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Here’s where to get free solar eclipse glasses in Chicago ahead of April 8

Pick up complimentary solar viewers and watch the eclipse from these local spots.

Jeffy Mai
Written by
Jeffy Mai

On Monday, April 8, a total solar eclipse will be visible from parts of the United States. This is one event you won’t want to miss as it’s not expected to happen again over American soil until 2044. Here’s a primer on how to get free glasses for safe watching, the best spots to view the natural phenomenon and more.

RECOMMENDED: Everything you need to know about the total solar eclipse in Chicago

Where can I get free solar eclipse glasses in Chicago?

Warby Parker is giving away free eclipse glasses at all stores until supplies last. The eyewear retailer has stores in Andersonville, Lincoln Park, West Loop, Gold Coast, Wicker Park and Lakeview, plus suburban locations in Naperville, Oak Brook, Schaumburg and Skokie.

The Adler Planetarium will host a free outdoor Eclipse Encounter ’24 event on April 8. Attendees will receive a free pair of solar viewers (while supplies last).

MyEyeDr., an eye health services provider, is giving out free solar eclipse glasses at all of its locations. You can find your nearest office here.

Select Chicago Public Libraries across the city will hold eclipse viewings on April 8 and hand out free solar glasses, courtesy of the Adler Planetarium. Find a participating library here.

Ice cream company Jeni’s has rolled out three new flavors—Nebula Berry, Cosmic Bloom, Purple Star Born—in celebration of the eclipse. Starting April 5, customers can also pick up a pair of complimentary eclipse glasses with purchase at any local Jeni’s scoop shop.

How can I watch the solar eclipse safely?

It is not safe to look at the eclipse with the naked eye. You must wear special eclipse glasses equipped with a solar filter, or watch through a pinhole projector. Viewing through sunglasses, telescopes, binoculars and camera lenses can cause serious eye injury.

Where can I watch the solar eclipse in Chicago?

Anywhere the Sun is visible! Because Chicago is not in the path of totality, you’ll only be able to catch a partial eclipse—though experts predict the city will still see 94 percent totality. Areas in southern Illinois and central Indiana are where you can view a total solar eclipse, with Carbondale being one of the most prominent cities in the path.

Here in Chicago, the Adler Planetarium is throwing a free event on the day of the eclipse. Attendees can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities and pick up a pair of free glasses.

360 CHICAGO, the observation deck on the 94th floor of 875 N. Michigan Avenue (formerly the John Hancock Center), will offer unobstructed, panoramic views of the eclipse. Included in the price of a general admission ticket, guests will receive a complimentary pair of solar viewers and have the opportunity to watch the spectacle from over 1,000 feet above street level.

City Cruises Chicago will embark on a 30-minute solar eclipse cruise from Navy Pier at 2pm. Passengers will go on a ride around Lake Michigan and have unparalleled views of the celestial event. Eclipse glasses will be provided. 

What time is the solar eclipse in Chicago?

The partial eclipse is slated to start at approximately 12:51pm and reach its maximum coverage at 2:07pm. The eclipse will continue for another hour, ending at 3:21pm.

What is the weather forecast for the solar eclipse in Chicago?

Conditions are expected to be partly cloudy in the morning, giving way to sunny skies in the afternoon, with a high of around 65 degrees.

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