We took the subway to the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium. The planetarium was practically brand new and just opened in Spring 2013. Once inside, we were able to purchase tickets as a package to two different shows entitled Continuum and From The Earth To The Stars for $18.75 per person. Be forewarned – there are far more French language shows than English ones, so plan accordingly! There is a full schedule posted up on the website. We gave ourselves a full hour before the first show began and once we arrived, there were only two tickets left for the English speaking shows! So, you might want to grab your tickets early and in advance as we totally lucked out!
Before the first show began, we walked around an interactive informative area called EXO: Our Search for Life in the Universe. This seemed to mostly be geared towards children and included basic information about our solar system, our universe, etc. It wasn’t anything that we hadn’t already seen at other science centres and television programs in the past. It was also crawling with kids, so rather than paying too much attention to the displays, we decided to get in line for our first planetarium show, Continuum. (With all of that said, I’m glad that there are interactive displays about outer space that appeal to children as I think it’s great to get kids interested in this kind of thing!)
Continuum was unlike any planetarium show I’d ever seen! First of all, when you walk into the Chaos Theatre, there are big bean bag chairs everywhere – one giant communal one in the middle of the room, and smaller single person chairs to lounge on surrounding it. There were also chairs lined up around the room. We were able to each secure a bean bag chair. We were all encouraged to lay down on the bean bags and look straight up, as though we were lying on the grass outdoors to look up at the stars. Another thing to note that was a little strange – a good concept, but a poor idea when put into practice – people were encouraged to relax fully by taking off their shoes. This left the entire room smelling like gross sweaty feet. If you could get past the foul odors, the show was really, really enjoyable. Here is a description of the show:
This immersive show, specially designed by Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon, an internationally acclaimed artistic duo, will take visitors on a moving journey through the splendours and power of space, set to the entrancing symphonic music of Philip Glass. From the infinitely small to the infinitely large, a cosmic poem on the link between humankind and the Universe.
Directly after Continuum ended, we all moved to the other theatre at the planetarium, the Milky Way Theatre to see the show called From The Earth To The Stars. This was an entirely different show than the last one. While Continuum was a visual and auditory dazzler, From the Earth to the Stars was an educational experience. With the guidance of a skilled “astronomy interpreter” (as described by the website), we were shown a view of all the stars that were visible in the night sky. He showed us various constellations and explained how we could locate them in the night sky. It was definitely one of the most informative planetarium shows that I’d ever seen! Apparently the discussion changes with the seasons, so we could see different stars during various times of the year.
I would definitely check out the Montreal Planetarium if you get the chance, if you’re interested in outer space and the universe (like we are)! It provides a great introduction to learning about space and a fantastic lights show that would appeal to everyone!
Read all about our full Montreal trip:
Aux Vivres Vegan Restaurant
La Panthere Verte Restaurant
Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium
Old Montreal and Old Port
Walking All Over the City
Cafe Verdure Vegan Restaurant
Outdoor Art in Montreal
Habitat 67 and Montreal Bagels