Your guide to Summer Solstice events: Parties, yoga, walking tours and more

Celebrate the longest day of 2013 at these outdoor to-dos.

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  • Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

  • Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

  • Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

  • Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

  • Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

  • Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

  • Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

  • Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

  • Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

  • Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

  • Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

  • Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

  • Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

  • Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

  • Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

  • Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

  • Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

There is plenty to do for this year's Summer Solstice, which lands on Friday, June 21. From free outdoor fitness classes in Times Square to a walking tour in Central Park, there's no excuse not to enjoy the year's longest day. And when the sun finally goes down (at 8:31pm, to be exact), hit up one of the parties pegged to the astronomical occasion.

Solstice in Times Square

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Anyone can reach enlightenment on a mountaintop, but it’s a little more challenging to find om in Times Square. At Athleta Mind Over Madness Yoga, stretch out at multiple classes throughout the day with pose pros such as Donna Rubin, cofounder of Bikram Yoga NYC (1–2:30pm), and YogaWorks’ Douglass Stewart (7:45–9pm). The first 1,200 to each sesh can snag a goody bag and free yoga mat. Grab a complimentary SmartWater and smile at the live-streaming cameras.

  1. Times Square Broadway, between 42nd and 47th Sts
  2. Fri Jun 21
More info

OXHEART's SOuLSTICE CITY

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Finish off the longest day of the year at a postsunset happy hour (8–9:30pm) with fortune-telling, cult sci-fi flick Plan 9 from Outer Space and bar snacks. The night continues with performances by modern-dance duo Sylva Dean and Me (donning wearable sculptures) and the REACHEADZ break-dance crew. Bands—including funky, ethereal group Fayaway—provide musical heat before topping off the night with a surprise DJ and even more groovin’ (2–4am).

  1. The Suffolk Bar 107 Suffolk St , between Delancey and Rivington Sts
  2. Fri Jun 27
More info

Summer Solstice Celebration

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Pack a picnic and spread out at this year’s solstice bash at Socrates Sculpture Park. Join the drum circle and pound rhythms along with the Toca & Alé Alé Drummers while urban shaman Mama Donna leads a ritual ceremony at sunset. Design your own ancient costume in their Mesoamerican art workshop or recharge with some sunset yoga, but make sure to grab a spot on time for high-flying masked Mexican wrestlers in a lucha libre exhibition (5pm).

  1. Socrates Sculpture Park 32-01 Vernon Blvd, at Broadway
  2. Until Fri Jun 21
More info

Summer Solstice Garden Tour

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Discover the green spaces between the city’s concrete edifices at this tour. Explore the hideaways of the East Village, where participants can get the buzz on NYC’s beekeeping community from Green Oasis or learn how Gothamites compost with everything from earthworms to microbe-solution EM1. Check out the “gray water” collection system in El Jardin del Paraíso, which gathers rain runoff from buildings in the neighborhood to create a natural spring and pond. An after-hours self-guided tour of the museum follows.

  1. Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space 155 Ave C , between 9th and 10th Sts , 10009
  2. Until Fri Jun 21
More info

Summer Solstice Tour of Central Park

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Head outside and explore Manhattan’s collective backyard with this Central Park jaunt. Trek past notable penmen like Scottish scribe Sir Walter Scott on Literary Walk, escape urban life in the Ramble and take a minute to ogle the elegant Minton Tiles covering the Bethesda Arcade. Guides may also discuss Belvedere Castle, Bow Bridge, the site of the 1901 “rocking chair” riot and other select spots in the green oasis. Meet at Central Park West and 66th St.

  1. Central Park 59th St to 110th St, between Fifth and Eighth Aves
  2. Until Fri Jun 21
More info

Paul Winter's Summer Solstice Dawn Concert

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Set your alarm for the wee hours of the morning. Since 1980, the seven-time Grammy Award–winning saxophonist has led his “Consort” in a two-hour performance of jazz, beginning in complete darkness. Grab a seat near the Great Rose Window to bask in 10,000 panes of color as the sun comes up, while musicians wander through the audience, harmoniously beckoning in the day.

  1. Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine 1047 Amsterdam Ave, at 112th St
  2. Until Sat Jun 22
More info

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Bay Ridge Jewish Center
Bay Ridge Jewish Center

Join the energetic Bay Ridge Jewish Center, 405 81 Street, Brooklyn, as we celebrate Shabbat with music provided by our talented congregants. We will bring in Shabbat with upbeat songs, sing-a-longs, and dancing. Refreshments will be served. Call 718-836-3103 or office@bayridgejewishcenter.org.

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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

marley.lynch@timeout.com