18 Ways to Celebrate the Summer Solstice
People from many different cultures have held solstice celebrations for thousands of years. Traditionally people celebrated renewal, life, fertility, and the potential for a good harvest on the summer solstice.
Today people around the world still celebrate the arrival of summer with outdoor feasts, singing, dancing, and bonfires. Learn more about the solstice, and find several ways to celebrate below.
What is the Summer Solstice?
The summer solstice, also called Midsummer, usually occurs between the 20th and 22nd of June in the Northern Hemisphere, while those in the southern hemisphere celebrate the winter solstice. The summer solstice falls between the 20th and 22nd of December in the Southern Hemisphere.
The summer solstice is the longest day and the shortest night of the year. The reason is a great science lesson for kids. It’s all about the tilt of the sun.
Earth is tilted about 23.5 degrees. This means at different times of the year, either the northern or the southern hemisphere is closer to the sun. While we are experiencing summer in the northern hemisphere, those in the southern hemisphere are experiencing winter and the winter solstice.
In 2016 the summer solstice occurs in tandem with a full moon on Monday, June 20, 2016 at 3:34 PM PDT. Make the most of the longest day of the year by celebrating the summer solstice with any of the fun ideas below.
Ways to Celebrate the Summer Solstice
If you live in the southern hemisphere and are celebrating the winter solstice see Celebrate the Winter Solstice.
18 Ways to Celebrate the Summer Solstice
Make the most of the longest day of the year by celebrating the summer solstice using any of the fun ideas below.
1. Visit Stonehenge
Okay, so this is probably not something many of us would be able to do… but there really is no better place to celebrate a solstice!
2. Bathe in the Light of the Sun
Visit a beach, pool, or park and bathe in the light of the sun for 20-30 minutes. Your own backyard would also be perfect! Be sure to apply sunblock so you don’t get burned!
3. Make a Flower Crown
Making a flower crown on the summer solstice is a traditional way to celebrate.
- How to Make a Flower Crown, 2 Ways by Say Yes
- Easiest DIY Midsummer Crown by Willowday (photo below)
4. Make Solstice Lanterns
Solstice lanterns are commonly made on the winter solstice because it is the shortest day of the year, but there is no reason not to make them for summer too!
- Summer Solstice Lanterns by HEN Family (photo below)
5. Make Sun Crafts
Make sun crafts with your kids for a fun way to celebrate the beginning of summer.
- How to Make a Mini Felt Sun from Bugs and Fishes
- Sunshine Weaving by The Nurture Store
- Cereal Sunshine Craft by Kid Things
- Woven Sunburst by Love in the Suburbs (photo below)
6. Do Some Gardening
Getting out in the garden is a great way to celebrate the summer solstice. Start a garden, bring new life to your garden by planting something new, or just spend some time tending it!
- Plant Flowers
- Plant Sunflowers (photo below)
- Start Your Own Fairy Garden
- Start Cucumbers and Melons
- Plant Cucumbers
- Plant Tomatoes
7. Enjoy Other Seasonal Arts, Crafts & Activities
Creating summer arts, crafts, and activities is a great way to welcome the season. Here are a few to get you started.
- Make a butterfly tree or some monarch butterfly peg dolls.
- Make shell sunflowers and shell daisies.
- Make some Pony Bead & Prism Suncatchers.
- Make a Rainbow Window Star.
- All Season Hand Print Tree – This all season hand and fingerprint tree is a great activity to do with your child to introduce the idea of seasonal changes. Feel free to do all seasons or just a summer tree. (photo below)
- Make Mud Pie Mandalas.
- Human Sundial Shadow Science Experiment (My daughter and I are doing this on the solstices and equinoxes to see how our shadows change not only throughout the day but throughout the year.)
- Create some shadow art.
- I have lots more that I will be publishing soon. Be sure you sign up for my newsletter below so you don’t miss anything!
8. Add Summer Decor to your Home
9. Read Books about the Summer Solstice
Read books to your kids to help them understand what the summer solstice is and to begin to teach them about the cyclical nature of the seasons. A few options can be found at affiliate links below.
- Under Alaska’s Midnight Sun
- The Midsummer Mouse: Midsummer Tales of Tiptoes Lightly and the Summer Queen
- The longest Day: Celebrating the Summer Solstice (photo below)
10. Visit a local Farm
What better way to celebrate the sun than to eat juicy berries ripened by it? For more information check out Take Your Kids Berry Picking.
11. Have a Solstice Feast
Invite friends and family over for a solstice feast with seasonal local foods. Visit your local farmers market to gather all the goodies you need!
12. Have or Attend a Bonfire
A bonfire is a great way to celebrate the solstice. Dance, sing, beat drums, play music, and celebrate the official beginning of summer.
Please be safe and follow city or county laws and regulations. For more information see 10 Tips for a Safe Bonfire with Kids.
13. Review and Renew Goals
The solstice is a great time of year to do a quarterly goal review. Having a solstice gathering? Invite your guest to join you in this activity.
- Setting Goals
- Create an Action Plan to Accomplish Goals
- Why I turn my Goals into Affirmations
- Monthly Goal Review
14. Set New Intentions
After doing a goal review write down your intentions. Think of an intention as things, ideas, or habits that you would like to bring into your life.
15. Begin Something New
Solstices and equinoxes are a great time to let go of the old and begin fresh. As the temperatures get warmer and people begin to spend more time outdoors it is a great time to begin a new project.
- Make a list of everything you’ve been wanting to do.
- Pick your top three choices.
- Make a plan to start one and go from there. Don’t know where to start? See Creating Positive Habits.
16. Establish a Daily Rhythm
Establishing a rhythm will help you get organized and provide a framework for your day. It will help your start fresh this season and find room to manifest your new intentions. Children also thrive on rhythm in the home. See Establishing a Daily Rhythm for more information.
17. Practice Yoga and/or Meditate
Did you know that the summer solstice has been named International Day of Yoga by the United Nations General Assembly? That makes this the perfect day to practice yoga! Sun salutations (sun salutes) are a great way to honor the sun on the solstice.
Attend solstice in time square, where the participants practice yoga sunup to sundown! Not in New York? Participate via webcast.
Here I am… practicing yoga on Venice Beach where I used to work as an ocean lifeguard.
18. Get Outside & Connect
Get outside and connect with what matters on the solstice. You can start by searching for signs of summer. For more outside activities and information about the Get Outside & Connect Series click on the link.
There are many ways you can celebrate the summer solstice. Getting outside to connect on the longest day of the year is what’s most important. Find a way that is meaningful for you and your family to celebrate the sun and all it brings to us.
If your looking for more inspiration, I would suggest checking out Rain or Shine Mamma’s “How to Celebrate the Summer Solstice.”
You may also Like
- Celebrate the Winter Solstice
- 11 ways to Celebrate the Fall Autumnal Equinox
- 7 Ways to Celebrate the Spring Equinox