Hidden Gem: The Manfred Olson Planetarium at UWM (2024)

Tucked away inside the Physics building on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus is a hidden gem for families around Milwaukee.

It’s one of three must-visit planetariums around the city.

The Manfred Olson Planetarium offers live, interactive programming for kids and families to learn more about the night sky and the cosmos.

It’s equipped with a Spitz A3P optomechanical projector that projects stars, planets, the Sun, and the Moon on the Planetarium’s 30-foot dome.

Four digital projectors and separate special projectors are also used for visual effects such a rotating Milky Way Galaxy and the Aurora Borealis.

The Observatory deck on the roof of the Physics building is used for stargazing sessions. The planetarium owns and operates a Meade 10″ LX200, Meade 226, Celestron-8, Astroscan, Unitron D102, and a 12-inch Meade reflector telescope.

You can book the planetarium for birthdays, school field trips, scout groups, and more. A staff member will lead the kids through an engaging and educational show in the planetarium, and you can have snacks and cake in a nearby classroom.

Popular programs include ‘Solar System Expedition’, ‘Moving to Mars’, and ‘Birth of the Universe’.

There are also affordable public events throughout the year such as Friday Night Shows, weekend matinees, and more.

Keep an eye on their Events Page for upcoming public and ticketed events.


Find out more about the Manfred Olson Planetarium.

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