John C. Wells Planetarium Reservations for School/Community Groups
*We will be closed on June 22 through August for Science Explorer Camp*
Thank you for your interest in visiting the John C. Wells Planetarium, a state-of-the-art, hybrid facility located on campus at James Madison University. Please allow 3--5 business days for us to get back to you to confirm your reservation. Submitting this form does not guarantee a reservation for the selected day and time.
Please make sure to view our reservation calendar linked below to make sure that the Planetarium is available for your chosen date/time. NOTE that we are not able to take reservations during the entire month of July because of our Space Explorers summer camps.
ADMISSION CHARGE: The John C. Wells Planetarium now charges $60 per reservation for any school (public/private/home-school) or community group that visits us. Payment must be submitted prior to your scheduled visit. To submit payment online, please click on “Reservations/Schools” in the gold navigation menu on the left side of our website and then click on “Submit Payment for Reservation”. If you wish to pay by check, payment must be received at least 7 days before your reservation. You may mail your check for $60 (payable to JMU or James Madison University) to:
Mr. Jacob Brown
Dept. of Physics & Astronomy
James Madison University
901 Carrier Dr
A $50 fee will be assessed for any check returned by the bank.
Please note: The John C. Wells planetarium strives to bring cutting-edge science to JMU as well as to the larger Shenandoah Valley community. Hence, the planetarium staff presents established science that is based on consensus from the scientific community. We will present the scientific evidence on topics such as climate change, evolution, age of the Earth, the Big Bang, and the age of the Universe. All of our full dome shows, activities, and live star talks make reference and begin with the premise that the age of the Universe is 13.8 billion years old, and that our Sun and the Solar System formed ~5 billions years ago. Our staff will not alter their presentations when discussing what some may consider controversial science topics.
On what day and time would you like to visit the John C. Wells Planetarium?
Please check the planetarium calendar (link below) to avoid conflicts:
Is this reservation for
a school/home school group
Boy Scouts/Girl Guides
other community group
If you are a school/home school group, please tell us the name of your school/home school.
What is the grade level of your students?
If this is not a school/home school group, what is the name of your organization?
What is the age range of the people in your group?
How many people will be in your group?
The planetarium can seat 72 people. If your group is larger then 72 people, please e-mail the planetarium director at
A typical reservation is for one hour where we present a full-dome video followed by a live, seasonal discussion of the night sky as seen here in the Valley. Choose your reservation type below. For Pre-School/Kindergarten groups, we recommend a 30minute Full Dome Video Only presentation.
Full-dome video plus night sky discussion (1hr reservation)
Full-dome video only (30min reservation; recommended for Pre-school/Kindergarten groups)
Night sky discussion only (30min reservation)
Is there a particular full dome video you would like to see?
See our list of available shows for descriptions:
What are the educational goals of your visit?
If this is a public school group visit, what SOLs would you like covered? If a private/homeschool group, is there a specific concept or discussion you would like us to lead?
How will your group be arriving at the planetarium?
about bus/car parking & how to obtain JMU parking permits for private cars in your group.
School bus and private cars
Will you need parking permits for chaperones or if you will be arriving in private vehicles?
Please provide the name of the person we should contact about this reservation request.
Please provide a contact e-mail address.
Please provide a contact telephone number.
A copy of your responses will be emailed to the address you provided.
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