Ritter Planetarium and Brooks Observatory

Birthday Parties

3 panel birthday banner


Want to give your little scientist and 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. 

The Basics (details below)

  • Cost: A flat rate of $350 for a maximum of 40 people (this includes children and adults).

  • Photographs of the birthday child projected on the dome (click here for an example).

  • Two age-appropriate planetarium programs of your choice.

  • Custom printable invitations (see below).

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

  • For an additional charge of $50, attendees can go observing at the Brooks Observatory weather permitting.

The Details

  • Length of party:  The party is limited to 3.5 hours but they 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 theater.  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.  If possible send your images as a compressed/zipped archive.  Please email all material to Heidi Westrick at heidi.kuchta@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 FULL-DOME 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 new 14 inch 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 Heidi Westrick at 419.530.2650 or email at heidi.kuchta@utoledo.edu



Last Updated: 6/11/24