The gardens are beautiful, the temperatures have been rising… summer is in full swing! It’s time to get the swimsuits out of storage, turn on the sprinklers, and enjoy the celebrations of Midsummer!
These ancient European holidays, traditions, and celebrations are pre-Christian in origin and honor the longest, sunniest day of the year. ‘Solstice’ literally means stopping or standing still of the sun. Also called Litha in the pagan community and Wiccan traditions, this summer solstice Sabbat is all about celebrating the power of the sun. It’s the time of year when the crops are growing like crazy, the earth has warmed up and we start to crave going for a swim! We get to spend the long sunny afternoons enjoying the outdoors, instead of being trapped in the house and it’s almost inevitable to get back in touch with nature with the long daylight hours & the warm temperatures.
The official Summer Solstice celebrations usually take place anywhere between June 21st and June 25th (or December 21st through the 25th if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere) the dates vary between different cultures.
Here’s a list of 22 Creative Ideas to Celebrate the Summer Solstice and make the most out of the whole season:
1. Throw a Bonfire Party
There’s no better way to start the summer than to have a little bonfire get together with your friends or family. It’s a laid back & easy way to have a fun relaxing evening and welcome the summer. You just need some firewood, blankets, beers, s’mores… and you’re good to go!
2. Make a Fairy Garden
If you’re a fan of forest creatures, making a Fairy Garden is a summer must! It’s a super fun & magical activity and it’s a pleasure to have around later. Get your creative juices flowing and make a little wonderland for your pixie friends.
One of the pleasures of summer has always been grilling & barbecuing. Food just tastes better when it’s cooked outside! Take every opportunity you have this summer to make food outdoors, it can be very therapeutic to cook dinner outside after spending all winter in the kitchen.
4. Make Amazing Popsicles
A super easy, fun & yummy way to cool down in the summer is to always have popsicles on hand. Why waste money on store ones full of who-knows-what, make your own and the sky is the limit! You can freeze almost anything, so really, once you get yourself some popsicle molds you can make yourself any kind of frozen treat you want. From healthy smoothie based ones, to decadent nutella & fresh strawberries, to magical & super yummy iced tea & flowers or friskier ones of your favorite summer alcoholic drinks like sangria or mojitos.
5. Make an Outdoor Fort
There’s nothing quite as pleasurable as reading a good book in the shade outside. Engage your inner child and create an outdoor fort for yourself with blankets, pillows & tarps so you can lay around in hot summer afternoons sucking on your yummy popsicles or having a picnic while you read a juicy summer novel.
6. Make a time capsule and Bury it
This is one of the funnest things to do ever. Find a neat box and put together a little collection of things that you feel represent you and this time in your life, and even this time in history. Find a cool spot and on a breezy summer sunset, grab yourself a shovel and go bury this treasure as deep as you can. Make yourself a little treasure map and hide it in a place where it will be safe. Resolve to go dig it up it 10, 20 or 30 years later.
7. Go Skinny Dipping
Nothing will make you feel as liberated as going swimming naked in a beautiful hot summer day! Go with your best friend, lover or alone. Find a cool nudist beach, or maybe a hidden spot in a lake or river. If you’ve never done it before, it will be a rush! It’s a sure way to feel happy, free & alive that’s for sure!
You’ve probably been seeing these everywhere, but usually they’re made of plastic or fabric flowers. A fun summer activity is to go pick wild flowers and make yourself a pretty flower crown and then take some cute pictures in the forest while you feel like a Fairy Princess 🙂
9. Start doing Yoga
If you aren’t already doing yoga on the regular, summer is the perfect time to start. There’s a million reasons to do it but if you only do it to feel in tune with your body, stretch and ground yourself, that’ll be more than enough. Learn some moves, go outside and start practicing a bit everyday. If you make it a daily habit and you increase the time & poses you do every other day, by the end of the summer you’ll have established a whole new flow with your body.
10. Collect and Dry Herbs & Flowers
Summer is the perfect time to collect all your favorite herbs & flowers that have been growing since spring and dry them out the proper way so you can stock up until next year. Cut them mid-morning. That way you’ll let the morning dew dry from the leaves or petals. Remove any dry, yellow or diseased leaves. Bundle 4 – 6 branches together and tie as a bunch with string or a rubber band. Hang them upside down in a shaded spot where they won’t be disturbed. Keep in mind that the bundles will shrink as they dry and the rubber band or string will loosen, so check periodically that the bundle is not slipping.
