There’s nothing quite like seeing science in action to really drive home how cool it is to kids. (Case in point: life cycle of a butterfly.) You may have heard another major opportunity to experience science IRL is nigh: “The Great American Eclipse” is taking place on August 21. Here’s how to see and enjoy this astronomical event as a family in NYC!

photo: Rick Fienberg / TravelQuest International / Wilderness Travel

What’s the Big Deal? 
Well, this is the first time a full solar eclipse has been visible in the lower 48 states since 1979, the first time since 1923 it’s been visible in New York City, and the first time it’s been viewable coast to coast since 1918!

It’s a great chance to get children excited about science, and although the total eclipse will be visible only in a swath about 60 to 70 miles wide from Portland, Or to Charleston, Sc, New York and New Jersey will get a view of a partial solar eclipse ranging from 70-77% coverage that you shouldn’t miss. After all, the next total solar eclipse visible in the US won’t be until 2024! Can’t travel to take in the full eclipse? Here’s how to enjoy this event right near home.

The Details
The partial eclipse will last from 1:20-4p.m. in the NYC region with the fullest point at around 2:44 — the percentage you see will depend on your exact location. Make sure to plan ahead: have the equipment you need and get to your viewing location in plenty of time.