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Where will you be to witness the Solar Eclipse on August 21st 2017? We have our trip planned to be within the path of totality and I am beyond excited! The last time totality was viewable from the mainland was in 1979 and the next solar eclipse that can be viewed from the U.S. will occur in 2024 – so best to try and witness this year’s event if you can! Hotels and RV rentals are seemingly booked solid (the closest hotel we found was still a three hour drive away!) and roadways will be sure to be backed up – so get your plans in place now and gifts ordered before they are sold out!
To see what the solar eclipse will look like from your location – click here – and type in your location!
Make a Solar Art Themed Card or Artwork: This cyanotype paper allows you to use the sun to create images using solar light! I suggest going with the pre-made cyanotype paper (this alone works as a great gift idea)! Click here for 8×10″ ready to go sheets.
Make them Lunch with a Handmade Solar Oven: Home Science Tools has a great tutorial on how to create a simple solar oven that heats up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit with a pizza box! Perfect project for kids to help with too!
Make them a Color Changing AND Glow-in-the-Dark Beaded Bracelet: These beads are perfect for day and night – and will look super awesome come Totality Time! A great craft idea for kids to keep them from getting bored this summer. A simple guide can be found on Wikihow! Also, if you like things that glow in the dark – check out my glow-in-the-dark gift idea’s page!
Make a DIY Solar Eclipse Viewer or Projector: There are a lot of great tutorials online for different versions, but I liked the Girl Scouts’ “Eclipse Box Activity Guide” (pages 32-37).
Make them a Gift Inspired by Solar Eclipse Chalk Art: The Girl Scouts guide also has a simple, yet perfect, art project of drawing the eclipse using a chalk technique, which can be modified using other material (paint, pastels, charcoal, etc.)! It’s how I made my solar eclipse cake!
Bake them a Solar Eclipse Themed Cake: There weren’t any that I could find by doing an Internet search and so I created my own! It turned out great (after one disaster) and it’s perfectly themed – as it has a spicy hot kick to it and glows in the dark (under UV light). It’s perfectly edible (no disco dust) and great tasting (no bitter tonic water was used)! If you are having an Eclipse Party – you may want to check out my gift ideas for those who love things that glow-in-the-dark!
Solar Eclipse Glasses: There are so many options and so many designs! You need to make sure that they are CE and ISO certified and an optical density of 5 or greater. When giving as a gift, be sure to by extras so that they can hand them out to friends or people nearby.
Gift the Ability to Create Their Own Solar Image Art: The Cyanotype online store has t-shirts, scarves, paper, cotton squares, aprons, canvas bags, table linens and napkins in several color options that are all ready to be placed in the sun to create whatever design you are after! Or you can gift them cyanotype paper or fabric for them to make their own artwork!
UV Exposure Wristlet: Just think how many will be outside holding the perfect spot to view the eclipse – which will likely not be shaded at all! Gift them this wristlet so they can monitor how much sun they are getting (perfect for traveling and backpacking – we have one that we keep on our backpacks!). This would be a fun gift to pair with a shade umbrella and/or sunscreen!
Portable Thermometer and Eclipse-Themed Hoodie: If you are in the path of totality, the temperature can drop by more then 25 degrees Fahrenheit! It’d be a great idea to take a picture of before, during and after to record the temperature difference! This survival bracelet is highly rated and has a whistle, compass, knife, paracord, and a thermometer to name a few of it’s 12 features. Pair it with a solar-eclipse themed hoodie for a great gift package.
Ozzy Ozborne Wine: I wasn’t expecting to come across this! It is a blend of Zinfandel and Syrah and has fruity notes of fig, plum, cherry and cranberry jam with earthy characteristics, including oak, and a finish of slightly spicy black pepper.
Crescent Shaped Shadows via a Kitchen Colander: During the partial phase crescent shaped shadows will appear. Using a colander will provide great imagery for photos of the eclipse through the shadow it casts.
Celestron EclipSmart 10×42 Solar Binocular: You’ve heard of star gazing – but did you know they make products for solar gazing?! As with anything that has you looking up at the sun, make sure that it meets industry standards and that you use them appropriately.
Gift a Solar Charging Backpack with Hydration Pack: Perfect for those who like to camp, hike or bike and keep their phones charged up for pictures or staying connected. Might come in handy if you need to hike to a hill or further away to avoid a crowded place come Solar Eclipse time!
Solar Powered Fountain: This would be an awesome centerpiece for a Solar Eclipse Party! You can then use it afterwards for a bird bath, pool or a small splash fountain for a thirsty pup or kid.
Gift them a Solar Oven: These are one of those gadgets that someone may not get for themselves but think it’s pretty nifty, especially if they like saving energy and money. Some portable solar stoves heat up to 285 degrees Fahrenheit, while the ultimate solar stove goes all the way up to 400 degrees (depending on weather of course), but that allows you to use it to cook, steam, boil and bake!
