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Taking the Kids: Get ready for the eclipse

Eileen Ogintz, Tribune Content Agency on

Mark your calendars! There will be a rare solar eclipse on April 8. People plan to travel to see the moon’s shadow totally block out the sun — for less than five minutes in the afternoon.

In the U.S., the path of the eclipse will run in an arc from southwest Texas to northern Maine. You can see it if you are in the path on this NASA map. States from New York to Ohio, Kentucky to Tennessee, Oklahoma and parts of Canada and Mexico will also have good views. Even Alaska and Hawaii will boast a partial view of the total eclipse. Astronomy experts remind travelers to use eclipse glasses, special viewers, or welder’s glasses to protect their eyes. Never look directly into the sun.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the impact of the total solar eclipse to those flying should be limited to the kinds of delays on high-travel days. That might mean delays in landing and takeoffs. Airports in Texas, Vermont, Maine, Canada, New Hampshire, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky and Missouri will be primarily affected by the eclipse, the FAA said.

This eclipse is extra special because it can be seen by millions of people. The next total solar eclipse won’t be visible from North America until 2045. According to American Travelers Sentiment, 1 in five American travelers are planning to travel to see the eclipse.

Cities and towns are busy getting ready. This may be the chance to visit a place that hasn’t been on your travel list. Bloomington, Indiana, is preparing for what has been called, “the largest tourism event in Indiana history” and is looking forward to welcoming thousands of visitors to the Bloomington area to share the experience of this historic event on April 8.

During Indiana University's Hoosier Cosmic Celebration at Memorial Stadium, William Shatner will narrate the eclipse, joined by artists and choreographers from IU. Shatner will also be joined by Grammy Award-nominated singer, songwriter and actress Janelle Monáe, and former NASA astronaut, Dr. Mae Jemison. Events will range from Drinking in the Dark” at the Butler Winery & Vineyard, film screenings across town, and eclipse viewing opportunities at the city’s parks.

 

At the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Illinois, there’s an after-hours, adults-only celebration of the Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition on Friday, March 15 from 6 to 10 p.m. The Black Creativity Experience: Art. Music. Party “will allow guests to explore the museum while enjoying bites, drinks, live music, live art, and more.” There will also be several science camps for kids centered around the eclipse, including National Robotics Week, and more!

Head to Texas Hill Country for the Texas Eclipse Festival, which is being billed as a combination science fair, Ted talk, experiential art museum and music festival with actor Adrian Grenier, astronaut Ron Garan, a Meow Wolf installation, and has invited 300+ performers and participants who hail from diverse backgrounds and fields of expertise, and embody the spirit of collaboration and unity. Together they will create an unparalleled convergence of captivating experiential art installations, space exploration, cutting-edge technology, futurism with pioneers in web3 and AI with holistic and movement workshops, psychedelic sessions and more.

The Intrepid Museum in New York City will “host a special celebration offering visitors the chance to watch the solar eclipse from the dramatic setting of the flight deck of the legendary aircraft carrier, USS Intrepid on Monday, April 8.” Visit https://intrepidmuseum.org/access-family-programs-inclusive-eclipse to register.

Astronauts from every spaceflight provider, including NASA, SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin, will be joining the Texas Eclipse while the music lineup will blend ancient traditions with contemporary tunes.

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