Pull up a chair for one of the biggest astronomical events in decades – the Great American Total Solar Eclipse. While Wisconsin won’t get a glimpse of a full solar blackout, parts of the state will see up to 85% coverage of the sun. Check out these special viewing events, attractions and dining options that will give you a peek at this truly unique event.
The Children’s Museum of Eau Claire is hosting a free downtown block party, complete with an eclipse viewing area and viewing goggles. Families can enjoy live music food trucks and face painting, as well as science-based activities perfect for kids of any age. For the adults, be one of the first 50 to arrive and receive a commemorative, 3D-printed social eclipse viewer in the shape of Wisconsin.
Disc golf lovers can head to Wisconsin Rapids for the “Apocalypse Now” challenge. Hosted by Gorilla Boy Disc Sports, the all-day tournament will take place in Robinson Park and includes 27 holes featuring special “in the light” and “in the dark” rounds timed to the eclipse.
Catch a glimpse of the eclipse at 10 participating Milwaukee Public Library locations. Visitors can participate in fun solar-themed activities and learn about the key factors that bring about an eclipse. Plus, each attendee will receive a free pair of viewing glasses. For even more eclipse programming, head to the Capitol Branch for story time and crafts, or the Mill Road Branch for astronomy bingo, a scavenger hunt and games of “pin the star on the constellation.”
Just in time for lunch, the Milton Public Library will host a special picnic party. Attendees can compete in classic and planet-themed yard games while munching on a special “Asteroid” snack mix and ice cream treats.
Planetariums and State Parks
Join the fun at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Manfred Olson Planetarium Solar Eclipse Party. Taking place right on the UWM campus, this NASA-sponsored event includes live music, food, arts & crafts activates, lawn games and bounce house.
For nature lovers, look to a local state park for special eclipse events. At Potawatomi State Park’s Old Ski Hill Overlook, speak with a naturalist before, during and after the eclipse. Multiple safe viewing methods will bel available to try. Newport State Park in Ellison Bay and Interstate State Park in St. Croix Falls will also host special eclipse viewing programs.
In La Crosse, head to the Charmant Hotel for a spot on the boutique hotel’s Rooftop Terrace. The space offers beautiful views of the Mississippi River and surrounding city. While waiting for the eclipse, try some of the wood-fired pizza – a Rooftop Terrace specialty – and a handcrafted cocktail. After all, the eclipse won’t hit so close to home until 2099.
Café Benelux in Milwaukee serves up European favorites and an extensive beer list. This popular spot offers a casual atmosphere with views of the city’s Historic Third Ward. It’s also a perfect lunchtime spot to watch the rare eclipse.
Settle in for the eclipse at a Madison landmark, the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. The iconic building, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is nestled on the shores of Lake Monona and offers beautiful views, plenty of seating and the on-site Lake Vista Café, all just steps away from the Capitol Square.
For more on the Great American Eclipse, including video streams and safe viewing tips, visit nasa.gov.