Where to watch the solar eclipse in Northern Virginia

From museums equipped with telescopes to rooftop parties, here are the best places to watch the upcoming eclipse.

solar eclipse
Photo courtesy of igorfp/AdobeStock

Excitement is ramping up for the total solar eclipse that will take place Monday, Aug. 21. While Northern Virginia lies outside the path of totality, observers will still be able to witness a partial solar eclipse around 2:40 p.m., and local establishments are gearing up with fun, games, drinks and, most importantly, safety glasses and DIY viewers. From museums equipped with telescopes to rooftop parties, here are the best places to watch the upcoming eclipse.


Total Solar Eclipse Viewing Party and Open House
Aug. 21, 1:30-6 p.m.

Dental Excellence in Old Town Alexandria will host an eclipse viewing party on its rooftop. // Dental Excellence: 3116 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria

Solar Eclipse Festival
Aug. 21, 2-4 p.m.

An eclipse viewing party will be hosted on the rooftop of Historic Huntley with discussions on both the science and myths behind the natural wonder. // Historic Huntley: 6918 County Road 723, Alexandria

Arlington County

Solar Eclipse Viewing Lunch and Happy Hour at Don Tito’s
Aug. 21, noon-5 p.m.

Don Tito’s will host a watch party on its rooftop with eclipse-inspired drinks and taco specials. // Don Tito’s: 3165 Wilson Blvd., Arlington

Fairfax County

Eclipse! at Pohick Regional Library
Aug. 21, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Kids can learn about the upcoming solar eclipse, including how and why it happens, and receive free safety glasses. // Pohick Regional Library: 6450 Sydenstricker Road, Burke

Observe the Solar Eclipse at Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Center
Aug. 21, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Visitors can view the eclipse through solar telescopes at Udvar-Hazy. The museum will give out eclipse glasses and provide supplies to make pinhole eclipse viewers. // Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: 14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly

Funday Monday Eclipse Special
Aug. 21, 1-4 p.m.

The City of Fairfax will host a special edition of its Funday Monday series for the solar eclipse’s arrival with stories, crafts, music and eclipse glasses (while supplies last). // Old Town Square: 10415 North St., Fairfax; Old Town Hall: 3999 University Drive, Fairfax

The Great American Solar Eclipse!
Aug. 21, 2-3 p.m.

Patrick Henry Library, the George Mason Observatory and Fairfax County Parks are teaming up to present an educational event about solar eclipse. // Patrick Henry Library: 101 Maple Ave. E., Vienna

Solar Eclipse at Lakefront Parks and Boat Tours
Aug. 21

Witness the eclipse either lakeside or on the water at Burke Lake Park or Lake Accotink Park with provided glasses. Burke Lake and Lake Accontink will also host eclipse boat tours. // Burke Lake Park: 7315 Ox Road, Fairfax Station; Lake Accotink Park: 7500 Accotink Park Road, Springfield

Safely See the Great American Eclipse
Aug. 21

Both Hidden Oaks Nature Center and Cub Run RECenter will host events to teach kids more about eclipses and how to safely view them. Safety glasses will be provided. // Hidden Oaks Nature Center: 7701 Royce St., Annandale; Cub Run RECenter: 4630 Stonecroft Blvd., Chantilly

Loudoun County

Solar Eclipse Make and Take
Aug. 21, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Kids can make their own pinhole viewers at Gum Spring Library before watching the eclipse later that afternoon. // Gum Spring Library: 24600 Millstream Drive, Stone Ridge

Hammock Hangout and Eclipse Viewing
Aug. 21, noon-4 p.m.

Two Tree Outfitters will host an eclipse viewing party at Morven Park. The $10 ticket comes with safety glasses, and for an additional fee, participants can view the eclipse from the comfort of a single or double hammock. // Morven Park: 17195 Southern Planter Lane, Leesburg

Great American Eclipse Viewing with NASA Solar System Ambassador
Aug. 21, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

A NASA Solar System Ambassador will be at the Lovettsville Library to discuss the eclipse before it happens around 2:41 p.m. // Lovettsville Library: 12 N. Light St., Lovettsville

Solar Eclipse Viewing Party
Aug. 21, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Another NASA Solar System Ambassador will talk to kids about the science behind the eclipse at Rust Library. // Rust Library: 380 Old Waterford Road NW, Leesburg

Solar Eclipse: Moon Shadow Party
Aug. 21, 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Middleburg Library will host a watch party during which kids can create their own pinhole viewer and take in the incredible sight with a Popsicle. // Middleburg Library: 101 Reed St., Middleburg


Solar Eclipse Party
Aug. 21, 1-3 p.m.

Bull Run Regional Library will host an eclipse party with music, snacks, a movie and viewing glasses. // Bull Run Regional Library: 8051 Ashton Ave., Manassas

GSK Science in the Summer: Solar Eclipse Party
Aug. 21, 2-3:30 p.m.

This special edition of Central Community Library’s summer reading program will boast eclipse- and solar system-inspired stories and crafts. // Central Community Library: 8601 Mathis Ave., Manassas

Prince William County

Solar Eclipse Viewing
Aug. 21, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Potomac Community Library will give out free glasses ahead of watching the eclipse around 2:42 p.m. // Potomac Community Library: 2201 Opitz Blvd., Woodbridge

Solar Eclipse Event
Aug. 21, noon-4 p.m.

In addition to hosting an eclipse viewing party on the lawn, Haymarket Gainesville Library will screen the NASA webcast, which includes interviews with scientists. Kids can make their own eclipse viewing device, too. // Haymarket Gainesville Library: 14870 Lightner Road, Haymarket

Solar Eclipse Viewing Party
Aug. 21, 12:30-4:30 p.m.

Montclair Community Library will give out free eclipse glasses and screen a webcast at the Storytime Circle. // Montclair Community Library: 5049 Waterway Drive, Montclair

Solar Eclipse Party
Aug. 21, 2-3:30 p.m.

Chinn Park Regional Library will have stories, crafts and games centered around learning more about the solar system. // Chinn Park Regional Library: 13065 Chinn Park Drive, Woodbridge

Farther Out

Second Annual Night Sky Festival
Aug. 18-21

Shenandoah National Park will host a series of events in anticipation of the solar eclipse, including a presentation by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Solar System Ambassador Greg Redfern, educational talks about stars and the night sky led by park rangers and stargazing sessions. Visitors are encouraged to come to the park to see the eclipse. It’s anticipated to be roughly 80 percent visible at Shenandoah at 2:40 p.m. // Shenandoah National Park

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