Tips from a townie

Sophie Leppanen

It’s frustrating, isn’t it? Sometimes you just want to pack your bags and get the hell off campus. You want to break your stressful routine and remind yourself that you are part of a bigger picture.
Unfortunately, you have a paper due Sunday night at 8 p.m., a presentation to give Monday morning and a test Tuesday, ruling out any chance to escape on a weekend ORC trip to ponder your existence in a tent engulfed in stars and woods. I propose a more practical mini-escape: a trip to the Barlow Planetarium.
Just a six-minute drive from Lawrence – 15 minutes by bike, 30 minutes on foot – the Barlow Planetarium can be found south of Highway 441 on Midway Road, on the campus of UW-Fox Valley.
Shows currently playing or coming up on the Planetarium’s schedule that may interest college students include: “Wisconsin Skies,” “Legends of the Night Sky: Perseus and Andromeda,” “Legends of the Night Sky: Orion” and “The Planets.” Sink down in your reclined planetarium chair as a tour guide leads you through the universe and shares with you the most up-to-date information about our solar system in a voice as mystical as Captain Picard’s.
For the person who likes to rock out while they space out, the Barlow Planetarium also offers a multi-sensory opportunity to experience the universe through themed laser rock shows.
Themes are categorized by musician or holiday. If The Beatles, U2, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Vinyl, Metallica, creepy Halloween music, patriotic music or Christmas music touch your innermost being, these shows are for you. If seeing intricate images produced by the latest laser projection technology coordinated to musical change gives you goose bumps, these shows are definitely for you.
If traveling through simulated galaxies, black holes and down roller coasters while immersed in 10000 watts of digital sound sounds mind-blowing to you, be prepared to have your mind blown. You need to check this out.
Pop the Bubble! Get off campus and visit the Planetarium ridin’ with friends or ridin’ solo to realign yourself with the universe at the Barlow Planetarium, and be sure to invite any UW-Fox Valley students you see take in Lawrence’s own mind-blowing musical experiences. Visit for show times and laser themes.