What to Do for the Solar Eclipse

Several Central Kentucky schools have altered schedules for Monday, Aug. 21 in anticipation of the solar eclipse.

Fayette County has cancelled classes on Aug. 21, swapping with a previously scheduled No School day on Oct. 27.

Madison County has declared Aug. 21 a non-traditional instruction day, meaning students will instead do classwork from home.

Clark County has cancelled classes and all school-related activities before 4 p.m. on Aug. 21.

Jessamine County has also cancelled school for the day.

Scott County will remain in session but parents can fill out a special education enhancement form if they choose to keep their children home on the day of the eclipse.

The Bourbon County School District will incorporate the eclipse into each school’s lesson plans and will provide NASA-approved eclipse viewing glasses to every student and employee.

Franklin County Schools will delay all school dismissals by 15 to 20 minutes on Aug. 21 to allow students to experience the eclipse. The district, along with individual schools and parent-teacher organizations, are purchasing safe viewing devices so every student can participate in viewing the eclipse.


What to Do on Aug. 21

The Explorium of Lexington at 440 W. Short St. will host a No School Camp for children ages 3 years through fifth grade. The Camp theme is Dino Mania. Registration is available online. Info: 258-3253 or visit online here.


The Living Arts & Science Center at 362 N. Martin Luther King Blvd. will host an Eclipse Day Celebration with hands-on activities and a live NASA feed tracking the eclipse throughout the country in the Planetarium. Activities begin at noon, with an outdoor viewing of the eclipse from 2-3 p.m.

The event is free with free eclipse glasses for the first 300 visitors. Children 13 & under must be accompanied by an adult. Please call to reserve space for small groups.

Info: 252-5222 or visit online here.


The UK Arboretum at 500 Alumni Dr. has scheduled a Solar Eclipse Celebration with activities from 1-4 p.m. on the lawn outside the Arboretum Visitors Center. Solar glasses will be available for the first 100 participants. Visitors can bring blankets or chairs for seating and snacks. Donation of $2 is suggested.

Info: 257-6955 or arboretum.ca.uky.edu.


Lexington Parks & Recreation has three locations to enjoy the view: McConnell Springs, Raven Run and Thoroughbred Park. Complimentary glasses will be provided at all sites to make it safe to watch.

Sav’s Chill will be onsite at Thoroughbred Park with some eclipse specials, such as “moon pies” and “sundaes” for purchase. A Cup of Common Wealth will be onsite with a  Chocolate Holler coffee cart .

School has been dismissed for the day, so Parks will bring along its Park & Play van at Thoroughbred Park. SplashJam, the public splash pad at nearby Northeastern Park, will also be open


Solar Eclipse Basics

A solar eclipse occurs when, as the moon orbits Earth, it moves between the sun and Earth. When this happens, the moon blocks the light of the sun from reaching Earth.

During a solar eclipse, the moon casts a shadow onto Earth. This will be the first total solar eclipse viewable in the continental U.S. in 38 years.

The path of the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. The path of totality will pass through portions of 14 sates. Observers outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse.

The centerline of the eclipse covers about 98 miles in Kentucky. Hopkinsville, which is in the path of totality for the eclipse, will experience one of the longest durations of darkness (about 2 minutes and 40 seconds.)

Lexington will experience a 94% partial eclipse beginning at 1 p.m. and reach maximum coverage around 2:30 p.m.

Looking directly at the sun is dangerous. Special glasses or viewing devices are necessary to safely view the eclipse, but make sure they meet the proper safety standards. Visit the NASA website for information on how to safely view the eclipse.