Free In-Person Special Event
After a long hiatus, the annual Summer Solstice Celebration at the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture is back—in person! Join us on the longest day of the year from 5:00–9:00 pm to explore—free of charge—the galleries and new exhibitions at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, and the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East. Then step outdoors to create a community mural, enjoy uplifting musical and circus performances, make a flower crown, or enjoy a snack at a food truck. Don’t miss this wildly popular event for all ages. Picinic blankets welcome.
Sponsored by Harvard Museums of Science & Culture in collaboration with the Harvard Graduate Commons, the Office for the Arts at Harvard, Harvard Summer School, and the Harvard Office for Sustainability. Presented with the generous support of the FAS Community Renewal Fund
Free event parking will be available at the 52 Oxford Street Garage. Please note that Divinity Avenue will be closed to traffic during the event.
The Harvard Museums of Science & Culture are an 8-minute walk through historic Harvard Yard from the Harvard Square MBTA Red Line station.
Start off with a visit to our galleries
-Admire Harvard’s internationally acclaimed Glass Flowers and learn about the lingering mysteries surrounding the making of these handcrafted plant models created by Czech glass artisans Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka.
-Enjoy an immersive, contemporary artistic interpretation of Henry David Thoreau’s plant collections in the exhibition In Search of Thoreau’s Flowers: An Exploration of Change and Loss.
-Learn how scientific instruments have influenced the development of astronomy, navigation, physics, biology, medicine, electricity, and communication in Time, Life & Matter.
-Explore Mexico’s rich history as a site of human innovation, creativity, and cultural diversity in Muchos Méxicos: Crossroads of the Americas and see Rice: A Story of Africa and the Americas, set within the Resetting the Table exhibition, which examines the legacy of rice cultivation in the Americas.
-Learn how the movement of goods, peoples, and ideas around the ancient Mediterranean transformed the lives and livelihoods of people at all levels of society in Mediterranean Marketplaces: Connecting the Ancient World.
Then step outdoors for a host of fun activities
-Make a summer crown with fresh flowers and greens to wear during the event.
-Marvel at circus performers.
-Enjoy tasty treats from the event food trucks.
-Participate in the making of a community mural.
-Enter the Solstice Raffle to win HMSC museum memberships and special gifts from our museum shop.
Location: 11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Activities are appropriate for all ages.
Design your own summer crown with seasonal flowers, garden greens, and ribbons (while supplies last).
Meet and greet a small group of farm animals visiting the museums to celebrate the beginning of summer.
Make a Mural!
Join Boston-based artist Howie Green to create a community mural inspired by HMSC collections.
Explore a rainbow of shadows that can occur with just three simple lights…and take a selfie!
Stop by the museum shop at the Harvard Museum of Natural History and take home a memento of your visit.
Also visit the LEA pop-up shop near the flower crown activity and meet artist Leah Sobesy. Leah will showcase clothing and home goods featuring specimens of now endangered plants that were collected by Henry David Thoreau in the 1800s.
Time: 5:00–8:24 pm (sunset)
Location: 7 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts
5:00 pm until sunset
Stilt walkers, jugglers, and acrobats will be roving throughout the event.
Circus Arts Feature Show
In this annual tradition at the Summer Solstice Celebration, artists from Off the Ground Circus Arts will stage a daring performance of circus arts and acrobatics.
Anjali Nath will light up the stage with the rhythms, melodies, and stories of Kathak, a North Indian classical dance. High energy, quick-stepping, rhythmic footwork, and lightning spins are characteristic of this ancient art form rooted in storytelling. Join us to learn about the rhythms of this unique dance style and enjoy stories of bravery passed along through generations come to life on stage.
Zaira Meneses & Friends
Enjoy Son Jarocho music, a genre that hails from Veracruz, Mexico. Influenced mostly by African rhythms, Spanish techniques, Sephardi melodies, and native Mexican music, Son Jarocho is inspired by workers, fishermen, exotic birds, and other wild animals from eastern Mexico.
A Poem by Sophie Kim
Sophie Kim is an award-winning performance poet, lyricist-librettist, playwright, filmmaker, and junior at Harvard College. Kim was the 2018 Los Angeles County Youth Poet Laureate and is the author of the poetry collection SING THE BIRDS HOME. Her most recent work, ISCARIOT: THE MUSICAL, is a queer, Asian American, heretical comedy about Judas Iscariot, set in modern-day Hollywood. This original musical will have its world premiere at Harvard College this fall.
Kotoko Brass melds the beautifully complex traditional drumming of Central Ghana, the sturdy bass and keyboards of the Caribbean, and the joyous horns of New Orleans to forge a sound the Boston Globe has described as “propulsive, infectious party music.”
Count down the minutes to the end of the longest day of the year!
Time: 5:00 pm until sunset
Location: 11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Bon Me pan-Asian delights
The Pull-Up LLC Latin/Soul food
Zaaki Mediterranean cuisine