Summer Solstice 2014: 21 Ways To Observe The Longest Day Of The Year

06/20/2014 11:10 EDT | Updated 07/02/2014 04:59 EDT
Severin Schweiger via Getty Images

Not only is it the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere on June 21, 2014, it also happens to be the first day of summer and the first time the longest day of the year has been on a Saturday since 2003.

The day, which marks the time at which the sun is at its northernmost point in the sky, according to, will offer up approximately 16 hours of sunlight.

And while the summer solstice is known for its extraordinary celebrations at places like Stonehenge, we think this elongated weekend day calls for some personal merriment as well. Whatever you do, take the opportunity to make your June 21 special — after all, it is the official kick-off to summer!

  • Get A Picnic Together
    <a href="">Flickr</a>:<a href="">Wicker Paradise</a>
    Even if it's just you eating a hot dog solo in a park, it's so worth it.
  • Throw Something Around
    <a href="">Flickr</a>:<a href="">Tobyotter</a>
    Balls, Frisbees, what have you — use those muscles you haven't exercised in a year.
  • Walk Barefoot In The Grass
    <a href="">Flickr</a>:<a href="">Terence S. Jones</a>
    Romantic comedy cliche? Yes. Still totally worth it? Absolutely.
  • Eat Ice Cream
    <a href="">Flickr</a>:<a href="">joyosity</a>
    Or gelato. Or Popsicles. Or ice cream sandwiches. And don't fuss about the drips.
  • Go For A Swim
    <a href="">Flickr</a>:<a href="">Adrea Young</a>
    Or at least, get your feet wet.
  • Meditate
    <a href="">Flickr</a>:<a href="">journeyguy</a>
    Even if all that means is five minutes of complete, utter, delicious silence.
  • Binge-Watch TV
    <a href="">Flickr</a>:<a href="">RoxyHobbs</a>
    We're really not advocating for spending the whole day inside, but just in case it's raining, here's an amazing list of options.
  • Drink Sangria On A Patio
    <a href="">Flickr</a>:<a href="">lovinkat</a>
    There's really no reason not to.
  • Get On A Swing
    <a href="">Flickr</a>:<a href="">Snow Pants</a>
    Stop just looking at the kids (even if they're your kids) and join in. Alternatively, hammocks. Hammocks swing really nicely.
  • Dance
    <a href="">Flickr</a>:<a href="">guillebot</a>
    You know, like nobody's watching.
  • Look At Art
    <a href="">Flickr</a>:<a href="">20'cents</a>
    You can find it anywhere — galleries, shops, outdoors.
  • Plant Something
    <a href="">Flickr</a>:<a href="">vanhookc</a>
    If you don't have a yard, pots work just as well (and frankly, are easier to manage).
  • Cook A Meal
    <a href="">Flickr</a>:<a href="">vastateparksstaff</a>
    Preferably outdoors.
  • Get On A Bike
    <a href="">Flickr</a>:<a href="">ktk17028</a>
    And ride the way you did when you were a kid. Except, none of that "no hands" business.
  • Wash Your Car
    <a href="">Flickr</a>:<a href="">keimthedesigner</a>
    But totally turn it into a scene out of a movie, with sponge throwing and everything.
  • Go Fishing
    <a href="">Flickr</a>:<a href="">vastateparksstaff</a>
    If only for the relaxing feeling.
  • Read A Book Outside
    <a href="">Flickr</a>:<a href="">Spirit-Fire</a>
    And lookee here — we have a list for that too!
  • Make Out
    <a href="">Flickr</a>:<a href=""></a>
    At sunset, if possible.
  • Go To A Concert
    <a href="">Flickr</a>:<a href=""></a>
    That dive bar down the street has open mike tonight, doesn't it?
  • Watch An Outdoor Movie
    <a href="">Flickr</a>:<a href="">pstao1</a>
    There's plenty of drive-ins and outdoor screens, but you can also just take your iPad outside once the sun goes down.
  • Look At The Sky
    <a href="">Flickr</a>:<a href="">SeanC90</a>
    Once that sun sets, take a moment to marvel at what's up there.