Summer Solstice Celebration 2018: Night at the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture


Thursday, June 21, 2018, 5:00pm to 9:00pm


Harvard Museums of Science & Culture, 11 Divinity Avenue

Summer Solstice 2017 photo by Jeffrey Blackwell

Free Special Event Open to the Public


On the longest day of the year, explore the world and have fun at the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture's Summer Solstice Celebration. From 5:00–9:00 pm, enjoy free admission to four museums: the Harvard Semitic Museum, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, and the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments.

Start off with a visit to our newest exhibitions

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 

  • Get up close to nature at the animal farm

  • Find sustenance from the event food trucks

  • Enter the raffle to win HMSC museum memberships and special gifts from our museum shop.

Join us for this festive community evening! 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 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.


Time: 5:00–7:30 pm
Location: 11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Activities are appropriate for all ages. In case of rain, activities will take place indoors (check printed schedules at museums for final locations).

Flower Crowns
Design your own summer crown with seasonal flowers, garden greens, and ribbons (while supplies last).

Mesopotamian Sun Medallions
Create a medallion dedicated to the sun and learn how to write in cuneiform like the ancient Mesopotamians.
Fire Jumping
Some cultures mark the start of a new solar cycle by crossing over cleansing fire. Take part in this tradition by jumping over the museums’ “bonfire” and earn a flame tattoo.
Animal Craze Traveling Farm (animals will be located in front of the Harvard Museum of Natural History)
Meet and greet a few furry farm animals visiting the museums to celebrate the beginning of summer.
Kolam Art
Participate in the making of kolams, South Indian geometric drawings made with rice flour or chalk. Kolams symbolize prosperity and good luck. They are drawn on the ground in front of homes during festivals and other special occasions.
Summer Bubbles!
Experiment with a variety of tools to create magnificent bubbles of all sizes.


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.
5:30 pm

Aparna Balaji, Mahathi Athreya, Kiran Manda and Mahalingam Santhanakrishnan will perform a selection of lively Carnatic Classical (South Indian) music. 
6:15 pm
Circus Arts Feature Show 

An annual tradition at the Summer Solstice Celebration, artists from Off the Ground Circus Arts will stage a daring performance of circus arts and acrobatics.
7:00 pm
Pinewoods Morris Men
Morris dancing is an English folk dance performed at festivals and holidays. The oldest team in North America—Pinewoods Morris Men—will perform a special selection of celebratory dances.

7:40-8:20 pm 
A world-drumming ensemble that blends Hip hop, Afro, Samba, and Taiko drumming, Grooversity will deliver the grand finale performance before the official solstice countdown.
8:20–8:24 pm
Solstice Countdown 

Count down the minutes to the end of the longest day of the year!
8:24 pm 

Food Trucks

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

In case of rain, food trucks will not be available

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream

Bon Me pan-Asian delights

Sheherazad Middle Eastern cuisine

Boston Burger Company burgers

Generous support provided by the Massachusetts Cultural Council

Massachusetts Cultural Council logo

Download the event poster