Ritter Planetarium and Brooks Observatory

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Main Campus
RPBO

Phone: 419.530.2650

24-Hour Information Hotline
419.530.4037

rpbo@astro.utoledo.edu

Birthday Parties

3 panel birthday banner 

Want to give your little scientist an out-of-this-world birthday party?  

Then why not have their birthday party at the Ritter Planetarium!  
The birthday girl or boy and their friends will have private access to the planetarium for two fun, but educational, programs as well as a space-themed roller coaster ride to end the party.  Then, as a special treat, you and your child will be given a private tour of the professional 1m (40 in) Ritter Telescope which is the largest operating optical telescope East of the Mississippi River. 


The Basics (details below)

  • Cost: $250 for up to 15 children. Each additional child is then $10.  Accompanying adults are free.
     
  • Photographs of the birthday child projected on the dome (click here for an example).
     
  • Two age-appropriate planetarium programs of your choice.
     
  • A space-themed roller coaster ride to top off the event!

  • A day-time tour of the 1m (40 inch) Ritter telescope for the birthday child and family.

  • Custom printable invitations (ask for details).

  • Tables and chairs for self-catered birthday cake/food.

  • For an additional charge of $50, attendees can go observing at the Brooks Observatory.
The Details
 
  • Length of party:  A party usually lasts between 2.5 and 3 hours. Typically one program will be shown to start the party, then the group will come out to the lobby to enjoy cake/food before re-entering the planetarium for a second show. The party is finished off with a space-themed roller coaster ride. After all this excitement, the birthday child and family get an extra special treat - a private tour of the 1m Ritter telescope. The order of events is flexible so if you would like your party to unfold differently, please just ask. 
  • Cake/Food: We supply bare tables and chairs which can be set up in the lobby to allow for cake and food. However all food, party favors, decorations, and paper plates etc. must be provided by the birthday family. There is no space for food preparation, facilities for reheating of food, or access to refrigerators/freezers. Cake, finger foods and juice are ideal. 
  • Pictures on the dome: We can project the name and pictures of your child (and anything else you feel is appropriate) on the dome for the birthday party attendees to see as they walk into the theatre.  However, we ask that you send us the images at least one week in advance to give us enough time to set up the display. We can work with most electronic formats of pictures including png, jpeg, and tiff. Please email all material to Alex Mak at amak@utnet.utoledo.edu.
  • Picking Shows: The party includes two planetarium programs that will both entertain and enthrall all age groups from 5 to 15 (and grown-up kids too!).  A list of currently available full-dome programs can be found in our School Programs page.   However you can swap out one of the full-dome programs for a live tour of the constellations, planets, and other heavenly bodies in the night sky over Toledo.  If you would like help selecting programs, please just ask!

  • Observing at Brooks Observatory:  For an additional charge of $50, we will bring your entire party over to the Brooks Observatory to view the stars, planets, and nebulae through our 6 inch refractor telescope.  Of course this will require clear skies so we will only charge the additional funds if the weather permits.  In addition, the party must be scheduled roughly two hours before sunset.
  • Party Times: The only restrictions to when parties can be held is times when the planetarium is already in use. Weekly public programs run on Friday evenings (after 6:30 PM) and Saturday afternoons (12.30pm until 2.30 PM) at which time the planetarium is unavailable for private events. Further to this many school and group visits happen during the week so please call or email us to find out about availability.  If you are going to schedule an observing session at Brooks Observatory, the party must be scheduled roughly two hours before sunset.
  • Booking Parties: We request you make first contact with us regarding your birthday party one month ahead of the preferred party date. This will allow plenty of time to get all arrangements in place for the best possible experience for your child.  To book a party, please call Alex Mak at 419.530.4641 or email at amak@utnet.utoledo.edu
  • Directions: You can find directions to the Ritter Planetarium here.  

 

Last Updated: 4/16/15