On Monday, August 21 we will celebrate an amazing celestial event — the solar eclipse! Here in Austin, the partial eclipse will take place between 11:41 a.m. and will end at 2:39 p.m., with the peak of the event taking place around 1:10 p.m. The eclipse can be viewed from just about anywhere in the Austin area, and we’ve rounded up several family-friendly viewing parties you can attend to get in on the excitement of this rare astronomical occasion.

Solar Eclipse Viewing Parties Around Austin:


Eclipse Planetarium Shows @ Wells Branch Community Library
Friday, August 18, 6:30 p.m.
Learn about the upcoming solar eclipse through an interactive planetarium show in the Texas Museum of Science and Technology’s Discovery Dome. There will also be fun activities, demonstrations, and free solar glasses. All ages. No registration.

Total Eclipse of the Sun Pre-Party @ Science Mill
Sunday, August 19, 12-4 p.m.
Learn what causes an eclipse and why they are so rare as you enjoy one-of-a-kind solar activities. Harness the power of the sun by trying your hand at wood burning art or stop by the galaxy station to create your very own solar system mobile. Included with regular museum admission (kids ages 3-18: $8.50; adults: $10).

Events on Monday, August 21:

Solar Eclipse Viewing Party @ Wells Branch Community Library
11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Join your neighbors to witness the solar eclipse at the library. They’ll have free solar glasses, refreshments, and information about the eclipse. Free. No registration.

Solar Eclipse Viewing Party @ Thinkery
12 p.m.
Join Thinkery for a special Solar Eclipse Viewing Party with hands-on activities in celebration of this rare and beautiful event. The first 200 General Admission visitors will receive a pair of viewing glasses to safely view the eclipse, while supplies last. General Admission  is $10 for ages 1 & up. Please note, pre-sale tickets are not available for this special event—tickets must be purchased onsite.

Solar Eclipse Afternoon @ Howson Branch Library
12 – 2 p.m.
Make pinhole projectors and watch the sun disappear!

University of Texas Viewing @ Robert Lee Moore Hall
11:41 a.m. – 2:39 p.m.
Join members of the UT Astronomy Department in Robert Lee Moore Hall 13.132 and other locations around campus TBD. Eclipse glasses will be handed out on a first-come first-served basis the day of the event. All activities are open to the public. Click here for directions and parking info.

Eclipse Viewing & Digital Planetarium Show @ Austin Nature & Science Center
11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Check out the eclipse and a video of how an eclipse works in the center’s new digital planetarium. Limited number of eclipse glasses will be available.

Eclipse Watching Party @ Balcones District Park
1:10 p.m.
Join neighbors for a viewing at the Balcones District Park. Bring your own glasses.

Eclipse 2017 Party @ Texas Museum of Science & Technology
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

This museum in Cedar Park will have special planetarium shows about the sun as well as experts on hand to help you view the eclipse safely and answer your questions. Bring your own glasses. Regular museum admission applies. (Kids ages 5-11: $12; ages 12-17: $15; adults: $18)

Pflugerville Eclipse Party @ Pflugerville Public Library
11:30 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.
The library will throw a viewing party for all ages with craft activities scheduled, and free eclipse viewing glasses available. The afternoon will conclude with a screening of Wall-E at 2 p.m.

Round Rock Solar Eclipse Viewing Party @ Prete Plaza
12-2 p.m.
The Round Rock Public Library, in partnership with the Space Science Institute and the Williamson County Astronomy Club, will host a free party for all ages. Glasses will be provided. They’ll have a variety of activities, too, including science and art fun, splashing in the fountains, and enjoying Flavorlicious Shave Ice.

photo credit: National Parks Service

–> Protect Your Eyes
Experts stress that if you do plan to view the eclipse, it’s extremely important you take the necessary safety precautions to protect your eyes. Be sure to wear eclipse viewing glasses, use a pinhole camera, or binoculars with special protective filters. NASA provides additional safety tips and precautionary viewing options here.

For a great way to explain the eclipse to the kids, check out NASA’s Space Place website, which features a short video and more.

Know of other eclipse viewing events? Let us know in the comments below.