Chicago has plenty of prime spots to witness the rare solar eclipse on Monday 8/21. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The first total solar eclipse to cross the U.S. in 99 years will occur in the early afternoon of Monday, August 21. While Chicago is not in the “path of totality”—you’ll have to head to downstate Carbondale, Illinois, to see the spectacle in its full glory—the Adler Planetarium says Monday will be the closest the city has been to a total eclipse in 92 years. In Chicago, the moon (that jerk!) will slowly begin to block out the sun at 11:54 AM, peak at 1:19 PM (80 to 90 percent coverage), and end at 2:42 PM. Throw on your viewing glasses (safety first!) and head out to one of the following events.

Chicago Park District
The Park District is hosting family-friendly viewing parties at 20 park locations across the city. Viewing glasses provided by the Adler Planetarium will be distributed, while supplies last. 11 AM-3 PM, free

Chicago Eclipse Fest
The Adler Planetarium (1300 S. Lake Shore) is, of course, all over the solar eclipse. Not only will its lakeside location provide an unencumbered view, but an astronomer will be on site to answer questions. The event also includes live entertainment, hands-on science activities, food trucks, and free admission to the museum, which includes access to the “Chasing Eclipses” exhibit. Includes complimentary viewing glasses. 9:30 AM-6 PM, free

Chicago Botanic Garden Solar Eclipse Viewing
Lushness abounds outside city limits at the Chicago Botanic Garden (1000 Lake Cook). The garden offers space for blankets and folding chairs. There’s also a large-scale model of the earth, moon, and sun to study, and experts to chat with about the celestial event. Includes complimentary viewing glasses. 10 AM-3 PM, free

The Solar Eclipse on the Comfort Station Lawn
The lawn of Comfort Station (2579 N. Milwaukee), smack dab in the center of Logan Square welcomes the celestial-minded. Viewing glasses will be handed out and there’ll be a live stream of the eclipse inside the station building. 11:30 AM-2:45 PM, free

Solar Eclipse Dance Party
Mode Events DJs spin space-themed music while you drink cocktails and get supreme views from the observation deck of the John Hancock Tower (875 N. Michigan). 11 AM-3 PM, $8 online; day-of tickets: $10.25, $6.75 for kids three to 11, free for children under three

Solar Eclipse Viewing Boathouse Cruise
The Mystic Blue (600 E. Grand) sets sail on the beautiful waters of Lake Michigan with a DJ, a dance floor, cocktails, and (naturally) Blue Moon beer on board. Away from the city’s skyscrapers, you can count on an unobstructed view. Just watch out for lighthouses. 11:30 AM-2 PM, $64.90

For more things to do in Chicago, visit our Agenda page.