6 Ideas for Hosting a Solar Eclipse Party in Your Backyard

The April 8 eclipse is just about here, and people across the path of totality are planning parties for the big moment. There is absolutely nothing wrong with just having people over, but you can make the entire party a little more fun by gearing everything toward the eclipse and other astronomical phenomena. Even simple get-togethers can benefit from these tips, and you can make your party stand out in people’s memories.

1- Follow the Theme When Choosing Food

Decorate in an eclipse or astronomical theme, of course, and don’t forget the food! Serve dishes that have astronomical terms in their names (such as brands with “sun” or “moon” in their names or logos), and have things like crescent rolls or cookies frosted to look like suns and stars.

2- Have Legit Eclipse Glasses on Hand

Unfortunately, people trying to cash in on the eclipse phenomenon have been selling counterfeit viewing glasses that could leave people with damaged eyes. Ensure you have a stash of legitimate eclipse glasses that allow guests (and you!) to view the eclipse safely. Encourage people to double-check that what they have will work, but keep some spare glasses on hand so you can switch out any fake glasses that your guests accidentally bring.

3- Make Sure You Have the Correct Times for Totality

Totality will occur at different times along the path. Ensure you know when your area will be able to view the full eclipse, and make sure you keep track of time. You don’t want to miss part of the beginning of the eclipse, for example; everyone should be ready to view it from start to finish.

4- Create Two Viewing Sites and Record Reactions at One

Seeing the delight on people’s faces when the eclipse occurs is a nice memory to have, and many like to film eclipse viewers along with the eclipse itself. Set up an area where those at the party can voluntarily have their reactions recorded as the eclipse happens. Create a second site for those who don’t want to be filmed; these videos often make their way onto social media, and some guests may not want to be on there.

5- Coordinate With Neighbors

You might not be the only one in your neighborhood planning an eclipse party, so see if your neighbors want to join together to have a block party. You could see about blocking off the street and creating a much larger viewing area instead of having a lot of people crowd into your backyard. Keep in mind you may need a permit from your city to close off streets to traffic; start planning that now if you and your neighbors decide to hold a joint celebration.

6- Bookmark Some Livestreaming Sites Just in Case

It’s spring, and the eclipse path cuts across much of the central and northeastern U.S. in the afternoon. That means clouds and sudden storms could literally rain on the parade of eclipse parties in the country. Create an indoor escape plan by preparing the interior of your home for the possibility of a party (move fragile items to off-limits spaces and so on) and bookmark some livestreaming sites so that guests can still watch the eclipse happen in real time.

You don’t have to create a very fancy environment for those who want to see the eclipse; you just need a safe and comfortable one. Have legitimate eclipse-viewing glasses ready and plan to have a good time with friends and family.