Summer Solstice Celebration 2017: Night at the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture


Wednesday, June 21, 2017, 5:00pm to 9:00pm


Harvard Science Center & Harvard Museums of Science & Culture, 11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA


solstice_2017Free Public Special Event

Kick off summer at the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture's annual Summer Solstice Celebration.

Enjoy a fun evening with circus performers, music, food trucks, and hands-on activities for all ages, with free evening admission to the Collection of Historical Scientific InstrumentsHarvard Semitic MuseumPeabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, and Harvard Museum of Natural History.

This special summer night will feature Latin American rhythms, folk music from Italy, and pop rock. Create your own summer crown with seasonal flowers and garden greens, turn yourself into an Assyrian archer, participate in a ritual fire jumping to get you ready for the summer, and enjoy a special presentation on solar energy by a Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysicist. 

The Summer Solstice Celebration is free and open to the public. In case of rain, the event will move inside the museums. Free event parking is available at the 52 Oxford Street Garage. Please note that Divinity Avenue will be closed to traffic from 4:00-9:00 pm.

The Harvard Museums of Science & Culture are only an 8-minute walk through Harvard Yard from the Harvard Square Red Line T stop.




Time: 5:00-7:30 pm
Location: 11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA
In case of rain, all activities will take place indoors (check printed schedules at museums for final locations).

Flower Crowns 
Design your own summer crown with seasonal flowers and garden greens. 

Solar Eclipse
Learn about the August 21 total solar eclipse that will be visible along a path from Oregon to Georgia and create a souvenir to take home. 

Assyrian Archery Armguard
Channel your inner Assyrian archer by engraving an armguard depicting the sun god, Shamush.

Fire Jumping
In some cultures, people mark the start of a new solar cycle by crossing over cleansing fire. Take part in this tradition by jumping over the museums’ “fire pit” and earn a flame tattoo.


Time: 5:00-8:00 pm
Location: Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street
in case of rain, this event will move to Haller Hall, Harvard Museum of Natural History.

Enjoy a special presentation by Dr. Henry “Trae" Winter, astrophysicist from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), who will discuss how scientists use “big data” and satellite imagery to view, study, and understand the energy released by the sun. Presentations will take place every half hour on a first-come, first-served basis.



Time: 5:00-8:24 pm (sunset)
Location: 11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA
In case of rain, performances will move indoors to the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street

5:00 pm until sunset
Keep your eyes open for stilt walkers, jugglers, and acrobats!

5:30 pm
Kate Diaz, Songwriter/multi-intrumentalist
Harvard student Kate Diaz will perform original pop/rock songs. 

6:15 pm
Circus Arts Feature Show 
Enjoy an engaging performance of circus arts and acrobatics featuring artists from Off the Ground Circus Arts. 

7:00 pm
Experience the mesmerizing rhythms of southern Italian folk music! Newpoli will present a selection of traditional and new compositions rooted in the rich traditions of tarantella and pizzica dances. 

7:40-8:20 pm 
Get energized for the summer season with the rich sounds of the Boston-based, all-female band 3(Tri)nity. With roots in Brazil, Cuba, Panama, and Puerto Rico, 3nity’s music pays homage to the rich and diverse cultures of Latin America.

8:20–8:24 pm
Solstice Countdown 
Join us as we count down the minutes to the end of the longest day of the year and the beginning of summer. 

8:24 pm 


Time: 5:00 pm until sunset
Location: 11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA

In case of rain, food trucks will not be available.

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
Bon Me pan-Asian delights
Tenoch Mexican tortas

ChikChak Middle Eastern (and kosher) cuisine


See also: Special Events