For my welcome party to DMC, we went to the Halloween edition of Adler After Dark at the Adler Planetarium. We hung out at the office for pizza, beer, and general hanging out before heading over to the museum.
I had never been to the Planetarium before, so I was really excited to see what they had to offer. Once we arrived, we made our way to Café Galileo's glass pavilion where we enjoyed various beverages in front of a spectacular view of the Chicago skyline. The "Dark Matter" cocktail was the signature cocktail of the night, with a big chunk of dry ice in the bottom for a frothy effect. Since no Halloween event would be complete without candy, the Café also had a big table with glass bowls full of various candy.
DMC's Administrative Assistants handed out a custom-made scavenger hunt and broke us all into teams. The scavenger hunt had us traveling all over the Planetarium to various attractions. Some of them were challenges that required an action (and a photo of said activity), such as breaking out our best moves on the dance floor in the Café. Other parts of the hunt had us answering questions using information from the exhibits on topics like light pollution and the Gemini 12's launch into space. One of the more difficult questions had my team asking one of the museum guides for help answering it, and even she found herself stumped!
In addition to the scavenger hunt made by DMC, the Adler Planetarium had also created a bingo-style activity. Each visitor was given a bingo grid with different museum attractions, and we had to go around the museum visiting them and getting stamps. Once you received five stamps in a row (or column), you could turn in your bingo sheet to pull a colored chip out of a basket and select a prize from the table. The prizes varied from stickers (obviously the junk prize) to some very cool Adler Planetarium shot glasses complete with the twelve Zodiac signs.
With Bingo and the scavenger hunt completed, our assigned groups fell apart as we all wandered the museum to check out the remaining attractions. Even without all of the costumed characters walking around, lights, and glow-in-the-dark spider webs, the Planetarium is a very cool place. One of the exhibits lets you pile people into a moving cart that ascends into a large sphere that is completely black on the inside. A guide then hit a switch that illuminates the entire inside with stars like the night sky and shared a bunch of cool facts about constellations with us. We also sent ourselves a "postcard" through a machine that showed you how long an email would take to arrive in your inbox on Earth if sent from various places like space stations, planets, and stars. We also did "Cosmic Bowling", watched some cool science demonstrations, headed outside of the Planetarium to peer into a giant telescope focused on a faraway star, and some of us held a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach visiting from the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.
Overall, the night was incredibly fun and a great way to get to know my coworkers. We saw a lot of great costumes and took some awesome pictures. I can't wait to go back to the Planetarium when I have more time to explore the exhibits!
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