Solar Eclipse Events in Metro Detroit

View the solar eclipse at the Riverfront Conservancy, Cranbrook Institute of Science, Ford House, and more.
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Stock photograph by Jongsun Lee, unsplash.com

It’s not every day that the sun vanishes in the middle of the afternoon. That is, unless it is Monday, April 8, 2024. Most of metro Detroit will be able to see the solar eclipse in some form, though the path of 100 percent totality glides just a few blissful miles away from the area. The 99 percent partial eclipse will begin in Detroit at 1:58 p.m., peak at 3:14 p.m., and end at 4:27 p.m., according to a Free Press locator.

Here are a few local viewing parties to celebrate this spectacular astronomical event.

Detroit Riverfront Conservancy — Cullen Plaza

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, Outdoor Adventure Center, and Huron Clinton Metroparks are teaming up for an eclipse watch party. Participants will receive a free pair of viewing glasses on a first-come, first-served basis as well as themed snacks like Sun Chips and Moon Pies. You can also view the eclipse through a large telescope or go on a self-guided planet walk. No cost for admission. Cullen Plaza, 1340 Atwater St., Detroit; detroitriverfront.org/eclipse.

Edsel & Eleanor Ford House

Ford House is partnering with the Michigan Science Center to welcome visitors in witnessing the solar eclipse on the grounds of the historic Ford House. Concessions begin at noon, and visitors can participate in self-guided tours of the residence along with hands-on, educational activities with Michigan Science Center’s educators. Activities include pinhole projector making, shields for eclipse glasses, solar telescopes and sunspotters, and a Build a Moon Base Camp. $5 for adults and $7 for children. Friends of Ford House and Michigan Science Center members are free. Meadow at Ford House, 1100 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Shores; fordhouse.org/events.

Sterling State Park

Monroe County Convention & Tourism Bureau, Monroe County Museum, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources are hosting an eclipse viewing party in the Lake Erie beach parking lot at Sterling State Park. This event will feature food trailers, interpretive programs, and touch-the-truck DNR equipment displays, too. Viewing glasses will be provided, while supplies last. A $14 recreation passport is required for entry. Sterling State Park, 2800 State Park Road, Monroe; michigan.gov.

Cranbrook Institute of Science

Astronomers and fellow celestial enthusiasts are invited to the Cranbrook Institute of Science for a viewing celebration with a state-of-the-art telescope, astronomy-themed activities, and more. Activities include investigations of eclipses, experiments on how the moon can block the sun, UV-sensitive beads, and learning experiences about the sun’s corona and craters on the moon. After the eclipse, participants can view a special exhibit about Galileo’s work in science, physics, and astronomy. Eclipse viewing glasses can be purchased at $5 each. Cranbrook Institute of Science, 39221 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills; science.cranbrook.edu.

Luna Pier

This small city just miles away from the Ohio border is the only city in Michigan that is in the path of 100 percent totality for the eclipse. Luna Pier, suitably named, will go completely dark for no more than 30 seconds. A tiny lighthouse and other attractions are preparing for an influx of spectators. There’s one thing you should know if you’re planning to head to Luna Pier for this event: expect traffic delays. The main entry point to the city is under construction and the small residential roads are expected to be very congested. Luna Pier Lighthouse, 10754 Lakeside Drive, Luna Pier.

Leslie Science & Nature Center

The Leslie Science & Nature Center and the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum are teaming up to celebrate the eclipse with hands-on activities, nocturnal wildlife, and a special watch party. Explore the night sky in the Star Lab, learn all about astronomy at the hands-on activity areas, and get up-close and personal with animals that usually only come out at night. Eclipse viewing glasses are included with registration to safely watch the eclipse. Tickets are $5. Leslie Science and Nature Center, 1831 Traver Road, Ann Arbor; discoverscienceandnature.org.

Detroit Public Library

Celebrate the eclipse at the library! The Detroit Public Library system is hosting a plethora of viewing parties at various branches, including Main, Jefferson, Knapp, and Sherwood Forest branches. Free viewing glasses will be provided at each event. View the eclipse through a telescope at the Knapp branch and make a solar system craft at the Jefferson branch. Take your pick! No cost for admission. Detroit Public Library, various branches; detroitpubliclibrary.org.

For more community news and events, visit hourdetroit.com.