Planetarium Reopens to the Public

After closing its doors in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chesapeake Planetarium will reopen and resume regular programming on Thursday, October 14, 2021. 

photo: exterior of Chesapeake PlanetariumHistory of the Chesapeake Planetarium

The Planetarium was constructed in 1962 using funds provided by the School Board and the National Defense Education Act. The facility was one of the first planetariums in Virginia built by a public school system and was designed as a teaching aid for students. In its nearly 60 year history, thousands of students and community members have visited the facility to view educational programs.  Recently, the projection system was updated to include an HD digital dome projection and computer controlled lighting.

Visiting the Planetarium

The Chesapeake Planetarium offers free public programs on Thursday evenings for members of the community by reservation only. The reopening plan allows for limited seating and all visitors older than 2 years old must wear a CDC approved mask while inside the planetarium. To reserve a seat, please call 547-0153. Doors will open at 7:30 PM. Reservations will be held until 7:50 PM; the program starts at 8:00 PM. No guests will be admitted once the show begins. 

COVID Mitigations for Shows in 2021-2022

The planetarium will follow a layered mitigation plan to prioritize the health and safety of all guests. Seating capacity will be limited to 60 total guests in the theater that seats 110 to allow for physical distancing between groups. All visitors older than 2 years old are required to wear a CDC approved mask and masks will be available upon request. Hand sanitizer will be available at the door and our custodial staff will be aware of public shows and sanitize spaces accordingly. The planetarium will remain closed to CPS classrooms during the school day until division-wide field trips resume.  

Upcoming Shows in 2021

October – Star Creatures  Of the 88 constellations in the sky you can find many animals. Some are mythical creatures from stories of the past. This show will help you recognize and locate these creatures in the night sky.

November – The Winter Sky  Some of the brightest stars are visible in the winter sky. View the winter sky projected on our dome and listen to some of the mythological stories associated with these stars.

December – The Christmas Star Join us as we go over 2000 years back in time when we project the night sky as seen in 8 B.C. on our dome. You will view the planets and the stars as they were long ago and revisit the story of a star that marked the coming of the Christmas season.

For more information on future Planetarium programs for the public, please visit our Planetarium website.