Ritter Planetarium and Brooks Observatory

Public Programs

Public programs are offered on Friday evenings throughout the year at 7:30 pm (May through September at 8:30 pm) and Saturday afternoons during the academic year at 1:00 pm. Admission to all public programs is $8 for adults and $6 for children, seniors and UToledo community members (children 3 and under are free).

We accept credit card and cash payments. All shows are first-come, first-served and reservations are not available. Doors open 30 minutes before the show, during which time you can explore the displays in our lobby. (Note the time change to 7:30 PM as of September 1.)

The planetarium (show) portion of the program is approximately one-hour, while the observing session on Friday night will continue until everyone has had a chance to take a look through the telescope. More information below.


Spring 2023 Schedule:


Stars of the Pharaohs Movie Poster

Stars of the PHaraohs

Fridays at 7:30 PM from March 31 to April 28, 2023

Travel to ancient Egypt 6,000 years ago to see how astronomers made the first solar calendar, aligned their temples and pyramids, and told time by the stars. You’ll discover the connection ancient Egyptians felt with the heavens and explore the most spectacular temples and tombs of the ancient world, projected all around you in their original splendor. Stars of the Pharaohs is narrated by John Rhys-Davies.

Zula Patrol Movie Poster

Zula Patrol Under the Weather

Saturdays at 1:00 PM from April 1 to April 29, 2023

The stalwart heroes of the Zula Patrol are on an expedition collecting samples of weather for scientist Multo’s research.  When the Zula gang inadvertently hurts their loyal pet Gorga’s feelings, he decides to leave Zula and find another planet to live on.  Villain Dark Truder then tricks Gorga into helping with his latest nefarious scheme to rule the Universe.  The Zula Patrollers find out and go after him – in the process learning all about weather, both here on Earth and on the other planets of the Solar System.


What you can expect:

  • A live guided tour of the Toledo night sky

    You will learn about the constellations visible from Toledo and any planets visible to the naked eye. We also typically discuss one "hot topic" in astronomy, such as the discovery of new planets around other stars, or the latest NASA discover on Mars.

  • The full-dome presentation

    Whether we are traveling inside a black hole, taking a tour of the moon with Elmo, or learning about the skies over Toledo, you and your family will simply be amazed at the full-dome immersive show.

  • An open-ended question and answer session

    Our expert host will answer all of your astronomy questions, whether they pertain to the live tour of the night sky, the feature presentation, or any other astronomy question that you might have.

  • Observing at Brooks/Ritter Observatory

    You will be escorted over to Brooks Observatory atop McMaster Hall to view the stars and/or planets through our new 14 telescope. On the first Friday of every month, we instead observe with the Ritter 1m (40 in) telescope. This telescope is the largest active telescope east of the Mississippi and is still used by the astronomers at UToledo for their research. All observing is weather permitting!


Last Updated: 3/9/23