Gift of Experiences
Help Fund a Road Trip to the Path to Totality: Hotels and RV rentals are being snatched up fast! Helping to fund a trip to get within the Path of Totality would be an incredibly awesome gift! A friendly reminder to those driving out to dry areas- having a bucket of water and a shovel will help put out grass fires due to idling engines and cars parked along the roadways. FYI – bucket of water – easiest way to view the partial phase of the eclipse – just look of the reflection of the sun in the water! Here are more road-trip themed gifts ideas!
- Backseat Air Mattress: You just might want to invest in this awesome backseat air mattress for this adventure! You might need it for the night or to wait for the big event.
- Solar Eclipse Road Atlas Map: Many areas may have limited cell service and GPS systems may be outdated for some back roads. Perfect for a gift basket and will serve as a great memento afterwards.
- August Edition of Astronomy Magazine: Perfect reading material for the road!
- Alternate Mode of Transportation: In case of complete gridlock and you need to ditch the car for a better vantage point – consider compact alternatives that will fit in the trunk. The one pictured has a 10 mile range of battery life! One of the highest reviewed bikes in size, compatibility and weight is the Dahon Mariner D7. The space scooter is compact and weighs 18 lbs.
Plan to Gift the Ability to Attend One of the 13 Solar Eclipse Celebrations across the US: There are of course several others, but this is a great page to get started with to see what is in nearby or a destination you would want to go to. Moonstock Festival isn’t listed as part of this list, which will have a performance by Ozzy Ozborne during the eclipse (others performers in the preceding days include American Lion, Papa Roach and Five Finger Death Punch). Make sure you get that Ozzy Ozborne bottle of wine if you know who these are!
Tour a Local Solar Farm: Likely any solar eclipse enthusiast will have their plans nailed down for this August and another alternate experience is to gift a tour of a local solar farm.
Gift of Charity
Planetary Society: The CEO is Bill Nye from Bill Nye the Science Guy, so if your gift is going to an avid fan of the show from the 90s – this ties in nicely. More importantly, your donations help support advocacy of space exploration and can direct your money to several specific projects: robotic space exploration and the search for life, solar sailing of LightSail 2, the hunt for exoplanets, improved methods of deeper planetary drilling and more.
The Solar Foundation: Aims to accelerate the adoption of solar energy worldwide and operate on grants and donations to further their research and outreach.
Solar Impulse: Imagine the ability to create, build and fly a zero-fuel airplane of unlimited endurance and to be able to fly it around the world … it’s already happening! A flight of 40,000 km by Solar Impulse’s founders took place in 2016. They’ve broken 8 world records. Have a chance to sponsor a solar cell in someone’s name or sponsor a VIP visit to see it in person for $2,000 to support their educational outreach. They have a nice video describing the engineering aspects of their project via a Teded Lesson. This is especially nice for someone who appreciates clean energy and aviation.
More astronomy-themed gift ideas from Calendars.com – Just “click the pic” to purchase or get more information!
- Apollo Lunar Module Metal Earth 3D Laser Cut Model
- Price: $14.99
- MetalEarth Hubble 3D Model
- Price: $10.99
- MetalEarth Lunar Rover 3D Model
- Price: $15.99
- Solar System 1,000 Piece Puzzle
- Price: $17.99
- Space Shuttle Atlantis 1000 Piece Puzzle
- Price: $17.99
- Outer Space Gyro Maze
- Price: $30.99
- Space Force Game
- Price: $21.99
- Lunar 2018 Wall Calendar
- Price: $14.99
- Moons 2018 Wall Calendar
- Price: $14.99
- Astronomy 2018 Wall Calendar
- Price: $14.99
- Earth and Space 2018 Wall Calendar
- Price: $14.99
- Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2018 Wall Calendar
- Price: $14.99
- Starry Nights 2018 Wall Calendar
- Price: $14.99
If you have children that are interested in the solar eclipse and need gift ideas that are a bit more age appropriate, then consider the ideas below! The ideas above of building a solar eclipse viewer and solar oven are perfect for kids too!
Send a Weekly or Monthly Space-Themed Educational Card in the Mail! Spacemail Pal is written by a PBS Kids scriptwriter and has lots of fun visuals to teach kids about our solar system and space! You pick how often you'd like them to receive their special letter! Best for ages 4-11!Adjustable Strap-on Solar Eclipse Goggles: This fits both adults and kids, but I think this is especially good for older toddlers/younger children as it fully encloses the eyes and less likely to fall off.
The Big Eclipse Book (Paperback) and Matching Activity Book: Get this for them early on so they can read and learn about the solar eclipse and understand the awesomeness of what they are seeing come the big day! Surprise them with the activity book the weekend leading up to August 21st!
...and For Kicks and Giggles
(Just click the pic if you see something you like)
The Elysian Space Dust IPA and Down to Earth would be a perfect beer to bring to a Solar Eclipse Party! Check out my Solar Eclipse Themed Gift Ideas Page for more fun gifts!
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