I’m sure you’ve heard the talk around town about the historic Solar Eclipse event happening on Monday, August 21st. If your house is anything like mine, my kids have been buzzing about this for over a couple of weeks trying to understand the what, when and where of this epic event.
Here are a couple of need-to-knows to get your family participating in the Solar Eclipse events happening around the Raleigh area.
What is the Solar Eclipse?
When you’re trying to tell your kiddos about the importance of this celestial event first share with them that this is the first coast-to-coast solar eclipse that the United States has seen since 1918.
That means we haven’t seen anything like this in close to 100 years!
We’ll experience a period during the day when it will be dark in the daytime due to the Moon completely blocking the Sun. Now to sound even more like an expert throw a NASA quote their way. (That always seems to impress my crew and perk up those ears.)
“This celestial event is a solar eclipse in which the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun for up to about three hours, from beginning to end, as viewed from a given location. For this eclipse, the longest period when the moon completely blocks the sun from any given location along the path will be about two minutes and 40 seconds. “
Where Can Families Catch a Solar Eclipse Event or Viewing in the Triangle?
Remember the Solar Eclipse is an epic event that we all can enjoy but it is important to stay safe when viewing the eclipse. Visit NASA’s Eclipse 101 before you attempt to view the eclipse.
Sunday, August 20th & Monday, August 21st. 9:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Marbles Kids Museum, Raleigh
With your museum admission families can participate in hands-on space-themed activities. On the day of the eclipse (August 21st) from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. live stream NASA coverage will be happening at Marbles IMAX. Families must bring their own certified eclipse glasses. Start the celebration early at Marbles on Sunday, August 20th to enjoy festivities minus the viewing. Visit their website to learn more.
Monday, August 21st. 12:00 p.m – 5:00 p.m. Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Durham
A free event with hands-on activities for all ages. Visit observation stations throughout the garden facilitating safe viewing to citizen science project activities. Inside the Doris Duke Center families can take part in experiments, crafts and even see a live-stream of the total eclipse. (A $2 parking fee will be applied only in the Duke Garden Lots.)
Monday, August 21st. 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Historic Yates Mill County Park, Raleigh
A free program where families can learn fun solar eclipse facts, pick up a pair of eclipse viewing glasses (while supplies last), and view the eclipse out in the park’s open field. Registration is not required.
Monday, August 21st. 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh
If you want the option of viewing the eclipse indoors watch from the comfort of the museums Daily Planet Theatre. Also, take part in a live video call from with NC Museum of Natural Sciences astrophysicist, Dr. Rachel Smith in Sylva, NC in the path of totality.
Monday, August 21st. 12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. The Brickyard at NCSU, Raleigh
The College of Sciences is setting up a day of free science festivities dedicated to the solar eclipse. Take part in citizen science activities, watch real-time streams of solar observations & a weather balloon launch, giveaways, safe-viewing stations, entertainment along with food & water stations. There will even be a Moon-Pie station!
Monday, August 21st. 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Museum of Life & Science, Durham
With your museum admission enjoy a day of activities celebrating and learning about the Solar Eclipse. Kids will enjoy hands-on-activities, have an opportunity to view the eclipse, participate in Citizen Science Projects and more.
Monday, August 21st. 12:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Morehead Planetarium & Science Center, Chapel Hill
The planetarium is joining the 2017 Carolinas Eclipse Celebration Party and everyone is invited! Plan your day at the planetarium with a live-stream of the path of totality, solar eclipse activities, food trucks, games and more. Tickets to the special Eclipse presentation in the planetarium are sold out, but families can enjoy the other festivities listed above.
Check out all the other fun family activities happening this month with our Guide to August Family Fun!