©istockphoto.com / LeoPatrizi


This summer, the United States will experience its first coast-to-coast eclipse in 99 years on Monday, August 21st, which makes this natural phenomenon a first for most parents and kids. While our state won't have a full view (you'd have to travel several hours South or West for that), in New Jersey, the moon will block about 75% of the sun with a maximum eclipse occurring around 2:45 pm and ending around 4 pm.

It’s SUPER important to remember that you should not look directly at the eclipse without proper eye protection, which you can buy online. Make sure to follow NASA’s protocols when purchasing glasses. If you’d rather check out the eclipse with other people, here are some great events to check out for the ultimate eclipse experience. If you want to watch from home and see the total eclipse, you can live stream the experience from NASA’s website.

The Liberty Science Center

Take your family to this Jersey City gem for a super-cool and educational celebration. From 10 am-5 pm, enjoy hands-on activities, lectures, telescope viewings and more. Watch your kids explore and learn astronomy from behind the safety of viewing glasses.

The Planetarium at Raritan Valley Community College

Join other eclipse-watchers outside the Observatory at RVCC in Branchburg for the Solar Eclipse Watch from 1-4 pm. Be sure to bring your own protective eyewear!

Robert J. Novins Planetarium

From 1-4 pm, join the ASTRA Astronomy Club in Toms River as they view the solar eclipse. The club will provide telescopes with special solar filters so that the whole family can view the eclipse without worrying about eye injury.

United Astronomy Clubs in Great Meadows

Join the United Astronomy Clubs of NJ at the State Park in Great Meadows from 12:30-4:30 pm for an out-of-this-world event. There will be solar telescopes and people to assist with solar photography if you’re interested in taking a picture of this sky-high marvel. Make sure to bring blankets or chairs to sit on!

Edelman Planetarium at Rowan University

Experience the Edelman Planetarium’s free show, Totality, and receive free eclipse glasses (while supplies last) for safe viewing of this amazing celestial event in Glassboro. Solar telescopes will also be available for sun and moon gazing at the Science Hall, where hands-on activities like creating your own pocket solar system and making your own planisphere. This event will run from 12:30 pm-4 pm.

Solar Eclipse Party at the Gateway National Recreation Area

From 1-5 pm, you and your family can join a park ranger in Highlands to watch the path of the eclipse. While the park ranger will demonstrate proper safety measures, make sure to bring your own protective eyewear so you can enjoy this rarity without worry.

Viewing Party on Palmer Square

Grab your kids, blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy Princeton’s view of the eclipse. From 1-4 pm, protective glasses and snacks will be provided This viewing party is co-sponsored by the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University.

Local libraries

Don’t forget to take advantage of all your local library has to offer. All around the state, libraries are hosting parties and offering free protective eyewear for patrons. Libraries in Caldwell, Elizabeth, Hackettstown, Somerset County, Washington Borough and Woodbury are just some of the New Jersey locations celebrating the eclipse. You can also check to see which libraries are officially participating with NASA for an eclipse-viewing event near you.