Celebrate at Smithsonian Solstice Saturday Festival

Free Event Celebrates First Saturday of Summer

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Explore Art, Science, History, Music and more at the Solstice Saturday Festival, held June 22 at the Smithsonian Museums. Photo: By the People

On Saturday, June 22, the Smithsonian will celebrate the first Saturday of summer with the second-annual “Solstice Saturday.” Smithsonian museums in the District will offer free programs, parties and performances throughout the day and night, with most museums open until midnight. Visitors can explore exhibitions after hours, enjoy live performances and dance parties and participate in hands-on activities.

By the People is an international arts and dialogue festival taking place across Washington from June 15 to 23. Photo: By the People

Solstice Saturday is held in association with By the People, an international arts and dialogue festival taking place across Washington from June 15 to 23. The Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building will be a hub for the festival, featuring art installations and related programming throughout the week.

At the Air and Space Museum, guests can explore the science of the solstice. One great event is ‘America Now: Celebration of Music’ at the
American History Museum
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At the ‘America Now’ celebration, at the National Museum of American History from 11 a.m. –5:30 p.m. you can explore hip hop culture through activities, live music and dance, DJ performances and an outdoor dance party. Photo: By the People

Three of your favorite Smithsonian museums unite for a free, one day festival celebrating the best of art and history in DC. Spend your day at the National Museum of American History from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. exploring hip hop culture through activities, live music and dance, DJ performances and an outdoor dance party. Admission is free, festive food and drinks are available for purchase.

Stay up late and spend a night at the museum.! The American Indian Museum celebrates with an afternoon of Andean music and dance with traditional Bolivian dancing by Tradiciones Bolivianas, Tinkus Llajtaymanta, and Centro Cultural Bolivia. At 7 p.m. the celebration joins the Solstice Illuminated Dance Party on the museum’s Welcome Plaza, with a DJ, refreshments, food and galleries open into the evening. The party ends at 9 p.m. with an illuminated procession from the atrium to the outdoor party on the plaza.

Photo: By the People

Or join the celebration of the opening of the new Fossil Hall at the Natural History Museum at ‘Fossil Family Night’, on from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m Celebrate the opening of the new Fossil Hall at the Natural History Museum during ‘Fossil Family Night’, on from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

If you love the science of the skies, Hofstra University’s Astronomy Festival on the National Mall takes place Saturday, June 22, 6–11 p.m. in front of the Smithsonian Castle. The Festival, now in its 10th year, features solar, optical, and radio telescope observations; hands-on activities, speakers from scientific and educational organization, and a chance to mingle with astronomers.

There’s much, much more. Something for everyone and every interest is happening Solstice Saturday at virtually every one of the Smithsonian museums. A full schedule of events is updating at si.edu/solsticesaturday. Go online to check events. All are free, but some may require registration.