Things to Do

5 Memorable Events Celebrating Summer Solstice in DC

Museums open until midnight, meditation in a garden, tarot card readings, and more.

Photograph by pixdeluxe/Getty Images Plus.

The summer Solstice is on June 21 this year in the northern hemisphere, officially marking the beginning of summer. It’s the longest day of the year, as the northern hemisphere’s pole has a maximum tilt towards the sun—Washingtonians can expect almost 15 hours of sunlight. Here are some ways to mark the solstice.

Smithsonian Solstice Saturday

When: June 24, 2023 (see individual museums for times)

Where: multiple locations

Price: free

The Smithsonian is commemorating the beginning of summer with its 5th annual “Solstice Saturday,” a day packed with free parties, programs, and entertainment, including a panel on the Black working class, a cultural dance performance by the Apache Crown Dancers, and more. The National Museum of the American Indian is open until 8 PM; the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Hirshhorn, and the National Museum of American History are open until 10 PM; the Air and Space Museum closes at 11 PM; and the museums of Asian Art, African Art, and Natural History are open until midnight.   

In addition to the museums being open later, the Arts and Industries Building will be hosting a Glow Night Arcade Party (registration required) from 7-11 PM.


Temperance Alley Garden Meditation

When: June 21, 2023, 6 to 7 PM

Where: 1909 13th St., NW

Price: free

Head to this lush community garden tucked away behind the U Street Metro stop for some meditation. Learn about the garden’s history, meet some new friends, and reflect on the changing of the seasons. 


Witchy Summer Solstice Party

When: June 21, 7 PM – midnight

Where: the Dew Drop Inn

Price: Free entry, drinks for purchase

Local artist and tarot card reader Skye Marinda invites the mystically inclined to the Dew Drop Inn in Edgewood to celebrate the sun at its highest peak. The free event features a “simple Summer Solstice ritual, witchy drinks, raffle prizes, and more.” Witchy attire is highly encouraged. See pictures from last year’s event here.  


Summer Romance on the Solstice

When: June 21, 7 – 8:15 PM

Where: Takoma Park Seventh Day Adventist Church

Price: free

Consider taking a trip to the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Takoma Park for a free, solstice-themed public concert. This is a faculty concert, featuring performances by instructors at Washington Adventist University.  The hour-long recital will feature the music of Robert Schumann, Pablo de Sarasate, and George Frederic Handel. There will also be a Q&A with the professors following the show. 


Summer Solstice Forest Bathing

When: June 21, 6:30 – 8:30 PM

Where: James E. Bunn Amphitheater

Price: $10

The Japanese practice of forest bathing, or “shinrin yoku,” involves being in the forest and relaxing among the trees. The practice emphasizes awareness and decompression. If that sounds interesting, join Forest Bathing with Ward 8 and the DC Master Nationalists in Anacostia tomorrow for a solstice-centered forest bathing walk, hosted by  Ana Ka’ahanui of Capital Nature.    

Malcolm Ferguson
Editorial Fellow