Our city may be known for its star maps, but LA's light pollution makes it hard to sit outside and identify actual shooting stars, planets, and constellations. Whether your kids love staring at the stars when they're out of the city or have never taken a good look at the Milky Way, planetarium shows and observatories can be a great way to examine the wonders of the night sky.
Planetariums offer a virtual sky experience, generally following a specific theme; shows may give an overview of the current sky, take a trip through the solar system, or focus on a phenomenon like the Northern Lights. Observatories offer a chance to look straight at the universe via someone else's (often superpowered) telescope. We are lucky to have a few observatories in town, as well as a good selection of planetariums (or planetaria, if you prefer) for spotting the biggest Los Angeles stars. Some locations, like Griffith Observatory, even do it all in one place: high-tech shows, enormous telescopes, and public star parties (no red carpet involved).