For the Kids

Join the Galaxy Club!

galaxy club

Cool Stuff for Aspiring Young Scientists

Free to sign up!

  • Galaxy Club Card – Your ‘ticket’ to great fun and education: Earn one FREE planetarium show after every four stamps!
  • "Out of this world" birthday card!
  • Get a free subscription to our e-newsletter!
  • Occasional Special Events for Galaxy Club members!

Don’t wait—sign up today! The sooner you sign, the sooner you can earn cool stuff!

Hey Parents!rocket
Support your future astronomer (or other scientist) by helping them join Staerkel’s Galaxy Club. The Galaxy Club is a great way to engage young learners in science and space exploration, expanding their grasp of the world around them. Club membership gives kids access to a whole range of free stuff, from science activity sheets to educational programs and cool giveaways.

 How to Join:

Click to complete the membership form for your child’s participation in the Galaxy’s FREE!




Birthday Parties beneath the stars!

The Staerkel Planetarium is the perfect place to have a birthday party for a future space traveler. 

Birthday party packages are available for Saturday afternoons when the planetarium is normally closed:
3:15 – 5:15 pm for a 3:30 to 5 pm party (we allow for 15 minutes of set-up and 15 minutes of clean-up)

Parties include:

  • 60 minutes in the planetarium lobby for cake and/or birthday presents
  • 20 – 30 minute program in the dome featuring a live sky talk under the stars
  • 5-minute musical finale that can feature your child's photo on the dome

Cost: $275 for up to 30 people, including chaperones

If you would like your child's photo on the dome with a birthday message, please provide a digital photo and the child's age on his/her birthday at least one week before the event. Email the JPEG photo to

  • Please call to book your birthday party at least one month in advance.
  • All dates are subject to the availability of a planetarium staff member.
  • Chairs and tables for up to 30 people can be provided upon request.
  • Food, beverages, and decorations are NOT provided by the planetarium.
  • 15-minute setup and clean-up are the renter's responsibility.
  • Sorry, no food, drink, or helium balloons are allowed under the planetarium dome.

Call Erik Johnson at 217/351-2568 if you have questions or to reserve your time slot! Call or email for more details! Based on staff availability.







Scout Workshops are happening this fall!

The Staerkel Planetarium offers evening workshops designed specifically to help Scouts earn their badges.

  • Girl Scouts
    Girl Scout Space Science Badge workshop:
    $6 per scout (includes a booklet based on the requirements)
    Leaders are free
  • Scouts BSA
    Astronomy Merit Badge workshop:
    $6 per scout (includes a booklet based on the requirements)
    Leaders are free

Note that these sessions are workshops, not just watching a planetarium show. Scouts must bring a pencil or pen and a flashlight covered with red cellophane (plastic) and be ready to work! The workshop will cover the badge requirements. You'll then submit the completed work booklet to your scout office to obtain the badge.

Advance registration is required!
The registration deadline is a week prior to the chosen workshop. There will be no registrations taken at the door. We must have a minimum number of registrations to conduct the workshop. In the case of cancellation, your money will be refunded.

Here are the registration forms for the Girl Scouts of America and the Scouts BSA. Complete one form per Scout and leader.