Five fun ways to celebrate the summer solstice around Denver

It's time to embrace the longest day of the year, to celebrate the first day of summer and the fact that it's still light enough to ride your bike at 8:30 p.m. and warm enough to eat ice cream all freaking night long. So let's all work together to create a mystical pathway for all the witches out there traveling to their midsummer meetings. No matter your style or tastes, we've got a way for you to welcome summer with arms wide open.

See also: - Shanti Medina on her seventh annual Women's Summer Solstice - Beer meets confession at Theology on Tap - Yoga Rocks the Park starts rocking the park again this weekend

Bike Denver's Summer Solstice Ride Thursday, June 20, 5 p.m. It only happens once in a blue moon solstice: the park-to-park Summer Solstice Ride from BikeDenver and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado. Meet up with fellow cyclists at the MLK statute in City Park, then ride around town, stopping off at the Denver Botanic Gardens before parking at the Dos Chappell Bathhouse at Washington Park where the first 400 registrants will dine on Illegal Pete's burritos and slurp locally-crafted Avery Brewing ales. The first wave of riders takes off at 5:45 p.m. Register and download the 2013 route on the BikeDenver website. Bear Creek Lake Summer Solstice Celebration Thursday, June 20, 7 p.m. Ring in midsummer on the eve of the Solstice surrounded by park naturalists who will teach you all about the wondrous night sky. At this event, you'll learn the basics of stargazing (and, if you're lucky, you'll spot a witch). The viewing starts at 7 p.m. at Bear Creek Lake Park, 15600 West Morrison Road. Appropriate for all ages; $2 per person; park entrance fee will be waived. For information visit the Bear Creek Lake Park website or call 303-987-7000. Summer Solstice Art Party at Mirada Fine Art Gallery Friday, June 21, 7 p.m. Mirada Fine Art Gallery helps art enthusiasts enjoy the first official day of summer with a funky event featuring artists "at play" alongside live music (courtesy of local guitarist Branden Sipes) and refreshing summer beverages. Award-winning California artist Stephanie Paige, whose been featured in Luxe Magazine and the New York Times, will be painting her contemporary abstract work along with long-time favorite Christian Dore who will be creating his remarkable nature scenes. The event starts at 7 p.m. at Mirada, 5490 Parmalee Gulch Road in Indian Hills. For information visit the Miranda Fine Art's website or call 303-697-9006.

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Summer Solstice Family Fun Night at the Denver Botanic Gardens Friday, June 21, 5:30 p.m. If you're looking for a fun, family-friendly way to honor the sun, then head to the Denver Botanic Gardens to learn about the science of the solstice by exploring the power of the sun and investigating the life cycle of sunflowers. Little and big kids alike will be wowed at a special interactive performance of Where the Wild Things Are. This event is part of the Family Fun Night series, a unique way to explore nature at night with your fam. There's a new theme each month, and there's never a shortage of performers, garden activities, and snacks galore. Families are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner (no glass, please). The solstice fun starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Mordecai Children's Garden across the street from the main part of the gardens. For ticket prices and to register, go to the Denver Botanic Gardens website. Radiantly Alive Solstice Celebration at the Mercury Cafe Friday, June 21, 6 p.m. Internationally-acclaimed Griscia Hoch, mastermind behind Heart Body Breathing, wants to help you usher in the longest day of the year with a unique yogic celebration complete with rhythmic dance, relaxing breath work, and a delightful cacao ceremony that involves drinking pure, hand-selected Guatemalan chocolate for the attainment of clarity. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. at the Mercury Café, 2199 California Street. Tickets are $35 at the door, $30 in advance. For information visit the Heart Body Breathing Facebook page or call 708-655-0899.
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Jamie Siebrase is a Denver-based freelance writer, and author of the forthcoming Falcon Guide Hiking Wth Kids, Colorado: 52 Great Hikes for Families.
Contact: Jamie Siebrase