Where to find free solar eclipse glasses before April 8

With the total solar eclipse moving across North America on April 8, many stores and businesses are giving away free eclipse glasses.

The total solar eclipse will cover portions of the U.S. from Texas, through the Midwest and into the Northeast. 44 million people in the 115-mile-wide path are expected to experience totality.

But to avoid harming your eyes, you should bring some sort of protection.

Many businesses are giving away glasses for free.

Boost Mobile

More than 160 Boost Mobile stores along the path of totality will give away iso-certified solar eclipse glasses for free.

"We love celebrating historic moments with our communities," said Sean Lee, SVP of Consumer Product and Marketing, Boost Mobile in a statement. "The upcoming solar eclipse is a rare event that will bring communities together to experience an awesome solar phenomenon. To truly experience this event, we’re providing free solar eclipse glasses so our customers can enjoy it safely. We’re excited to see everyone out at our stores, so stop by and grab a pair of glasses because the next one isn’t until 2044!"


What to know about fake eclipse glasses

Spectators are stocking up on eclipse glasses ahead of the April aerial spectacle, but one retailer is cautioning consumers to beware of counterfeit versions of the eyewear circulating online.

The glasses will be given away at participating Boost Mobile stores starting March 29 and will continue as long as supplies last.

You can find participating locations near you here.

Sonic Drive-In


(Source: Business Wire)

Sonic stores are giving away free eclipse glasses with the purchase of its new Blackout Slush Float.

The float is an all-black slush that is cotton candy and dragon fruit flavored with white soft serve inside.

The glasses will be given while supplies last.

Find Sonic stores here.

Jeni's Ice Cream

The popular ice cream shop Jeni's is also giving away solar eclipse glasses.

All online orders of the new Punk Stargonaut ice cream flavors will include four pairs of collectible eclipse glasses through April 3.

Jeni's stores will also give away eclipse glasses starting on April 5.

Find locations here.

Warby Parker

Eyewear retailer Warby Parker will give away two pairs of glasses per family at their stores, starting April 1.

They will be available as long as supplies last.

You can find their locations here.


The eye care provider MyEyeDr. is offering free solar eclipse glasses.

There are 438 locations across the country giving away the glasses while supplies last.

Find a location near you here.

Smoothie King

Some Smoothie King stores are offering free eclipse glasses to anyone who orders a 20 oz or larger Eclipse Berry Blitz smoothie.

The deal is only at participating locations in Arkansas, Indiana, New York, Ohio and Texas.

See if it applies to a store near you here.

Do you need special glasses for the solar eclipse?

The American Academy of Ophthalmology advised that staring at the sun – partially covered or not – without any protective eyewear is dangerous. 

"Staring at the sun for even a short time without wearing the right eye protection can damage your retina permanently. It can even cause blindness, called solar retinopathy," the AAO states.

Damage from solar retinopathy happens when a person stares at the sun for as little as a few seconds, according to the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.

People who may suffer from solar retinopathy could have anywhere between mild to moderate loss of central vision, and it can be permanent.

READ MORE: 105-year-old eclipse buff excited to see his 13th eclipse on April 8

The only time when it is acceptable to remove the glasses or viewer is for those brief minutes when the moon is completely covering the sun, the American Astronomical Society (AAS) said. 

As soon as the sun begins to reappear, you should put your protective eyewear back on. 

How to know if your eclipse glasses are safe

Solar filters are used in eclipse glasses and handheld viewers and meet a very specific worldwide standard known as ISO 12312-2.

For a list of verified eclipse glasses and viewers, click here.

FOX Digital contributed to this report.