10 Ways to Celebrate the Summer Solstice (The Longest Day of the Year!)

 In Culture, Guide

In St. Louis, it might have gone from zero to one hundred (degrees, that is) in a snap, but summer doesn’t officially begin until Thursday, June 21—the summer solstice. We’ve compiled ten ways to take advantage of the extra sunshine on the longest day of the year.

1. Wake up and head to an early morning coffee shop
The early bird gets the worm, so start your day by caffeinating with a cold brew and a pastry from your local watering hole. Absorb the lush scenery at Kaldi’s in Citygarden starting at 6 a.m., perfect for professionals en route to work in Downtown St. Louis. Sip a latte on the back patio at Rise Coffee or Mud House, or savor one of the imaginative sourdough doughnuts from Knead Bakehouse on Hampton.

2. Attack the day with a pre-work yoga class to celebrate the International Day of Yoga
Yoga Buzz hosts a complimentary celebration of the International Day of Yoga at 7 a.m. on the morning of the summer solstice. Get your blood pumping and your breath flowing at a free, all-levels yoga class outdoors on the Cortex Commons, followed by iced coffee courtesy of Park Avenue Coffee. Pre-register online to reserve your spot!

yoga outdoor summer solstice weekend

Image courtesy of Yoga Buzz.

3. Ride a LimeBike Around Tower Grove Park
If you haven’t yet taken advantage of this new bikeshare program, take one of the neon-hued bikes for a spin around the neighborhood in the prolonged sunshine this Thursday. The mobile app and website make the system easy to utilize from your computer or smartphone.

4. Loop Arts Fest, June 21-23
The solstice also marks the kickoff of the Loop Arts Fest on the Delmar Loop, running through June 23. On Thursday, the festival observes “Make Music Day,” an annual city-wide music celebration featuring live tunes from both professional and amateur musicians at more than 30 Loop businesses. Wander down Delmar appreciating the local talent.

loop arts fest delmar st. louis summer music live entertainment

Image courtesy of the Delmar Loop.

5. Live Music at SqWires starting at 5:30 p.m., no cover
Throughout the month of June, SqWires Restaurant and Annex hosts their Tastings & Tunes series featuring local musicians across a variety of genres, including jazz, blues, ragtime, folk, rock, classical, and more. Sip an elegant cocktail or a cold beer during happy hour, and try the weekly barbecue specials until 9 p.m. on the patio.

6. Obviously, go to happy hour
Let the shadows grow long as happy hour turns into two or three at local haunts like Evangeline’s Bistro & Music House, Taste, Fortune Teller Bar, Juniper, and Three Kings Public House. Sip an ice-cold discounted draft beer or cocktail and order off the special happy hour food menu, because #TreatYourself.

7. Catch Shakespeare in the Park until June 24
For 16 years, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis has made theater accessible to the community with their comprehensive public programs, including Shakespeare on the Stage, in the Streets, and in the Schools. SFSL produces a different Shakespeare play in Forest Park each summer, and throughout the month of June, SFSL presents “Romeo & Juliet” for the first time since its inaugural performance. Pack a picnic basket and catch one of the inspiring cast’s final performances on the evening of the Solstice at 8 p.m.

shakespeare forest park summer performance theater st louis alive guided art

Image courtesy of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis.

8. Rosé All Day Wine Dinner at the Botanical Gardens
Spend the long evening sipping rosé at the lush Missouri Botanical Gardens during their Rosé All Day Wine Dinner. The event highlights the regional differences and flavor notes of rosé wines from all around the globe, and includes a mouth-watering five-course meal with standouts like a yellow tomato gazpacho with chive crème fraiche, a rosemary goat cheese tart with field greens, crispy fish tacos with jalapeno sauce, and much more.

9. Live music at BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, Broadway Oyster Bar, and Thurman’s in Shaw
St. Louis is home to a laundry list of spirited bars and music venues featuring live jazz, blues, and funk nearly every night of the week. On the evening of the Summer Solstice, bounce around the city from Jackson Howard at Broadway Oyster Bar, to the Brother Jefferson Duo at BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, to The Hallquist Brothers and the Adam Maness Trio at Thurman’s Jazz Bar in Shaw.

10. Stay out late at a 3 a.m. bar
It’s only right that the longest day of the year turn into a long night. Keep the festivities alive after the sun sets at late-night spots around the city. Head to Atomic Cowboy in the Grove for the great draft beer selection and spacious outdoor patio, catch live music at Beale on Broadway, shimmy and shake at Wheelhouse in Downtown, or nurse a cocktail at Mangia Italiano on Grand.

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