Planetarium FAQ: School & Group Shows

Where is the planetarium located?

The planetarium is located in the Maxwell Center building. Once you turn into campus, signs will direct you. Here is a link to a web page with directions, a campus map, and parking info. Maxwell is building #1 on the campus map.

Where can planetarium visitors park?

Please visit the Planetarium Directions & Parking Information page.

What are your general policies?

  • Food and drink are not permitted in the planetarium.
  • Once a show has started, if you leave the planetarium for any reason, re-entry is not allowed due to safety regulations in the darkened environment.
  • Please silence all electronic devices during the show, and make sure all display screens stay powered off. The light from the screen can ruin the dark sky effect for other visitors. 

We would like to set up a field trip to the planetarium. What times do you offer group shows?

We schedule shows by request on weekday mornings, Monday through Friday. We also have some weekday afternoon slots during times when the planetarium is not used for college classes and labs. If no other group has scheduled for a particular date, you can select whatever time is most convenient for your group to arrive. If another group is already scheduled for that day, we will work with you to find the closest available slot. For example, if another group has already scheduled for 10:00am on the day you wish to visit, we could schedule your group for either 9:00 or 11:00am. Or if you really prefer 10:00am, we could simply look for another date. To schedule a show, please e-mail Planetarium Director Steve Morgan or call (706) 379-5130 at least two weeks in advance. If you would like to see two shows while you are here, we are happy to set up a combo of your choice of show titles.

We want to visit the planetarium, but don’t know what is showing. Where is your list of show titles for group shows?

Since group shows are scheduled at your request, you have complete flexibility to choose any show in our library. For a complete listing of our available show titles, along with recommended age levels, trailers and educator guides, please click here.

What is the admission cost for group planetarium programs?

School group rates: $50 flat fee for the first show, which covers everyone in your group, including any adults. If seeing two shows for the same students, the fee for the second program is $3 per student and $5 per teacher or other adult.

NOTE: There is a $50 minimum charge in effect for the second show, meaning the fee cannot be less than $50, but it may be more than $50 depending on the number in the group.

Ms. Smith brings a school group consisting of 22 students and 4 adults, and they see two planetarium shows. The fees would be:

  • 1st show = $50 flat fee
  • 2nd show = (22 students x $3 each) + (4 adults x $5 each) = $66 + $20 = $86

TOTAL FEE = $50 + $86 = $136

Rates for non-school groups: $3 per child/student (age 5 & up) and $5 per adult per show. NOTE: There is a $50 minimum charge in effect for each show, meaning the fee cannot be less than $50, but it may be more than $50 depending on the number in the group.

Mr. Jones brings a community group consisting of 10 children and 12 adults, and they see one planetarium show. The fees would be:

  • TOTAL FEE = (10 children x $3 each) + (12 adults x $5 each) = $30 + $60 = $90

We are a small private school or community group and don’t quite have the 15 persons required to schedule a group show. Can we still make a reservation? 

Yes, as long as you are willing to pay the $50 minimum charge per showing, regardless of how few people you actually have.

Do you ever schedule private events such as birthday parties or weddings in the planetarium?   

No, the planetarium is located in an academic building with ongoing classes, labs and other college functions, and is not available for parties, weddings and the like.

When is payment due for group programs?

Payment is due at the time of your visit by cash or check (one check for entire group) made out to YOUNG HARRIS COLLEGE. If paying by cash, the group leader should collect fees prior to arrival and be ready to present payment for the group. No debit/credit cards accepted.

A couple of weeks before your visit, we will send you an e-mail confirmation reminder that includes mention of the admission fee amount. When you make payment at the time of your visit, we are glad to write a receipt you can take back with you.

NOTE: If your school requires an actual billing invoice ahead of time, just let us know and we can generate one for you.

What if our group has to cancel or reschedule?

Send an e-mail to Planetarium Director Steve Morgan or call 706-379-5130 as soon as possible, and we will work with you to reschedule your visit. In the event of inclement weather, the planetarium follows the lead of Young Harris College for delays and closings, which are posted on the College’s website at

What if our group is running late?

Call 706-379-5130 to notify Planetarium Director Steve Morgan. It may be necessary to shorten your program or rearrange the schedule.

