It’s the season of fireworks, visits to the beach and running through the sprinklers. It’s summer. The temperatures may be high, but so are many people’s spirits, thanks to family vacations, longer days and fun ways to cool off. So, while there’s still time to enjoy it, view these Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest images to remind you what’s so special about summer and all you can still do before the season disappears.

Fireworks above sky
Fourth of July fireworks pierce the fog across parts of Northern California. Jay Huang, California, 2023
People jumping off cliff in ocean
Two boys jump in the warm waters off Split in the height of summer. Olivia Finch, Croatia, 2023
Mother paints daughter's face with paint
During summer solstice festivities, a mom adds colorful paint to her daughter’s face, but the joyous expression was already there.  Jinglong Yan, Washington, 2022

A black horse in desert
A wild black horse gallops through Monument Valley, symbolizing untamed beauty and freedom. Maria Ibanez Valero, Arizona, 2023
Sunflowers at Sunset
The late-summer sun sets, casting its dimming light onto a field of sunflowers. Morteza Sadeghi, Iran, 2022
Kids jump into water
Children flip out while playing in at the shore on a hot day. Sunit Biswas, India, 2019

Sunrise through a spiderweb
Sunlight through the trees perfectly illuminates a spiderweb among a field of flowers. José Ricardo Alves Bocci, Spain, 2019
People jump into ocean
Who needs sand when you can enjoy the sea from a stony perch above, or while swimming in the gloriously clear water? Nicolas Quiniou, Italy, 2021
Frozen custard stand
Frozen custard is a perfect treat after a day of hiking in Shenandoah National Park. Rick Miller, Virginia, 2023

Old man and his dog
A man enjoys his dog and a beautiful view on Valdanos Beach. Oliver Gayler, Montenegro, 2023
Kids jump into water
To beat the heat, children play in a river that runs through a village. Guanghui Gu, China, 2022

A man with a big slice of watermelon
What is better than a friend handing you a huge slice of juicy watermelon on a hot summer day? Tasting it. Michael Parris, Switzerland, 2023
Two dinosaurs in park
A real-life reptile atop a rock looks up toward his much larger, faux brethren from eons past. Deb Leal, Montana, 2020
A rainbow through the dock at beach
A rainbow appears through storm clouds at Holden Beach as the waves rush the shore. Benjamin Albright, North Carolina, 2022

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