Arrive as EARLY as possible.  Traffic will be an issue, and PARKING may be just as difficult if you do not have a reservation and/or do not show up early. Plan extra time for traffic. PLEASE Carpool (parking spots are precious, be kind).  Make sure you know where you are going and have a dedicated/reserved place.  Turning around, stopping traffic, and hunting for a new spot is NOT GOOD and will cause more traffic problems.  No "pulling to the side of the road" either!  We don't want anyone to get hurt.  Just don't.  That's asking for it.

Things to bring to the eclipse.  Remember, it is AUGUST!

A.  Safety, comfort for a mid-day in AUGUST
    1)  plenty of fluids / water, snacks.  Double the amount you'd think you need.
    2)  chairs, or blankets to lie on (Bring them!)
    3)  Shade (EZ-UP, etc) or SUNSCREEN, hats, Sun-brellas, etc. 
    4)  Bug spray
    5)  Consider battery-operated fans, misters, things to keep cool.
    6)  Wear light colors (white, yellow, not black), thin / breathable fabrics.
    7)  White towels (to cover up equipment and other stuff, protect from getting too hot)
    8)  Tape (duct tape, electrical tape) - when don't you need tape?  Cover flash on cameras (camera flashes are very un-cool during totality)
    9)  Regular sunglasses (not for solar viewing, but of COURSE you need sunglasses in August!).
    10)  A notebook and/or drawing book for notes and sketches.
    11)  Pack in what you need, and please pack it all back out too.  Trash included.

B.   Eye protection (filter) -  Looking at the sun "unprotected" with your naked eyes can produce retina burns (welders experience these, and they are painful and cause damage).  Just like when you are outside on a normal day (the Eclipse doesn't make the sun any worse, it is just bad that people are tempted to try to look at it unprotected), try to remain cognizant that you should not look at the sun - unless you are protecting your eyesight.
    1)  Eclipse Glasses (some venues will provide these) or #14 welders glass, for views without magnification.
    2)  Telescope or binocular filters, and filters for cameras.  Because optics (telescopes, binoculars, cameras) gather and focus more light than your eyes can, they can be MUCH more dangerous, and can over-heat A direct 'glimpse' of the unfiltered sun thru a telescope would cause serious damage to your eyes (retina) in a fraction of a second. **Don't ruin your iPhone or other camera pointing it at the sun. Consider borrowing a partners' eclipse glasses, or better yet, do selfies with a projected pinhole or other image.***

    ((NOTE:  NO FILTER REQUIRED DURING THE precious 0.1 to 2.5 minutes of TOTALITY, when the moon completely covers the sun then))

((ALSO NOTE:  If you can't see your own SHADOW, it is highly unlikely you can see the sun/eclipse with ANY method below))

C.   Eye protection (projection) methods (use any or all for fun) during crescent phases (before and after totality)
    1)  two sheets of white cardboard, one with a hole (covered by aluminum foil-taped on, then pierced with a pin).  Direct the pinhole between the sun and the other sheet of white board to
        project the sun's image.
    2)  bring a Kitchen Colander / Strainer !
    3)  bring a Cheese grater !
    4)  Interlacing fingers (gaps will allow sunlight to form crescents)
    5)  Shadow boxes (see C-1 above), cut viewing panel out at side near bottom
    6)  Under trees, holes created by leaves will form crescents.  Take a walk in the Park.  Enjoy your natural surroundings.  Look for pinhole crescents formed by the leaves. 
    7)  Anyone with curly hair?  Use their hair shadow to see crescents!
    8)  ANYTHING with tiny holes! - - Take PICTURES of what you see (crescents).
Using your HANDS to project the partial eclipse phase:

YouTube Video

D.   Camera safety / issues
    The big deal is to not waste time fudging with a camera during the precious time of TOTALITY.    Trust us, your shots won't rival the professionals.  Don't mis-use your precious time.
    1)  Don't look thru the viewfinders without protection!!   Okay to look on the back SCREENS, but use extreme caution not to look at the actual sun with your naked eyes while doing so.
    2)  So, during partial (crescent) phases, your camera (and your iPhone or other smartphone camera) will likely suffer damage if you point it to the sun much.  The heat is
        simply too much.  Consider using a pair of (ie. your friend's) ECLIPSE GLASSES as a filter for your camera lens.  Hold the eclipse glasses up to the camera lens and shoot away. 
        Selfies of you and the sun won't work filtered or unfiltered, sorry, the sun is just too bright.  However, you can do selfies with the projection method.
    3)  Consider better/safer/more personal uses for your camera.  Photo your surroundings before, during, and after.  Even better, put your camera on a tripod and shoot video of you and your
        family/friends from 1 minute before totality thru 1 minute after. 
    4)  Given the enormity of this event, it is VERY likely that cell tower band-width will be strained.  Don't expect to have "signal" for sending or receiving video.  Might even lose cell connections, so
        be prepared to handle things without cell phones (meet up locations, times, back-up meet-ups). Text is likely to be okay, but voice connections may be tougher.
    5)  Of course, bring extra batteries, lens cleaner, etc.

