Swedish-Canadian actress Malin Akerman (Couples Retreat, 27 Dresses, The Proposal) once told me that "It's really cool to come out of a night club in Stockholm around midnight and find that the sun is still shining as bright as day." I remember thinking that this definitely was an experience to add to the bucket list. Yet, most people go through life without ever seeing this natural phenomenon.
"The Land of the Midnight Sun" is an expression that conjures up the unforgettable. It's precisely the type of phenomenon around which to build a truly unique executive retreat or sales incentive trip. At both polar extremes, the midnight sun appears for half of the year. At the South Pole, the sun rises on September 21st and does not set until March 22nd, the following year. At the North Pole, the sun rises on March 22nd and sets on September 21st.
There are a number of places where you can see the midnight sun. During the summer, as days grow longer, the sun never sets for up to 60 days in some populated areas near the Arctic Circle. Unfortunately, there are no populated areas near the Antarctic circle where the sun is visible 24 hours a day. An Antarctic cruise is your group's best option.
Since Malin mentioned Sweden, let's begin our activities there:
In Swedish Lapland, night hiking in the mountains at Lapporten or Abisko National Park would be an unforgettable experience.
3:00 AM Stockholm, Sweden
In Stockholm, the sun sets around 11:30 PM and rises again at 4:30 AM. Skansen, the oldest open-air museum in the world, is open late when the midnight sun is shining. (Check the interactive calendar for opening hours and activities.) Skansen is a full replica of 19th-century Swedish town with traditional houses, trades people and artisans. If golf is your passion, try a round of night golf in broad daylight Bjorkliden. Since Stockholm is made up of 14 islands and sits where Lake Malaren joins the Baltic Sea, 30% of Stockholm is made up of waterways. The water would definitely be the perfect vantage point from which to view the midnight sun.
Against a backdrop of waterfalls, volcanoes, glaciers, and geysers, you can go camping, dive, ride Icelandic horses with their unique gait; and golf at one of 65 golf courses under the midnight sun.
The Reykjavik’s Summer Solstice Festival on June 21st, at the peak of the Midnight Sun, is a celebration of the lifestyle of the ancient Vikings with music, dance and revelers dressed like Vikings.
In Finland, activities that can be enjoyed under the midnight sun include skiing, cycling, rock climbing and hiking. Midsummer is a national holiday that is celebrated during the summer solstice. Traditions include bonfires, boating, and fishing.
Patagonia (Argentina and Chile)
Taken at 9:30 PM
In Patagonia, trekking, camping, ice hiking adventures can be arranged. Los Glaciares National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has glaciers and one of the world's largest ice caps.
Canada (Inuvik, Northwest Territories)
The sun shines for about 50 days without setting during the summer in Inuvik.
Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, Canada
Groups can play golf on the tundra and take part in the Midnight Sun Fun Run that starts at midnight on the weekend closest to the summer solstice. Fishing and hunting are also possible. Since 1989, The Great Northern Arts Festival has taken place annually in mid-July.
Other Places to see the Midnight Sun
We're out of space before we can explore in-depth the other areas to see the midnight sun including Alaska, Greenland, Denmark, Norway, Murmansk in Russia, the Falkland Islands, Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania. There is always next year.
To plan your adventure to the "Land of the Midnight Sun," pick a destination and search the Event Venue Directory for hotels, resorts, and event venues.