Happy summer! 15 ways to celebrate the solstice in Philly

Make the most out of the longest day of the year.

Sunrise on South Street

Sunrise on South Street

Danya Henninger
monicazorrilla

Updated 4:48 p.m. 

This year, the summer solstice falls on Thursday, June 21, and Philly is ready to celebrate. There are peak sunshine festivities on the longest day of the year and throughout the weekend.

The city is marking the cosmic event with music performances, glow in the dark meditation, maypole dancing, Reiki sessions, boozy snowcones, festivals, workshops and pop-up dinners. Most events are family-friendly, and some are also free.

Check out this compilation of cool celebrations and launch the official start of water ice season with a blast. Helloooo Summer!

Make Music Philly Day

Make Music Philly Day will turn various Philly neighborhoods into mini music festivals, with pop-up concerts from students and professionals and performance workshops led by volunteers. The all-day event is free, open-access and in the spirit of "DIY." On the roster are a bucket drum circle, a Spice Girls choir, a harmonica huddle and a bluegrass jam. Find out more about scheduled participants here.

Where: Various Locations

When: June 21, 2018

How much: Free


Dance on the Covered Bridge

An outdoors dance inside the historic — and photogenic — Thomas Mill Covered Bridge in Fairmount Park. Enjoy the Wissahickon Creek breeze as you release your intentions for the season via Nia, a "sensory-based movement practice that draws from martial arts, dance arts and healing arts." Meeting at the East Bells Mill parking lot and hiking together to and from the bridge.

Where: Thomas Mills Covered Bridge at 8901 Forbidden Dr.

When: June 21, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

How much: Free


Bright Night with Bell’s Brewery

Point Breeze bar + Michigan brews = Boozy fun to celebrate the longest (and brightest) night of the year. Featuring Bell's: Larry's Latest IPA, Wedding Ale, Pooltime, Oatsmobile, Lager of the Lakes, and Porter.

Where: American Sardine Bar at 1800 Federal St.

When: June 21, 2018 from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

How much: PAYG


Ravens on the Rooftop Summer Solstice Soirée

Mingle and sip while watching the (late) sunset on Parkway Central Library's rooftop terrace. Tickets include an open bar with Goose Island beers, heavy appetizers and snacks. The event is for adults ages 21 and up.

Where: Parkway Central Library - 4th Floor Rooftop Terrace at 1901 Vine St.

When: June 21, 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

How much: $40 for general public, $35 for Raven Society members. $25 for the VIP package add-on.


Sun Salutations with Dhyana Yoga

A free yoga sesh at Schmidt's Commons led by the instructors from Dhyana Yoga Northern Liberties. Bonus: Kind Bars will be given out at the end. Though the class is free and open to the public, you have to BYOM (Bring Your Own Mat).

Where: The Schmidt's Commons at 1001 N. 2nd St.

When: June 21, 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

How much: Free


Parks on Tap: Paine’s Park
Albert Yee / Philadelphia Parks and Recreation

Release with Restorative Yoga and Reiki

Though this wellness workshop is catered towards Weavers Way members, it's open to the public as well (and free). Along with bringing the right attitude to center oneself and some prior yoga and Reiki skills, you should also bring your own journal, a pen or pencil, a pillow and a mat. Instructed by Esther Wyss-Flamm and Pamela Hipp.

Where: Healing Arts Studio at 15 W. Highland Ave.

When: June 21, 2018 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

How much: Free


Celebration with Anjali Power Yoga

A summer solstice practice with loads of, you guessed it, sun salutations and sun salutation variations to keep your spirits lifted.

Where: Anjali Power Yoga - Philly Location at 1519 South St.

When: June 21, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

How much: $45 for both sessions, $25 for drop-ins.


Celtic Pop-Up Dinner

Per the Eventbrite page, this is "a dinner inspired by the ancient Celtic solstice tradition of enjoying foods with the colors of the sun, that feature the force of fire and light!" Sounds exciting. The five-course dinner, prepared by Claire Phelan, will feature seasonal produce, foraged flowers, fragrant herbs and "forest things." Proceeds will benefit the Awbury Arboretum.

Where: Awbury Arboretum at the Francis Cope House at 1 Awbury Rd.

When: June 21, 2018 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

How much: $24


Glo-Flo Summer Solstice Class

Immerse yourself for an hour and a half in a deep vinyasa flow... while glowing in the dark. Come dressed in white or bright colors, and Roots Philly Yoga will provide you with the black light body paint and glow sticks. Treat yourself afterward to Love City Brewing. Taught by: Jenysbel Duran.

