Soak Up the Summer Solstice in the East Bay - 510 Families
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Soak Up the Summer Solstice in the East Bay

Sunday, June 20, 2021, at 8:31 pm. The summer solstice is one of my favorite days of the year. In the East bay, it is so very long and the light is so bright and beautiful. The summer solstice calls us outside to enjoy life. It signals summer in all of its glory! How do you plan to celebrate? What will you and your family do? I have some ideas for you, and would love to hear what you’re planning to do.

Exploring Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve during the summer solstice
Exploring Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve during the summer solstice

This year the summer solstice takes place on Saturday, June 20. There will be a full 14 hours, 46 minutes, and 53 seconds of daylight here in the Bay Area on that day. 

Learn about the summer solstice and what it means.

Here are two videos that you and your kids can watch to learn what is happening. The first one is animated and explains some pretty complicated things in a way that most kids can understand.

This one is super cool! It’s a side-by-side comparison of the summer solstice (left) and winter solstice (right) in a time-lapse.

And check out this article which provides fun facts about the summer solstice >>.


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Greet the sun at 5:47 am

Get up early and go greet the sun! The sun will rise in the Bay Area at 5:47 am. Maybe you’re already up with your kids at that time? Or maybe you’re an early bird yourself? If getting up early is your thing, one place to go to do this is Sibley Regional Volcanic Preserve. Except for some stands of eucalyptus, Sibley is full of wide open spaces and tree-free ridges. Perfect for seeing the sky and the rising sun. It is also along the spine of the East Bay hills which means you can see the eastern horizon. I love doing the loop clockwise around Round Top, with a stop at one of the labyrinths near the top. Learn more about Sibley.


Exploring Sibley

Have dinner outside.

Why not? Pack up your meal – homemade or take out – and head to a park. Or a picnic area at the Redwood Road entrance to Redwood Regional or the big Meadows on Central Park Drive in Tilden Park. Joaquin Miller in Oakland is also a nice spot to dine al fresco. Or walk to your local park! Just be outside.

Say goodbye to the sun at 8:31 pm

Have you walked out to the westernmost point of Albany Bulb? If you do, you’re pretty much in the middle of the Bay. That’d be a pretty sweet spot to watch the sunset! Dusk is long enough so that you can make it back to your car before it’s really dark. If the Bulb isn’t your thing, the pier at Point Pinole in Richmond, Cesar Chavez in Berkeley (aka the Berkeley Marina), or Crown Beach in Alameda would all suffice. Or take yourself all the way out to the Pacific Ocean where any beach will work just fine.


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Long shadows at sunset on the solstice
Long shadows at sunset on the summer solstice

We’d love to see how you celebrate the summer solstice this year. Will you post pictures to Instagram? Use the hashtag #510Families and we might share in a future blog post.

Happy solstice!

[All photos of Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, provided by me, Annie Burke, and used with permission]

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