solar eclipse watch parties

Solar Eclipse Watch Parties in Tampa Bay

The Great American Solar Eclipse will put on a celestial show on Monday, April 8, 2024, and you can celebrate this unique event with the kids at one of several solar eclipse watch parties in Tampa Bay.

Even though we are not in the path of totality where the moon blocks the sun completely, we will still get a partial view and it’s something you don’t want to miss because it won’t happen again in the contiguous United States until 2044.

Fun Fact: The Tampa Bay region will be within the totality of a solar eclipse in 2045.

The eclipse will begin in Tampa Bay at about 1:43 pm, and peak at about 3 pm before coming to an end at 4:15 pm.

While you can view it at home with the kids using special solar eclipse glasses that meet the ISO 12312-2 standard to view the eclipse, it would be a unique experience to view it with others and even through the lens of a specially equipped telescope!

So, let’s dive in and explore what’s on schedule.

Solar Eclipse Watch Parties in Tampa Bay

MOSI is hosting a Solar Eclipse Watch Party!

MOSI Solar Eclipse Watch Party

  • Monday, April 8 from 1:30 pm-4 pm
  • 4801 E. Fowler Ave, Tampa

MOSI will be hosting a Solar Eclipse Celebration where guests can join in on Sun-themed science activities, watch live streams of the eclipse along the exhibit path, and use Sun-safe solar telescopes that are staffed by a team of MOSI astronomers.

The event is included with general admission. Eclipse glasses will be available for purchase.

Great Exploration Children’s Museum Solar Eclipse Party

  • Monday, April 8 from 2:30 pm-4:00 pm
  • Crescent Lake Park and Great Explorations Children’s Museum: 1925 4th Street N, St Pete

Celebrate the eclipse by watching it from Crescent Lake Park –you will need to bring your own solar eclipse glasses or pinhole camera which you can easily make. Check their link here to learn how to make a pinhole solar eclipse projection box. And then, head to the museum for a planetarium show. Admission to the park is free, however, non-members will need to pay general admission to enter the museum.

Sugar Sand Eclipse Party on Clearwater Beach

  • Monday, April 8 from 1:45 pm-4:15 pm
  • 1 Causeway Blvd, Clearwater

The Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival is teaming up with Visit St. Pete/Clearwater to host this solar eclipse viewing party during the festival. They will be handing out free specially designed solar eclipse viewing glasses at the Visit St. Pete/Clearwater booth.

St. Pete College Planetarium Eclipse Viewing

  • Monday, April 8 beginning at 1:30 pm
  • 6605 5th Avenue North, St. Pete

You can view the solar eclipse through the lenses of specially equipped telescopes and even solar eclipse glasses courtesy of St. Pete College! The party will be near the “quad area” of the St. Pete/Gibbs near the Natural Science Building. Free planetarium shows will also be offered. You will want to park in the north and west lots only, which you can access from 69th Street and 5th Ave N. See map here.

Total Solar Eclipse Viewing at Safety Harbor Library

  • Monday, April 8 from 1:30 pm-4 pm
  • 101 2nd St. N, Safety Harbor

Watch the eclipse at Waterfront Park on Veterans Memorial Lane by Safety Harbor Library. Free viewing glasses will be passed out (while supplies last).

John F. Germany Public Library

  • Monday, April 8 from 1 pm-3:15 pm
  • 900 N. Ashley Dr., Tampa

Head to the library to view the solar eclipse as it’s streamed live from NASA TV.

Seminole Community Library at St. Petersburg College

  • Monday, April 8 from 12:45 pm-4:15 pm
  • 9200 113th St., Seminole

Experience the solar eclipse behind the library. While supplies last, one pair of eclipse glasses per person (ages 3 and up) will be provided beginning at 12:45 pm. Bring chairs, blankets, snacks, and water. No tents or canopies allowed. Learn more about this event here.

Solar Eclipse Celebration at Hudson Regional Library

  • Monday, April 8 from 2:30 pm-3:30 pm
  • 8012 Library Road, Hudson

The Hudson Regional Library will be handing out free solar eclipse glasses so everyone can enjoy this celestial show together!

Bonnet Springs Park in Lakeland

  • Monday, April 8 from 1 pm-3 pm
  • 400 Bonnet Springs Blvd, Lakeland

Bonnet Springs Park will celebrate the eclipse with special eclipse-themed activities and they will be selling eclipse glasses for $4 each. Learn more here.

Starkey Ranch Theatre Library Cultural Center Solar Eclipse Party

  • Monday, April 8 at 1 pm
  • 12118 Lake Blanche Drive, Odessa

The Starkey Ranch TLC is teaming up with the MAPS Museum to celebrate this special event. Kids can get their picture taken with the MAPS Moon Mobile and learn about the wonders of space and the solar eclipse. Tickets are $5 per child which includes solar eclipse glasses and a space toy.

Tarpon Springs Library

  • Monday, April 8 from 1 pm-4 pm
  • 138 E. Lemon St., Tarpon Springs

Watch NASA’s live broadcast of the total solar eclipse. Free solar eclipse glasses will be available at the library starting on April 6 (while supplies last).

Bok Tower Gardens

  • Monday, April 8 at 2 pm
  • 1151 Tower Blvd., Lake Wales

Head to the Singing Lawn Garden to catch a glimpse of the solar eclipse. Peak viewing time begins at 2 pm. Free for members and $20 for non-members (includes admission to the Gardens all day). The first 100 visitors will receive a pair of Lunt Solar Eclipse Glasses.

Where to Get Free Solar Eclipse Glasses and Specials Around Town

Regular sunglasses are not enough to protect your eyes for direct solar viewing. You must use eclipse glasses that meet the ISO 12312-2 standard or a welder’s mask that is shade #12 and that is free of lens scratches.

Jeni’s Ice Cream

April 3-8
615 Channelside Dr., Tampa
305 W. Palm Ave., Tampa

Jeni’s will be giving away solar eclipse glasses with the purchase of their limited edition Punk Stargonaut ice cream starting April 5. They will also be available online starting April 3. While supplies last.

Solar Eclipse Watch Parties in Tampa Bay
Jeni’s Spledid Ice Cream

Smoothie King

March 27-April 8
Various Locations

Smoothie King is celebrating with a themed drink called the “Eclipse Berry Blitz.” The smoothie is made with bananas, wild blueberries, apples, blueberry juice blend, white grape lemon juice blend, protein blend and blue spirulina.

When you buy an Eclipse Berry Blitz at a participating Smoothie King location, you’ll also get a free pair of eclipse glasses while supplies last.

Sonic Drive-In

Through May 5
Various locations

Sonic will offer customers a Blackout Slush Float to celebrate the momentous occasion. The drink will be available through Sunday, May 5. They’ll also be hanging out free solar eclipse viewing glasses with every purchase of the float, while supplies last.