31 Things to Do for the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse


31 Things to Do for the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse

If you’re taking your children to see the eclipse, they will need distractions. What’s better than an indoor water park, like the one at the Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky, Ohio? Near the centerline of the eclipse’s path, it’s well situated, and its viewing party will offer free wolf ears for the kids and moon pies for everyone. A family suite that includes unlimited access to the park averages nearly $330 a night. You can also find child-friendly activities if you’re willing to travel back in time. Kinmundy Log Cabin Village in Kinmundy, Ill., will open its grounds to visitors from April 6 to 8, and while you won’t be able to stay in one of its 19th-century log cabins, you can explore them, with some occupied by volunteers re-enacting pioneer life. There will be a bonfire each night, and food trucks will be on site on April 7 and 8. Camping and parking for all three days is $150. At the Genesee Country Village & Museum in Mumford, N.Y., the third-largest living museum in the United States, experience life as it was in New York State from the 1790s to 1900. From April 5 to 7, you can attend a magic-lantern show, write a celestially themed poem, and sample 19th-century eclipse-themed treats for $17. On the day of the eclipse, $250 will get you and a carload of friends into the viewing area; individual tickets start at $55.

Add some aahs to your oohs with the Moon Shadow package at La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio, which includes an opening-night reception, a complimentary bottle of bubbly and a viewing party, starting at $3,500 for a three-night stay for two. Or how about a 15-day cruise through the Panama Canal — with a chance to witness the eclipse at sea near Cabo San Lucas, Mexico? Interior rooms are still available for $1,199 on the Emerald Princess, departing from Los Angeles on April 5. Or perhaps you have always wanted to roll down the highway in a luxury R.V., which becomes an asset if the weather takes a turn for the worse and clearer skies lie just a few hours’ drive away. Spot2Nite.com offers packages starting at $625 a night that combine R.V. rentals with campground sites from Texas to Ohio.

The best thing about viewing an eclipse from an airplane? “You don’t have to worry about clouds because you’re high above them. And at 35,000 to 40,000 feet, you’re seeing the eclipse against a much clearer, transparent sky as opposed to being at ground level,” said Joseph Rao, an associate and guest lecturer at Hayden Planetarium and an avid eclipse chaser who has seen 13 totalities — five aboard an aircraft. Delta Air Lines has been advertising path-of-totality flights from Austin (sold out) and Dallas-Fort Worth to Detroit. Southwest Airlines (which is running a sweepstakes to win a seat) also offers scheduled flights along the path. The downsides of an air-clipse? “You’re experiencing the event in a sort of sterile environment,” Mr. Rao said. Also, the angle of the sun in the sky at the time of totality may not line up with the view from a typical airplane window, which could limit some passengers’ ability to see it unless the pilots bank or set a special course — as a few reportedly did during the 2017 total eclipse.

Mind the centerline: When picking the spot to view the eclipse, remember that the closer you are to the middle of the path, the longer the eclipse will last. As you plan your trip, consult an eclipse map for the prime spots.

Factor in traffic: In the United States, there are about 32 million people living along the eclipse’s path, and tons more will be heading toward it. Give yourself extra time.

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