Eclipse Viewing Parties in LA & Orange County – Where to Watch This Solar Showdown in Southern California

Photo: NASA

The sky is getting ready to stage a celestial extravaganza! On Monday, April 8, 2024, Southern California will be treated to a mesmerizing total solar eclipse. While Southern California won’t be on the path of the total eclipse, it’ll still be an experience. But hold onto your eclipse glasses (safety first!) as we dive into what this cosmic show is all about.


Eclipse 101: What’s a Total Solar Eclipse?

Imagine this: the universe playing a game of cosmic alignment. In a total solar eclipse, the Moon and Sun align so precisely that the Moon completely blocks the Sun, turning daylight into twilight.

Here in the LA & Orange County area, we will see it as a partial solar eclipse. At its max at about 11:15am, it’ll look like someone took a bite out of the sun!


Safety First: Eclipse Eye Couture!

We can’t stress this enough: never, ever look at the Sun during an eclipse without proper eye protection. Invest in some snazzy (certified) eclipse glasses—here’s the American Astronomical Society’s list of manufacturers and retailers that offer certified eclipse glasses. Trust us, your eyes will thank you!

Free Eclipse Glasses at Libraries: The STAR Library Network, managed by the Space Science Institute, offers free eclipse glasses to some libraries. Check the Solar Eclipse Activities for Libraries (SEAL) website for a map of participating libraries.


Aspiring Astronomer? Tips to Hype Up the Kids

How do you get the little ones stoked about this stellar spectacle? Turn it into an eclipse-themed family adventure!

  1. Eclipse Snack Attack: Moon pies, anyone? Make or find fun galactic-themed treats.
  2. Eclipse Party Playlist: Create a cosmic playlist! “Total Eclipse of the Heart” is a must!
  3. Eclipse Storytime: Dive into eclipse-related books for kids. It’s an excellent way to learn about the science behind this enchanting event.
  4. Eclipse Spotting: Choose the perfect viewing spot. Whether it’s your backyard, a local park, or a designated viewing party, make sure you’ve got a prime location.
  5. Eclipse Craft: Get crafty with eclipse-themed art project or make your own pinhole projector.


A crowd uses handheld solar viewers and solar eclipse glasses to safely view a solar eclipse. Credit: National Park Service

Free Eclipse Viewing Parties near LA & Orange County

All events listed below are free and happening on the morning of Monday, April 8, 2024.

  • Anaheim – Watch the eclipse, make a galaxy jar, and enjoy refreshments at the Anaheim Public Library – Canyon Hills Branch. Sunkist Branch will also hold a viewing party.
  • Costa Mesa – The Orange Coast College Planetarium will have solar telescopes available, eclipse glasses for purchase, a special dome presentation, meet real astronomers, and enjoy a celestial performance by the OCC CHamber Singers.
  • Laguna Hills – Decorate solar eclipse cookies with the Laguna Hills Technology Library. All ages welcome, no registration required.
  • Los Angeles Public LibrariesMost branches are offering viewing parties and giving away glasses. Sylmar Branch, Studio City Branch, Vermont Square Branch, Playa Vista Branch, Edendale Branch, Platt Branch, Venice-Abbot Kinney Branch, Valley Plaza Branch, Arroyo Seco Branch, Little Tokyo Branch, Alma Reaves Woods Branch, and West Valley Branch.
  • Pasadena – Join Caltech at the Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics to view the eclipse through solar telescopes. Free eclipse glasses (while supplies last) and astrophysicists will be on hand.
  • San Juan Capistrano – The Caspers Wilderness Park is hosting a viewing party for registered participants. Solar eclipses and glasses available.
  • San Diego – The Fleet Science Center is hosting a viewing party with demos, creating a pocket solar system, eclipse projector craft, and astronomers and eclipse experts on hand. Stay at the center for the rest of the day for eclipse-related activities. Viewing party activities free, activities within the center require admission.
  • Stanton – Stanton Library is hosting a watch party and a themed craft. Glasses available, while supplies last. Free event, no registration required.
  • Walnut – The Randall Planetarium at Mt. San Antonio College will have solar telescopes and planetarium shows throughout the event (seats are first come, first served).


Want more family fun in Southern California? Visit our Calendar or sign up for the Kidsguide Newsletter to get events delivered to your inbox weekly.




This post was written by Kidsguide

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