- October 11, 2023

The Best FREE Ways To See The Solar Eclipse in Austin


This Saturday the first Solar Eclipse since 2017 will be visible in Austin and you’re not going to want to miss it! If you miss it, you won’t be able to see the next one until 2044. So we’ve gathered all the best FREE Solar Eclipse watch parties!

Just need FREE glasses? We’ve got you covered too. If you’re wondering why the glasses are necessary, it’s because looking at the eclipse without them can cause something called eclipse blindness. The damage is sometimes reversible over time but can oftentimes be permanent. Don’t put yourself or your loved ones at risk, especially since there are easy ways to get FREE glasses.

Visit the American Astronomical Society’s website to learn about eclipse eye safety.

All the following events are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. According to UT’s Department of Astronomy, the eclipse will peak at 11:54 a.m.

Here Are The Best FREE Ways To See The Solar Eclipse In Austin This Saturday

Partial Eclipse Celebration | UT Main Mall, 110 Inner Campus Drive

Join UT Astronomy and the College of Natural Sciences for interactive demos, telescopes, an 11:00 a.m. Physics Circus show, liquid nitrogen ice cream, a moonwalk, food trucks, and science-themed tunes! Free eclipse viewers will also be distributed. Some parts of Texas will experience “ring of fire” around the moon that will be visible. Here in Austin on the UT campus, a partial eclipse, when the moon partially covers the sun, will block out more than 88% of sunlight at its peak time. Optimal viewing will be at 11:54 a.m. CT, but the phased partial eclipse will happen throughout this event.

Solar Eclipse Viewing Event | Westbank Libraries, 1309 Westbank Drive and Laura’s Library 
9411 Bee Cave Rd

Stop by either library between 10:24 am and 1:32 pm (max coverage 11:54 am) to view the eclipse through special glasses.

Vista Brewing Eclipse Party | 13551 Farm to Market Road 150 West (Driftwood)

Vista Brewing will hold a FREE watch party at its Driftwood ranch with specials like the Dark Skies Black Pilsner, “Ring of Fire” blood orange mimosas and Dark Skies Chili. While the watch party is FREE the glasses are not, but they are for a good cause. For $5, guests can get a pair of eclipse glasses and donate to the Hays County Friends of the Night Sky. The event is family and dog-friendly, according to the event.

Solar Watch and Rooftop Viewing | Central Library, 710 W. César Chávez Street

Experience the Solar Eclipse on the rooftop of the Central Library and learn how to track the sun and moon using AR!

Eclipse Party | Austin Public Library – Spicewood Springs Branch – 8637 Spicewood Springs Road, Windsor Park Branch – 5833 Westminster Drive, Pleasant Hill Branch – 211 E William Cannon Drive

Explore the skies and view the annual solar eclipse before enjoying space-themed crafts and activities for all ages.

Eclipse Party @ Girlstart | 1400 W Anderson Lane 

Enjoy the partial solar eclipse at Girlstart’s viewing party! Get your own eclipse glasses and learn about the sun through hands-on STEM programming. You’ll code an eclipse, build a model of the sun, design and launch your own straw rocket, enjoy star shows in our mini-planetarium, and more! Click here to RSVP! Please ensure safe viewing! Everyone MUST wear solar eclipse glasses or use an alternate viewing method to look at any eclipse. Read more about eye safety during an annular eclipse on their web page and on this safety flier.

The Ring of Fire Viewing Party at Jo’s Coffee | All Locations

This Saturday stop by any Jo’s location near you for a Solar Eclipse viewing party. Enjoy a FREE pair of viewing classes with an order of their Eclipse drink special, The Ring of Fire. The drink is a refreshing lemonade with a crackling cherry candy rim! Estimated viewing times are from 10:23 a.m. to 1:33 p.m. Glasses are available while supplies last.

Otopia Rooftop Viewing Party | 1901 San Antonio Street

Head to Otopia from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday for a special Solar Eclipse viewing party. Otopia is on the rooftop of the Otis Hotel and they will have a live DJ, specialty cocktails and FREE viewing glasses. The event is FREE and open to the public. The cocktails might not be FREE but 15% of proceeds will be donated to UT Austin’s Astronomy Department!

FREE Viewing Glasses

A program called the Solar Eclipse Activities for Libraries program will give 5 million glasses to 10,000 libraries nationwide. Twenty of those libraries include Central Texas. The FREE glasses are available at all Austin Public Library locations with a limit of two per person. You might want to call ahead to check availability since supplies are limited.

Public libraries in Buda, Georgetown, Johnson City and Taylor are also offering FREE glasses while supplies last.

If you can’t get your hands on any glasses, try Youtube. There are plenty of simple DIY options available.