In San Diego, June 20 marks the longest day of the year and heralds the start of the beloved summer season: summer solstice. The summer solstice presents another opportunity for families to celebrate, bond and add new rituals to their lives. Use the following list to spark your own solstice ritual.
1. Plan a scavenger hunt. Number or alphabetize clues leading to treats or fun summer supplies. Consider sunglasses, sunscreen, bug catchers, homemade coupons for a special outing or glow-in-the-dark necklaces.
2. Eat outside and tune into nature. A backyard barbecue is fun, but a change of scenery may feel more festive. Pack a picnic dinner and head to a local park or beach.
3. Greet the sun with a family sun salutation. A sun salutation is a series of yoga poses that provide a great overall body stretch. If there are no yogis in your house, search for a beginner's version online.
4. Start summer resolutions. Develop a summer thrill list (or bucket list) with your family. What could you add to the list to make this summer exciting for everyone? Pull out the poster board and markers and let the creativity flow. Watch the movie Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer for inspiration.
Find fun ideas on San Diego Family’s Ultimate Summer SandBucket List.
5. Stay up late and stargaze. Contact Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, Mission Trails Regional Park and Palomar Observatory to inquire about special stargazing events. For novice star searches, borrow a book from the library to help determine what you see or use a star-finding app such as Stellarium or Sky Map.
Read about stargazing at the Palomar College Planetarium.
6. Involve water in your ritual. To mark the arrival of summer, take a dip in the pool or have a beach day. Or how about a family water gun or water balloon battle? Your willingness to embrace a little mess may be a signal that a more relaxed summer is here.
7. Get your hands dirty and embrace the earth. It is not too late to plant. Consider planting in your vegetable garden for fall harvest or add to your flower garden to mark the occasion. No yard? Here are tips to plant a patio garden.
8. Bury negatives. Has anyone in the family been struggling with something, like a habit they want to leave behind? Write down any behaviors or experiences you want to put behind you and bury them. Use the solstice as a restart button.
9. Invite friends to join your celebration. Their presence will add to the joyous occasion.
When planning your festivities try to capture the “we always.” Kids love tradition—the “we always eat…” or “we always [do a certain thing]” on a special day. Maybe you will start solstice with a pancake breakfast. Ask your children for suggestions and they will likely come up with fun options—the more unique to your family, the better.
Sue LeBreton is health and wellness writer and mother of two. She loves finding new traditions to invite into her family.
Find more ideas on our “Celebrate Summer Solstice” Pinterest board.
Published June 2016