Events /

Sensory-Friendly Matinee at Staerkel Planetarium in Champaign


Saturday, December 16, 2023    
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm


Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College
2400 W. Bradley Ave., Champaign, Illinois, 61822

Event Type

Sensory-friendly planetarium shows featuring lights up, sound down and a relaxed atmosphere

The Staerkel Planetarium will host two “lights up, sound down” matinées on Dec. 16:

  • “Santa’s Secret Star” will play at 3:30 p.m.
  • “Season of Light” will play at 4:30 p.m.

The sensory-friendly shows are great for guests with autism spectrum disorder, sensory sensitivities and young children. Everyone is welcome, even if you don’t need sensory accommodations!

Each show will feature:

  • Lights turned up
  • Sound turned down
  • A relaxed atmosphere where patrons can move around as needed

Season of Light traces the history and development of many of the world’s holiday customs and light-hearted seasonal traditions. It also highlights the historical religious and cultural rituals practiced during the time of winter solstice – not only Christian and Jewish but also Celtic, Nordic, Roman, Irish, Mexican and Hopi.

The planetarium has a limited quantity of sensory supports available for guests to use during their visit.

Tickets are:

  • $8 for adults
  • $7 for Parkland students, seniors 62 and older, or children 12 and under.
  • Free for members of the Friends of the Staerkel Planetarium.

Tickets are available at the door beginning a half-hour before the show.

To help plan your visit, see the planetarium’s social stories on its website.