Summer Solstice 2013: 7 Things You Can Do Now That It's Officially Summer

Summer solstice, June 21 this year, is the longest day of the year; in terms of daylight that is, I'm sorry to say we don't get any extra minutes no matter how much our chore list might need them. Also called midsummer, the solstice has been celebrated by cultures like the ancient Romans and the Druids for centuries.

Not only does this mean it's all down hill as far as length of days for the year goes, but it also marks the true beginning of summer. The astronomical season ends on September 21 this year. So let's get outside while we can and bask in the sunshine. Before you know it we'll be back to complaining about being cold.

1. Embrace tradition

People all over the world still celebrate summer solstice. Find out where the closest one to you is and go. It won't kill you to revere Mother Earth for a day but it might be the most fun you've had in a long time. And if you're busy on the actual solstice, find some other way to appreciate the beautiful world around you. Take in a sunset or sunrise. Walk on a beach. Anything to get you out of the air conditioning for a few minutes.

2. Wear white

Though whether the rule still applies in modern fashion will surely be debated for a long time to come, traditionally white is only to be worn between Memorial Day and Labor Day (or by brides on their wedding day).  It's summer; strut your stuff in all white if you want. Just be careful where you sit. No one wants questionable stains on the butt of their white jeans.

3. See a movie at noon

Maybe it's just a thing with small towns, but in a lot of areas theaters do not show movies before mid-afternoon while school is in session. I understand that it's not really cost effective to have cinemas open when such a large portion of the movie-going demographic can't be there, but come on, sometimes you just really want to see a new movie in the morning. Since now might be the only time of the year you spend lunch in the cinema do it as often as possible. Popcorn totally counts as a nutritious meal, right?

4. Go to the fair

There are few things filled with as much nostalgic fun as walking around a fair. Figure out when your state fair is going to be or find a local fair to enjoy. There might even be ye olde renaissance fair near you too.

5. Contemplate the heavens

Summer is the great time for stargazing. The view might be clearer in winter, but right now it stays warm enough after dark that you won't freeze and can actually enjoy it. Find an open spot away from city lights for a blanket and see if you can count the stars. Be careful what spot you choose though, tick populations seem to be at an all-time high this year.

6. Make sun tea

This is one Southern tradition that should be experienced by everyone. Yes, there is a potential for bacteria, but take precautions for that and you'll be enjoying a refreshing treat in no time.

7. Pick your own food

As far as a lot of people are concerned, their foods comes from the store and not the ground. Summer is the perfect time to discover just how food gets from the farm to your table. If you can, make the trip out to a farm where you can pick your fruits and vegetables. A farmer's market is also a great way get the freshest foods if going to the farm isn't an option in your area. Either way you get to enjoy the best food summer has to offer and you support local merchants.