On Monday, August 21, Chicago will bear witness to a partial solar eclipse, a rare celestial event that last occurred in the Chicago area in 1979. The eclipse will start at 11:54 a.m., and will last approximately two hours until the moon covers 90 percent of the sun at 1:19 p.m., leaving a crescent of the sun’s corona visible. This event has been dubbed “The Great American Eclipse,” because the eclipse’s path traverses the length of the United States. The total solar eclipse will be visible from Carbondale, but for many Chicagoans on a Monday, it’s not feasible to travel to southern Illinois to see it. However, there are many options for those in Chicago who still want to witness the partial eclipse. Reside360 put on our investigative trench coats and found four fantastic Chicago locations where you can watch this once in a lifetime event.
1. The Adler Planetarium 1300 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605
Starting at 9:30 a.m., the Adler Planetarium, the first planetarium in the Western hemisphere, will host “Chicago’s Eclipse Fest,” a block party with activities, live entertainment, and free supplies such as eclipse-friendly glasses that will allow visitors to safely view the eclipse (be sure to protect your eyes when viewing the eclipse; directly looking at a partial solar eclipse will permanently damage your eyes). Guests will also be treated to free admission to the planetarium, which just opened an exhibit dedicated to the science of tracking and predicting solar eclipses. Additionally, the planetarium will be streaming the full eclipse, live from Carbondale. For more information about the event, visit the Adler Planetarium’s website.
2. Rooftop bars
Situating yourself in a high place with an unobstructed view of the southern sky is your best bet for seeing the eclipse clearly. Luckily for Chicagoans, rooftop bars perched on top of tall buildings are in abundance. Rooftop bars which will be open during the eclipse include Cindy’s and IO Godfrey’s. Cindy’s offers a wide selection of cocktails, beers, and wines, and their lunch menu offers oysters, burgers, gnocchi, salmon, and more. IO Godfrey’s is located on the top of the Godfrey hotel, and offers guests many options for brunch and dinner such as steak benedict, fish tacos, and sushi.
3. Daley Plaza 50 W Washington St, Chicago IL
The Adler Planetarium is also hosting a viewing party of the eclipse in Daley Plaza, complete with free eclipse viewing glasses and telescopes for visitors. Planetarium staff will be on hand to answer questions from guests as well. This event is an ideal choice for those working in the Loop who also want a chance to see the eclipse.
4. City Libraries, Parks, and Beaches
Other public spaces such as Navy Pier, Oak Street Beach, Grant Park, and Millennium Park are also fantastic options for viewing the eclipse – none of these locations are hosting their own events, but any outdoor space with a view of the southern sky is a solid spot to see the eclipse. Additionally, all Chicago Public Library locations will be giving out free eclipse viewing glasses, as well as info about how to safely view the eclipse. Five CPL branches are hosting eclipse observation events as well: Wrightwood-Ashburn, Richard M. Daley, Chinatown, North Austin, and Sulzer Regional.A solar eclipse is a unique, once in a lifetime event that Chicagoans won’t want to miss. After all, NASA predicts that Chicago won’t experience a total solar eclipse until 2099. Speaking of NASA, they will host a stream of the eclipse live for four hours, which will be picked up by local, national, and international TV stations. You can also follow all the action via the Telegraph.
We’re lucky to have many options within the city to view the eclipse. Grab some friends or coworkers, or maybe even strangers, and head to one of the locations on our list to have an out of this world experience.