What’s Happening in June in NYC
Late spring and early summer in New York City means long, balmy days, Summer Fridays and a full calendar stacked with some of the Big Apple’s most memorable events of the year — many of which have been running for decades.
Though there are fun things to do in all five boroughs, June is an especially great time to get out and explore New York City’s islands. You can travel back in time to the Roaring Twenties with a popular lawn party on Governors Island, or ferry over to Randall’s Island for a three-day music festival that’s one of the city’s most popular concert series.
If you’re in New York City in June, you can’t miss the procession of glimmering mermaid costumes on Coney Island (hot dogs not included) or the week of LGBTAIA+ events, which range from colorful street festivals to passionate rallies at the iconic Stonewall National Monument.
Whether you prefer jazz music or pop, rainbows or scales, these are five of the most exciting events coming to New York City in June.
New York City June Events
Coney Island Mermaid Parade – June 22
For 37 years, New Yorkers have dressed up like shimmering sea people for a colorful, unusual procession led by, of course, King Neptune and Queen Mermaid. It’s an homage to pop culture and the performing arts. And, of course, a celebration of everyone’s favorite mythical creature. This year, the parade will travel from West 21st Street and Surf Avenue in Coney Island and proceed to Steeplechase Plaza on Saturday, June 22. Arrive early to secure a good viewing spot, and linger longer to admire the antique cars and floats. You can even support local Coney Island arts programming by volunteering to be a Justice of the Beach, a Mermaid Parade Judge of by joining Neptune’s Court (from $200).
WorldPride – June 1 to 30
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, New York City will celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community by hosting this year’s WorldPride — the first-ever in the US. For the entirety of June, travelers and New Yorkers can celebrate Pride with parties, conferences, rallies, parades, performances, and more, before the month culminates with the city’s famous Pride March on Sunday, June 30. Other standout events this year include Pride walking tours that tell the story of the Stonewall Uprising; a Youth Pride experience for teens; free street festivals; and OutCinema screenings. As a proud ally, Refinery is once again offering an exclusive NYC World Pride package to travelers staying in the city during the event.
Starting June 1 and running until late September, SummerStage is a collection of outdoor concerts and events held in New York City every summer. It’s a mix of dance parties, theatrical performances, concerts, and benefits — many of which are free to the public. Grammy-nominated songstress Emily King kicks off the 2019 series in Manhattan’s Central Park, along with soul group Durand Jones and the Indications and rising star Madison McFerrin. Other highlights from this year’s lineup include flamenco dance workshops, the Metropolitan Opera’s summer recitals, and an all-out dance party hosted by iconic DJs like Stretch Armstrong and Clark Kent.
Jazz Age Lawn Party
Be transported to New York City during the 1920s with one of the best-loved theme parties of the summer. The lawn party will be held over two weekends, with the event scheduled for June 15 and 16, and again in late August. Head to Governors Island to learn to dance the Charleston or the Peabody, shop for drop-waist dresses or antique gramophones, and enjoy the musical stylings of some of the finest jazz musicians in New York City. This year, expect to drink plenty of Aperol spritzes, too. General admission starts at $45.
From May 31 to June 2, New Yorkers and visitors alike will cross the East or Harlem Rivers to reach Randalls Island for the annual Governors Ball music festival. This year’s star-studded line-up includes more than 70 performers ranging from Lil Wayne, Tyler the Creator and Major Lazer to Florence and the Machine, SZA, Vince Staples and even The Strokes, among many others. After a full day of shows and sun, grab a bite from such popular New York City eateries as Doughnuttery, Roberta’s Pizza, and Mekelburg’s.
Update your day planner and book your room at Refinery this June: you’ll never be at a loss for things to do.