New York is a vibrant place to be at any time of year, but in the summer the city is alive with festivals and events that showcase its diverse culture and rich heritage.
Things to do in New York City this June
1. Turn over a new leaf at Book Expo
This exciting publishing event coincides with the fan-centric BookCon, allowing authors, publishers, and readers to come together and celebrate their love of the written word. Book Expo offers writers an opportunity to learn about the modern book market, while readers can meet and greet with their favorite storytellers, attending special reading and autographing sessions. Highlights of the 2017 program include “An Evening with Hillary Rodham Clinton” and an author breakfast with father and son writing team, Stephen and Owen King.
When: May 31 – June 2
Where: Javits Convention Center, 655 W 34th St, New York
2. Be ‘where the people are’ at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade
Now in its 35th year, the Mermaid Parade is a Coney Island institution. Designed to bring mythology to life, promote a sense of community, and allow New Yorkers an outlet for their self expression, the parade sees thousands of people in colorful costumes take to the streets to celebrate New York seaside culture. Enjoy all the pomp and pageantry of a city parade, presided over by 2017 Mermaid Parade royalty, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of rock band Blondie.
When: Saturday June 17, 1pm
Where: Between West 21st Street and Surf Avenue and Steeplechase Plaza (full parade route available online)
3. Get together at the Governors Ball Music Festival
Governors Ball is a contemporary music festival with a city edge. The three-day festival offers a packed program of amazing music acts with headliners for 2017 including Chance the Rapper, Lourde, Phoenix, and Tool. Held in Randall’s Island Park on the East River, the event also offers exhibitions, experiences, and great eats. Try some New York street food, play games with friends or relax, and enjoy amazing performances in a superb city setting.
When: June 2 – 4
Where: Randall’s Island Park, New York
4. Try the alfresco theater experience with Shakespeare in the Park
Established in the 1960s, Shakespeare in the Park is a New York summer tradition and one of the best free entertainments on offer in the city. This year’s first offering is Julius Caesar, staged throughout June in the amazing outdoor Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Tickets can be claimed in person by joining the daily queue in Central Park or trying for the standby queue which opens at 6pm. Alternatively, enter the daily online lottery for a chance to win a seat.
When: Performances throughout June
Where: Delacorte Theater, 81 Central Park West, New York
5. Enjoy some real ‘cinema paradiso’ with an Italian Film Festival
The Open Roads New Italian Cinema event is a unique festival that gives US audiences unparalleled access to contemporary Italian film. Now in its 17th year, the 2017 festival features a range of films from the old country, with everything from dramas to documentaries and independent arthouse to big budget blockbusters. The festival also features personal appearances from a number of Italian filmmakers.
When: June 1 – 7
Where: 70 Lincoln Center Plaza #7, New York
6. Down some brews at the Jersey City Beer Fest
Fans of craft beers will love this event at Harborside Waterfront in Jersey City. Entry fee includes access to unlimited samples of craft beers and ciders from some amazing establishments – including the Brooklyn Brewery, Forgotten Boardwalk, and Yards. The festival draws inspiration from the German Oktoberfest, with live entertainment, food, and games.
When: Saturday, June 3
Where: Harborside 3 Atrium, Jersey City, NJ
7. Enjoy inner peace in the inner city with Solstice Yoga in Times Square
New Yorkers don’t do things by halves, so when it comes to saluting the sun at the summer solstice, Times Square is the place to be. The Mind over Madness mass yoga event in Times Square is billed as a chance to “find your center at the crossroads of the world” and offers an exciting opportunity to connect with like-minded people for this global celebration. Spaces are limited, and registration is recommended.
When: Wednesday, June 21 from 7:30am
Where: Times Square, Manhattan
8. Stop and smell the flowers at Rose Garden Weekend
The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden reaches its peak in June, and celebrates with a weekend of events for everyone. Enjoy live music, plant care demos, and garden tours before relaxing to enjoy the available refreshments in this fragrant floral setting.
When: June 3 – 4, 11am – 4pm
Where: New York Botanical Garden, Bronx River Parkway, Bronx
9. Celebrate Diversity at the Pride March
Every year, New Yorkers take to the streets for a bigger and bolder celebration of the city’s LGBT community’s struggles and achievements. This flamboyant parade combines floats and marchers, and the overall effect embodies the diverse nature of New York life. The Pride March is an inclusive event where all are welcome.
When: Sunday, June 25, from 12pm
Where: From 36th and Fifth Avenue to Christopher and Greenwich Streets
Whatever your passions and preferences, visiting New York City in June is likely to give you an opportunity to indulge. So grab an Uber to one or all of the activities as you celebrate summer.