The warm nights of summer would be so perfect for stargazing if there were ever a clear night and a total lack of light pollution in Southern California. So that's right out. But there are always planetariums—there are tons scattered throughout Los Angeles, mostly at schools (Beverly Hills High has its own, natch), and several are open to the public for regular or occasional shows. (Most allow children, but some restrict young children or only allow them at certain times.) A lot are even free. Here's a map of all nine to visit:Read More
Map: 9 Los Angeles Planetariums That Are Open to the Public
1. Samuel Oschin Planetarium
The planetarium at Griffith Observatory is obviously a must-visit for everyone. Admission to the Observatory and its astronomy exhibits is free, but planetarium shows cost a few bucks. They're held eight to 10 times a day. [Image via steve]
2. UCLA Planetarium
Los Angeles, CA 90095
UCLA has a delightful little planetarium on the eighth floor of their Mathematical Sciences Building with free shows most Wednesday evenings led by graduate students. There are also telescope viewings afterward.
3. Drescher Planetarium
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Santa Monica College's planetarium hosts two shows every Friday night, at $6 for one or $11 for two.
4. Donald E. Bianchi Planetarium
Northridge, CA 91325
CSU Northridge has a pretty spacious planetarium and offers somewhat regular shows at $6 for one and $10 for two a night.
5. El Camino College Planetarium
Gardena, CA 90249
El Camino College's Astronomy Department holds free shows about once a month while school is in session.
6. Garvey Ranch Observatory
Monterey Park, CA 91755
Not technically a planetarium, but on Wednesday nights, the LA Astronomical Society leads viewings from the observatory.
7. Glendale Community College Planetarium
Glendale, CA 91208
GCC holds free shows on Thursdays at 12:30 pm while classes are in session.
8. Tessman Planetarium
Santa Ana, CA 92706
The planetarium at Santa Ana College holds regular public shows on a variety of topics at $6 on weekdays and $7 on the weekends. They recommend you buy tickets online in advance.
9. Los Angeles Valley College Planetarium
Van Nuys, CA 91401
The LAVC hosts planetarium shows on all different topics about once a month, with telescope viewings afterward. They're $6 for adults.