Happy Travelers follow the stars — and the sun. On Monday, Aug. 21, the total solar eclipse will span the country, including parts of Pennsylvania. This natural phenomenon occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, and fully or partially blocks the disk of the sun — allowing the sun’s corona, or outer atmosphere, to become visible. Pennsylvanians will see an eclipse of 75-80 percent, and we’ve rounded up the top 10 ways to view and celebrate one of nature’s most stellar spectacles (don’t forget to protect your eyes with solar-viewing glasses)!
1. Cherry Springs State Park, Coudersport
Go to Cherry Springs State Park between 1 and 4 p.m. to enjoy family-friendly activities and take a look through a solar-filtered telescope. The peak of the eclipse will occur around 2:30 p.m., so bring a picnic lunch and enjoy a day while learning about this rare event. Preregistration is required to attend this free event, and spaces are limited.
2. Howard J. Lamade Stadium, Williamsport
For the first time in history, a solar eclipse will occur during the Little League World Series. Five games are scheduled during the eclipse at the Howard J. Lamade Stadium, and 30,000 pairs of glasses will be distributed for safe viewing of the solar eclipse during the free-admission game! Both fields are equipped with lights, so as the sky darkens during the eclipse — which will begin in Central PA around 1:14 p.m. — the games can continue.
3. North Museum of Nature and Science, Lancaster
Don’t miss an opportunity to join Cosmic Mike and the North Museum 10 a.m.— 5 p.m. for a rare cosmic event! The museum will celebrate the occasion with family-friendly activities including a presentation at 11 a.m., specialized solar telescopes will be used to reveal the surface of the sun, and other eclipse-themed activities. (Be sure to bring your own solar eclipse glasses for the event. The museum is currently sold out.)
4. Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh
View the partial eclipse in Pittsburgh at the Carnegie Science Center! Visitors are invited to watch the event through special solar observation equipment, including a solar telescope. There will also be special eclipse-themed science demonstrations and crafts throughout the day.
5. Franklin Institute, Philadelphia
In celebration of this astronomical event, Franklin Institute’s team of expert science educators will be on hand at the museum to help you experience this spectacle and learn about why the event is so remarkable. Starting at noon in the Fels Planetarium, Franklin Hall, and even along Winter Street, museum guests will have the opportunity to build a safe solar viewer, learn about astronomy, and prepare for the big moment at 2 p.m.
6. Eclipse Across America at the State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg
In advance of the eclipse, on Aug. 20 at 1 p.m., the Planetarium at the State Museum of Pennsylvania will have a special showing of “Eclipse Across America.” Attendees will learn about the different types of eclipses and how they’re created, as well as other amazing celestial events.
7. Da Vinci Science Center, Allentown
The Da Vinci Science Center will be hosting a Solar Eclipse Party Aug. 19-21 featuring space-themed family fun activities! On the day of the eclipse, a livestream from NASA will be displayed, and eclipse pinhole viewers will be handed out for safe viewing. General admission tickets for ages 3 and up are $14.95.
8. Muddy Run Park, Holtwood
A special eclipse viewing party will be held at Muddy Run State Park noon - 4 p.m. Solar telescopes will be on hand to view the eclipse up close, and a limited number of eyeglasses will be provided. Numerous family-friendly activities will be held throughout the day, including presentations, drawing contests for kids, tours of the solar system, and other displays.
9. Black Moshannon State Park, Philipsburg
Attend the viewing party 1 – 4 p.m. at Black Moshannon State Park, where you’ll be able to watch the eclipse through a solar telescope.
10. Parker Dam State Park, Penfield
Experience the solar eclipse at Parker Dam State Park in Centre County at 2 p.m. Viewing glasses and a telescope will be available to share to view the eclipse.