Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Planning to View the Eclipse

Gif images, and effect, courtesy of the Edge.

MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2024

Eclipse-Themed Activities, in Order of Appearance:

At the Edge Observation Deck / At the Intrepid Museum / On the Rooftop Park a Pier 57 / At Flatiron North Plaza / From Friends of Chelsea Green Park 

BY SCOTT STIFFLER | Let’s start with the basics: A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun Earth, blocking the Sun and darkening the sky as if it were dawn or dusk (thanks, NASA, for the explainer). Here in NYC, according to the Intrepid Museum, “The eclipse will begin around 2:00pm ET, with 89% totality for New York City set to occur at 3:25pm ET.” Those times vary slightly according to who you ask, but safe to say if you want to see the event at its eye candy apex (while wearing protective eyewear, of course), don’t make other plans for the next 30 minutes to follow 3pm. Fun facts: . The total solar eclipse of Monday, April 8, will be the last such event  visible from the contiguous United States until 2044. NYC’s next total solar eclipse happens on May 1, 2079. So to make the most of this year’s eclipse, see the below roundup of activities and opportunities.

See the Solar Eclipse on the Edge | Located 1,100 feet in the sky, Edge—the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere—is the closest you can get to it, physically, short of sprouting wings or purchasing that hot air balloon you’ve been eyeing. And really, how practical are those options compared to the act of purchasing a ticket? All guests visiting Edge on the afternoon of April 8 will be able to redeem their free solar eclipse glasses and purchase a special cocktail at the bar to take the celebration even higher. For more info and to purchase tickets ($36 and up), click here.

Intrepid Museum Special Viewing Event | Based on, in, and around the WWII aircraft carrier USS Intrepid (a National Historic Landmark), the Intrepid Museum has always offered visitors exhibits and activities that speak to goings-on in the sky and space—which makes the location of their eclipse viewing opportunity (2-4pm on the Intrepid’s spacious flight deck) squarely in thematic synch with the solar eclipse sun. While onboard, the note, you can “learn more about this cosmic phenomenon from knowledgeable Museum educators as they explore the science of eclipses. Commemorative eclipse glasses will be provided to Museum guests until the batch of 6,000 has been distributed. Note: Access to the flight deck, limited by capacity constraints, is on a first-come, first-served basis—so arrive early to secure your spot. Bonus Content: Purchase of ticket also gets you access to the exhibition Apollo: When We Went to the Moon. The exhibition’s location—Space Shuttle Pavilion—lets you see the space shuttle Enterprise up close (note close enough to paw at, but almost certainly closer than you’ve ever been before). Bonus Content II: On April 7 (the day before the eclipse), from 11:00am-Noon, the Intrepid presents an online, family-friendly program providing tips about safely watching the celestial event, and instructions for making eclipse viewers. Click here to register for the free event. For Intrepid visitors, click here for ticket info. The Intrepid Museum at Pier 86; West 46th St. & 12th Ave. in Hudson River Park.

Pier 57 Rooftop photo by J.Dangremond.

Eclipse Viewing on the Rooftop Park at Pier 57 | Inside, the recently reimagined Pier 57 has a gourmet-level food (Market 57), meeting rooms free for use by the community, and a spacious public area flooded with natural light that offers seating fit for small groups, intimate chats, or the work-from-home set sick and tired of… working from home. But if it’s pure unadulterated sprawl you want, head to the top until there’s nowhere else to go—and you will have arrived at the Rooftop Park, which on April 8, the good people at Pier 57 assure, “is the perfect place to gather with friends and family and witness the spectacle of the spring… The rooftop is open to the public and sprawls nearly two acres with panoramic views of Hudson River Park, the Lower Manhattan skyline, and New York Harbor.” The park is accessible from the ground floor’s southern entrance, directly across from Little Island. There are no planned events being offered, as at many other viewing opportunities throughout the area—but plenty to occupy the minds and imaginations of those content to simply look skyward (with protective eyewear, of course).

Image courtesy of the Flatiron NoMad Partnership.

The Flatiron NoMad Partnership and the Simons Foundation present a Partial Solar Eclipse Viewing Party | An afternoon full of science and family-friendly activities await, as you celebrate the rare occasion of a solar eclipse.in celebration of this unique phenomenon. Event co-presenterthe Simons Foundation will provide viewing glasses. Solar telescopes will be set up to look through, and an innovative Lightsound Activation Staion will convert eclipses’s ever-varying light intensity into sound (offering “a more accessible experience for individuals who are blind or low-vision). Family-friendly activities will be led by the nearby National Museum of Mathematics. And at the Galactic Photobooth, get a digital and printed memory of this amazing day at the Flatiron NoMad booth. On the Flatiron North Plaza (Broadway & 23rd St.). This free party takes place from 12-3:30pm; eclipse viewing at 3pm. For more info, click here.

NYC Parks Eclipse Viewing Opportunities | Join NYC Parks’ Urban Park Rangers to view the much-anticipated solar eclipse, while learning more about eclipses and why they occur. Safety viewing glasses will be yours to borrow, and you’ll also be able to take a look at the rare event through a solar lens telescope. For more info on free viewing opportunities in all five boroughs as well as Randall’s Island, click here. The Manhattan location is at West 218th Street and Indian Road in Inwood Hill Park.

Friends of Chelsea Green Park Fundraising Auction and Mixer | The volunteer group responsible for bringing fun, free programming to the mighty West 20th Street micropark, Chelsea Green, begins their fundraising auction on the same date as the eclipse (April 8) and concludes it with a 21+ mixer celebration at another Chelsea icon, the nearby Peter McManus bar. RSVP to ChelseaGreenpark@gmail.com. Regarding the auction: Bid, donate, and follow at @Chelseagreennyc.

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