It's been 38 years since the U.S. population witnessed a total solar eclipse, and Monday, Aug. 21, North Texas will get the chance to see one in all its glory — well, part of its glory, anyway. Dallas isn't in the path of totality — the diagonal swath of the U.S. where people will be able to see the moon block the entire sphere of the sun — but we'll still get to see about 75 percent of it, which makes this occasion one that you'd be a fool to miss. The next full solar eclipse won't be visible in the U.S. until 2023, according to NASA.
The bad news: The solar eclipse will happen when most of us are at work. The good news: This solar event is going down when many of us will be taking lunch breaks. The eclipse process begins 11:40 a.m., with the peak estimated at 1:09 p.m. The whole show will wrap up by 2:39 p.m., which means that, if you take a long lunch, you can take in the whole show unless cloud cover blocks the eclipse.
A couple of the spots on this list will give away free eclipse glasses, but they're bound to run out fast. If you don't have glasses, order a NASA-approved pair stat; staring at the sun during an eclipse is a very, very bad idea.
Here are five spots where you can take a long lunch while enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime solar show:
The Cafe at the Perot Museum
2201 N. Field St. (Arts District)
If you're looking for a full-blown eclipse party, the Perot is the place to be. From noon to 2 p.m. Monday, it'll be making pinhole cameras, handing out free eclipse glasses and showing a live NASA feed of the eclipse in case the clouds rain on our solar parade. The Perot's cafe will also be open and selling eclipse-themed items like Moon Pies and Eclipse Burgers. The best part? This party's totally free.
Klyde Warren Park
2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway (Arts District)
Grab a picnic blanket and settle in at Klyde Warren Park, where food trucks will be selling lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you don't feel like food truck fare, pack a picnic spread and grab a spot at the wide open park while you wait for the moon to do its thing.
8525 Garland Road (East Dallas)
Pack a picnic spread or dine on $2 hot dogs from the Terrace Café at the Dallas Arboretum's eclipse party from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday. Grab a tasty treat from the Kona Ice food truck and play lawn games like Jenga and Yardzee while you wait for the moon to do its thing. The arboretum will also give away free solar eclipse glasses while supplies last, so get there early if you want a pair. Who can say no to a picnic with a show?
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HG Sply Co.
2008 Greenville Ave. (Lower Greenville)
HG's sprawling rooftop patio will give you a stellar view of the eclipse, unencumbered by trees, and you can watch the eclipse while snacking on relatively healthy eats that won't screw up your plans for weekday clean eating.
5624 Sears St. (Lower Greenville)
The last time the U.S. saw a total eclipse was 1979, according to NASA, which makes this eclipse a reason to celebrate. So why not celebrate with a lunch beer? Settle in on Truck Yard's patio with a cold beer and grab a bite from the Not Just Q or Gaucho Empanadas food trucks. Truck Yard's patio is plenty shady, which will help you stay cool in the midday heat, and all that tree cover will create a really cool effect. While the eclipse is happening, everyone's eyes will be trained to the sky, but as geologist Michael Zeiler told NPR, you'll wanna look down at least once during the eclipse to see what happens to the shadows beneath the trees because "the gap between the leaves of trees acts as a pinhole projector, and on the ground, you will see a constellation of crescent shapes." All those trees surrounding Truck Yard should make for a really cool effect mid-eclipse.