Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium

Planetarium Pricing

  • Member
    $2 per person
  • Combined with General Admission
    $4 per person
  • Planetarium Only
    $5 per person
  • Children 2 and younger
    Free, tickets required

Visit the galaxy from the most comfortable seat in the house.

Relax and recline to experience the incredible forces of our universe as you visit the galaxy, constellations, far away planets and much more! All of the Chaffee Planetarium shows feature the latest Digistar projection technology and immersive surround sound for an unbelievably rich and realistic experience. 

Located within the GRPM, the Chaffee Planetarium is named after the Grand Rapids-born astronaut who lost his life in the 1967 Apollo 1 spacecraft fire, Roger B. Chaffee.

Graphic split in half- the top says The Queen Light Show From Mercury with Love. The bottom says Dark Side: The Light Show

Summer Planetarium Light Show Double Feature

Get your tickets for a special summer series of Planetarium Light Show Double Features on the second Fridays of June, July, and August at 7 p.m. 

These multi-sensory full-dome experiences take audiences on a journey with classics by Queen and Pink Floyd. Start your evening with The Queen Light Show: From Mercury With Love featuring 10 of Queen’s greatest hits from “Bohemian Rhapsody” to “You’re My Best Friend.” Then after a brief intermission, enjoy Dark Side: The Light Show, where you can experience Pink Floyd’s iconic album set to brilliant visuals.

A cash bar will be available throughout the show. Tickets cost $20 for non-members. GRPM members can get their tickets for $16.

Planetarium Calendar

Showtimes are subject to change.

Summer 2024

June 10 - September 8, 2024

Show Descriptions

Live Presentations.

The following shows are presented live by a planetarium expert. Often the shows can be customized for a particular age group, and visitors are encouraged to interact and questions throughout for a truly unique experience!

Hear roaring lions, howling wolves, and screeching birds as you search for fantastic and elusive creatures hiding within the nighttime sky. Explore the stars with a live presenter in this one-of-a-kind globetrotting adventure, only at the Chaffee Planetarium!

40 minutes
Ages 8 and under, family audiences

Earth shown on Chaffee Planetarium dome

Join a live presenter to explore the wonders of the night sky. Come back each season to learn tips and tricks that will help you find planets and constellations from your own backyard. Fly to the far reaches of the solar system to get a closer look at planets, moons, and more. Experience the beauty and realism of the Chaffee Planetarium.

40 minutes
All ages


Planetarium Movies.​

Planetarium Movies are pre-made immersive shows that incorporate animation, video, and special effects. They can be on a variety of topics ranging from astronomy, Earth science, physics, and even entertainment! Many of these movies also include a live portion, during which viewers can learn about the constellations and planets in tonight’s sky.

Big Astronomy: People, Places, Discoveries explores three observatories located in Chile, at extreme and remote places. It gives examples of the multitude of STEM careers needed to keep the great observatories working. The show is narrated by Barbara Rojas-Ayala, a Chilean astronomer.

26 minutes
Ages 8+

Dark Side of the Moon planetarium show

The GRPM’s Chaffee Planetarium is proud to present an original production with the new generation of planetarium technology set to the music of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon. Experience Pink Floyd’s iconic album as never before in this one-of-a-kind light show, featuring stunning 4k visuals, brilliant LED sequences, and incredibly clear 5.1 surround sound.

This show contains some adult language and dizzying effects. It is not recommended for individuals prone to motion sickness, seizures, or light sensitivity. This is an entertainment show.

45 minutes
Ages 14+
Contains Adult Language

Escher's Universe Planetarium show

Was M.C. Escher an artist, an astronomer, a mathematician, a traveler? This show takes us to the artist’s studio where Escher’s most iconic works are displayed, revealing his unique ability to join science and art. Explore how Escher’s travels impacted his work and marvel at how shapes, three-dimensional reconstructions, dual worlds, and unreal buildings reveal Escher’s continuous search for knowledge.

26 minutes
Ages 10+

This show contains some adult language and dizzying effects. It is not recommended for individuals prone to motion sickness, seizures, or light sensitivity. This is an entertainment show.

45 minutes
Ages 14+
Contains Adult Language

Image of Earth from Space from the planetarium show From Earth to the Universe

The night sky has been the subject of campfire stories, ancient myths and awe for as long as there have been people. A desire to comprehend the Universe may be humanity’s oldest intellectual experience. Learn about the journey of celestial discovery, from the theories of the ancient Greek astronomers to today’s grandest telescopes.

32 minutes
Ages 12+

Fish swimming connected by digital web

In Habitat Earth, viewers will discover what it means to live in today’s connected world, where biological networks intersect with our own increasingly complex environment. Through stunning visualizations, audiences will dive beneath the ocean’s surface to witness the dynamic ecological relationships within kelp forests, burrow beneath the forest floor to see how some of Earth’s tallest trees depend on tiny fungi to survive, and journey to new heights to witness the intricate intersection between human and ecological networks. Narrated by Frances McDormand.

25 minutes
Ages 8+

Ice encrusted around the Chicago Skyline from the planetarium show Ice Worlds

The delicate balance between ice, water, and the existence of life has been a topic of scientific inquiry for generations. In travels to the Arctic and Antarctic regions of our planet, we’ll examine the ecosystems that exist and thrive there and learn how their survival is connected with our own. Beyond Earth, we’ll see how the existence of ice shapes the landscape and the natural systems on other planets and moons in our Solar System. Winner of five Telly Awards. Narrated by Academy Award-nominated actress, Emily Watson.

