Here’s how to spend the longest day of the year in NoVA

The summer solstice falls on a Friday this year. By the numbers, here’s what to do with the extra sunlight.

The long, languid days of summer reach their peak on June 21, which officially marks the first day of summer—and the most daylight hours all year long. There is, of course, some science behind the summer solstice, but we’re just excited it falls on a Friday this year. Here’s how we plan to spend our extra hours kicking off the first summer weekend of the season.

Solstice Facts

  • 14 hours, 54 minutes: The amount of total daylight on June 21
  • 5.5 hours: The approximate extra amount of daylight compared to the winter solstice (or, the shortest day of the year)
  • 8:37 p.m.: Sunset time in the Washington region on June 21

Things to Do

2 scoops
Pile your cone high in celebration of summer. We suggest Ice Cream Jubilee, the DC scoop shop that just opened an outpost at Ballston Quarter.

The Village at Leesburg’s “Drink in the Good Life” promo lets you pretend you’re in New Orleans with outdoor drinking allowed at the airy shopping complex. Order a drink at a participating restaurant or bar and then head outside for the family-friendly Friday night Plaza Party.

3.5 hours
Spread out your blanket and sway to the sounds of live music at the National Gallery of Art’s popular summer series, Jazz in the Garden. From 5-8:30 p.m. on June 21st, Black Masala, a DC-based brass band, performs.

11th annual
The Lazy Days Winery in Amherst celebrates the solstice on Saturday, June 22 with its Virginia Summer Solstice Wine Festival. Sip wines from local wineries, dance to live music, feast on local food and more.

3.7 billion years
Take a journey through time at a Smithsonian Sleepover. The Natural History Museum hosts one on June 21, offering kids an opportunity to get up close and personal with the recently reopened Hall of Fossils-Deep Time.

This post originally appeared in our June 2019 issue. For more Things to Do content, subscribe to our newsletter.

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