Where: Roots Philly Yoga at 466 N. 10th St.

When: June 22, 2018 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

How much: $22 for members, $25 for drop-ins.


Philly Bike Party Solstice Ride

Join regulars and facilitators from Philly Bike Party and CycleScenePHL on a unique solstice ride that ends with an after-party hosted by Taco Tuesday Ride PHL. There's a scenic break at the midpoint to watch the later-than-usual sunset at 8:33 p.m. This is an excellent opportunity for meeting like-minded individuals in a group setting — aka, bike nuts — while also getting a decent aerobic workout.

Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art - Rocky Steps at 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.

When: June 22, 2018 from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

How much: Free


Molestice

A free annual block party with live music, craft beers, food trucks and all-ages appropriate activities. This year's headliner? Nicole Atkins, an indie/psychedelic rock and Americana folk singer from Neptune (New Jersey, not the planet). Other local performers include Worldtown SoundSystem, Mutlu, Hardwork Movement, The Sermon!, Brian LaPann and Scantron. Per their mission statement, Molestice wants to become Philly's version of NoLa's Jazz Fest.

Where: Corner of Race and Mole streets at 100 block of N. Mole St.

When: June 23, 2018 from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

How much: PAYG


SummerAleFestival2016_2113
Courtesy of the Philadelphia Zoo

Midsommarfest

An annual event at the American Historical Museum, Midsommarfest welcomes the summer season with jubilant maypole dancing, home-made Swedish pastries, music, and kid-friendly events such as games and face-painting.

Where: American Swedish Historical Museum at 1900 Pattison Ave.

When: June 23, 2018 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

How much: $8 for members, $12 for non-members, $5 for children ages 4-12


Orkney Street Summer Solstice Potluck BBQ for World Peace

An annual unpretentious open house with a pretentious name, this NoLibs potluck-style barbecue is hosted by Helen and Jonathan Sher and Janet Finegar. Per the Facebook event, all are welcome, so long as they bring something to share! Bonus: The family has a dog named Nyx. You can bring yours too, but you have to check with the organizers first.

Where: Private residence in Northern Liberties at 833 N. 5th St.

When: June 23, 2018 from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

How much: Free, but bring a food or drink item to share.


2nd Annual Summer Solstice Festival

All-ages, family-friendly festival that invites you to "explore, experience and enjoy the sights and sounds" of John Heinz Wildlife Refuge. There will be activities such as face-painting, guided hikes, a moth watch, kayaking, music performances, food trucks and a screening of "Chasing Ice," a documentary on climate change. Proceeds from the event benefit the refuge.

Where: John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum at 8601 Lindbergh Blvd.

When: June 23, 2018 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

How much: PAYG


The Soulstice

Nope, that's not a misspelling! The Antemortem Society (Laurel Hill's aptly named Young Friends group) is hosting a lively celebration in an otherwise grim setting. There will be live jazz music by Mariposa, a beer tasting led by Saint Benjamin Brewing Company, twilight tours of the 78-acres of historic cemetery grounds at Laurel Hill offered, and bites catered by Bourbon Blue. Cocktail attire and closed-toed footwear, sensible footwear (so, no skinny high-heels) are recommended.

Where: Laurel Hill Cemetery - Millionaire's Row at 3822 Ridge Ave.

When: June 23, 2018 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

How much: $35


Summer Ale Festival

Celebrate the start of summer by oohing and aahing at the sights of animals while sipping specialty craft brews and jiving to music at the Philadelphia Zoo. Each ticket comes with an unlimited sampling of beer (unless you're the Designated Driver), gratuitous transportation from 30th Street Station, animal meet and greets, and evening admission to the zoo. Bonus: Beau the baby giraffe was just born, and you'll be able to get a glimpse of him. He's way too cute.

Where: Philadelphia Zoo at 3400 W. Girard Ave.

When: June 23, 2018 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

How much: Early Admission $79.95, General Admission $64.99, Non-drinker $34.99


A Midsummer Night’s Dream Party

Okay, so the events in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream don't technically take place during the Midsummer (also known as the summer solstice), but it's all in the name! At this party, you'll be served St. Germain Elderflower liqueur cocktails inspired by the play and revel in decor fit for a group of Greek nymphs. Per the Facebook event page, the attire is "mythical fairyland chic."

Where: a.bar at 1737 Walnut St.

When: June 24, 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

How much: PAYG