clock menu more-arrow no yes
Courtesy of NASA/The Exploratorium

Solar eclipse 2017: Where to see it in Philly

From viewing parties to places with great vantage points

View as Map

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on August 10 and has been updated with the most recent information.

On Monday, August 21, the U.S. will experience a total solar eclipse, darkening skies all throughout the country as the moon covers the sun. And while Philly will only experience at partial solar eclipse (80 percent of the sun will be covered), experts say it will still be worthwhile to don some protective eyewear and view such a rare occurrence.

Philly will experience max coverage at 2:44 p.m. on August 21. The whole solar eclipse event is set to take place between 1:21 and 4 p.m.

Franklin Institute’s head astronomer Derrick Pitts says that barring any bad weather, as long as you can see the sun from your location, you’ll be able to witness the event.

But we’ve mapped out the best places in Philly, ordered north to south, that will give you a clear view of the partial solar eclipse. Many of these spots offer high vantage points and great views of the sky, while others include institutions that are hosting viewing parties.

Know of another great spot or viewing party? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add it to the list!

Read More

1. Benjamin Rush State Park

Copy Link
15001 Roosevelt Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19154
(215) 639-4538
Visit Website

This 275-acre park in Northeast Philly just so happens to be the only state park within city limits. It's largely undeveloped and there are big, sweeping fields and meadows that will serve as a perfect spot to camp out for the big viewing.

A post shared by Neil (@bigheadneil) on

2. Wadsworth Library

Copy Link
1500 Wadsworth Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19150
(215) 685-9294
Visit Website

Wadsworth Library will also be hosting a viewing party. Head there at the party’s 2 p.m. start to make an eclipse viewer, then watch the rare sight unfold outside of the library.

A post shared by Bradley Maule (@mauleofamerica) on

3. Falls of Schuylkill Library

Copy Link
3501 Midvale Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19129

Live in East Falls? The local library will be live-streaming the total solar eclipse event in its meeting room’s big screen and will have “eclipse-themed snacks” on hand. You’ll also be able to make pinhole viewers if you want to step outside to see the partial solar eclipse.

A post shared by clara bucar (@archclara) on

4. Wynnefield Library

Copy Link
5325 Overbrook Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19131
(215) 685-0298
Visit Website

Wynnefield Library is one of the Free Library of Philadelphia locations that will be hosting a viewing party of the partial solar eclipse. Materials will be on hand to make your own eclipse viewer, and then everyone will head out to the courtyard to witness the big event. The library will also livestream the total solar eclipse. The party starts at 1 p.m.

Posted by Wynnefield Branch (Free Library of Philadelphia) on Wednesday, April 13, 2011

5. Belmont Plateau

Copy Link
1800 Belmont Mansion Dr
Philadelphia, PA 19131

Grab a picnic blanket, your safe eclipse viewing equipment, and head up to Belmont Plateau. This big green space sits high above the rest of the city in West Fairmount Park.

6. Wagner Free Institute of Science

Copy Link
1700 W Montgomery Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19121
(215) 763-6529
Visit Website

The Wagner Free Institute of Science will also host a viewing party: You can head out to the lawn and check out the partial eclipse or watch the NASA Eclipse Live Stream in the institute’s lecture hall. Special eclipse glasses will be provided.

7. Penn Treaty Park

Copy Link
1301 N Beach St
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 634-5300
Visit Website

Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown offers big, sweeping views back toward Center City and toward the Ben Franklin Bridge. Grab a blanket, your protective eyewear, and an Arctic Splash and enjoy the eclipse.

A post shared by @imogenetilden on

8. The Franklin Institute

Copy Link
222 N 20th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 448-1200
Visit Website

The Franklin Institute will be one of the few institutions hosting a viewing party. Its head astronomer, Derrick Pitts, will be in Missouri where he’ll be live broadcasting the actual total solar eclipse. The event runs from 12 to 4 p.m.

9. Ben Franklin Bridge

Copy Link
(856) 968-3300
Visit Website

For 360-degree views, make the trek up to the Ben Franklin Bridge, where the pedestrian walkway offers great views up and down the Delaware River. As long as the weather holds out, no doubt this vantage point will offer some pretty epic views of the rare event.

Photo by Melissa Romero

10. Cira Green

Copy Link

Cira Green is the only public rooftop park in the city. While it is sandwiched between two soaring towers, it offers big views of Center City, University City, and the Schuylkill River. Astronomer Derrick Pitts of the Franklin Institute assures that if you can see the sun from your location, you’re good to go.

11. One Liberty Observation Deck

Copy Link
1650 Market St #5700
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 561-3325
Visit Website

See the solar eclipse from one of the highest points in Philly: The One Liberty Observation Deck on the 57th floor of One Liberty Place. It’s offering a free upgrade to its “sun and stars” ticket on Sunday, August 20 and Monday, August 21, which means you can visit the spot twice within 48 hours. Upgraded Sun and Stars tickets are $19 for ages 12 and up and $13 for children.

Update: The deck will have materials for a DIY eclipse projector or you can bring you own glasses.

