On August 21st, the U.S. is going to see the biggest solar eclipse since I was in early grade school. A lot of parents are young enough that they don’t remember the last one, so this can be an exciting family event for everyone. It will run from approximately 11:45 to 1:00 p.m. While we won’t get a total eclipse here in Minnesota, we’ll still get enough to make it interesting. If you won’t be traveling to see the total eclipse but still want to get in on the fun, we do have a few places to view in the Twin Cities. This is what we’ve found so far. Leave us a comment if you know of other viewing areas
Standard Disclaimer: Don’t Look Directly at the Sun! Check with your local library. Some are giving out eclipse viewing glasses for free. Supplies are limited.
Pre-Solar Eclipse Block Party with the Bell
Another place to learn a little and pick up free glasses before the eclipse. This party is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. Get more information HERE.
View the Solar Eclipse With Hennepin County Libraries:
Eleven branches of HCL are hosting viewing parties. Some of them are already full, so sign up quickly if you want to participate.
- Southdale Library, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. • View the eclipse with the Bell Museum and Planetarium.
- Eden Prairie Library, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Westonka Library, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. • FULL Purgatory Park in Minnetonka, 11:15 a.m.-2:30 p.m.• FULL
- Nokomis Library, noon-2 p.m.
Sumner Field Park, noon-3 p.m.• FULL Golden Valley Library, 12:30-2 p.m.• FULL East Lake Library, 12:30-2 p.m.• FULL Rogers Library, 1-2 p.m.• FULL
St. Paul Libraries Celebrate the Solar Eclipse:
St. Paul Library has several pre-eclipse activities and events happening and many of them will be handing out free glasses. You can find all the events here. We’ve outlined our favorites below:
- Mike Lynch Pre-Eclipse Party @ Sun Ray • 8/16 • 7-8:30 p.m.• Learn more about the eclipse, the head outside to view the evening sky. eclipse-viewing glasses will be handed out to patrons attending the pre-party. Leftovers will be given out while supplies last.
- Eclipse Viewing Party @ Arlington Hills Community Center • 12:30-1:30 p.m.• View the eclipse with treats and activities. There will be some glasses available on a first come, first come while supplies last. Call library for more information at 651-632-3870.
- Don’t Miss the Eclipse! @ Dayton’s Bluff Library • 12:30-1:30 p.m.• Safely view of the solar eclipse at the Dayton’s Bluff Library! Protective glasses and other viewing options will be provided.
- Eclipse Viewing @ Merriam Park Library • 11:30-1:15 p.m.• Make your own pinhole viewer or use pair of special eclipse-viewing glasses, plus activities and refreshments.
Ramsey County Libraries – Solar Eclipse Viewing
Find eclipse-related events for Ramsey County Libraries HERE. Viewing parties will be held at:
- Moundsview • 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
- Roseville • 12:30-1:30 p.m.
- White Bear Lake • 12:30-1:30 p.m.
- Shoreview • 12:30-2 p.m.
View the Eclipse with Three Rivers Parks
- Solar Eclipse Viewing @ Silverwood Park • 11:30 a.m. -2:30 p.m., • View the solar eclipse through a sun-filtered telescope and eclipse glasses. Discuss the eclipse and print with sunlight to capture an image of it. This program is free and open to all ages.
- The Great American Eclipse @ Lowry Nature Center • 12:30-2 p.m. • Make an eclipse viewer and see the partial eclipse visible in Minnesota. This program is free and open to all ages.
The Science Museum of Minnesota
If you have a membership or are planning visit to the Science Museum that day. Eclipse Viewing from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., is included with your admission.
One Last Option – Burnsville Public Television
So you waited too long to get glasses, you’re afraid the events will be too full or you’ve read the articles warning against using the wrong glasses with kids. You have a safe, easy option. Watch the eclipse on Burnsville Public Television. According to their press release, BCTV is providing live feed of the solar eclipse, courtesy of the Education Resource Channel at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). MTSU is directly in the path of the solar eclipse. This program will provide expert commentary along with the viewing. Here is the information you need:
What: Eclipse LIVE
When: Monday, Aug. 21 | 12:25 – 1:55 p.m.
Where to Watch: Comcast or Frontier: BCTV Ch. 16/HD859