JUNE 30 // 7:30 P.M.-2 A.M.
Who doesn't want to party with a Picasso? The Cleveland Museum of Art is once again making a big night out of one of the longest days of the year. Originating in 2009 as an event to highlight the opening of the new East Wing, museum officials realized that the night of music, dancing, drinking and eating could become an annual affair. "What we thought was going to be a one-off event very quickly needed to become an annual summer music festival," says Tom Welsh, the museum's associate director of music. Expected to draw 5,000 people, the event also features museum scavenger hunts and turbo talks — brief, informal lectures led by curators about various works of art — in the galleries. "The thing we hear every year is that people look out over this huge crowd and see this tremendous mix of diversity from all corners of the city," Welsh says. "Somebody once said to us, The thing about Solstice that's so great is this is the Cleveland that we all want to live in.' " Tickets: 7:30 p.m. entry $60 ($30 members), 10 p.m. entry $25 (all); Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Blvd., Cleveland, clevelandart.org
WESTSIDE MARKET CENTENNIAL KICK-OFF
JUNE 2 // 6-9 P.M.
The city's landmark market turns 100 this year. To start the celebration, the market is hosting a party at the newly renovated Market Square across the street. Multicultural music and dancing will go on through the evening along with a dedication ceremony of two new Ohio State Historical Markers. Get there early. One of the neighborhood's newest residents, Mitchell's Homemade Ice Cream, is hosting an ice cream social for the first 3,000 guests. Free, Market Square, West 25th Street and Lorain Avenue, Cleveland, ohiocity.org
CHEF JAM 2012
JUNE 10 // 7 P.M.
Chefs are already adored like rock stars in this city, but at Chef Jam the adoration gets turned up to 11. "The chefs, literally and figuratively, let their hair down," says Crop Bistro & Bar chef and owner Steve Schimoler, who helps organize the event held at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Twenty chefs pick a rock 'n' roll theme, musician or album and craft dishes and food booths where they'll serve them around that theme. Schimoler's band, Cream of the Crop, will perform along with a few others. Fair warning: This one usually sells out quickly. Tickets: $65, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., rockhall.com
SUMMER BEACH PARTY
AUG. 4 // 5-10:30 P.M.
The Cleveland Metroparks is turning a day at the beach into an evening along the Lake Erie shore. For the sixth consecutive year, the park system will host a sandy good time at Huntington Beach in Bay Village, with scavenger hunts, hula-hoop contests, demonstrations by the Cleveland Metroparks rangers dive team, musical entertainment and more. Plus, build your own sand castle alongside a professional sand sculpture inspired by the evening's outdoor movie, Back to the Future. Free, Cleveland Metroparks, Huntington Reservation, Bay Village, visit website for directions, clemetparks.com
TWILIGHT AT THE ZOO
AUG. 3 // 7 P.M.-MIDNIGHT (VIP 6-9 p.m.)
The power of animals and rock 'n' roll join forces at this 19th annual event featuring a record 18 bands performing throughout the zoo over the course of the evening. This year's lineup includes the Bon Jovi cover band Wanted, the Curve and reggae group Outlaws I & I, who will be playing near the polar bear enclosure. Apparently the bear likes reggae music. Really. Tickets: VIP $150, general admission $70 (June), $75 (July-Aug. 3); Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, 3900 Wildlife Way, clevelandzoosociety.org