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The Total Eclipse of the Big D

Dallas stands in the “path of totality,” meaning next month’s solar eclipse will be a big occasion for event organizers with lots for attendees to see and do

By Erik Tormoen

The solar eclipse happens next month, and Dallas has lucked out on prime viewing. Note to readers: Do not, by any means, eyeball a solar eclipse with your naked retina unless the eclipse is in totality. That happens when the moon, gliding between the earth and the sun, obscures the sun completely. Dallas stands within the eclipse’s path of totality—jealous, Houston?—and will, in fact, experience full coverage for longer than most cities, getting almost four minutes of dusk-like darkness. And local businesses are taking full advantage of the phenomenon.

Texas offers many opportunities for viewing April 8th’s total solar eclipse. || Courtesy of Google, INEGI and Fred Espenak, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Visit Dallas provides some fast facts about the day: The eclipse will last just over 2 1/2 hours, and Dallas’ time in utter shade will clock in at 3 minutes and 51 seconds. Mark the date (and mark it well, since the next solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States won’t happen until 2044): April 8, starting at 12:23:18 p.m.

Here are some ways Dallas businesses are pulling out the stops on April 8, as listed by Visit Dallas—with eclipse-viewing glasses included for free at many but not all:

  • AT&T Discovery District: Also lasting all weekend, the AT&T Discovery District hosts family-friendly activities all weekend, with eclipse-themed food and drinks at Cowboy Chow and The Exchange Hall. 4,000 solar eclipse glasses will be given out, and, before the eclipse begins, an educational panel will feature speakers from NASA, the AT&T meteorologist team, and others.
  • Dallas Marriott Downtown: The 16th floor hosts the eclipse viewing in the M Club. Hotel accommodations, breakfast for two, and more are included with a special package.
  • Downtown Dallas Inc.: DDI will host a lunchtime watching event with live music, food trucks, family-friendly activities, shopping, an interactive art installation, and complimentary, limited-quantity eclipse glasses. Events stretch the whole weekend.
  • The Eyeboretum: This 10-day immersive walk-through experience runs April 5-14, with themed bars and huge botanical scenes at the famous sculpture, The Eye, downtown. The same companies who brought the sculpture downtown—Headington Companies and The Joule hotel—have curated this interactive experience to celebrate Dallas Arts Month. Those who dine at certain local restaurants for lunch on April 8 will get a complimentary ticket to the eclipse watch party happening as part of The Eyeboretum festivities.
  • Frontiers of Flight Museum: More than 2,000 are expected as the museum partners with The Weather Channel, Astronomy Magazine, and Celestron Telescopes for a family-friendly event with activities, food trucks, concessions, and exhibits.
  • Hilton Anatole: Pick up two complimentary eclipse-viewing glasses from the hotel with an overnight booking, then check out the eclipse from the JadeWaters at Hilton Anatole resort pool complex. It has a lazy river plus kitschy, luxe treats including an “eclipsed” dome of chocolate mousse with blueberry compote and a solar-themed cocktail from the swim-up bar.
  • Hotel Swexan: Featuring a telescope and access to the 20th-floor rooftop pool, the Swexan also has a meditation and sound bath.
  • JW Marriott Dallas Arts District: The 11th-floor terrace at Vincent’s Sky Bar will offer eclipse viewing. An overnight stay includes a $50 food-and-beverage ticket.
  • Marriott Dallas Uptown: This Marriott package features rooftop viewing and complimentary brunch.
  • Omni Dallas Hotel: On the Pegasus Lawn, enjoy live music from a DJ, food, themed treats, giveaways, and more. 
  • Perot Museum of Nature and Science: More than 20 astronomers and enthusiasts convene from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Renaissance Dallas Hotel: Up 30 floors, this experience comes with free self-parking and a 20% discount to the restaurant, plus more.
  • Sky Blu Rooftop Bar: The bar is offering reserved seating with food and drink packages, plus eclipse-viewing glasses.
  • Solar Eclipse at the Trinity River: This free celebration, hosted by the nonprofit Trinity Park Conservancy, is a family-friendly mix of education and festivity with DJs, hands-on learning activities, games, and more. The first 3,000 attendees get free eclipse glasses.
  • Sun, Moon, and You Total Solar Eclipse Event: This is an “edu-tainment” event: NOAA, NASA, and the U.S. National Science Foundation bring in Neil deGrasse Tyson and Ready, Jet, Go! to Cotton Bowl Stadium for live talks and presentations.