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Celebrate the Summer Solstice at Harvard Museums Tonight

Annual event offers free admission and more at four sites

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Today is the summer solstice—the longest day of the year and the official start of summer—and the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture are hosting their annual Summer Solstice Celebration.

Visitors can enjoy free admission to four separate museums tonight from 5 to 9 pm: the Harvard Semitic Museum, the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, and the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Each offers its own unique educational experience and fun activities for all ages.

Check out the newest exhibitions, among them the Museum of Natural History’s Microbial Life: A Universe at the Edge of Sight, which explores the microscopic organisms invisible to the human eye that make life possible. From Stone to Silicone: Recasting Mesopotamian Monuments, currently on view at the Semitic Museum, showcases newly fabricated casts from the ancient scenes that once graced Mesopotamian palace walls. The relief sculptures chronicling the military and civic triumphs of ancient kings were created by museum curators and Harvard students. And then there’s All the World Is Here: Harvard’s Peabody Museum and the Invention of American Anthropology, a dazzling collection of 600 objects from Asia, Oceania, and the Americas that traces the Peabody’s early history and the birth of American anthropology.

Step outside for some summer fun: the many family-friendly activities include creating a summer crown with flowers and greens, designing a Mesopotamian sun medallion, joining in a bubble-making class, and visiting an animal farm. There’s lots of live entertainment as well, like circus performers from Off the Ground Circus Arts, world drumming courtesy of Grooversity, and a demonstration of Morris dancing, an English folk dance. And there’s no need to go hungry—there will be food trucks at 11 Divinity Avenue from 5 pm until sunset, serving up pan-Asian cuisine from Bon Me, Middle Eastern delicacies from Sheherazad, burgers from Boston Burger Company, ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s, and more.

And don’t miss the annual Solstice Countdown, from 8:20 to 8:24 pm.

The Harvard Museums of Science & Culture Summer Solstice Celebration is tonight, Thursday, June 21, from 5 to 9 pm at the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge. Find a full list of activities here. Take an MBTA Red Line train to Harvard Square; find free event parking at the 52 Oxford Street Garage. Divinity Avenue will be closed to traffic during the event.

Sara Frazier can be reached at smfrazie@bu.edu; follow her on Twitter @Sara_Frazier.

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