Puttin' the Soul into Solstice: 8 Best Things in NYC to Celebrate the Longest Day of Summer

It's finally, officially summer, and the days of 4 p.m. sunsets feel like ancient history.

And thank god because leaving work in the already pitch-black darkness of night was hella depressing. It also made us want to immediately go to sleep, making happy hours and all other evening events nearly impossible. 

But now that the solstice is finally upon us, we can look forward to longer evenings.

And that means we get to indulge that much further into all the summer festivities New York City has to offer.

Concerts, yoga classes, and outdoor festivals are perfect ways to celebrate the longest day of the year, and to kick off the start of your summer. 

Here's our roundup of the best ways to ring in Solstice 2016. 

1. Solstice in Times Square 

The only thing more relaxing than a yoga class is a yoga class outside, as the sun goes down. 

Every year, thousands of yoga-enthusiasts are drawn to Times Square to kick off to celebrate the longest day of the year and kick off the start of summer with a massive yoga class.


The free classes are going on all day long on Monday, June 20th – sign up for your spot here!

2. Summer Solstice Celebration @ Socrates Sculpture Garden


What better way to celebrate the summer solstice than with an all-out cultural celebration? 

Long Island City's Socrates Sculpture Park will host their annual solstice event on Tuesday, June 21st starting at 4 p.m. Activities will include a youth art exhibition, face painting, Afro-Brazilian drumming performances, Capoeira demonstrations, and more. 

3. "Haven How I Summer Movie Series"

Whether you're just making a weekend staycation of it, or simply popping up to the rooftop for an incredible happy hour view, The Sanctuary Hotel is, well, sanctuary from all of the noise of Midtown.

Complete with a tropical-themed menu, featuring tropical bites and exotic tiki drinks such as rum Mai-Tai’s served in coconuts, The Sacntuary Hotel's exotic rooftop bar, Haven Rooftop, is getting transformed into a veritable tiki lounge-themed open air movie theater, complete with tiki lamps, exotic flowers, and tropical inspired throws and cushions.


Sure, you could always fight tooth and nail with a few strangers for a prime spot on a park lawn. You could even get to one of the other rando rooftop movie series several hours early just for that prime real estate. Or you could do better than that and have an experience worth having again and again.

Haven Rooftop is doing exactly that all summer long, and it continues tonight with their showing of Goonies! Get your tickets right here!

4. Pinot Pride Launch Party


Yaaaas! It's the final event for Taste of Tituss! Tonight, from 8:00 p.m. to midnight, Tituss Burgess launches Pinot Pride at 42West at The OUT Hotel! 

Tituss himself, along with DJ Scotty Rox, Courtney Act and a few others are throwing down at 42West's XL Nightclub. 

We  got a chance a talk to Tituss for a bit, and both he and his wine are f*cking delightful. Sure, this isn't solstice-themed, but it's officially Pride Week. There'll be special performances by Courtney Act, Tituss Burgess, and many more! 

Tickets cost $29 and include event admission and swag bag containing a bottle of Pinot Pride. Get your tickets right here


5. Bryant Park Film Festival

NYC's most beloved summer film festival kicks off once again, just in time for solstice. 

The Bryant Park Film Festival is back on Monday, June 20th and runs until August 22nd, and they're starting off with one of our all time favs - Ferris Bueller's Day Off


The lawn opens at 5pm, and the film will begin at dusk (between 8 and 9 p.m.) - get there early for a good spot! 

6. Make Music NY


If yoga or dancing's not your thing, you can instead ring in the solstice with this annual music event.

Make Music New York is a free festival offering over a THOUSAND free concerts in spaces throughout each of the five boroughs, all on the same day. That’s pretty freaking cool.

The concerts will range in music styles as well as venue. You’ll be able to catch jazz, punk rock, hip hop, opera and more in all sorts of places: sidewalks, stoops, plazas, you name it.

7. Swedish Midsummer Festival

Coachella isn't the place to indulge in your love of flower crowns.

Every year, the Swedish Midsummer Festival goes down in Battery Park City, where New Yorkers of all ages can picnic in in the grass, decorate flower wreaths, and enjoy traditional music and games.


The event will be held on Friday, June 24th, and this year will expand to include both Robert F. Wagner Park and the adjoining Pier A Plaza.

8. Midsummer Night Swing


Midsummer Night Swing is back at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park from June 21st to July 9th, where participants can take a variety of dance classes from some amazing instructors.

Bust out your flowiest dresses and shiniest shoes and get ready to dance the longest nights of the year away.

Check out 8 Best Things to Do If You're Staying in NYC for 4th of July Weekend.

[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram] 

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