E.     Temperature change
    1)  Get a big thermometer, plant it in the sunlight nearby
    2)  Photograph it or record the temps at various time intervals before, during, and after eclipse.  During totality the temp may drop 5-10 or more degrees.  You may also note the wind picking up slightly.

F.      Shadow Bands - just a little on the bizarre side, a phenomenon rarely seen.
    1)  Spread a white sheet out flat on the ground.
    2)   In the last minute before totality, or the first minute after totality, watch for (or video) these shadow bands.  (think of what you see with light on the bottom of a swimming pool on a sunny day).  These are not always seen, but worth trying for.

G.    Animal / People Behavior
    1)  Look for, video, or write down "evening" ("Roosting") behavior of birds, bugs, other wildlife or farm animals.
    2)  "Interview" your family/friends of their feelings before and after they experience totality.   It will be very emotional for many, and how they express emotions will differ wildly.
    3)  Video your family/friends/surroundings during the minute before totality, time during totality, and minute after totality.  Put that iPhone or camera on a tripod and back away.
    4)  At about 15-30 minutes prior to totality, remember to get everyone to the bathroom that needs to go!!

H.  Make records:
  •     starting time of eclipse (first contact):
  •     start of totality:
  •     end of totality:
  •     ending time of eclipse (last contact):
If you have any friends along the path of the eclipse call them and compare your times with them.  You can see how fast the shadow of the moon travels (It is really fast).  The moon's shadow is round, so if your friends also do this you may be surprised at the difference in start-stop times within just a few miles apart.

I.   It gets dark during totality, but just how dark?  About like an evening with a full moon.  You certainly won't need a flashlight unless you have older eyes and are doing fancy photography. The first magnitude star Regulus in Leo will be just a bit more than one degree to the east of the sun during totality.  Did you see it?  How soon before complete totality could you see it?  Can you see any other stars during the eclipse?  Draw what you see.

J.      Did you see  Baily's Beads/Diamond Ring?  If so, draw a quick sketch to help you remember what you saw.   The corona extends outward from the sun but can only be seen during an eclipse.  How far out can you see the corona extend is solar diameters?  Was it the same intensity in all directions or does it vary?

K.  Sketch the sun every 15 minutes to show how fast the eclipse is progressing.  Note any sunspots, if any are seen.

L.  Post-Totality
    1)  No time like the present.  Document all the feelings you had during/after totality.  Celebrate!
    2) This is back to partial-eclipse.  Do whatever you didn't do previously. (A thru F above)
    3) Buy a tee-shirt / momentos!
    4) Family photos!
    5) Bathroom break for anyone who did not make a mad-dash in the 15-30 minutes prior to totality.
    6) Post-totality won't be nearly as rushed.  Many will try to leave quickly, but will be stuck in traffic.  Stick around.  Now there will be time to take photos with telescopes, and possibly thru telescopes with your cameras/phones.
    7) Consider evening plans nearby (wineries, Boone's Farm, Downtown St Charles, etc.)

M.   RESOURCES - get equipped!    (single-power = 1x = your eyes with eclipse glasses - are all that is necessary to see and enjoy the eclipse, but others can be fun too)
    1) Eclipse Glasses -  We recommend purchase from The Astronomical League ($1 ea) :
                                      Or for more than 25:
                                      Or for hand-held "Viewers" instead of glasses:
                                      (Some wearers of eyeglasses might prefer these over eclipse glasses)

2) Binoculars / Sun-oculars / telescope filters:
            a.   Dedicated solar-only 5x30 - 
            b.   Dedicated solar-only - 6x30 -
            e.   Build your own, or custom-made telescope filters:    (be sure to test your work BEFORE the day of the eclipse!)
                        Fitting:              Filter finder
                        Buying (USA) custom-made:   Agena Astro - solar filters
                        How-to-make your own:
                        Buy the film only:  (5" square version shown)  (do not use as "eclipse glasses" - needs a glass component)
Build a Sun Funnel
                        Sun Gun
     ***AND** the under no circumstances should you EVER use this BAD filter:  Any decent filter goes in FRONT of any optics,(including your eyeglasses).

    3) Projection viewers
            b   SolarScope:

    4)  Expensive stuff for the avid, allowing you to see more of the Sun's features.
            a.  Hydrogen Alpha scopes -
                                            and   -
            b.  Herschel wedges     -
            c.  Daystar Filters  -