On Monday, August 21, at about 11:52 a.m., the moon over Chicago will begin passing between the sun and the Earth, making for the first total solar eclipse to travel across the entire contiguous United States in 99 years. At approximately 1:19 p.m., the city will experience a maximum solar eclipse. Celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence in Chicago on the lakefront at the city's premier planetarium, on the high seas of Lake Michigan, or 94 floors above the city. 

Solar Eclipse Block Party at the Adler Planetarium

Adler Planetarium

The Adler Planetarium, America's first planetarium, will celebrate all things solar at Chicago’s biggest eclipse block party of all. Enjoy FREE outdoor activities—live music, games, science demos, eclipse updates, trivia, food trucks and more!—and safe viewing of the sun and the eclipse from the planetarium's prime lakefront location.

Everyone will receive a free pair of #EquippedToEclipse safe solar viewing glasses—for free!—while supplies last. Inside the museum, guests will receive free general admission to check out the Adler Planetarium's latest exhibitions, including Chasing Eclipses, which prepares you to experience an eclipse. (1300 S. Lake Shore Drive)

Solar Eclipse Cruises on Lake Michigan  

Chicago Harbor Lighthouse in Lake Michigan

Witness the incredible event while sailing the high seas of Lake Michigan on your choice of four fun-filled, solar eclipse cruise options.

The Seadog, Chicago's speediest cruise boat, will be hosting a Solar Eclipse Viewing Lakefront Speedboat Ride from 1 to 1:45 p.m. (Adults from $36.95; children from $21.95; glasses included.)

Step aboard the Mystic Blue for the Blue Moon Solar Eclipse Viewing Boathouse Cruise from Noon  to 2 p.m (Adults from $32.90; glasses included.)

The luxury Odyssey will offer a 3-course buffet brunch on it's special Solar Eclipse Viewing Cruise, with glasses provided (Adults from $54.90.)

Shoreline will also be offering a special, 75-minute Solar Eclipse Viewing Cruise, departing Navy Pier's Dock Street at 12:45 to 2:00 p.m. (Adults from $25; kids from $15; includes special viewing glasses.)

Solar Eclipse Dance Party

John Hancock Center Chicago

360 CHICAGO will be hosting a space-themed dance party like no other from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, August 21. Zoom on up in an elevator to the 94th floor of 875 N. Michigan (formerly the John Hancock building) for the 360 CHICAGO Solar Eclipse Dance Party. You'll enjoy panoramic views of the sky and city below while the moon passes in front of the sun, eclipse-viewing glasses, and an energetic vibe as Mode Events DJs entertain dancers with a “space-themed” playlist.

Toast the experience with featured beverages including Revolution Brewing Co.’s Sun Crusher Hoppy Wheat Ale, perfect for the solar eclipse and served on a cash basis at Architect’s Corner Café & Bar. Note: because the event happens on Monday, the only day of the week when tripods are allowed, expect lots of photographers to grab a prime spot early.

“Our lofty vantage point above the city will afford eclipse enthusiasts a celebration-worthy look at this rare astronomical event,” says Nichole Williamson, general manager of the popular attraction. “We pride ourselves on the unobstructed views 360 CHICAGO offers visitors and the inside observation deck will be dressed for the occasion to add to the fun,” she adds.

Tickets for the One-Day-Only Solar Eclipse Dance Party must be purchased on site between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Adults $10.25; Youth (3-11) $6.75; children under three enter free. Regular rates enforced during other entry times that day.) Fifty guests will have the stellar opportunity to earn free admission by being first to register for the event here. Visit www.360chicago.com for information. (875 Michigan Avenue)


Photo credits: iStock, Adam Alexander Photography, Choose Chicago.