday morning family shows. These shows are a bit shorter and the content is geared toward our younger visitors. During this show, we might show you fulldome images of planets in our solar system, explain what a constellation is and tell you the mythology behind one or two constellations currently visible, teach you about the different phases of the moon, or introduce you to the night sky. This is fun for the whole family! The film portion of this show is a fun adventure into space with a Polar Bear and a Penguin, which is enjoyable for everyone.

  • How do I reserve a seat for a show?

    Two-thirds of seats for our free shows are reservable at Eventbrite where they're released at noon the Sunday before a show. The other 20 seats for each show are available for walk-in guests. You can also schedule a private planetarium show for your group of four to 60 people for a small fee.

  • How early should I arrive?

    Visitors with reserved-seat tickets must arrive at least 10 minutes before show time to claim their seats. At this time unclaimed seats will be released to walk-in guests. We recommend walk-in guests arrive 20 to 30 minutes before show time to get a seat. The show begins promptly at the scheduled start time and the doors close five to ten minutes later.

  • How long is the show?

    Friday night shows are typically 75 to 90 minutes. Saturday morning family shows are typically one hour long.

    Our fulldome films are approximately 20 to 40 minutes (included in the show).

  • How much does it cost to attend a show?

    Admission to public shows and lectures is free but donations are welcome. Your donations help us to fund our public shows and outreach programs. We never sell tickets to these shows and any online posts you see for ticket sales are scams.

    Planetarium shows for non-Wayne State classes and organizations (school group, scout troop, etc.) are $75 per show/group to cover the cost of staffing and supplies. Payment is accepted on the day of the show.

    Make a group reservation

  • Is there an accessible/handicap entrance?

    Our accessible entrance ♿️ is located off of the Old Main Building's Hancock Street entrance (closest to the corner of Cass Avenue).

    Main entrance 🏫: Enter the Old Main Building from the Cass Avenue entrance, walk down the stairs and continue straight ahead. You'll see our beautiful murals and the double doors of our planetarium on your right, suite 0209!

  • What are the general policies?
    • Food and drink are not permitted in the planetarium.
    • Once a show has started, if you must leave, re-admittance will not be allowed.
    • Be sure all electronic devices are silenced and dimmed during the show.
    • Guests with reserved seats must arrive at least 10 minutes prior to show time to claim their reservations.
    • Shows start promptly when scheduled, late admittance is not allowed.
  • What is the seating capacity?

    Our planetarium seats 60 people. We have 57 seats with armrests and room for three wheelchairs or armless chairs for people who need alternative accommodations.

    K-12 group shows

    If your group exceeds this, we suggest that you pair your visit to our planetarium with the Phantastic Physics Phenomena. While half of your group is in the planetarium, the other half will be watching physics demos and then we'll switch.

  • Why can't I ever get reserved tickets?

    With only 40 seats available to reserve at each show, these seats get claimed quickly. Ten families of four could fill up the whole offering of reserved seats in a matter of seconds. We recognize the frustration this causes and we always have at least 20 seats available for walk-in visitors.

    If you're a Wayne State student or live in the area, we strongly encourage you to come as a walk-in guest. The Wayne State Planetarium is committed to making astronomy available to our whole community, which is why we never charge a fee for our public shows.

    We've been overwhelmed with the positive response to our public shows, so much so that we added our 8:30 p.m. Friday night show and our monthly Young Astronomers show. As our primary mission as a planetarium is to educate our Wayne State physics and astronomy students, we don't currently have the staffing or funding to increase our public showings at this time.