Solar Eclipse Day at the Fort

Mon Apr 8th, 2024 - All Day

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Why The Old Fort Niagara Eclipse Experience?
"You'll make history where history lives."

Old Fort Niagara offers a great view of the western sky in a setting of centuries of history. Join us to observe this historic total solar eclipse. Special programs precede the eclipse inside the regular admissions area from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. These include musket and cannon firings, the life of a soldier in the 18th century, 18th-century, domestic life demonstrations, Native stories of eclipse past, science stations set up by science students from our partners and friends at Lew-Port Schools, and a weather balloon launch to over 18 miles into the atmosphere with a camera (environmental conditions permitting).

Access is FREE to all eclipse programming for Lew-Port students and their immediate families (yes that means grandparents too - can't leave them out). Students will have to present their current Lew-Port student IDs to get access to the paid admissions area of the Fort for free.


* Also, Old Fort Niagara, New York State Parks, Niagara Falls USA, the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area, the Discover Niagara Shuttle, Lew-Port School District, Upward Niagara Chamber of Commerce, and NASA (our Fort Niagara Eclipse partners that have come together to bring you this event) are VERY pleased to announce that at 10 am and 12:00 pm, NASA will be doing presentations about our Sun, and its connection to the universe. It happens at Old Fort Niagara's historic Officer's Club. This is the ONLY NASA event in northern Niagara County below the escarpment.

This NASA special event is
FREE to the public. As beautiful as this special Old Fort Niagara event room is, containing incredible historic murals, it does have a limited capacity so seating will be on a first come, first in basis. Doors to the Officer's Club will be open at 9:45 am for the 10 am presentation and 11:45 am for the noon presentation. We will have a queue line starting at 8:30 am for the 10 am presentation. The queue will start at 11:00 am for the noon presentation.

Each presentation will be about an hour. It will have a Q&A period. Our speaker is Cristian Ferradas; part of the
Heliophysics Department at NASA Goddard Flight Center, Greenbelt Maryland. Follow our social media for the most current updates on our Eclipse event.

There will be NO parking in front of the Officer's Club on Scott Avenue.
The Officer's Club is
here in Fort Niagara State Park - just south of Old Fort Niagara.

The paid admission area for Old Fort Niagara will open at 10 am through the Visitor Center on April 8. Admission is $20.00 for adults and $12.00 for children 6-12. No discounts today.  We expect traffic and parking will be busy so the motto for the day is; " Get there early"and enjoy your time at the Fort and nature until the eclipse while enjoying the presentations within the Fort. Many locals will cycle and walk into Fort Niagara State Park to avoid traffic issues. You can park in legal parking areas in the Village of Youngstown to walk from and there are plenty of great restaurants there and in the area. Check the
UpWard Niagara Chamber of Commerce for more information about local area services and venues.

For those outside the Fort's admission or NASA presentation area:

Please note - there is no parking on the grass outside any designated parking lots and parking areas. When parking areas are full the State Park will be closed to traffic. There is a plan to close the southern entrance to the Fort Niagara State Park on Monday the 8th - (more info to follow). To access Fort Niagara State Park by automobile enter the northern entrance off of Lake Road and the Niagara Scenic Parkway. You can park on the western side of 18F / Lake Road next to the State Park and walk in when/if the State Park is closed to automobiles due to crowding.

Projections everywhere is that Niagara region traffic will be intense. The Discover Niagara Shuttle is another option to navigate the Niagara region during the Eclipse weekend. It also drops you right at the Visitor Center at the Fort. Download their free app to see the routes they will operate and further current information. You can visit their website too. The closest stop outside the park is the @ Lockport and Main Street in Youngstown, NY. Their Fourmile State Park route will operate the weekend of the eclipse as will the regular Falls to Fort route. The Discover Niagara Shuttle has a free app to track the shuttles in real-time and to see where all the stops are for those coming from Niagara Falls.



10:00 am: Old Fort Niagara Opens
Enter through our Visitor Center on the east side of our OFN visitor-only (for this day) parking lot.

11:00 am: Musket Firing Demonstration

11:30 am - 2 pm: Visit the Castle
Learn about the daily life of a soldier, eclipse history, the fur trade, the role of women at the fort, and games from the 18th century.

Noon: Musket Firing

12:30 pm: Use your math skills to design an 18th-century fort. 

12:30 PM - 4 PM:  Science Demonstrations
We are thrilled to have our event partners; students from one of our co-sponsors and partners; Lewiston Porter Schools who will have special science exhibits including telescope viewing from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m., Cootie Catcher Solar Eclipse, Solar Bead Activity and Solar Eclipse spinning wheel activity - Thank you Lewiston Porter Schools. 

1:00 pm: Cannon Firing followed by a Musket Firing demonstration.

1:30 pm: Weather Balloon Launch
This balloon with a camera will launch to a height of just over 18 miles into the atmosphere. 

2:00 pm: Cannon Firing

2:03 pm: Partial Eclipse begins

3:18 pm: Totality

4:30 pm: Partial ends

5:00 pm: Cannon Firing and Musket Firing Demonstration

Solar eclipse glasses are for sale in our gift shop if needed.

Follow our FB page for the most current information and updates.

General Events Event

Hours of Operation

January 13 through March, Open Wednesday-Sunday  10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m

April 1- June 30, Open Daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

July and August, Open Daily 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

September 1 - October 15, Open Daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

October 16 - December 31, Open Wednesday through Sunday (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays) 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

The fort will be open daily during Christmas week, December 26 - 31. 

Closed New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. 


General Admission



Children (6 to 12 years) 


Children (5 and under):






Support the Fort

Old Fort Niagara is operated by the Old Fort Niagara Association, an independent, not-for-profit organization established in 1927. We do not rely on tax dollars. Instead, the Fort is funded through a combination of admission fees, museum shop sales, and charitable contributions.

Donate today!


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