Where To Find Solar Eclipse Glasses — Huge New Free Giveaways Revealed
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Where To Find Solar Eclipse Glasses — Huge New Free Giveaways Revealed

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The eclipse glasses frenzy has begun. With April 8’s partial and total solar eclipse a hard deadline and the chance of getting some mailed dwindling, you now have two options—buy some at a store for about $3-$4 or find some free eclipse glasses.

This guide includes details of the seven latest giveaways that begin now or in the next few days. But you might also find somewhere in my previous articles:

Why You Need Eclipse Glasses

They are essential for safely looking at the partial phases of the eclipse—which, for most North Americans, will be the entire event. About 100,000 times darker than sunglasses, they block out all but a tiny fraction of the sun’s visible light (as well as ultraviolet and infrared). What happens if you look at the eclipse without eclipse glasses is “eclipse blindness” or retinal burns, which can permanently affect your vision.

Do You Need Free Eclipse Glasses?

Before going on a hunt for free eclipse glasses, consider whether you actually need them. There will be a shortage. Some people won’t be able to watch any of this eclipse because they don’t have access to any eclipse glasses. Since they cost about $3 each—albeit probably rising as we get close to April 8—most Americans can afford to buy a pack. If you want to save money, buy one pair and share them with your family or group. You really don’t need your own pair—a quick peek every few minutes is all you need to do during a solar eclipse.

Make Sure They’re Safe

“Whether they are free or purchased, make sure that the glasses meet the ISO 12312-2 safety standard and always check your glasses for damage before using them,” said Jeff Todd, President and CEO of Prevent Blindness in en email. “Glasses that are torn or scratched are not safe to use.” That’s good advice—and so is this. “Get your glasses early to ensure that you have them in time for the eclipse as inventory is limited.”

Here’s where to get some solar eclipse glasses for free, starting this week:

Warby Parker

Prescription glasses, contact lenses and sunglasses retailer Warby Parker is giving away free, ISO-certified solar eclipse glasses at all of its 223 stores in the U.S. from April 1 until the eclipse while supplies last. More information.

Hertz, Dollar And Thrifty

Free eclipse glasses will be available—for customers only—at select Hertz, Dollar or Thrifty locations starting Saturday, April 6 until supplies last.

  • Austin, Texas
  • Dallas, Texas (including Dallas Fort Worth International Airport)
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Cleveland, Ohio (Cleveland Hopkins International Airport)
  • Buffalo, New York (Buffalo Niagara International Airport)
  • Rochester, New York
  • Syracuse, New York
  • Queens, New York (LaGuardia Airport)
  • Jamaica, New York (JFK International Airport)

New York State

New York State is giving away free limited edition I LOVE NY eclipse glasses—two per person, while supplies last—at New York State Welcome Centers and select Thruway Rest Stops. Find the list here.

Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo, New York

The Museum has reserved 10,000 glasses for distribution from the museum during spring break, April 1-7, while supplies last. More information.

White River State Park, Indianapolis

Roughly 10,000 pairs will be available to the public at the free LUNACY! Solar Eclipse Festival, which will take place in White River State Park, one of the largest urban state parks in the U.S.

Erie, Pennsylvania

VisitErie will be providing a quantity of complimentary glasses on a first-come, first-served basis at three locations from April 5-8:

  • The I-90 westbound Pennsylvania Welcome Center (PA/NY border).
  • I-79 northbound Rest Stop near Edinboro.
  • Erie Visitor Center (Tom Ridge Environmental Center), at the entrance to Presque Isle State Park.

Kalamazoo Valley Museum, Michigan

Free solar eclipse viewing glasses will be provided for the first 2,500 people who attend on April 8 for an observing event. More information.

Austin, Texas

20,000 free pairs are available, including from all Austin Public Library branches and the Central Library, starting on Thursday, April 4.

These places from my previous guides are also worth checking:

MyEyeDr, Texas

Eye care company MyEyeDr is offering free eclipse glasses when you purchase a complete pair of glasses or contact lenses—but only in Texas. More information.

Austin, Texas

Ten thousand eclipse glasses are being given away by the Austin Nature and Science Center, all 20 community recreation centers, four senior centers, and the three cultural centers.

Dallas, Texas

Totality Dallas is giving away free solar glasses at City of Dallas recreation centers. Glasses are limited to four per family, according to Dallas City News.

Corsicana, Texas

Corsicana Visitor Center and gift shop—in the path of totality—is giving away complimentary eclipse glasses. More information.

North Little Rock, Arkansas

The Arkansas State Library has generously donated 22,400 pairs of eclipse glasses to the North Little Rock Public Library System. Here’s where to get them.

Searcy, Arkansas

A big giveaway began on March 18, with glasses available at local hotels, restaurants and food businesses, as well as the local community center for public pickup. Glasses will also be available at the town’s four designated eclipse viewing sites and events. More information.

Indianapolis, Indiana

Visit Indy purchased 100,000 glasses and will distribute them to local attractions and hotel rooms for guests. Here’s where to Get Eclipse Glasses in Indy.

Columbus, Ohio

Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) will offer free eclipse glasses beginning Monday, March 18 at all 23 CML locations. Columbus is just outside the path of totality.

Country Fair, Erie County, Pennsylvania

This region’s largest convenience store chain, Country Fair, started providing a free pair of eclipse glasses with every purchase beginning March 1.

Chautauqua County, New York

This county on Lake Erie—and in the path of totality—has a huge network of places giving away free eclipse glasses.

Montreal, Canada

Montrealers can get a free pair from one of the city’s 45 libraries as of March 18. Tens of thousands are available. Other places include the Clinique universitaire de la vision and from HEC Montréal and Polytechnique de Montréal. More information.

Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.

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