SUMMER SOLSTICE Night at the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture

June 21, 2013

Celebrate the longest day of the year with live music, ice cream, hands-on activities, and free admission to all four of the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture—the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the Harvard Semitic Museum, and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. Join in outdoor festivities on the new Harvard Plaza, located between the Harvard Science Center and Sanders Theatre/Memorial Hall at One Oxford Street in Cambridge: 

Watch and dance with the Red Herring Morris as they perform seasonal English ritual dances and erect a Solstice May pole (performances at 5:00 pm & 7:00 pm)

See traditional Aztec dances performed by La Piñata youth, as they celebrate the Solstice with indigenous, folkloric, Latin American music and dance (6:00 pm)

Hear the the Yarina trio (which means “remembrance” in the native Quichua language of the Incas) evoke the hauntingly beautiful music of the Ecuadorian Andes while incorporating jazz, blues, Latin, and Western classical music (7:45 pm)

Kids can learn all about the stars inside the Starlab Portable planetarium (20-minute shows, every half hour throughout the evening)

Be part of a human sundial and tell time by your own shadow

Test a Viking sunstone—learn how the Vikings navigated, even on a cloudy day, using polarizing crystals

Enjoy rare public access to the roof deck observatory of the Harvard Science Center for solar–telescope viewing of the fading sun on its longest day—and enjoy a unique vista of the Cambridge and the Boston skyline

All HMSC museums will offer free admission and extended hours from 5:00–9:00 pm. See the newly renovated Earth & Planetary Sciences exhibition at the Harvard Museum of Natural History; the new exhibition Time and Time Again at the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments; a recreated ancient Israelite house at the Harvard Semitic Museum; or Stephen Dupont photographs of Papua New Guinea at the Peabody Museum. 

Summer Solstice 2013 is free and open to the public. 

Drop by before or after dinner in Harvard Square, or bring a picnic and stay ‘til sunset. In case of rain, the event will move inside the Harvard Science Center. 

Parking/Directions: Free event parking in the 52 Oxford Street Garage, Cambridge. The Plaza is a six-minute walk through Harvard Yard from the Harvard Square Red Line T stop. Call 617-495-3045 for more information,

About the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture

The Harvard Museums of Science & Culture (HMSC) is a new consortium that includes the  Harvard Museum of Natural History, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, the Harvard Semitic Museum, and the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments. HMSC’s  mission is to foster curiosity and a spirit of discovery in visitors of all ages and to enhance public understanding of and appreciation for the natural world, science, and human cultures. The museums present exhibitions, events, and educational programs for students, teachers, and the general public. Last year the HMSC museums, together, welcomed more than 220,000 visitors from across Massachusetts, and from all 50 US states and 129 countries. 

Media Contact:

Blue Magruder

Director of Communications

Harvard Museum of Natural History


See also: Press Release