Summer is almost here, that time of the year when everyone tries to spend as much time poolside or at the beach because the days feel delightfully longer and nights warmer.
But try to soak it all up onJune 21 — the official day of summer solstice. It is the one day of the year that has the most sunlight because the Earth’s north pole is tilted the most toward the sun, placing the sun at its highest point. It’s the one day of the year that provides more daylight time to spend however one wants, whether it’s getting more attuned to Mother Nature with an early morning hike or getting better acquainted with neighbors at a local festival.
And with it falling on a Saturday this year, Southern Californians have virtually no excuse to not celebrate. Check out these fun ways to ring in the summer:
• Sister Cities Los Angeles and Los Angeles Councilman Tom LaBonge are hosting the annual summer solstice hike in Griffith Park to Mount Hollywood on June 18. The 1.5-mile activity begins at 6 p.m. at Griffith Park, 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles. www.sistercitiesofla.com
• Griffith Observatory has two events planned to celebrate the summer solstice on June 21. At 12:45 p.m., visitors will be treated to the sun’s “local noon” appearance, which is when the sun will be at its highest spot in the sky for 2014. Watch as the sun’s projected image cross a meridian arc on the Gottlieb Transit Corridor.
Solstice sunset fun is set to begin at 8 p.m., when the northern-most sunset and the end of the day line up with the marker and stone line located on the building’s pavement. Both events are free.
The Griffith Observatory is located at 2800 E. Observatory Road, Los Angeles. For information, go to www.griffithobservatory.org
• The Summer Solstice Festival is set for noon-4 p.m. June 22 at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton. The festival is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and is expected to feature an array of multi-cultural bands whose genres range from blues to Bolero to jazz.
Local talent will include The Budrows, Bastards of Belleville, Trio Ellas (2012 Latin Grammy nominee for Best Ranchero Album) and Quattro (14th annual Latin Grammy nominee for Best New Artist).
The center’s taco festival is also scheduled for the same day.
Enjoy an afternoon filled with free art workshops, a children’s play area, an arts and crafts fair, gallery tours and storytellers. The Muckenthaler is at 1201 W. Malvern Ave., Fullerton. For information, call 714-738-6595 or go to www.themuck.org
• Make Music L.A. is a nonprofit that is producing its third annual summer solstice celebration. The event involves hundreds of free concerts in public spaces throughout the city and county of Los Angeles.
Activities are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on June 21. The event is free. For specific venues and times, go to www.makemusicla.org
• The Summer Solstice Watermelon Run is set for 8 a.m. June 21, at Griffith Park, 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles. The event features a 1K kids run, a 5k walk and run. Prices start at $30. For information, call 310-993-1730 or go to www.tryusevents.com
• Historic Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles is slated to host the annual Fiesta de Las Flores 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 21. The Olvera Street Mexican Marketplace will be decked out showing various scenes from the City of Angels’ past.
The civic group Las Angelitas del Pueblo gives free 50-minute tours of the area, Tuesdays through Saturdays, at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon if docents are available. To schedule a free tour of El Pueblo Historical Monument and Olvera Street, send requests, at least one week prior to the desired tour date, to info@Olvera-Street.com. Olvera Street is located at 845 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles.
• The Alzheimer’s Association is sponsoring its yearly The Longest Day fundraising event. The nonprofit chose the summer solstice for its activities in order to honor the strength, passion and endurance of those facing Alzheimer’s disease.
The association asks volunteers to pick something they love — swimming, dancing, gardening — and then raise $100 per hour of participation. Proceeds are used for research and support. Go to www.alz.org for more information.
• Dwell Home Tours provide those who love design to explore “Dwell-like” domestic spaces. The private homes are selected by Dwell on Design to reflect the diversity of livable architecture throughout Los Angeles.
A home tour of the East Side is planned for June 21. The tour will feature five different houses in distinctive neighborhoods. The tour is self-guided.
Dwell Home Tours is part of Dwell Design Week Los Angeles. Tour tickets are $85 to $95 each. Those who buy a ticket to the tour will receive a free two-day pass to Dwell on Design at the Los Angeles Convention Center on June 21 and June 22. Homes are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For tickets and information, go to www.dht.dwell.com
• Main Street Summer Soulstice benefit for Heal the Bay is set for June 22 in Santa Monica. The fun will span over a 13-block radius with several live music stages. The music fest is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 22.
Other activities include music, children’s fun, shopping and dining along Main Street from Pico Boulevard to Navy Street. The event is free