Solar Eclipse Viewing Activities & Events for Families in Central Mass

Solar Eclipse Viewing Activities & Events for Families

The universe never ceases to amaze us, and one of those incredible phenomena is occurring this Monday April 8 – the solar eclipse. As a parent, I love learning alongside my kids about the world around me. Below we have gathered local events and resources to make this a thrilling and educational event for your family!

Local Events

There are plenty of local events in the area to celebrate this solar eclipse! Here are some worth checking out!

EcoTarium Free Admission Day for the Eclipse 

solar eclipse viewing kids glasses

To celebrate our closest approach to totality until 2079, the EcoTarium is breaking the rules and opening with FREE ADMISSION all afternoon.

View the Solar Eclipse at Discovery Museum Acton 

Enjoy the solar eclipse at Discovery Museum! They’ll provide eclipse glasses (while supplies last) and some sun and space-themed activities. Make a pinhole camera, explore some space math, and celebrate this fascinating astronomical event. Registration is not required.

Viewing of the Solar Eclipse on Worcester Commons

Meet on the Worcester Common beginning at 2 pm to receive your own pair of free eclipse glasses (while supplies last). They’ll also have a glasses decorating station, lawn games, books and more!

Sturbridge Town Common

Join the Sturbridge Library on the Town Common for a solar eclipse gathering! They will have a craft and solar eclipse glasses available (while supplies last; first come, first serve). No registration required. Sponsored by the Friends of the JHPL.

Libraries
Shrewsbury Public Library

Celebrate the eclipse with the Shrewsbury Public Library! They’ll have crafts, live stream of the total eclipse, and eclipse viewing glasses for us! No registration necessary, while supplies last.

Gale Free Library in Holden

Come watch the Eclipse with the Gale Free Library! On Monday, April 8, they will be hosting a viewing of the Total Solar Eclipse on the expansive Library lawn. Bring blankets (to sit on or wrap up in–spring, right?), chairs, nosh, and your chic-looking solar eclipse glasses. Join the party between 2-5pm. Don’t have glasses yet? There will be a limited supply that the library will be providing for participants.

Leominster Public Library

The Library will have eclipse glasses available on Monday April 8th from 2:00pm – 4:00pm at the Pearl Street entrance. Drop by, pick up a pair of eclipse glasses, and enjoy the view!
Please note that glasses will NOT be available before April 8th and cannot be reserved ahead of time.
This program is a partnership between the Leominster Public Library and the Conservation Commission

Activities to Do at Home in Anticipation of the Solar Eclipse
Make a Pinhole Viewer for Watching the Solar Eclipse Safely!

Regardless of where you watch the eclipse, safety is most important. Directly observing the sun poses significant risks, even during a partial eclipse when much of its light is blocked by the moon. Just as a magnifying glass can concentrate sunlight to ignite a leaf, the lens in your eye can focus even a small sliver of sunlight onto your retina, causing damage. It’s crucial to note that retinas lack pain receptors, meaning you may harm your vision without experiencing any discomfort. Therefore, never look directly at the sun during a partial solar eclipse.

NASA recommends using approved solar eclipse glasses or viewing the phenomenon indirectly with a handheld eclipse viewer. If you don’t have these items readily available, don’t worry. The simplest and safest method to observe an eclipse is through a homemade pinhole camera, crafted from common household materials. You can learn how to make one by following the links provided below!

Solar Eclipse Viewer Tutorial 

Shoe Box Viewer Tutorial 

Make a Solar Eclipse Model at Home!

There are a few different websites that teach you ways to make a solar eclipse model with household items at home. This helps support the scientific understanding of the solar system for your kids. We love these sites that have written or video instructions to create these models: Instructables or The BBC Sky at Night Magazine.

Watch Videos and Sing Songs about the Eclipse!

PBS Kids has this cute song for young kids about solar eclipses. PBS Learning Media has other fantastic resources for teaching and learning about the solar eclipse with kids on their site.

McGraw Hill’s short video for kids about the solar eclipse is a quick watch for families or for students in classrooms.

A book read along on this wonderful kid storytime channel is another great way to learn about and read about solar eclipses without having a book at hand at home.

 

How are you sharing in this amazing phenomenon with your family?

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