Family-Friendly Destinations in the U.S. to View the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse

Plan your family trip so you can be in the 2024 solar eclipse path

Experiencing a total solar eclipse is a rare event for many people. Even though this phenomenon occurs about twice a year worldwide, they are less frequent in the United States. Before the 2017 eclipse that U.S. residents viewed, it had been 38 years since a total solar eclipse was visible in the contiguous United States. Residents are lucky to have another total solar eclipse happening through parts of the south, midwest, and northeast on April 8, 2024. This one will be a definite not-to-be-missed experience since this is the last one in the continental U.S. until 2044.

Observing a total solar eclipse is an experience that is unique and also a great learning experience for children. So here are some locations within the path of totality (where you can see the sun totally covered by the moon) where families can witness the 2024 Great North American Eclipse.

Image of full total solar eclipse from movie at planetarium at Cleveland Museum of History
photo by Marcea Cazel

Carbondale, Illinois

Home to Southern Illinois University, Carbondale is 105 miles southeast of St. Louis, Missouri, and 200 miles northwest of Nashville, Tennessee. With a four-day festival planned at the university, which is also home to a planetarium, families will have plenty to experience and learn about.

One unique event is the Crossroads Astronomy, Science and Technology Expo (CASTE). Taking place at the university’s arena, vendors specializing in science and astronomy will showcase their products to visitors. There will also be an Eclipse/Comic Con, a music event, and on the day of the eclipse, the opportunity to view the over four minutes of totality in Saluki Stadium with thousands of others.

Rochester/Finger Lakes, New York

Upstate western New York will have plenty of activities the weekend of the solar eclipse to keep families busy. In Rochester, the Rochester Museum & Science Center is hosting a 4-day festival that includes activities, music, and speakers. Also in Rochester, the Strong National Museum of Play will host a three-day event centered around light and showcase a display of space-themed games and toys.

The city of Brockport is at the center of the path of totality, and visitors attending the Total Eclipse of the Port event at SUNY Brockport will experience an extra five seconds of totality over other towns in the area.

In Mumford, the Genesee Country Village & Museum, a three-day festival, will look at how those in the 19th Century observed eclipses, showcase celestial photography, and discuss women in science in the 1800s. The museum also has an expansive green area, where the viewing party on the day of the eclipse will be held.

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