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Address: 5050 Oakland Ave, In Forest Park, Saint Louis, MO 63110
Phone Number: 13142894444
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Open now
See all hours
Sun 11:30 am - 4:30 pm
Mon - Sat 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

An architectural and cultural icon of St. Louis, the James S. McDonnell...

An architectural and cultural icon of St. Louis, the James S. McDonnell Planetarium of the Saint Louis Science Center is situated on a knoll in the southeast corner of Forest Park. Dedicated in 1963, the Planetarium in 1985 became the first phase of the Saint Louis Science Center, the main part of which is just south of the Planetarium, with the two buildings linked by a pedestrian bridge over I-64. (The Science Center's main building - see the "Saint Louis Science Center" listing - features over 90,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor permanent exhibits, a hall for touring exhibits and special events, an IMAX Dome theater, Discovery Room for families with younger children, plus food service and a gift shop.)

Within McDonnell Planetarium's striking Gyo Obata-designed hyperbolic shell is the Orthwein StarBay, an 80-foot wide planetarium chamber - the largest in North America - featuring a Zeiss IX star projector. The StarBay has no fixed seating, allowing attendees to star shows to lie on mats under one of the most realistic of artificial night skies; portable chairs are also available. Having an open chamber also allows the StarBay to host a variety of special events under the stars, from "camp-ins" to wedding receptions and parties, and even yoga classes.

On the lower, entry level of the Planetarium building are exhibits on space sciences, particularly those related to St. Louis, such as Mercury and Gemini capsules that were built at St. Louis' McDonnell Aircraft (now Boeing), and remote sensing exploration of Mars, where Washington University in St. Louis is a leading force. And outside the Planetarium is a Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornet, which was built in St. Louis.

As with the rest of the Science Center, the Planetarium is open year-round and has no general admission fee. Star shows and other programming have nominal charges.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 31 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 14
  • 13
    Very good
  • 4
  • 0
  • 0
First Planetarium Show

We have been in the Planetarium building many times before but we usually just walk through on our way to the science center. On our most recent visit we purchased tickets to one... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 3 weeks ago
Chattanooga, Tennessee
via mobile
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31 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 31: English reviews
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Level Contributor
96 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We have been in the Planetarium building many times before but we usually just walk through on our way to the science center. On our most recent visit we purchased tickets to one of the "Live Sky Tonight" showings. As the name implies it is a live show with a narrator explaining constellations, planets, stars and space in general. There... More 

Thank GoVols79
John W, Manager at Omnimax Theater, responded to this review

GoVols79- We're glad you decided to take in the Planetarium part of the Saint Louis Science Center experience during your latest visit. We appreciate the kind words about our Sky Tonight show. While we invite all to join in the unique fun of laying out watching the stars under our giant 80-foot projection dome, we do appreciate that some would... More 

Phoenix, AZ
Level Contributor
171 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 263 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2016

This Planetarium is part of the St. Louis Science Center, which is a good place for kids and reasonably priced. The show is $6 for adults and $5 for kids for a 45 minute show. The one we saw was on the galaxies and was fairly informative. However, the chairs they use to watch the show are some plastic and... More 

Thank TravelingBill
John W, Manager at Omnimax Theater, responded to this review

TravelingBill- Thanks for your visit to the Saint Louis Science Center, and for your comments about the Planetarium. You might have noticed that our planetarium is fairly unique, in that it's huge (80-foot wide projection dome - largest in North America) and has no fixed seating. This allows us to do all manner of after-hours special events, such as weddings,... More 

Level Contributor
41 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2016 via mobile

Saw the IMAX film on the national parks this weekend. I liked the film format but has nothing on. I siting the real thing. I've been to many national parks so I was not amazed with the film. Don't get me wrong, I think it is great to promote the national parks and is a worthwhile activity for your dollars.... More 

Thank Allen T
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
49 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2016

We went and saw a show at the Omnimax this past weekend, and it was amazing! Highly recommended! Make sure you sit as close to the middle of the theater as possible so you can see better, and make sure you are in line well before the show starts to get one of these good seats.

1 Thank Colleen P
Luperon, Dominican Republic
Level Contributor
43 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2016

I have visited this beautiful building many times. They change their attractions frequently and they are always of interest. Like a box of chocolates. "You never know what you are going to get". But it is always educational and very entertaining.

Thank bob k
Fenton, Missouri
Level Contributor
107 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2016 via mobile

A group of 10 of us get together regularly from Church and in late January we all attended the OMNIMAX showing of Jerusalem. Although we all agreed the movie's content was very good in showing the antiquity of this city, it's complexity and it's diverse cultural makeup several of us with some degree of motion sickness left feeling a bit... More 

Thank Jim M
Redondo Beach, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2015

Omnimax is a great visual experience -- better for shorter cinematic offerings, as the seats aren't too comfortable for anything longer. It's big, it's bold, it's an experience!

Thank Oceangirl9999
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
41 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2015 via mobile

We loved the Planetarium\omni max/science center! In my oppinion this is way better than the City Museum ( too crowded, not a lot of parking ect). We really enjoyed the dinosaur exhibit, the fossil exploration, energy center, and tornado tunnel. The center is really large, great for kids, wheels chairs ect. Even with large crowds inside it was not crowded.... More 

Thank asdaughtry
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
136 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2015

Adults will learn something as well, of course, but the Omnimax films are always visually stunning! The Planetarium star shows are fascinating, and everyone will learn about life in space, the challenges of getting there, etc.

Thank schonstl
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2015

So many things to see and do at this location...a great place for family trips and out-of-towners, especially on a rainy day!!

Thank Josh H

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