Safety Protocols – What You Need to Know

We are happy that you want to plan your next visit to the newly renovated Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. Here’s what you need to know to make sure you have an out-of-this-world experience!


Please read this page carefully to ensure that you understand our safety protocols and procedures. Morehead is currently operating under the guidelines of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

When you’re ready, reserve your ticket(s) online by using our calendar.


New Operating Hours

Visitors can enjoy a visit to Morehead during the following operating hours:

  • Monday-Friday | Closed*
  • Saturday | 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday | 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

*Schools and other groups can now make reservations for limited weekdays beginning October 7, 2021. Please contact our reservations team if you have questions about a group reservation.

*New Pricing: Admission + Planetarium Show Combo

Children under 3
Free (with parent)
UNC Students
$4.00 + tax
Children/College Students/Seniors/ Military (& Veterans)
$12.95 + tax
$14.95 + tax
Morehead Members Become a member >
Free (regularly scheduled Shows) Free admission for 1-5 guests depending on membership level. See membership page for discount benefits. Members can get their free tickets at the Box Office.
*General Admission Ticketing

Morehead is now offers General Admission tickets whic includes all-day access to our exhibits, science stage demos, launch lab activities, and the gift shop. General admission does not include planetarium shows or special programs. General Admission tickets are available in-person at the Box Office and are not available in advance.

Mask Policy

We know that everyone – including small children – can transmit COVID-19, and we also know that wearing a mask is one of the most effective strategies in preventing transmission of the virus. 

In accordance with University guidelines, all guests age 2 and older are required to wear a mask while inside of the building. At this time, we are not accepting gaiters, vented masks, and bandanas. We are asking that you delay your visit if you or anyone in your party cannot wear a mask for any reason. In the meantime, we invite you to explore our virtual program offerings via Morehead At Home

Morehead team members will also be required to wear a face mask at all times, and in some instances, may wear a face shield for additional protection.


We have diligently worked to ensure compliance with local and state guidelines, and we need your help during your next visit.

Wear a proper face mask

All guests age 2 and older are required to wear a mask while inside of the building. Gaiters, vented masks and bandanas are prohibited.

Practice physical distancing

Please respect physical distancing between groups of guests and others.

Wash your hands frequently

New sanitization stations are located throughout the building; we encourage you to use them and to wash your hands frequently.

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Stay home if you’re sick

If you or anyone in your party are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, we ask that you reschedule your visit to Morehead.

What’s Available?

We’re pleased to share the new Morehead Planetarium and Science Center with you! The reimagination of ourselves over the last decade has culminated in an upgraded building with more interactive exhibits and new experiences for our visitors. Due to the current public health crisis, there are some limitations but here’s what you’ll be able to explore during your visit:

  • Fulldome planetarium shows including our popular Carolina Skies show as well as two new shows
  • 5000+ square feet of new interactive exhibits featuring research from UNC scientists
  • Science demonstrations with Morehead educators
  • New Launch Lab (STEM tinkering space),
  • Full Science Stage.

Also Good To Know

  • The building capacity for guests is currently 80 people maximum in the theater. Additional guests may be admitted to explore the building with the purchase of a General Admission ticket.
  • Guests are encouraged to practice social distancing when possible and to adhere to all posted messaging and staff guidance.
  • Please review this CDC quick guide on proper mask wearing procedures.
  • Food and drink are prohibited in the building. We ask that you consume all food and drink before or after your visit to Morehead.
  • These new protocols will help us keep everyone safe. We ask that you are respectful of these protocols and our staff who enforce them as we try to navigate this new experience together. If you cannot adhere to every protocol during your visit, we ask that you postpone your visit until later date.

Here’s what we are doing to help keep visitors safe

Increasing disinfection and sanitation procedures

High-touch surfaces are being disinfected and sanitized on a more frequent basis. We have also installed more hand sanitizer stations for use by visitors and staff.

Providing a fun, safe and engaging experience

Our team has worked hard to create fun, new COVID-safe experiences. For everyone’s safety, some exhibitions will be adjusted or temporarily closed. Our planetarium will be open at reduced capacity.

Limiting total capacity in the building

We are limiting our total capacity under guidance from UNC Chapel Hill. This will allow for more physical distancing throughout the building.

We’ve improved air quality in the building

We have installed MERV-13 filters throughout the building and will maximize airflow by propping doors and windows open when possible.

We are also doing the following:

  • Requiring team members to monitor personal health daily, and to authenticate this by signature at the beginning of each scheduled shift onsite.
  • Continually assessing protocols: Our Reopening Task Force will continue to assess risk and develop necessary protocols to keep staff and guests safe. This task force will remain in place indefinitely.
  • Following the science of University, local, state and federal authorities: We will continue to operate with precautions in place as recommended by leading public health officials.


I’m a member. Do I need to reserve tickets?
Yes. All guests including members must reserve tickets in advance of their next visit.

Who has to wear a mask?
In accordance with University policy, we are asking all guests over the age of 2 to wear a proper face covering. We are asking that if someone in your party cannot wear a face covering for any reason that you delay your visit until a later date. Please consider one of our virtual program offerings via Morehead At Home.

Are face shields considered a proper face covering?
No. Face masks  may be of different types, including cloth face masks and disposable medical/surgical masks, but  should at minimum fit snugly and securely  over the mouth and nose and against the side of the  face;  and be secured by ties or ear loops.

What if I arrive earlier or later than the time on my ticket?
We cannot guarantee entry outside of your reservation window due to guidelines for capacity. We ask that everyone arrive 15 minutes early to allow for seating. If you arrive late, please speak with Morehead staff to create a new reservation for the next available time slot.

Can I leave and come back the same day?
No. Re-entry is not allowed at this time due to public health and safety guidelines.

Are reciprocal memberships being honored for admission?
Like similar zoos, aquariums, and science centers, Morehead is not currently offering admission discounts through reciprocal programs. We hope to be able to resume these discounts soon.

What about other special discounts?
We are not accepting special discounts at this time, however, we are currently providing a temporary $3.00 discount to all visitors for the inconvenience of COVID-19 safety protocols on visitor experience. This discount is automatically applied.

What happens if I show up without a reserved ticket?
All guests are required to reserve their ticket before they visit Morehead. We cannot guarantee entry to visitors who do not have a ticket.

Is there a limit to the number of people in a group or household?
In general, large groups are discouraged at this time. The maximum group size for a household is 10 people at this time. If you would like to make a group reservation, please contact our reservations team at Please note that a group rate may apply.

About this Information

In response to COVID-19, Morehead has established certain enhanced health and safety measures like the ones listed above. Compliance with all posted instructions and any directions from Morehead staff is mandatory. Any guest who does not comply may be denied entry or be required to leave. By entering Morehead, guests understand and voluntarily assume all risks related to potential COVID-19 exposure.