Apr 1, 2024 - News

Fun ways to watch the total eclipse in central Ohio

<span style="display: block;text-align: center;">Path of the April 8, 2024 eclipse</span>
Data: NASA. Map: Erin Davis

A once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse is just one week away and if you haven't already made plans, it's time to start.

Why it matters: Opportunities to stand in the shadow of the moon are few and far between on this planet.

  • Don't let earthly troubles like traffic and insane crowds stand between you and the path of totality.

The big picture: On April 8, the moon's shadow will enter the state at 3:08pm and exit at 3:19pm, per GreatAmericanEclipse.com.

Your menu of viewing options:

🕶 Just look up: Here in Columbus, slip on some eclipse glasses.

  • The city proper is just outside the path of totality, so if you stay put, you won't get the full dawn-at-daytime effect. But that doesn't mean it won't still be a great show.
  • Make the experience a little more social and check out one of the events planned by COSI, which includes an eclipse-themed beer release at Land Grant Brewery.

🗺 Head for the suburbs: A short trip northwest is all it'll take to get the full experience.

  • Consult this interactive map from eclipse2024.com to find the shortest distance between you and totality.
  • Options include a trip to Dublin, which will experience about 90 seconds of darkness. The town's plucky tourist office is pitching pub crawls and a family visit to the corn statues.
  • You can also snag tickets for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, where staff, researchers, and volunteers will be studying how the animals react to the natural phenomenon.

🌙 Make a day of it: The closer to the center of the path of totality, the longer the period of darkness.

  • A longer drive up Route 33 to Marysville buys you about three minutes of totality. Among eclipse-themed events in the city is a full-day "End of the World Total Solar Eclipse Jam Fest" at Walking Distance Brewing Co.
  • Keep going another 25 miles to Bellefontaine to max out your viewing experience at just under four minutes. The city is hosting a three-day street festival called "Moon Glow over Main Street."

Go deeper: Virtually every town along the path has designated viewing areas and festivities of some kind.

  • And whatever trip you decide to make, give yourself plenty of time to deal with traffic. It's expected to be hellish.

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