Family Picks

Celebrate the solstice with fun at the Arboretum

CorrespondentJune 20, 2013 

Today is the summer solstice, and there’s no better place to celebrate the surplus of daylight than at Raleigh’s J.C. Raulston Aboretum.

For the second year in a row, the gardens will host a low-cost solstice party, but this year’s events are more elaborate than last year’s.

The celebration begins at 5:30 p.m., when the Deli.icious food truck will open in the parking lot. The solstice party begins at 6.

For $2 per person, you can participate in games on the lawn and get a cup of N.C. State’s Howling Cow ice cream. Make sure to bring cash or check because no credit cards will be accepted and there is no ATM on site.

The games will include bocce, croquet, tailgating games, hula hoops, an oversized Jenga game and bubbles. There will also be weaving looms set up so kids can try creating fabric.

For an extra $1 per person, you can go inside the education center for a screening of “The Lorax” at 7 p.m. However, the movie is limited to 175 people, so you may want to reserve your spot in advance. You can do that by calling 919-513-7011 or emailing

The group will gather on the arboretum’s rooftop terrace at 8:34 p.m. to watch the sun go down on the longest day of the year.

• This week also marks the start of an interesting new children’s summer film series at the N.C. Museum of Art.

Every Wednesday at 1 p.m., the museum will screen short films that last about an hour. Each week has a theme – such as color, ancient worlds or nature – and between one and four films will be shown.

It’s a chance to see some new and interesting films you may not have heard of, and it could be a breath of fresh air if your child, like mine, tends to watch the same shows and movies again and again.

Wednesday the museum will screen “The Secret of Kells,” an award-winning film about imagination inspired by Celtic mythology.

For the full schedule of films, go to The films are free, but you need to go to the box office and get a ticket.

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