Solar Eclipse Viewing Events in Roanoke, Virginia

You Don't have to Leave Town to Experience the 2024 Solar Eclipse

By Beth Bell, Publisher March 24, 2024

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun. There are a few reasons this is a big deal, with people traveling to cities along the path of totality, where they will see the Moon completely cover the sun for 3-4 minutes.  Although there are 2-3 total eclipses per year, most are not viewable from the contiguous United States.  The next total solar eclipse that can be seen in the US will be in 20 years on August 23, 2044.

Totality will begin over the South Pacific Ocean and appear in North America, in Mexico around 11:07 a.m. From there, the path will continue through Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine before moving through Canada and exiting North America at 5:16 p.m.

Locally, the eclipse will begin around 1:57 PM, with it's peak at 3:15 PM, at which time 86-88% of the sun will be covered. 

Thanks to several local organizations, you don't have to caravan to the path of totality to view part of the eclipse on April 8th. 

PLAY Roanoke Solar Eclipse Viewing Event at the Mill Mountain Discovery Center 12:30 PM- 5 PM

Join Parks and Recreation Naturalists on Mill Mountain for the viewing event. This won’t be something you’ll want to miss, as the next solar eclipse to cross the United States won’t be until 2044.  The Eclipse will begin at 1:57pm, peak at 3:15pm, and end at 4:29pm. Pack a cooler with snacks and drinks, and bring a chair or blanket. Registration (Cost: $2) is not required, but if you register you are guaranteed a pair of Eclipse Viewing Glasses. Register Here

Solar Eclipse Watch Party at Peter Pan Park at the Main Library 2:30 PM

Attendees will receive solar eclipse viewing glasses and enjoy celestial snacks, while supplies last.  This event is free and registration is not required. Main Library, 706 S. Jefferson Street, Roanoke, VA. 

Beginning April 1st, you can receive a pair of solar eclipse glasses when you check out a book at the Main Library.


Solar Eclipse Party at Roanoke County Libraries 2-4:30 PM

Never seen a solar eclipse? Several Roanoke County Library branches are hosting eclipse parties. Register to join our Eclipse Party and get a pair of eclipse glasses when you get here for the event! One pair of glasses per family/group. There will be out of this world snacks and astronomically cool crafts!  Register Here

Solar Eclipse Viewing at Explore Park Treetop Quest 1:30 PM-4:30PM

Participants can spend 1.5 hours on the Treetop course and will receive educational materials.  Bring your sneakers, a chair or blanket and we will provide safety glasses (while supplies last.)  $10 per person | Ages 7-18 Pre-registration is required. Register here. Email to reserve groups.

Solar Eclipse: An Eye Exclusive Event at The Science Museum of Western Virginia 2-4 PM

Join us in celebrating the upcoming Solar Eclipse! Ticket-holders will enjoy an exclusive full dome show in The Eye Planetarium, followed by a rooftop viewing of the eclipse during prime visibility (about 3:15 PM). Our rooftop viewing will be guided by the Director of the Planetarium, Chris Savage, and also includes adult-friendly eclipse-themed experiments. Tickets are $18, attendees will receive complementary solar eclipse viewing glasses (a $4.00 value) for eye safety during the experience.  Purchase Tickets Here  The museum is also selling solar eclipse glasses in their gift shop for $4 per pair beginning April 1st.

Solar Eclipse Event at Central Virginia Community College 11:15 AM - 4 PM

Join us for a fun-filled, educational day of crafts and activities as we celebrate and experience the solar eclipse together! Throughout this event, we will have crafts, activities, and lectures relating to the phenomenon that is an eclipse. There will be free eclipse glasses available for the first 5,000 viewers.

Activities include: Planetarium, Escape Room, T-shirt bleach dying (Bring your own black t-shirt!), Live streaming of total eclipse, Solar telescope viewing

Lectures include: Eclipsing Einstein (12:10 PM), That's Yesterday's Eclipse (12:35 PM), Look Who's Talking! (1:00 PM),Scientifically Speaking... (1:25 PM), Expert Panel Q&A (2:15 PM)

Planning to attend? Let us know!  This is a rain or shine event! 

Solar Eclipse Viewing Parties at Virginia State Parks

Virginia State Parks are inviting you to view the eclipse from their parks.  Nearby favorites include Douthat, Smith Mountain Lake, Fairy Stone, and Claytor Lake State Parks.

What you’ll see during this year’s solar eclipse will vary based on the weather and your location. Depending on the park you’re at, the moon will block the face of the sun between 76 and 90 percent.  Some parks are offering educational programs led by knowledgeable park rangers. Dive into the science behind solar eclipses as we explore their mechanics, historical significance and safety precautions for observers. Whether you're a seasoned astronomer or a curious novice, these programs offer valuable insights into the wonders of the cosmos. Check out the table here to learn more about when to expect the solar eclipse at each park. As you start planning your visit, don’t forget to pack your solar viewing glasses. If you don’t have any, each park will sell in their visitor center or gift shop for $1 plus tax while supplies last.

2024 Eclipse Viewing at Natural Bridge State Park 2 PM - 4PM

Come view the last solar eclipse in the continental US until 2044 at Natural Bridge State Park! 87% of the sun will be covered by the moon. A viewing party will take place at the Children's Discovery Area, with rangers providing details about the eclipse and doing crafts. The eclipse begins at 2:00 p.m. and will peak at 3:12 p.m. before ending at 4:00 p.m. Come for the whole time to see it in action; bring something comfortable to sit on and enjoy the show.  Admission: Free parking, eclipse glasses available for purchase at $1.05 each.  Park at the Skyline Trail trailhead to access the viewing party. Fees at the Skyline Trail trailhead will be waived. No pre-registration is necessary. For more information, call (540) 254-0795. Natural Bridge State Park 6477 South Lee Highway Natural Bridge, VA 24578