Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Destination: Morehead Planetarium and Science Center

Posted August 30, 2012
Updated September 13, 2012

"One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure," returns to the schedule this weekend as Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill reopens for the fall season.

The show, recommended for ages 4 to 6, features Elmo, Big Bird and a new friend from China. They compare the sky above Sesame Street to the one in China and note the similarities. There are songs and other opportunities for kids to get involved in the action on the 360-degree screen above.

Both my kids, ages 2 and 7, enjoyed the show. Following the characters around the giant screen was exciting, but they also came away with a bit of information about stars and constellations too. I highly recommend this show, which will be featured at Morehead through October and likely won't return until next summer. Morehead Planetarium Destination: Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at UNC-Chapel Hill

But "One World, One Sky" is just one of the reasons that Morehead is such a fantastic destination for families in the Triangle.

Opened in 1949, Morehead served as a training center for astronauts in the 1960s and early 1970s. Today, the center offers regular planetarium shows and exhibits, along with science shows, skywatching sessions, special events and more.

On the Science Stage, for instance, staff features fun and interactive science experiments done in front of an audience. Star Families, designed for kids ages 7 to 12 and an adult, focuses on skywatching and astronomy-related topics (registration required for this one).

Check Morehead's full schedule for all the details about its show schedule through Oct. 28. And a big hand for Morehead for offering great age recommendations for each of their shows and programs.

Also coming up this fall: Morehead will feature its very popular Scare-olina Skies show at 8 p.m., Oct. 26 and Oct. 27. A version that is appropriate for younger children is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., Oct. 27, and 3:30 p.m., Oct. 28.

Other than the summer and the week after Christmas, Morehead is only open to the public on the weekends. Weekdays are reserved for school groups. However, if a school doesn't use all the seats for a show that it has reserved on a weekday, Morehead will make tickets available to the public for the extra seats. That's not advertised because Morehead staff is never sure exactly how many seats a school will need. But, if you find yourself in downtown Chapel Hill, it could be worth a shot.

Morehead's winter schedule begins Nov. 3 and will include a new planetarium show called "The Longest Night," made in collaboration with the Paperhand Puppet Intervention. I'll have more about that as we get closer to the premiere.

One note: "Magic Tree House: Space Mission," based on the popular "Magic Tree House" series, which my seven-year-old, who devoured the book series as a kindergartner, loved, is not scheduled for the fall or winter. It's likely the show will return in the spring.

To hear more about Morehead, watch my video interview with Adam Phelps, Morehead's guest relations manager.

Find Morehead Planetarium on Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill.

Looking for things to do with the kid? Check our list of park and playground reviews and posts on Triangle family destinations. Go Ask Mom features places to take kids every Friday.


1 Comment

Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • LuvLivingInCary Sep 1, 2012

    it won't be no future astronaut training facility. they got rid of the machine that reproduced an extremely accurate representation of the sky for a "digital projector" . Just sad. and yes they make brand new zeiss machines to do what the old one did.