Image of the Air Force wings with the museum name underneath

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
FREE Admission & Parking

Image of a small blonde boy wearing eclipse glasses as he stands in front of the museum. On the right is a square with a graphic of an eclipse and the word free in a red exclamation bubble. Solar Eclipse 2024.

Family Friendly event: Gun Free, Drug Free, Drone Free

SAFETY FIRST! It may be a bit cliché, but it is oh so true!
Our event is family-friendly, if you are coming to the museum be advised that this is a GUN FREE, DRUG FREE and DRONE FREE event!

But no matter where you view the Eclipse, please be prepared and pack your patience!

For all but the very youngest of us, this Total Solar Eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The next Total Solar Eclipse visible in Ohio will not occur until the year 2099!
This is incredibly exciting, but also creates some challenges. 

The Ohio Emergency Management Agency (OEMA) encourages everyone to PACK YOUR PATIENCE AND FILL YOUR TANK. It is anticipated that traffic that day will be incredibly heavy, and long delays and detours should be expected.

Traffic patterns on roads around the museum may be altered, visitors are encouraged to follow the City of Riverside, Ohio Facebook page for updates on local roads.

Everyone on the road that day should:

  • Update your vehicle's emergency kit
  • Establish a family communication plan
  • Know where to receive emergency alerts and notifications
  • Monitor the weather forecast
  • Expect cell service disruptions
  • and more!
    Visit the
    Ohio Emergency Management Agency's webpage for a complete guide on how to prepare for a fun and safe day. 

According to the OEMA, with the exception of the very brief total phase of a total solar eclipse, when the Moon completely blocks the Sun’s bright face, it is not safe to look directly at the Sun unless you are using eye protection specifically for solar viewing.

  • Do not view any part of the bright Sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the instrument as this will instantly cause severe eye injury.
  • Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are NOT safe for looking at the sun. They transmit thousands of times too much sunlight and could damage the eyes.
    Visit the Ohio Emergency Management Agency's webpage for more information on how to view this once in a lifetime event safely! 

All museum visitors are encouraged to bring Eclipse glasses with them on April 8.
Visitors without the proper Eclipse glasses may stop by the Education tent to learn how to make your own, or visit the Museum Store to purchase a pair - but please note that these will be available while supplies last. Your best guarantee to view the Eclipse safely is to bring your safe solar viewing glasses with you.   


  • To reiterate, this is a Family-Friendly event. Guns, Drugs and Drones are strictly prohibited.
  • Bring your chairs, blankets, picnic blanket and even a pop-up tent. But open flames and ground stakes are prohibited. 
  • Overnight camping is not permitted on museum grounds. Contact the Dayton Convention and Visitors Bureau or the Greene County Convention and Visitors Bureau for information about area overnight accomodations. 

And Finally - it's time for the main event!

Join us for Ohio's first Total Solar Eclipse in more than 200 years!

Beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 8, the museum will take you on an Eclipse adventure!
Bring a chair or a blanket, your picnic basket, and enjoy the wide-open views of the sky as the moon passes directly in front of the sun, creating a total solar eclipse. 

The path of totality for the 2024 Great North American Eclipse, taking place on Monday, April 8, will stretch from Mexico to Canada, passing through 14 states. Dayton will experience 2 minutes and 43 seconds of totality, beginning at 3:09 p.m.  It marks the first time since 1806 that Ohio has witnessed a total solar eclipse.

We know weather can be tricky in Ohio - but don't let a gloomy day keep you away.
We are prepared to bring the activities inside, and you can view the NASA feed of the Eclipse on the big screen so we can all celebrate the day - rain or shine!


Arrival and Departure
We are expecting large crowds for this historic event. While the festivities begin at 10 a.m., we will open the gates early to accomodate traffic. All visitors are encouraged to arrive early!

Click HERE to download entrance and exit maps with gate opening times to help plan your arrival and departure. 

Traffic patterns on roads around the museum may be altered, visitors are encouraged to follow the City of Riverside, Ohio Facebook page for updates on local roads.

Museum Hours
Yes, the museum will still be open on April 8!
While the grounds of the museum are expected to open early, the museum itself will be open from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Admission to the museum is always FREE!
If you haven't been to the museum in a while (or ever!) we encourage you to come inside and see our one-of-a-kind facility filled with more than 100 years of USAF history and heritage. 

The Day's Activities

Hands-On Educational Activities
Make a Moon Phases Calendar and Calculator
Model a Solar Eclipse
When Do Lunar Eclipses Happen?
How to Make a Pinhole Camera
Eclipse in a Cup
5 Steps to Creating Your Own Solar Eclipse Glasses

Rocket Launches presented by the Wright Stuff Rocketeers from 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.*
Three launches scheduled, including a special Glow Launch during the Eclipse.
Please note that this is not a hands-on activity for visitors.

Hot Air Balloon Glow from 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. 
Hot air balloons will be onsite from 1 - 4 p.m. for visitors to engage with the pilots and learn more, but you won't want to miss the special Balloon Glow during the Eclipse!

Live-streams of NASA's Eclipse coverage 
View the NASA live feed of this event inside on the large screen in building 2.

Moon Pies!
The Air Force Museum Store will give out mini Moon Pies to the first 500 shoppers in the store on April 8.

Visitors are encouraged to pack a picnic lunch with plenty of water for the day. While we will have food trucks on site, and the 
Valkyrie Cafe and the Launchpad Shop 'n Snack will both be open inside the museum, visitors should expect long lines. 

Don't run off when the Eclipse ends!
No one wants to get stuck in the post-Eclipse traffic, so plan to stick around!

  • The Air Force Band of Flight will perform a free celestial-themed concert on the lawn following the Eclipse. 
  • The Museum will be open until 6 p.m. that night - don't forget to go see our very special exhibit DINOSAURS IN MOTION! Here only until May 13: see them before they become...extinct!
  • Watch for a possible announcement of a special movie showing in the Air Force Museum Theatre.

*Federal Endorsement Not Implied


Thank you to these organizations for their generous support of this event

Air Force Museum Foundation logo in blue with an arch overtop symbolizing and aircraft hangar

Logo of the Simons Foundation in black
This event is supported by the Simons Foundation and is part of its ‘In the Path of Totality’ initiative.


(Federal Endorsement Not Implied)