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Tourists and locals gaze in awe at the partial solar eclipse in Midtown Manhattan's Bryant Park on August 21, 2017.
Photograph: By Mihai O Coman / Shutterstock

Where to get free eclipse glasses in NYC right now

From libraries to welcome centers, there's likely a distribution spot in your neighborhood.

Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Written by
Rossilynne Skena Culgan

If you want to see the once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, you've got to protect your eyes. While you can buy special solar eclipse glasses (there are even Bill Nye-branded ones!), you can score a pair for free at several locations around town. 

NASA has all the intel on exactly what you'll need to keep your eyes safe during the eclipse. As they put it: "You must look through safe solar viewing glasses ('eclipse glasses') or a safe handheld solar viewer at all times. Eclipse glasses are NOT regular sunglasses; regular sunglasses, no matter how dark, are not safe for viewing the Sun." So follow the rules from NASA and go pick up a pair of eclipse glasses; here's where to go.

RECOMMENDED: Bill Nye answers all your burning questions about the solar eclipse

Solar eclipse
Photograph: Shutterstock/Nature's Charm

1. Public libraries

Solar eclipse glasses are being distributed on a first-come, first-served basis daily until supplies last at all New York Public Library and Queens Public Library. They'll also be available at Brooklyn Public Library locations on select dates. Just a heads up that you'll have to sign a liability waiver when you pick up your pair. 

The giveaway is offered in partnership with the National Esports Association (NEA), whose recent "Look Up!" campaign encourages New Yorkers to experience the solar eclipse safely.

An astronomical buff prepares for the solar eclipse by trying out her official I Love New York eclipse sunglasses in New York
Photograph: By rblfmr / Shutterstock

2. New York Welcome Centers 

Limited-edition I LOVE NY eclipse glasses are available at 30 locations throughout the state, including New York State Welcome Centers and select service areas along the NYS Thruway. Each person can get two pairs while supplies last with a limited amount distributed daily.

In New York City, pick up a pair at Moynihan Train Hall's MTA Long Island Rail Road Ticket Windows. They're open daily from 6:30am-9:30pm. On Long Island, head to the Long Island Welcome Center (5100 Long Island Expressway, Eastbound between Exits 51 & 52) in Dix Hills between 7am-9pm daily. Other pick-up spots are located throughout the state; here's a full list.

A Warby Parker strorefront.
Photograph: By ADXco / Shutterstock

3. Warby Parker stores

Warby Parker is taking its commitment to eyewear to the next level by giving away solar eclipse glasses at all of its stores until the big day. Eclipse glasses will be available while supplies last. 

There are more than a dozen Warby Parker stores across New York City, with a high concentration in Manhattan. To find your closest store, use the store locator tool here

A hand holding up eclipse glasses in front of an eclipse painting.
Photograph: Courtesy of Staten Island Museum

4. Staten Island Museum 

The Staten Island Museum will be giving away eclipse glasses all weekend long to museum visitors. You can pick up a pair on Saturday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7 between 11am-5pm at the museum. Head to 1000 Richmond Terrace, Building A at Snug Harbor.

Just to be really clear, that's free with museum admission, so you've got to pay to get in (tickets are $8 for adults and $2 for kids). 

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