8 ways to celebrate the Summer Solstice in Michigan

8 ways to celebrate the Summer Solstice in Michigan

Photo courtesy of Becca Tapert via Unsplash.

By Ellery Weil

June 10, 2024

Ah, June in the Mitten. Whether you think of it as wedding season or peak flower-picking time, the warm weather and long nights are here to enjoy. Moreover, the days are getting longer, and however you’re choosing to enjoy the sun, it’s almost time for the day with the most of it: Midsummer, or the summer solstice.

In 2024, the longest day of the year falls on June 20, 2024. Whether you’re looking for a party, a cultural event, or to relax and welcome the summer on your own terms, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the solstice in Michigan.

Here are a few of the Mitten’s best ways to enjoy the 2024 summer solstice:

1. Celebrate the Sun at Cranbrook Art Museum

Looking for artistic flare meets solar flare? Cranbrook Art Museum’s final Free Third Thursday of the season falls on the summer solstice, and they’re throwing a solar celebration in its honor. Come on over to Bloomington Hills on June 20 for free admission to both the art museum and, from 5-8 p.m., Cranbrook Institute of Science. At the Art Museum, you can enjoy their Biannual Solstice Celebration, featuring solar-themed dancing, music, and a chance to make solstice art of your own!

2. Get Into the Rhythm of Summer at the Solstice Jazz Festival

The summer solstice brings long sunsets and warm weather — perfect for enjoying live music outdoors as the longest day of the year comes to a close. Sounds like a good time? You’re in luck, because on June 21 and 22, East Lansing is hosting their Summer Solstice Jazz Festival. For two days, the city is hosting two stages for the best in Michigan jazz artists, plus an after-party at The Graduate Hotel for guests over eighteen. Whether you’re bringing the family or ready for a wild night, it’s time to get down!

3. Raise a Glass to Summer in Michigan

Wolverine State residents know that summer has started when a distinctive sun-patterned label hits store shelves and brewery taps. That’s right, Bell’s Brewery, the Kalamazoo-based Michigan favorite, has brought Oberon Ale back for another summer! This bright, flavorful wheat beer is a Michigan summer classic, and what better drink to toast the solstice in? Find a bottle at a shop near you, or, if you’re in the Kalamazoo area, swing by Bell’s General Store and Eccentric Cafe for live music, homemade meals, and a solstice treat at the source!

4. Try a Sound Bath and Meditate On the Turning Seasons

A nice hot bath can be a great way to relax in the evening, but what about a bath made of sound? Sound baths are an increasingly popular relaxation technique, and starting June 20, you can try a solstice sound bath and meditation group at the Art Attic in Plymouth. Bring a yoga mat and insect repellant for this outdoor get-together, where people of all ages (including children twelve and over) and backgrounds are welcome to try a relaxing way to start the summer!

5. Explore Finnish Summer Traditions at a Solstice Folk Festival

Scandinavia is famous for its extreme seasons, including dark cold winters, and long summer nights with midnight sunlight. Midsummer is a major celebration in Finnish culture, and the Union Bay Folk School outside of Ontonagon in the Upper Peninsula is hosting a traditional Finnish midsummer celebration to bring a bit of Finland to Michigan. This free event features traditional Finnish folk dancing, drinks and snacks, solstice history and science lectures, and ends with a “letting go” traditional bonfire ceremony. “Let it go” indeed!

6. Party the (Short) Night Away at I Don’t Care

In Grand Rapids, the place to be for a fun night is I Don’t Care, and on Friday, June 21, they’re throwing a summer solstice party. Starting at 4 pm, you can dance late into the night, with Hipster Disco DJ turning tables from 8 pm. Working up a thirst from dancing? Try their signature solstice cocktail, the Watermelon Margarita, garnished with a special surprise – a rubber ducky, swimming in your drink while you sip!

7. Throw Your Own Solstice Celebration

Want to try your hand at celebrating the solstice from home? There are plenty of ways you can celebrate the beginning of summer in the Mitten on your own when you throw a solstice party. Start your evening with a summery drink, like a cocktail or mocktail made with Michigan strawberries, and consider a solstice dinner made with the produce that thrives in Mcihigan’s June, like a salad with local greens, or grilled Great Lakes whitefish with roast asparagus. Looking for a fun activity? Make your own solstice flower crowns, play music, and enjoy the longest, latest sunset of the year. Cheers to the summer!

8. Have a “Good Old Fashioned Start to Summer” at This Michigan Landmark

Feeling up for a road trip? Or at least, a trip that’s partly on the road? While much of the journey to Mackinac Island can be made by car, once you arrive at the island, you’ll be traveling by bike, buggy, or your own two feet — famously, cars are illegal! This means warmer weather is the best time to visit, and Mackinac Island is a great spot for a Michigan summer solstice adventure, whether that’s a tandem bike ride around the island, a sail off the shore, or a refreshing cocktail on the porch of the Grand Hotel. Be sure to pick up some of the island’s famous fudge for the trip home!

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.8 ways to celebrate the Summer Solstice in Michigan8 ways to celebrate the Summer Solstice in Michigan

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