There are some great local resources for stargazing and learning more about astronomy through local planetarium programs in Hampton Roads. The programs listed have offered, or are currently offering, FREE admission to their programs. Additions and updates to this list can be submitted HERE and this post will be updated accordingly!
Paid planetarium programs are also listed at the bottom of this post, and you will also find a link to the local Amateur Astronomers Group! Enjoy!
Chesapeake - Chesapeake Planetarium
Dates: Call the reservation number for show dates and times.
- September - The End of the World
- October - The Astronomical Zodiac
- November - The Winter Sky
- December - The Christmas Star
Cost: Free. Due to limited seating, reservations are necessary and may be made by telephoning Chesapeake Public Schools between 8am - 4pm weekdays. (757-547-0153)
Description: On Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m., the general public is invited to attend free programs. These programs are provided as a free service of the Chesapeake Public School System. Topics for these programs change every month and are educational in nature. They are designed to give the individual a general overview of astronomy.* It is recommended that children below the first-grade level not be admitted to the planetarium chamber. All quiet children are welcome.
More Information: Chesapeake Planetarium
Hampton - Jones Magnet Middle School Planetarium
Current Show: Dates for the 2019-2020 school year are listed below.
All shows are from 5 pm - 6 pm Doors open at 4:45 and close at 5 pm when the show begins.
- October 2
- November 6
- December 4
- January 9
- February 6
- March 5
- April 2
More Information: Jones Magnet Middle School Planetarium
Norfolk - Pretlow Planetarium at ODU
Dates: Wednesday Nights
- September 30 - Special Topic - Myth and Movies
- October 3 - Supervolcanoes
- October 7 - Escher's Universe
- October 10 - Legends of the Night Sky: Orion
- October 14 - Black Holes: Journey into the Unknown
- October 17 - Earth, Moon, and Sun
- October 21 - Special Topic: Constellations
- October 24 - Special Topic - Pseudoscience
- October 28 - Nanocam
- October 31 - Special Topic - Life in the Universe
- November 4 - Legends of the Night Sky: Perseus and Andromeda
- November 7 - Special Topic - The Transit of Mercury
- November 11 - Special Topic - Extreme Environments of the Universe
- November 14 - Special Topic - Lifecycle of Stars
- November 18 - Two Small Pieces of Glass
- November 21 - Special Topic - From Apollo to Artemis
- November 25 - Firefall
- December 2 - Sesame Street: One World One Sky
- December 5 - Black Holes: Journey into the Unknown
Cost: Free and open to the public
Description: Every Monday and Thursday night listed, there will be a free planetarium show The shows will start at 7:00 and cover what is currently in the night sky, planets, constellations, and more. Check back here soon for a schedule of special topics and movies that will be playing on these nights. All public shows are free and family friendly. Reservations Required Due to limited seating, tickets are required. Tickets are FREE! Tickets become available 1 week before a show at 8:00 AM.
More Information: Pretlow Planetarium at ODU
Norfolk - Norfolk State University Planetarium
Current Show: Call for current schedule (757) 823-8240
Dates: Select Mondays at 12pm and Thursdays at 12:30pm
Cost: Free and open to the public. Each show is 30 minutes.
More Information: Norfolk State University Planetarium
TCC Virginia Beach Planetarium
Upcoming Show: Saturday, October 26, 2019
- 6:00 pm Mars 101
- 7:15 pm Mars 101
- 8:30 pm Halloween Show
Cost: Free and open to the public, reservations required.
Description: Admission is free and open to the public, but reservations are required for each show. You must arrive at least 15 minutes prior to showtime to guarantee your reservation. A very limited number of standby tickets will be available. Age limits: 4 years and older. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Food, drink, and chewing gum are not allowed in the planetarium. Latecomers will not be admitted; exit and re-entry are not permitted.
More Information: TCC Virginia Beach Planetarium
BONUS INFO: Hampton Roads Planetariums Offering Paid Public Programs
- Beazley Planetarium at The Children's Museum of VA - Included with museum admission
- Virginia Beach Public Schools Planetarium - Shows $3 each
- Virginia Living Museum - All daytime programs cost $4 plus Museum admission. VLM members are admitted free to day-time programs.