Flandrau is a Science Center & Planetarium located on the University of Arizona campus. Staffed primarily by students, the building features rotating science exhibits, a mineral collection, a marine discovery room, and a state-of-the-art projection system in the planetarium theater.
Where is Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium located?
Flandrau is located on the University of Arizona campus at 1601 E. University Blvd in Tucson.
What are the hours?
- Monday-Wednesday 9:00am-5:00pm
- Thursday 9:00am-9:00pm
- Friday 9:00am-10:00pm
- Saturday 10:00am-10:00pm
- Sunday 10:00am-5:00pm
Why would I visit Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium?
- To see a show in the planetarium
- To view and experience the exhibits
- To browse the mineral collection
- To learn about marine life in the Marine Discovery room
- To attend a birthday party
- To go on a field trip
How much does it cost?
Admission to the Science Center is $7 for adults, $5 for children (ages 4-17), and free for children 3 and under. Admission to the planetarium shows is $7 for adults, $5 for children (ages 4-17), and free for children 3 and under.
Discounts are available for students and the military.
What is the parking situation?
The first and easiest option for parking at Flandrau is the “yellow curb” along Hawthorne Street on the north side of the building. Free parking passes are available for visitors. That parking tends to fill up fast due to school groups on weekday mornings.
If the yellow curb is full, metered curb parking is available on First Street and Second Street, north of Flandrau. Pay at the credit/debit stations. Remember that metered parking is free after 5pm and on the weekends!
The two closest UA garages are the Cherry Avenue Garage and the Second Street Garage. The rate is $4 for 2 hours or $5 for 3 hours. Garage parking is free on the weekends, except on major game days and special event days.
Flandrau is only one block from the 2nd Street/Cherry Avenue streetcar stop so that’s also a great option.
What should I wear?
Flandrau is indoors with heating in the winter and air-conditioning in the summer.
What should I bring with me?
Are bathrooms available?
Which days of the week are the most and least crowded?
The most crowded times are Saturday and Sunday afternoons. There are generally not large crowds on weekdays, but school groups do come through on those days.
What shows are currently playing in the planetarium theater?
The best part about Flandrau is the shows! The rest of the building is pretty small and you may be disappointed by the number of exhibits if have been to larger science centers/museums around the country. That being said, they have a great line-up of educational shows to engage both children and adults.
ASTEROIDS: MISSION EXTREME
All about the science and potential of asteroids, this show explores how asteroids could be used as stepping-stones for human space exploration. Produced by National Geographic with amazing imagery, you’ll feel like you’re actually landing on an asteroid! Plus, each screening includes a “live” planetarium show about the University of Arizona’s OSIRIS-REX asteroid sample return mission. Led by the U of A, this NASA mission has launched a robotic spacecraft to bring back a pristine sample from an asteroid for the first time. That sample will be a scientific treasure that holds clues to the origin of our Solar System and life on Earth.
WE ARE STARS
A fun, gorgeously animated fulldome show about cosmic chemistry and our explosive origins, this dazzling film reveals how hydrogen and carbon, the very building blocks of life, formed in the universe and then brings it all back to us – we are made of stars!
MYSTERIES OF THE UNSEEN WORLD
Visually stunning and rooted in cutting-edge research, Mysteries of the Unseen World will leave audiences enthralled as they begin to understand the enormity of the world they can’t see—a world that exists all around us at speeds or scales that our eyes can’t detect. With this understanding comes a new appreciation of the wonder and possibilities of science.
TUCSON SKY & BEYOND
A classic night sky “live show,” but not like you remember it! Explore what you can see in Tucson’s dark skies as one of our skilled “Console Captains” gives you a guided tour of the stars, planets, constellations, and current events happening in the night sky at this time of year. This live show is never the same and there is always a surprise in store.
TOURING THE SOLAR SYSTEM
Launch from planet Earth and fly through the Solar System on this “live” guided tour! In this show we stop by each planet and learn what makes it special. We also explore moons, asteroids, the Milky Way, and beyond. With one of our talented planetarium operators steering the spaceship, this is a fun and fascinating ride.
PINK FLOYD’S DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
The classic laser music show that many visitors remember from high school, Dark Side of the Moon has attracted a new generation of fans and remains the most popular laser music show of all time.
Is outside food allowed? Are picnic tables available?
You can bring outside food, but there are no tables available. School groups usually picnic on the lawn outside the building or on the central UA mall.
Does Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium have a restaurant?
What restaurants are located NEAR Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium?
You’re in luck! There are gads of terrific restaurants in the UA/downtown area. Our top picks within a 3-mile radius are:
- Pasco Kitchen & Lounge, 820 E. University Blvd (0.9 miles away) – urban farm inspired menu, local ingredients, happy hour (3-6pm daily)
- Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink, 101 E. Pennington St (2.1 miles away) – lunch, dinner, spirits, wine, beer garden
- Cafe Poca Cosa, 110 E. Pennington St (2.1 miles away) – upscale urban bistro, “imaginative Mexican cuisine,” menu changes twice daily, reservations required
- 47 Scott, 47 N. Scott Ave (2.1 miles away) – neighborhood bistro, dinner daily (4-10pm), happy hour (4-6pm), weekend brunch
- La Cocina, 201 N. Court Ave (2.3 miles away) – brunch, lunch, dinner, sandwiches, salads, southwestern fare, indoor + outdoor seating, live music
- Cafe a La C’Art (inside Tucson Museum of Art), 150 N. Main Ave (2.4 miles away) – Monet inspired garden patio, pastries, breakfast, lunch, dinner
- Maynards Market & Kitchen, 400 N. Toole Ave (2.6 miles away) – indoor + outdoor seating, sandwiches, salads, beer + wine
- Hub Restaurant & Ice Creamery, 266 E. Congress St (2.6 miles away) – fun atmosphere, burgers, salads, sandwiches, pasta, beer + wine, ice cream
- Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails, 135 S. 6th Ave (2.9 miles away) – dinner, desserts, happy hour, gourmet American cuisine prepared by a renowned chef
BABIES & KIDS
What ages would be best suited for a visit to Flandrau Planetarium?
Ages 3+ will probably enjoy the shows the most. Babies and toddlers are certainly welcome, but they may be frightened by the darkness. That said, you can always exit during the show if your baby is crying or restless. Note that once you exit, the doors lock behind you and you will not be able to re-enter.
Should I bring a stroller?
Sure. The center itself isn’t very big, but you may walk a bit on-campus and a stroller is a good idea.
Are changing tables available?
What about my other “baby” (cat, dog, etc)?
No pets are permitted in the facility, except for seeing-eye dogs.
Can I have my wedding or rehearsal dinner at Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium?
Yes. Please call to inquire about dates and fees.
Can I have my child’s birthday party at Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium?
Yes! Birthday party packages are available at a rate of $9/person. Your 2-hour party will include science center exhibits, the mineral museum, a planetarium show, and use of an upstairs special events room. Bring your own food, cake, and/or ice cream for a party that is “out-of-this-world.” Call 520-621-4516 to make a reservation.
Is Flandrau active on social media?
Yes! Find Flandrau on Facebook. Watch the Facebook page for discounted admission days and info about the latest exhibits.