The solar eclipse is coming: A last-minute guide for DFW

The progression of a total solar eclipse is seen in a multiple exposure photograph taken in 5-minute intervals, with the moon passing in front of the sun above Siem Reap in northwestern Cambodia, 225 kilometers (140 miles) from Phnom Penh, on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 1995. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

By A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez

March 22, 2024

We’re approaching the 2024 solar eclipse, which will be the first in seven years. 

Locally, eclipse prep and celestial celebration gatherings are plentiful, and for good reason. The next solar eclipse won’t happen for 20 years—in August 2044! Luckily, Dallas-Fort Worth is one of the few places on the path of totality where we can witness the entire event. Still, we know you have questions; as always, we have some answers. 

If you’re wondering what a solar eclipse is, what the big deal is, and what you should keep in mind while watching, keep reading. 

What is a solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the Sun and Earth and casts a shadow that either fully or partially blocks the Sun’s light—per the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The most exciting part of this is totality, the period where the Sun is fully covered, and the corona, its bright outer ring light, is visible.  

This year’s eclipse is total, meaning the moon will completely block the face of the Sun. However, there are three other types of eclipses: annular, partial, and hybrid.

Where will it go? How can I see it?

Most places get a view of the partial eclipse, but Dallas-Fort Worth lies in the path where the total eclipse can be seen, called the path of totality. 

Ironically, Texas, specifically at the border with Mexico, is the first place in the United States in the path of totality.  Unlike the 2017 eclipse that had very limited visibility throughout the country, this year’s eclipse can be seen all over the country. Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio will all get an excellent view. Much of North America, from Mexico to the eastern tip of Canada, will be able to see at least a partial eclipse.

This celestial event begins Monday, April 8. In Dallas-Fort Worth, the partial eclipse begins at 12:23 p.m. and lasts about two and a half hours. On the other hand, totality is much more elusive. It begins at 1:40 p.m. and lasts for about 4 minutes.

(NASA made a fantastic eclipse explorer tool that you can use here and send to your friends across the nation.)

Do I need solar glasses?

Yes, mostly. Proper eye care is critical since our eyes are delicate and can get damaged even when we don’t feel it. The catch: You’ll have to remove your glasses during the 3.5 to 4 minutes when the corona is visible. (Check out this handy NASA total solar eclipse safety resource to learn more about proper eclipse eye care.)

What can I do to celebrate? 

Below are a few places you and your loved one can see the 2024 solar eclipse. 

Cotton Bowl Stadium

Head to Cotton Bowl Stadium at Fair Park Stadium for a “Sun, Moon, and You Solar Event.” This family-friendly viewing opportunity includes special guests like astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson (crazy, right?!) and scientists from NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Science Foundation. 

This event is free, but requires prior registration. It takes place from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Learn more here.

José

The only thing better than witnessing a solar eclipse is seeing it with food. Dallas-based José Mexican Restaurant is eclipsing (see what we did there?) all our cuisine dreams come true with its eclipse drink specials: a Luna Llena clarified margarita or the Luna Nueva, a Black margarita—both are made with Don Fulano Tequila. at the “El Eclipse” Watch Party. Open from 11 a.m. -through happy hour (5:30 p.m.), patrons can also nab complimentary solar glasses.

 

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Meow Wolf

Celebrate this celestial event at Meow Wolf’s Total Solar Eclipse Over Texas. The event starts at noon (and continues until 3pm) with an all-ages watch party that starts space-related activities like crafting sessions, shadow puppetry, and face painting. Guests will also receive free eclipse glasses in anticipation for the moon to do its thing. The fun continues after the eclipse, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., with a party with galactic-themed food and beverages from Celestial Beerworks, tarot readings, interactive art, and more. 

Children 1 – 12 get in for $25, and General Admission (13 and up) is $50. You can also bundle and get a ticket from 10 am to 9 pm for $65 Learn more here.

Addison Circle Park

If you want an informal yet cozy eclipse experience Addison Circle Park’s “Total Eclipse of the Park” event is your chance to BYOB (that’s blanket AND beverage). You can grab lunch at one of the onsite food trucks or participate in once-in-a-lifetime combos like live music and yoga in the park. 

The event begins at 10 a.m. and continues until 4 p.m. Learn more here.

Klyde Warren Park

As usual, one of DFW’s best parks, Klyde Warren, has us covered. The facility provides family-friendly fun, including live music, food trucks, and free eclipse-viewing glasses. The Perot Museum of Nature and Science handles programming, which includes a panel discussion with astronomers from the Carnegie Institution for Science, an interactive TECH Truck, and more.

The event lasts from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Learn more here.

Hôtel Swexan

If you’re open to a staycation, Hôtel Swexan invites patrons to the 20th floor for cocktails, mocktails, and some yet-to-be-disclosed planetary films. Even better, a meditation and sound guide will be  onsite to explain the spiritual significance of the new moon and the solar eclipse.  Rituals, Reiki healing, meditation, and a sound bath will be on offer. 

Learn more here.

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden

The 2024 solar eclipse is the first eclipse visible from Fort Worth since 1878! To celebrate this momentous occasion, the Botanic Garden and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History have joined forces for the  “Eclipse in the Garden” event. Offering Fort Worthians an unobstructed view of the eclipse, the event will also feature activities and games like solar eclipse bingo and other community science activities. You can bring your glasses or purchase them onsite for $3. Garden members get in for free and also receive a free pair of glasses.  

The event begins at 10 a.m. and goes to 3 p.m. General admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $6 for children 6-15, and free for children 5 and under. Eclipse glasses cost an extra $3. Learn more here.

  • A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez

    A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez is an award-winning writer, editor, and research-based storyteller. She is also the founder of FreeBlackmotherhood, a counternarrative to intensive mothering models that argues that to raise healthy, well-adjusted children; we must prioritize the wellbeing of those who mother.

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