Where to Watch the 2017 Solar Eclipse in Central Florida

Where to Watch the 2017 Solar Eclipse in Central Florida

While Central Florida isn’t fully within the path of Monday’s solar eclipse, our area is expected to get about 85-88% of the eclipse.

And in the Orlando area, that’s enough reason to celebrate with special events, and even food and drink.

So if you want to get in on the fun, here are some places you can go (most events run 1pm to 4pm, with prime viewing to take place around 2:45pm):


Orange County

Dr. Phillips Center, Orlando — Seneff Arts Plaza, in front of the venue, will be an Orlando Science Center pop-up location offering free viewing glasses (starting at 12:30pm) while supplies last and education information as the eclipse takes place. This event is free to the public and sponsored by Florida Hospital for Children, Full Sail Labs, the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Free to the public

Orlando Science Center — View the solar eclipse safely with free solar glasses and/or using their solar telescope filters, along with phone filter to take photos of the eclipse. There will also be demostrations and other solar eclipse activities. It’s all included with paid admission.

UCF — Meet at the reflection pond near Millican Hall. Telescopes will be set up and eclipse glasses will be available.  UCF professors and students researching how the solar system formed will be on hand to explain what you are seeing. Early arrival to allow time for finding parking is recommended by the university. Free to the public.

Central Park, Winter Park — Another pop-up location for Orlando Science Center also offers free eclipse glasses while supplies last, starting at 12:30pm, along with solar demos and activities. Free to the public



Brevard County

Eastern Florida State College, Cocoa — The observatory will be open for the duration of the eclipse. Staff will be on hand to assist guests on how to safely view the sun either through the telescope, by direct viewing with the appropriate filters or using indirect projection methods. Glasses are sold out. Free to the public.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex — Get NASA-approved eclipse-viewing glasses (one per family, while they last), hear questions answered by space experts and hear their commentary, partake in educational or entertainment activities and see NASA TV on the big screen in the Rocket Garden from 11 am – 4:30pm.  JD Bartoe, the Astronaut of the Day, will be on site to engage with viewers, answer questions and offer commentary between 2pm and 3:30pm. Included with paid admission.



Polk County

Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales — The property’s elevation provides one of the highest locations in Central Florida for viewing. Glasses will be free to the first 400 guests starting at 9am. Included with paid admission.


Seminole County

Seminole State College — Free eclipse glasses will be available while supplies last and filtered telescopes and  will be available for magnified looks from Buehler Planetarium. Planetarium staff and volunteers from CFAS (Central Florida Astronomical Society), the Seminole State College STEM Club, and many others will have properly-filtered telescopes and binoculars set up for viewing the eclipse. There will also be several short presentations during the event for those interested in learning more about the eclipse itself and the science behind it. Visitors are recommended to enter campus via Lake Mary Boulevard and College Drive. Free to the public.


Volusia County

Museum of Arts and Sciences, Daytona Beach — A telescope fitted with a solar filter will allow visitors to see a magnified view, and staff will be on-hand to explain the science behind the event. Free to the public.


And what’s a party without food and drink? Here are some of the special edibles you can enjoy in honor of the solar eclipse:

Krispy Kreme — Starting today through Monday, all Central Florida Krispy Kreme locations will be offering a special chocolate glazed original doughnut, with the glaze surrounding the entire doughnut, as you can see in the video above.

Chuy’s — All Central Florida locations are offering $1 Sun (Cointreau) and $1 Moon (el Jimador Tequila) Floaters now thru Monday with you margarita.

Cocina 214 — This Winter Park restaurant is offering a Grand Marnier Floater with a side shot of black sangria, which when poured into the drink turns the whole drink black, like the eclipse turns the sun black.

Denny’s — On Monday, all locations are offering $4 All-You-Can-Eat Mooncakes (regular pancakes with a temporary new name) in honor of the solar eclipse. If you like pancakes, it’s a deal.

Sprinkles — The Disney Springs location will be offering a Black Velvet cupcake from Saturday through Monday. The deep chocolate confection, made with Dutch process black cocoa, is available while supplies last.



About Michelle Snow

Michelle is the owner and editor of CitySurfing Orlando. She also owns Zengrrl.com, is a freelance writer specializing in travel and entertainment, and has authored/co-authored four guidebooks on Orlando and Florida. She lives in Orlando near Disney, and hears Magic Kingdom fireworks every night.
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