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 Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, the Harvard Semitic Museum, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, and the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments.
Start off with a visit to our newest exhibitions
- Learn about the microscopic organisms that make life on Earth possible in Microbial Life: A Universe at the Edge of Sight
- Discover how ancient Near Eastern kings commemorated their military triumphs and civic achievements in From Stone to Silicone: Recasting Mesopotamian Monuments
- Admire more than 600 objects from Asia, Oceania, and the Americas on display in All the World Is Here: Harvard’s Peabody Museum and the Invention of American Anthropology.
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.
Activities are appropriate for all ages. In case of rain, activities will take place indoors (check printed schedules at museums for final locations).
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.
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
Meet and greet a few furry farm animals visiting the museums to celebrate the beginning of summer.
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.
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 Ragamalika
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 Grooversity
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
Countdown the minutes to the end of the longest day of the year!
8:24 pm Sunset
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
Generous support provided by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.