What is the seating capacity of the planetarium?

The planetarium has seating for 104 people.

NOTE: If your group is going to be larger than this, please let Mr. Morgan know immediately(706-379-5130) so we can look at splitting your group for separate showings. Fire safety regulations prohibit us from adding folding chairs in the aisles or allowing extra people to stand or sit on the floor during a show.  With separate showings, half your group could play at the park down the street and/or eat their picnic lunches while the other half is seeing the planetarium show, then switch places.

Can parents accompany a school group in the planetarium?

Parents should check with their child’s teacher or group leader to make sure that parent chaperones are allowed on the trip (policies vary from school to school) and that enough extra seats are available in the planetarium (depends on the size of the group).

NOTE: For a two-show combo, parents need to pay $5 per person only for the second program since they are covered by the flat fee on the first program. It is fine if parents pay by cash. In other words, if you want to pay by check for the students and teachers, but have parents pay cash, that is fine. The only thing we ask is that the group leader collect the cash from the parents ahead of time and be ready to present payment for the entire group at the time of your visit. The reason we ask this is that it saves a lot of time in getting the show started. If we had to collect cash from each parent individually, then give back change, it could cause a delay.

How long does a show typically last?

A single show lasts approximately 45-60 minutes, which includes time for seating and a brief introduction at the beginning, plus a brief live-narrated look at the constellations at the end. Most programs may be shortened upon request. If you have scheduled a two-show combo for the same students, your total time in the planetarium will be approximately 1.5 hours, since the live-narrated part only has to be done once. Add a little extra time to that if you would like a restroom break between the two shows.

Is there an age limit for the planetarium?

We do not set an age limit for children to visit the planetarium. We rely on parents and teachers to use their discretion as to whether it will be suitable. If a child can be reasonably quiet for the 45-60 minute duration of most of our shows, then it is fine for them to attend.

How early should our group arrive?

We recommend arriving at least 10-15 minutes early to allow time for your group to use the restrooms before being seated in the planetarium theater. If the planetarium door is closed, another planetarium program or college class is probably in progress. Mr. Morgan will greet your group a few minutes before your scheduled show time.

Where do we enter and exit?

Buses should unload and load at the front entrance of the Maxwell Center building that houses the planetarium. Groups should enter the lobby area and wait quietly since college classes are often in session. Please note we do not have a receptionist.

Where are the restrooms? 

Restrooms are located in the lobby of the Maxwell Center building on either side of the front entrance doors. If needed, please make sure students have had an opportunity to use the restroom before your scheduled show time.

Where can we eat lunch?

Groups wishing to have a picnic lunch before or after their planetarium visit may wish to consider Mayor's Park. This small park, operated by the city of Young Harris, is conveniently located just down Maple Street from the planetarium.  There is a small playground with swings, a covered gazebo, and several picnic tables. A variety of fast food restaurants are located nearby in either Blairsville or Hiawassee. Please note that we do not have inside lunch space at the planetarium.

If the weather is bad, most groups either eat lunch on their buses or go to a different park with covered picnic shelters. A couple of possibilities include:

  • Towns County Recreation Park on Lake Chatuge has a playground and covered picnic shelters, and is located in Hiawassee across from the Georgia Mountain Fairground, just a 10-minute drive from Young Harris on Hwy 76. For availability of the picnic shelters there, you can try calling 706-896-2276 or 706-896-2600.
  • Meeks Park in Blairsville has covered picnic shelters, trails, a playground, etc.  It’s about a 15-minute drive from Young Harris on Hwy 515. For reserving the picnic shelters, you can try contacting the Recreation Office at 706-439-6074.

Do you have an exhibit area?

No, we have a rather small lobby in a college academic building, so there is no room for exhibits. While we do have some beautiful astronomy photographs displayed in the planetarium, there are no large-scale exhibits like you might find at a museum or science center.

Do you have a gift shop?

There is no gift shop in the building where the planetarium is located. The College does have a bookstore in the Myers Student Center, but it carries YHC merchandise, textbooks and supplies for YHC students.

Is the observatory open for group tours during the daytime?

No, our observatory is quite small, holding only a few people at a time, and is located off-campus about 1.5 miles from the planetarium. There is nothing to see there in the daytime.