Summer Solstice Family Activities 2023

In North America, June 21 marks the longest day of the year and ushers in the start of our cherished summer season: Summer Solstice. There is a little magic and a little madness in the air. The earth vibrates with energy and abundance. It's a time of joyful celebration, a chance to escape the everyday, to stay out all night and relish the moment. The summer solstice presents another opportunity for families to celebrate, bond and add new traditions or rituals to their lives. I've put together a small list of activities that friends and family of all ages can enjoy.

1. Plan a scavenger hunt. Number or alphabetize clues leading to treats or fun summer supplies. Consider sunglasses, sunscreen, bug catchers, bottles of bubbles, homemade coupons for a special outing or glow-in-the-dark necklaces.

2. Eat outside and tune into nature. A backyard barbecue is fun, but a change of scenery may feel more festive. Pack a picnic dinner and head to a local park or beach. Afterwards, sit under a big shady tree and enjoy the sound of the breeze flowing through the leaves or have a seat on the sand and take in the surf. 

3. Greet the sun with a family sun salutation. A sun salutation is a series of yoga poses that provide a great overall body stretch. If there are no yoga savvy persons in your home, search for a beginner's version online.4. Start summer resolutions. Develop a summer thrill list with your family. What could you add to the list to make this summer exciting for everyone? Pull out the poster board and markers and let the creativity flow.

5. Stay up late and stargaze. Contact the St Louis Science Center or the St Louis Astronomical Society (or your local AS or science center) to inquire about special stargazing events. For novice star searches, borrow a book from the library to help determine what you see or use a star-finding app such as Stellarium or Sky Map. BONUS: When staying up late, watching the fireflies can be an experience on its own.

6. Involve water in your ritual. To mark the arrival of summer, hit the pool, the local splashpad or have a beach day. How about a family water gun or water balloon battle? Your willingness to embrace a little mess may be a signal that a more relaxed summer is here.

7. Get your hands dirty and embrace the earth. Consider planting in your vegetable garden for fall harvest or add to your flower garden to mark the occasion. No yard? Adding a patio garden or a few houseplants inside could be an option.8. Bury negatives. Has anyone in the family been struggling with something, like a habit they want to leave behind? Write down any behaviors or experiences you want to put behind you and bury them. Use the solstice as a reset button.

9. Invite friends to join your celebration. Their presence will add to the jovial occasion. 

Try to capture the “we always” when planning your festivities. Kids love tradition—the “we always eat…” or “we always [do a certain thing]” on a special day. Maybe you will start solstice with a pancake breakfast. Ask your children for suggestions and they will likely come up with fun options—the more unique to your family, the better.



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