Review: Adler After Dark

Last month was my friend Amy’s birthday and, to celebrate, she wanted to go to this event at Adler Planetarium called Adler After Dark. Basically, they re-open the planetarium after hours to accommodate guests over 21 with booze, food, music, and science. It was a ridiculous amount of fun–the atmosphere is laid back, the presentations are “grown up” a little and made hilarious (especially if you have a couple beers in you), and you even learn a little.

So when we learned that this month’s theme was superheroes, we knew we had to go again. I reached out to the other members of this Chicago-area cosplay group called We Are Cosplay, only to find out that they were already planning to attend the event officially.

In order to get in with We Are Cosplay (which meant free admission and parking–a blessing in Chicago), we had to send in a picture of one or two costumes. I wanted to have a space-themed superhero, and realized that I pretty much had all the materials I needed to make this version of Sue Storm. So I made it, sent it in, and it was accepted!

suestorm (2)

My sister and I arrived a little early so I could change, and she hung out with her friends until the venue opened. My friends showed up later, too–and the relaxed atmosphere of the event was nice, because that meant I could hang out with them! I just had to be ready to take pictures if anyone asked.

The Adler staff run each of their planetarium shows throughout the night, as well as a few special science presentations that they link to that month’s theme. There were a few linked around the Fantastic Four, which was fun, since I was Sue Storm. Like I said, it’s really laid back so the staff are very open to questions (and jokes/sarcastic comments) from the audiences! There’s even some hands-on science stuff, and a craft area. We made stretchy putty!


They also rented one of those inflatable obstacle courses, so guests could practice their superhero skills. I didn’t do this event, but my friends did–and I’m sure they showed promise!



It was also great to hang out with other cosplayers. I met quite a few nice area cosplayers, and have been chatting with the community. It’s nice to know that there are tons of people in my area who like the same things I do! Nerd power!


My friend and photographer, Eddie, showed up near the end of the event and took some great pictures of Sue Storm in different parts of the planetarium–I’m really excited to see them and share them when they’re edited and everything. The We Are Cosplay group also brought their own photographers (and a videographers), and I took a couple pictures with them. I’ll be sure to share those, too, when they’re up.

I can’t recommend Adler After Dark enough. If you live in the Chicago area, you should definitely check it out. The only downside is that it’s always on a Thursday night. It’s summer and I’m a student, so that didn’t present any problems for me, but some of my friends wouldn’t come because of work the next morning. The even runs from 6:30-10:30, though, so it would work out for most people–especially if you don’t have to travel far.

I’ll see you off with a couple pictures of Sue Storm and friends! (And enemies).




Does your hometown (or nearby city) have any fun, geeky events like Adler After Dark? Have you been to them? Share them in the comments!

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