Planetarium Shows



Reserve Tickets

Public Planetarium Shows:

"Astronomy Nights" are held on the first and third Thursday of each month that the university is in session. Astronomy Night activities are appropriate for ages 10 and up.  The program begins with an indoor public planetarium show at the John R. Kirk Planetarium.  Tickets are REQUIRED for the planetarium show.  There is a suggested ticket price of $5 per seat.  A second show will be offered if the first show reaches capacity.  After the planetarium show, Smolen Observatory will be open for telescope viewing only if the sky is clear (tickets are not required at the Observatory). Call the Observatory at 845-257-1110 to hear a message indicating if the public viewing has been canceled due to cloudy weather. Visitors can participate in either the planetarium show, observatory telescope viewing, or both.

Tickets for Astronomy Night Planetarium shows become available one week prior to each show.

Astronomy Night telescope viewing begins shortly after sunset and therefore the start time changes according to the seasons. The current Astronomy Night schedule is as follows:

Fall 2023

From September until the end of Daylight Savings Time (early Nov)
Sept 7 • Sept 21 • Oct 5 • Oct 19 • Nov 2
Planetarium Shows
7:30 PM (8:30PM*)
Observatory Open
8:30-10:30 PM

Winter 2023-24

During Standard Time (early Nov to mid March)
Nov 16 • Nov 30 • Dec 7 • Feb 1 • Feb 15 • March 7
Planetarium Shows
6:30 PM (7:30 PM*)
Observatory Open
7:30-9:30 PM

Spring 2024

Beginning of Daylight Savings Time (mid-March) until May
March 21 • April 4 • April 18
Planetarium Shows
7:30 PM (8:30 PM*)
Observatory Open
8:30-10:30 PM

Summer 2024

May through August
May 2 (others TBD)
Planetarium Shows
8:30 PM (9:30 PM*)
Observatory Open
call 845-257-1110 for info
* A second Planetarium show will be held an hour later, but only if the first fills up.  ‡ if the sky is clear

Tickets for all Astronomy Night Planetarium shows become available one week before each show and must be purchased online. There is a suggested ticket price of $5 per seat.  There is a limit of 5 tickets per group. Printed or digital tickets must be presented at the door for admission. Tickets are void if presented after the start time listed on the ticket - latecomers will NOT be seated.

If you have accessibility questions or require accommodations to fully participate in planetarium shows, please contact Raj Pandya at as soon as possible. 

Donate to the Planetarium

Public Planetarium Shows

  • Public Planetarium shows are appropriate for ages 10 and up.
  • Tickets are required for public planetarium shows.
  • Planetarium shows take place in a dark indoor domed theater.
  • Please arrive before the start time. Latecomers will not be admitted.
  • For large groups (5 or more) we recommend that you schedule a private show at the Planetarium.
  • The Planetarium is located in Coykendall Science building lobby.

Observatory Viewing

  • A typical viewing night at Smolen Observatory will include a planet or two, star clusters, binary stars, and nebulae.
  • Observatory visitors will spend most of their time outdoors. Be sure to dress appropriately; it always feels colder when you are standing still for long periods of time.
  • Visitors of any age are welcome at the Observatory, but we ask that younger children be under adult supervision at all times.
  • The Observatory is wheelchair accessible.
  • You may come and go to the Observatory as you please during the viewing time.
  • Tickets are not required for the observatory viewing.
  • Once the viewing has begun the outdoor lighting surrounding the Observatory will be turned off. Be prepared to walk to and from your vehicle in the dark.
  • There are no restroom facilities at the Observatory.
  • Scout troops, school groups, etc. are welcome to attend the public viewing nights. We do appreciate you letting us know in advance so that there are not too many groups present in one night.
  • The Observatory is located in the Alumni Soccer Fields on the south side of the campus.

Private Planetarium Shows:

The Planetarium is available for private shows, such as for corporate, civic, scouting organizations, family trips, etc. Teachers are welcome to arrange a visit to the Planetarium as a field trip activity. Please contact the Planetarium Director at to set up a private show.

  • Private Planetarium shows are appropriate for ages 7 and up.
  • There is a flat rate of $125.00 per show for private showings.
  • Seating is limited to a maximum of 43 people without social distancing.
  • Shows are typically 45 minutes in duration.
  • The show’s content can be customized for your group.
  • Private shows can be geared to any age group from children age 7 through adults.

Donate to the Planetarium

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