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Charles Z. Horwitz

Located in the Retzer Nature Center




All General Admissions - $5
Cash or credit card at the door

Reservations for large groups appreciated:
Waukesha County Department of
Park and Land Use,
Parks System Division
(262) 548-7801

Waukesha County's Retzer Nature Center

All public programs begin with a brief tour of the current evening sky.  
This includes, visible planets, finding directions, locating the moon,
and identifying some favorite seasonal constellations.

The DigiStar system is up and running!

Public  Planetarium Shows


All shows $5.00 per person
Unless otherwise noted.

Star divider

The planetarium has a new look


Waukesha’s Charles Horwitz Planetarium
Premieres New Video System
Digistar 6


For 39 years, the School District of Waukesha’s Charles Horwitz Planetarium has been using slides for its basic form of media projection. 
Now the planetarium will celebrate the beginning of its 40th year with the premiere of a completely new digital sound and video technology.  
Digistar 6, will be combined with a new 7.1 surround sound system to transform the planetarium dome into an incredible immersive experience for visitors. Without leaving their seats, audiences can now trek through a rain forest, climb the heights of Mt. Everest or explore the depths of the world’s oceans.
Our focus will still be space; after all we are a planetarium.  With the new system we will be able to travel to galaxies, nebula, star clusters, and much more.  The stars will be brighter and have richer star colors.  You will be able to see the full subtle textures and colors of the Milky Way or travel to the Sun, Moon, planets, and deep-sky objects.  The aurora colors will be vivid and all around you.  Digistar 6 allows us so much more flexibility in presentations on the fly.
As Darth Vader once said: “Impressive, most impressive
When will this system be able to be experienced?
Our Digistar 6 system will debut this fall during the Retzer Nature Center’s Apple Harvest Festival.

What is Digistar 6?

It is high powered computer software that is used by NASA for training, along with a high-powered “host” computer and four, high-resolution “graphic processing” computers.  The 4,000 pixel presentation is made possible by sending the rendered graphic images through two new laser-phosphor video projectors to obtain high resolution images on our 40 foot dome.
Beginning in September, a new library of school and public programs will be available.  For a complete list of programs, please see Waukesha County’s Environmental Guide, or visit the Charles Horwitz Planetarium website:  
Finally and most importantly…
This entire $330,000 project was made possible by the generous donations of the “Friends of Retzer Nature Center,” the School District of Waukesha and the supportive public and private fund-raising activities promoted by the “Friends of the Charles Horwitz Planetarium.” 

Thank You

Here are our new shows:


Due to delivery issues, the June show will now be:

The Secret of the Cardboard Rocket

Children’s Show
(Recommended for Grades 3 - 6)

June         2,  9,  16,  23

Time:        11:00 am

The children in this show learn about our
solar system using a cardboard rocket
and a mysterious talking astronomy book.

Cosmic Colors

Cosmic Colors
General Public

June        2,  9,  16,  23

Time:        1:00 pm

Discover why the sky is blue, Mars is red and why things appear the colors they do.
Then step into the invisible universe to investigate the electromagnetic
energy all around us from the infrared light of a roaring
fire to the X-rays emitted by a black hole.


July / August

There are no public programs scheduled for the months of
July and August
but programs for groups of 10 or more can be
arranged by special request. (262)896-8423 or (262) 896-8007