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The health and safety of our guests, colleagues, and community are our highest priority. We are monitoring the situation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) closely. In keeping with CDC recommendations of social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, we are moving our Independence Day First Friday to the website!

Aliens, spaceships, and the 1990s! There’s no better way to start your holiday weekend then with the 1996 movie, Independence Day. Explore the question of exoplanets and learn about the night sky from our Planetarium staff, try your hand at decoding clues, check out trivia, and more throughout the night, all from the comfort of your own home!

This is a virtual event. More details on the full schedule and how you can engage will be added soon.


Know before you go:

Please arrive early and plan ahead. Make sure you have your snacks and internet fired up and ready to go!

Free parking will be available in your own driveway, street or garage.


What is First Friday?

Pre-First Friday Activities

June 22

Looking for a fun activity about space to do with the whole family? Check out some of the activities NASA offers on their Space Place site: https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/menu/do/ or explore the Lunar and Planetary Institute’s activities: https://www.lpi.usra.edu/education/explore/

Did you do an activity that you especially liked? Share a photo with us on Facebook!

June 29

What is your favorite 1990s disaster movie?
3 Vote
Dantes Peak
3 Vote
Independence Day
17 Vote
Deep Impact
1 Vote
7 Vote

Full July 3 Schedule

6:00 PM, Welcome Video

6pm, Want to know more about how First Friday From Home works?

Check out this welcome video from our Manager of Adult Programs.


6:15 PM, Trivia Time!

How well do you know famous movie spacecrafts? Test your knowledge and let us know how you did on Facebook!

Launch Trivia Time!


6:30 PM, Planetarium Show Registration

Registration is now open for our 7pm special presentation: Live Sky Tonight: At Home Edition! Sign up and register! This presentation will also be accessible on Facebook live, without the interactive components at 7pm.


6:45 PM, Codes, Steganography, and Puzzles of Decoding with UMSL

Almost as long as there have been written messages, people have tried to hide them. We will take a look at several ways to obscure and conceal messages, and then give you two decoding challenges. The first one is medium hard, and the second one is devilishly difficult.


7:00 PM, Planetarium Show Live Sky Tonight.

Join us for a free, virtual showing of our popular Live Sky Tonight planetarium star show. Hosted by James S. McDonnell Planetarium Manager, Will Snyder, this live show will take you on a tour of the stars, planets, and other celestial events visible in the St. Louis night sky during July.

Join On Facebook


7:15 PM, What Makes Independance Day So Great?

Lessons from the Screenplay


7:30 PM, Movies Staff Picks

We asked Science Center staff to recommend some of their favorite media related to extraterrestrials. Check out their picks below!

Will, James S. McDonnell Planetarium Manager
The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)


Watch for free on Amazon Prime

Redbox Stream on Demand: $1.99

This trippy cult classic features the incomparable David Bowie in his first starring film role as the alien “Mr. Newton” who comes to Earth in search of water for his home planet. Add this to your watchlist for Bowie alone!

Callie, Visitor Services Supervisor
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)


Redbox Stream on Demand: $2.99+

A science-fiction classic! From the Cold War period, but its examination of humans’ violent reactions to prejudice and fear of the unknown still resonates, especially today.

Lauren, First Friday Coordinator
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (1979)

Get it at SLPL

Get it at SLCL - Overdrive

This classic Sci-Fi trilogy in five parts is full of absurd humor, strange aliens and robots, and the answer to life, the universe and everything. Throughout this journey, we are reminded to always carry our towel and don’t panic.

Eric, Senior Educator Planetarium
Starman (1984)


Amazon Rental: $2.00

iTunes Rental: $3.99

I really like this film because is strays away from the cliché that aliens coming to Earth only care about the destruction of humanity. In Starman we are given a benign alien character that allows us to see the good and bad of humanity.


7:45 PM, UMSL decoding activity solution

answers to the Codes, Steganography, and Puzzles of Decoding with UMSL


8:00 PM, Wrap Up

Wrap Up! : Thank you for joining us and we hope you enjoyed your evening! Come back August 7 to join us for First Friday From Home: Star Trek!


Have a question? Have a comment? Let us know!


Interested in becoming a First Friday vendor?

Apply Now!


Price: First Fridays at Home are free!
Parking: Free parking is available in your own driveway, street or garage.
Location: Your place.
Ages: All ages are welcome!


July 3
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


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