11. Cast a love spell.
Summer is known to be the best time to cast love spells. Love spells in themselves are a bit tricky, because people confuse what they’re about. I think the only love spells that really work, without any nasty and unexpected side effects, are spells to fall in love with yourself, attract the “right partner” or soul mate, or to create more love in your life in general. When casting a love spell, you should never focus on a specific person, as much as you might think you know this person is the right one for you, you need to trust the Universe ultimately knows better. Trust me on this one.
Keep an eye on this space, I will soon publish one of my favorite Love Spells 😉
12. Make your own Liquor Infusions
Infusing liquors is a fun & simple way to make all-natural flavored liquor and there’s no end to the creative possibilities. Just soak any combination of ingredients in a base alcohol. You can infuse everything from fruits and vegetables to nuts and spices. Once you have decided on your ingredients, dump them into a spirit-filled jar, seal the lid and set in the fridge. Keep flavors mixing by shaking the jar once a day or so, and taste the mixture every few days until the desired flavor emerges. Infusions can sit anywhere from several days to several months — it’s done when you like how it tastes. Once you’re there, just strain the drink and voilá! You have your own signature flavored liquor for this summer!
13. Go Glamping
Recently, there’s a new and exciting trend for those of us who love the outdoors yet we crave a more luxurious & comfortable camping experience. It’s called glamping, short for Glamorous Camping and as its name hints it’s all about taking the traditional camping experience to the next level. Give yourself a 5-star camping experience bringing along air mattresses, real linens & plenty pillows & blankets. A rug or two, a folding table… it’s all in the details!
14. Do some summer crafts.
Long summer afternoons are perfect for crafting. Get out all your unfinished projects or just start something new. Do it alone, while listening to your favorite music or invite your girlfriends over for a night of crafting, catching up and wine!
15. Take a Family Portrait.
Having a family portrait done every summer is a great tradition. Or better yet, paint one yourself! and if you aren’t feeling doing it yourself, you can always hire me to make a portrait of your family! It’s one of my special talents. Contact me for more information if you’re interested 😉
16. Outdoor Dinner Party
One of the great things about summer is that it gets dark much later and it’s in those later hours before sunset when the weather usually starts to cool down. It’s the perfect time to socialize with friends and enjoy the outside. Why not organize an outdoors dinner party? It gives you a chance to have fun with outdoor decorations & there’s nothing like eating outside while catching up with friends to soothe your soul.
17. Outdoor Movie Night
There’s just something about a classic movie and a warm, summer evening that go together so well. And it actually doesn’t require as much work or expense as one would expect. If you’ve got a back yard, a projector & sound system, a white sheet or wall, and a bunch of blankets & pillows to lay around, you’re pretty much set! Oh, you might want to light a bunch of citronella candles to create a more romantic vibe & keep mosquitos away too 😉
18. Master Hula-Hooping
Hula Hoops have a longer history than you may realize. Children played with them in Ancient Egypt and they used them for exercise in Ancient Greece. More recently, in the 1950s it became wildly popular again and hula-hooping contests became all the rage in North America. In recent years it has gone through a massive revival and for good reason. Hula-hooping is not just a something super fun anybody can do, it exercises over 30 core muscles, improves balance, flexibility, dexterity and coordination, tones and reshapes the abdomen, buttocks, and legs! In other words, get your ass hooping this summer, already!
19. Random Acts of Kindness
A random act of kindness is basically a selfless act of sharing with another human being with no expectations or strings attached. It can be spontaneous or planned, big or small, it’s just all about doing good things for people just because. It’s a way to make the world a more beautiful place, with your own actions. It’s the perfect way to cheer somebody up, including yourself. You’ll be guaranteed to have a good day and you’ll be probably making that person’s day as well. Talk about creating good karma. Practice random acts of kindness and you just can’t lose.
20. Go on a Fancy Picnic with someone special
Why have a fancy picnic? well the question is more so: why not?! Like glamping, it just takes a little extra effort and the experience will be so much more enjoyable & unforgettable. It’s the perfect way to have an intimate and romantic date or celebration with that special someone.
21. Play games outside
There’s few things as fun as playing summer games outdoors with your friends or family while drinking a few beers or iced tea. Whether we’re talking about adult get togethers, children birthday parties or family reunions, one thing is for sure, back yard parties are a whole lot more fun when you throw games like: bocci ball, croquet, limbo or horse shoe into the mix!
22. Go star gazing
One of the best pleasures of summer is laying down on your back to watch the stars and enjoy the night breeze with a friend or lover. Always better in the country, where you can see so many more stars and all you need is a blanket and your back yard, but even city kids can enjoy this summer treat if they find a nice roof to do it from.