12. Independence Seaport Museum

Copy Link
211 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 413-8655
Visit Website

The Independence Seaport Museum on the Delaware River is encouraging folks to bring a blanket or chair to their second floor terrace for a solar eclipse viewing party from 12 to 4 p.m. While eclipse viewers will be available for $3, they’ll be free to museum members who RSVP. Member or non-member, you can snag a ticket to the event here.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

13. Charles Santore Library

Copy Link
932 S 7th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 686-1766
Visit Website

Over by East Passyunk, the Charles Santore Library will be hosting a solar eclipse viewing party starting at 1:30 p.m. You’ll be able to make pinhole viewers, plus learn about the effects of the sun from folks at Bartram’s Garden.

A post shared by Shannon Garrison (@rarface) on

14. Navy Yard

Copy Link
S Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19112

Over at Navy Yard’s campus, folks will be gathering at the Marine Parades Grounds to watch the celestial event. The event will run from 1 to 3 p.m., and all the DIY materials will be on hand to create your own solar eclipse viewer.

A post shared by TheBoArts (@theboarts) on

Loading comments...

1. Benjamin Rush State Park

15001 Roosevelt Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19154

This 275-acre park in Northeast Philly just so happens to be the only state park within city limits. It's largely undeveloped and there are big, sweeping fields and meadows that will serve as a perfect spot to camp out for the big viewing.

15001 Roosevelt Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19154

2. Wadsworth Library

1500 Wadsworth Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19150

Wadsworth Library will also be hosting a viewing party. Head there at the party’s 2 p.m. start to make an eclipse viewer, then watch the rare sight unfold outside of the library.

1500 Wadsworth Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19150

3. Falls of Schuylkill Library

3501 Midvale Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19129

Live in East Falls? The local library will be live-streaming the total solar eclipse event in its meeting room’s big screen and will have “eclipse-themed snacks” on hand. You’ll also be able to make pinhole viewers if you want to step outside to see the partial solar eclipse.

3501 Midvale Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19129

4. Wynnefield Library

5325 Overbrook Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19131

Wynnefield Library is one of the Free Library of Philadelphia locations that will be hosting a viewing party of the partial solar eclipse. Materials will be on hand to make your own eclipse viewer, and then everyone will head out to the courtyard to witness the big event. The library will also livestream the total solar eclipse. The party starts at 1 p.m.

5325 Overbrook Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19131

5. Belmont Plateau

1800 Belmont Mansion Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19131

Grab a picnic blanket, your safe eclipse viewing equipment, and head up to Belmont Plateau. This big green space sits high above the rest of the city in West Fairmount Park.

1800 Belmont Mansion Dr
Philadelphia, PA 19131

6. Wagner Free Institute of Science

1700 W Montgomery Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19121

The Wagner Free Institute of Science will also host a viewing party: You can head out to the lawn and check out the partial eclipse or watch the NASA Eclipse Live Stream in the institute’s lecture hall. Special eclipse glasses will be provided.

1700 W Montgomery Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19121

7. Penn Treaty Park

1301 N Beach St, Philadelphia, PA 19125

Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown offers big, sweeping views back toward Center City and toward the Ben Franklin Bridge. Grab a blanket, your protective eyewear, and an Arctic Splash and enjoy the eclipse.

1301 N Beach St
Philadelphia, PA 19125

8. The Franklin Institute

222 N 20th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

The Franklin Institute will be one of the few institutions hosting a viewing party. Its head astronomer, Derrick Pitts, will be in Missouri where he’ll be live broadcasting the actual total solar eclipse. The event runs from 12 to 4 p.m.

222 N 20th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

9. Ben Franklin Bridge

Camden, NJ 08102
Photo by Melissa Romero

For 360-degree views, make the trek up to the Ben Franklin Bridge, where the pedestrian walkway offers great views up and down the Delaware River. As long as the weather holds out, no doubt this vantage point will offer some pretty epic views of the rare event.

10. Cira Green

Philadelphia, PA 19104

Cira Green is the only public rooftop park in the city. While it is sandwiched between two soaring towers, it offers big views of Center City, University City, and the Schuylkill River. Astronomer Derrick Pitts of the Franklin Institute assures that if you can see the sun from your location, you’re good to go.

11. One Liberty Observation Deck

1650 Market St #5700, Philadelphia, PA 19103

See the solar eclipse from one of the highest points in Philly: The One Liberty Observation Deck on the 57th floor of One Liberty Place. It’s offering a free upgrade to its “sun and stars” ticket on Sunday, August 20 and Monday, August 21, which means you can visit the spot twice within 48 hours. Upgraded Sun and Stars tickets are $19 for ages 12 and up and $13 for children.

Update: The deck will have materials for a DIY eclipse projector or you can bring you own glasses.

1650 Market St #5700
Philadelphia, PA 19103

12. Independence Seaport Museum

211 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Independence Seaport Museum on the Delaware River is encouraging folks to bring a blanket or chair to their second floor terrace for a solar eclipse viewing party from 12 to 4 p.m. While eclipse viewers will be available for $3, they’ll be free to museum members who RSVP. Member or non-member, you can snag a ticket to the event here.

211 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19106

13. Charles Santore Library

932 S 7th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Over by East Passyunk, the Charles Santore Library will be hosting a solar eclipse viewing party starting at 1:30 p.m. You’ll be able to make pinhole viewers, plus learn about the effects of the sun from folks at Bartram’s Garden.

932 S 7th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

14. Navy Yard

S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19112

Over at Navy Yard’s campus, folks will be gathering at the Marine Parades Grounds to watch the celestial event. The event will run from 1 to 3 p.m., and all the DIY materials will be on hand to create your own solar eclipse viewer.

S Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19112