Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium

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

With 1.2 million dollars in renovations, all of the shows feature the latest Digistar projection technology and immersive surround sound for an unbelievably rich and realistic experience. Recline, relax and experience the incredible forces of our universe.

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

With general admission planetarium shows are $4 each, Museum members are free and planetarium only tickets $5. Programs also available for school visits.


Showtimes are subject to change. Please check the planetarium calendar here for a list of showtimes.

Now – September 24 
*Actual shows to be determined. Occasionally the Planetarium is booked by school groups which shifts these showtimes. Please keep this in mind as you plan your visit.


Subatomic will take viewers on a journey of scientific discovery. In 2012, after a 48-year search and the construction of the world’s largest machine, more than 10,000 physicists celebrated the discovery of the Higgs boson, an elusive subatomic particle crucial to physics and existence itself. Learn more about this important discovery, and how it fits into humanity’s quest for unraveling the secrets of the universe.

Subatomic will include a produced portion, followed by a live and interactive portion with a planetarium staff member, and hands on components just outside the Chaffee Planetarium to demonstrate the concepts highlighted in the show. The entire show will be 30 minutes in length.

One World, One Sky

One World, One Sky will thrill young audience members 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. Now playing!

Friday Meditation

Friday Meditation is a new experience being offered in the Chaffee Planetarium on Friday’s in conjunction with the Museum’s traveling exhibition, Brain: The World Inside Your Head. Visitors to Friday Meditation will first learn about the brain, what effects stress has on the brain and tools for mindfulness. Then, the experience will take visitors on a deep relaxation exercise where they marvel at beautiful scenery on the planetarium dome, while relaxing and meditating at the same time. The experience will be offered during the lunch hour on Fridays starting on Friday, September 22 and continuing through the exhibitions closing in early January 2018.


Click on the name of the show you would like to purchase tickets to. Different dates and times for each show can be found on the ticket link drop down menus.

Purchase tickets for Laser Light Shows here!

Laser Beatles

Pink Floyd’s The Wall

Laser Vinyl

Laser Zeppelin


Laser Country

Laser U2

Electro Pop


Laser Tribute



wegelogoThe 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!


DE Primary_300dpiThank you to Developmental Enhancement Behavioral Health for your support as we plan and develop new planetarium shows.
Baldwin Foundation and PNC Foundation are proud sponsors of One World, One Sky.  

Observing By MoonlightFor information on other events in West Michigan visit the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association online.