NOTE: Reserving your tickets in advance enhances your guest experience by saving time on arrival. Get your tickets today.



#bioPGH Blog: Winter Solstice
Dec 17

#bioPGH Blog: Winter Solstice

By Lorren Kezmoh, Outreach Coordinator, Phipps Science Education and Research

Biophilia NetworkA resource of Biophilia: Pittsburgh, #bioPGH is a weekly blog and social media series that aims to encourage both children and adults to reconnect with nature and enjoy what each of our distinctive seasons has to offer. From the best times to plant seasonal flora and enjoy their peak blooms, to astronomical events and creatures to keep an eye and ear out for, Phipps will keep you in the know with what’s going on in our environment!

The weather this month may be a bit deceptive, but winter is quickly approaching, and this year it begins on Mon., Dec. 21 at 11:48 p.m. EST. The first day of winter, also known as the Winter Solstice, is the shortest day of the year and occurs when the direction of the Earth’s axis of rotation in space places the Northern Hemisphere at its farthest point away from the sun. While the thought of winter alone is enough to send many Pittsburghers into a tizzy, the winter solstice also marks the beginning of the reversal of the shortening of days and lengthening of nights. Simply put, although winter is coming, daylight will slowly begin to increase again as the Earth’s axis of rotation begins to turn the Northern Hemisphere back towards the sun!

Connecting to the Outdoors Tip: While you may be envying those residing in the Southern Hemisphere, whose summer solstice is just beginning, there are still some great things to do and activities to look forward to during the winter. Consider taking advantage of one of Pittsburgh’s many indoor or outdoor ice skating rinks or city parks to appreciate the longer days outdoors. If the cold isn’t quite your cup of tea, but you’d still like to get out of the house, Pittsburgh is home to several cultural institutions that remain open year-round, such as Phipps, The National Aviary, Carnegie Museums, or the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium; each of which offers a completely new visiting experience during the winter months. But, if you prefer to stay warm and snug inside, consider trying one of the many hands-on, indoor winter science activities suggested by Little Bins for Little Hands with young ones to help keep cabin fever away!

Continue the Conversation: Share your nature discoveries with our community by posting to Twitter and Instagram with hashtag #bioPGH, and R.S.V.P. to attend our next Biophilia: Pittsburgh meeting.

Additional Resources:
First Day of Winter 2015: The Winter Solstice - The Old Farmer's Almanac
First Day of Seasons 2015 - The Old Farmer's Almanac
The National Aviary
Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
20 Playful Winter Science Ideas for Kids - Little Bins for Little Hands