Monday's solar eclipse is a very big deal: A total solar eclipse visible from the West Coast to the East Coast hasn't occurred since 1918. While D.C. will only get a partial solar eclipse, it's still worth seeing.
The eclipse will begin at 1:17 p.m. and last until 4:01 p.m., according to NASA. The peak will come at 2:42 p.m., when 81 percent of the sun will be covered. If you can sneak out of the office for a few minutes, museums and science facilities in the area will be holding eclipse viewing parties with telescopes and other activities, while bars and restaurants are getting in on the act with themed cocktails and events.
Remember: You shouldn't look at the eclipse without protective glasses. Though they may run out, the locations below are giving away free glasses, except where noted. If you need a pair, try your local library or Warby Parker, which has free American Paper Optics safety glasses at its stores. The American Astronomical Society also has a list of reputable vendors.
Museum and science facilities
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: The Goddard Visitor Center is hosting a public viewing event from noon to 3 p.m. with a live screening of NASA TV's coverage and NASA staff available to answer questions. Viewing glasses will not be provided. 8800 Greenbelt Rd., Greenbelt. Free.
National Air and Space Museum and Udvar-Hazy Center: Both locations of the Air and Space Museum will have public programs with safe viewing through solar telescopes and free glasses beginning at 1 p.m. Family activities, which begin at 10:30 a.m. downtown and 11 a.m. in Chantilly, include making pinhole eclipse viewers and planetarium shows. The downtown museum will also feature shadow puppets, stories and an appearance by Mindy Thomas, the host of NPR's “Wow in the World.” Independence Avenue and Sixth Street SW; 14390 Air and Space Museum Pky., Chantilly. Free.
National Archives: The National Archives will have special solar telescopes at its Constitution Avenue entrance from 1 to 4 p.m., and a display inside with archival material about previous solar eclipses. Constitution Avenue between Seventh and Ninth Streets NW. Free.
The National Zoo: Solar telescopes loaned by the Air and Space Museum will be set up on Pachyderm Plaza from 1 to 4 p.m., and free safety glasses will also be available. 3001 Connecticut Ave., NW. Free.
University of Maryland Observatory: The University of Maryland has its own observatory near the College Park campus, but members of its astronomy department will be on the plaza at the Physical Science Complex from 1 to 3 p.m. with telescopes and free eclipse glasses. 4296 Stadium Dr., College Park. Free.
Bar and restaurants
Citybar: The rooftop bar above the Hyatt Place hotel near L'Enfant Plaza hosts a party beginning at 1 p.m. Tickets include a buffet from 1 to 3 p.m. and viewing glasses; expect such featured drinks as Troegs Sunshine Pils and Victory Moonglow Weizenbock beers. 400 E St. SW. $15 in advance, $20 at the door.
DNV Rooftop Bar: Happy hour begins at 1 p.m. at the Donovan Hotel, where specials include $4 Sapporo drafts and $5 house wine. (The full menu, including frozen cocktails and boozy Popsicles, is also available.) Pick up a pair of free protective glasses and groove to DJ Lee while waiting for the sky to darken. The Little Miss Whoopie truck will be outside with moon pies from 1 to 4 p.m., and the first 99 customers get a moon or whoopie pie for half price. 1155 14th St. NW. Free.
Fairmont Hotel: The West End hotel's Here Comes the Sun, But Wait Until Dark party, held in its courtyard, includes $5 Blue Moon and Corona beers — a corona is the plasma around the sun visible during an eclipse — and a $10 Dark Side of the Sun rum cocktail, beginning at 11 a.m. Oatmeal raisin moon pies ($5) are available for snacking, and everyone receives a free pair of protective glasses. 2401 M St. NW. Free.
Radiator: The rooftop bar and pool deck is usually limited to hotel guests during the day, but Radiator is making an exception for the eclipse. Doors open at 1 p.m. for an extended happy hour with $5 beers, $6 wine and $7 orange crushes and frozen drinks. Free eclipse viewing glasses will be available. 1430 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Free.
Top of the Gate: Two cocktails have been created for the eclipse viewing event at the Watergate Hotel's rooftop bar. The stunner is the rum-based Eclipse Pico ($16), which is garnished with a blackened orange, making the cocktail resemble the eclipse. The bar opens at 1 p.m. for viewing; glasses will not be provided. 2650 Virginia Ave. NW. Free.