(Colorado Springs, CO) A hidden gem on the United States Air Force Academy campus is the Planetarium and STEM Center. This facility is open to the public and offers freefun feature films and live shows for all ages and interests.
The planetarium, built in 1959, was used to teach celestial navigation courses to cadets. With advances in technology, cadets no longer needed these classes, and the planetarium was closed in 2004.
For fifteen years the building was vacant, but with the support of Academy leaders and the help of generous donors, the planetarium reopened to the public on March 4, 2019. Read more about the history here.
Although the planetarium had to close again during the COVID pandemic, it is now open and welcoming guests. The facility is part of the United States Air Force Academy’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) program. awareness program and is free for all.
The 100-seat planetarium features theater-style recliners that provide a full-dome viewing experience. Movies and live shows air most weeks on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (excluding holidays and graduations). Films air at 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. with a live presentation at 1:30 p.m.
The current films are:
- Apollo 11
- superpower dogs
- Great Bear Rainforest
- Volcanoes: the fire of creation
- humpback whales
- Eclipses and phases of the moon
- Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag
- Discover the Aurora
- Aerial Adventures
- Dream Big: Engineering Our World
- Two small pieces of glass
- Black holes: the other side of infinity
To go here for more information, including movie summaries, show times and dates.
Places are limited and it is best to arrive early to guarantee your place. There is no food or drink allowed in the planetarium.
Don’t miss this unique experience in a historic building on the beautiful Air Force Academy campus. It is worth the detour.
Location: 2120 Cadet Drive, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs (use this menu instead of entering the address into a GPS. GPS directions will take you to the wrong place.) It takes 10-15 minutes to get to the property after entering through the north gate of the Academy.
To enter the United States Air Force Academy, visitors need a driver’s license or military ID and proof of auto insurance.
Please follow me for low cost local activities the whole family can enjoy.