25 minutes
Ages 8+

Incoming Planetarium Show Image

Narrated by George Takei, Incoming! explores asteroids, comets, and meteors. California Academy of Sciences developed cutting-edge visualizations based on real-time data from current NASA missions to show audiences the dynamic story of our Solar System. 

25 minutes
Ages 7+

Let it Snow planetarium show reindeer running

Let it Snow is a festive light show for the holidays, featuring a variety of classics from Frank Sinatra and Chuck Berry to Burl Ives and Brenda Lee, and includes a stunning finale by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The soundtrack is visually enhanced with thematic animation, immersive special effects, and fulldome scenery.

This show contains some dizzying effects. It is not recommended for individuals prone to motion sickness, seizures, or light sensitivity. This is an entertainment show. This show is only available for 6 weeks out of the year, beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Living in Balance: Anishinaabe Star Knowledge highlights Anishinaabe stories of constellations and moons in relation to contemporary insights about environmental changes. Teachings shared by Native Skywatchers Carl Gawboy, William Wilson, and Dr. Annette S. Lee are narrated by Aarin Dokum with Anishinaabemowin translations by Alphonse Pitawanakwat set to art by Elizabeth LaPensée.

25 minutes
Ages 6+

Whether earthly or alien, all life leaves a trace. Join narrator Daveed Diggs on a journey through space and time to discover how life makes Earth liveable, where it could be found elsewhere in the cosmos, and what new technologies we might use to find it. Along the way, you’ll learn how light and color can help us spot other living worlds even from vast distances—and develop a new appreciation for the one-of-a-kind planet right beneath our feet.

27 minutes

Ages 8+

Big Bird and friends from Sesame Street, One World, One Sky Planetarium Show

Young audience members will be thrilled when they find themselves on Sesame Street with their famous friends, Big Bird and Elmo. The fun begins when Elmo’s friend, Hu Hu Zhu, visits from China and the three of them take the audience on an exciting journey of discovery to learn about the Sun, stars, and Big Dipper. Elmo and Hu Hu Zhu blast off on an imaginary trip to the Moon and when they return home to Earth everyone discovers that, no matter where we live, we all share the same sky.


Join a live presenter on an incredible journey through our beautiful and diverse solar system. Visit the Sun, planets, moons, asteroids, and more in high definition. Engage with a knowledgeable astronomy expert who can answer your learners’ questions and tailor content to their age level.

The Queen Light Show in the Planetarium

This rendition breathes new life into the wildly popular classic rock light show format with an original production set to the music of Queen. Experience 10 of Queen’s greatest hits in this brand new show, including favorites like Bohemian Rhapsody, Another One Bites the Dust, and You’re My Best Friend.

 This show contains some dizzying effects. It is not recommended for individuals prone to motion sickness, seizures, or light sensitivity. This is an entertainment show.

37 minutes
All ages

Secrets of the Sun planetarium show

Take a detailed look at the role the Sun plays in the life of our solar system and life on Earth. Trace the life cycle of the Sun for billions of years, from its beginnings to its eventual death. Experience the power of the nuclear forces churning deep within the Sun and the gigantic flares that eject solar material far out into space.

25 minutes
Ages 12+

SpacePark 360 planetarium show

Experience the excitement and surprises of the most incredible amusement park in the solar system. Explore exotic locations while riding heart-pounding thrill rides such as roller coasters, spinners, ice-slides and more!

This show contains dramatic 3D visual effects. It is not recommended for individuals prone to motion sickness. This is an entertainment show.

35 minutes
All ages

Subatomic Planetarium Show

From humanity’s beginning, curiosity has inspired brilliant minds to unravel the secrets of the universe. In 2012, after a 48-year search and the construction of the world’s largest machine, over 10,000 physicists celebrated the discovery of the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle key to our understanding of mass itself. GRPM’s Chaffee Planetarium produced this thought-provoking show about the discovery of this elusive particle crucial to physics and existence itself.

25 minutes
Ages 10+

Galileo’s telescopic observations began a revolution, completely transforming our view of the cosmos and our place within. Discover the wonders that even a small telescope can reveal and learn about the scientists that made such views possible.

25 minutes
Ages 8+

Planetarium show Violent Universe spiral

The beauty of a starlit sky conceals the violent forces at work within our universe. From the upheaval of a giant star that explodes to eject its material into space to a future encounter between the Earth and a large asteroid, we will witness the forces that hold the universe together and occasionally try to pull it apart. Discover what might happen if these incredible forces stray too close to Earth. Narrated by Patrick Stewart.

40 minutes
Ages 11+

Accessibility Features​

The Chaffee Planetarium just installed a hearing loop system. Hearing loops provide a highly effective way of broadcasting information to visitors for those that are hard of hearing. Those who are hard of hearing that visit the Planetarium will have access to the audio by connecting with an individuals’ personal hearing device, utilizing the T-coil system, to receive clear, crisp audio without the need for any other device. Additionally 2 loop receivers with headphones are available for individuals requiring hearing assistance who do not have T-coil equipped hearing devices that will be available upon request.

Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association​

The Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association is a club of more than 100 astronomy enthusiasts of varied ages, backgrounds, and interests. GRAAA hosts regular meetings which feature informative guest speakers and social events. 

Visit the GRPM events calendar for upcoming GRAAA meetings.

GRAAA Meeting | January

Sponsored By

WEGE Foundation logo

The Chaffee Planetarium upgrade was made possible through the generous support of the Wege Foundation. Additional support for the upgrade was received from the Cook Foundation, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Frey Foundation, Baldwin Foundation, Rockford Construction Company, Inc., David DeBruyn, and American Seating. Thank you!​


Baldwin Foundation