June is a wonderful time to visit New York City—the crowds of summer vacationers have yet to invade the city and the weather is perfect. With a high temperature averaging 80 F (27 C) and a low averaging 64 F (18 C), the weather welcomes visitors who want to comfortably walk the streets of New York City, visit its great parks, and enjoy the many exciting summer activities in the city.
Some of the city's beloved summer events are in June. On the second Tuesday in June, visitors and locals alike can enjoy the Museum Mile Festival that allows access to some of New York City's greatest museums for free. You'll also get a chance to see Shakespeare theater or hear opera in the park, check out Pride Week festivities, take in popular parades, and more.
When: May 29–June 24, 2018
Since 1962, The Public Theater has presented free outdoor summer Shakespeare performances. First up in 2018 is the tragedy "Othello" followed by "Twelfth Night" in July. This quintessential New York City experience takes place in Central Park on the outdoor stage of Delacorte Theater.
Lines to get free tickets for the sunset performances can be long, but you don't have to camp out in the park to snag some. There are online and in-person lotteries and vouchers are handed out in all five boroughs.
When: June 7–9, 2018
Started in 1867, the Belmont Stakes is a thoroughbred racing festival that takes place every June during three days at Belmont Park in Elmont, NY. The 1.5-mile-long race is the last and most demanding leg of the Triple Crown, which consists of Preakness Stakes (held three weeks earlier) and the Kentucky Derby (held five weeks earlier). It is one of the top-attended thoroughbred racing events.
When: June 10, 2018, at 11 a.m.
The National Puerto Rican Day Parade honors Puerto Rican culture and artists, educators, leaders, and celebrities who have made an impact on the United States. It takes place the second Sunday of every June and draws more than 3 million spectators, making it one of the country's largest parades. Claim your spot along Fifth Avenue between 44th and 79th streets.
Met Opera in the Parks
When: June 11, 13, 21, 23, and 27, 2018
The Metropolitan Opera's popular summer recital series takes place in each of New York City's five boroughs during June. This is your chance to hear arias and duets from a variety operas performed by up-and-coming and young artists. The concerts are free.
- June 11, 2018, at 8 p.m.: Central Park SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield
- June 13, 2018, at 7 p.m.: Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1, Brooklyn
- June 21, 2018, at 7 p.m.: Clove Lakes, Staten Island
- June 23, 2018, at 3 p.m.: Williamsbridge Oval, The Bronx
- June 27, 2018, at 7 p.m.: Jackie Robinson Park, Manhattan
- June 29, 2018, at 7 p.m.: Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens
When: June 12, 2018, from 6 to 9 p.m.
Once a year, some of New York City's finest museums all along Fifth Avenue open their doors for free during the Museum Mile Festival. During "New York's biggest block party," you can duck in and out of select museums between 82nd and 105th streets on Fifth Avenue. The participating museums in 2018 are El Museo Del Barrio, Museum of the City Of New York, the Jewish Museum, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, Guggenheim Museum, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
When: June 14–June 24, 2018
New York City Pride Week is an annual series of events drawing together millions in the LGBT community to commemorate and celebrate the Stonewall riots. It culminates on June 24 with the Pride March, a civil right demonstration featuring more than 100 floats. After the march, check out PrideFest, a street fair featuring entertainers, vendors, activities, food, and live music in Greenwich Village's University Place. Other events scheduled during Pride Week include films, a brunch, and a human rights conference.
When: June 16, 2018, at 1 p.m.
Started in 1983, the annual Mermaid Parade on Coney Island is now the country's largest art parade. Honor Queen Mermaid, King Neptune, and other ancient mythological figures in this parade featuring floats, antique cars, and more than 1,500 participating artists in custom costumes.
The parade begins at West 21st Street and Surf Avenue and ends at Steeplechase Plaza. After the parade, follow its founder to the beach for the official opening of summer swimming season.
When: June 18 and 25, 2018
On Mondays in summer, you can enjoy a free movie under the stars in Bryant Park. Bring a blanket (or purchase one at the park shop on the Fountain Terrace) and enjoy a picnic and classic film. This month's films are "The Breakfast Club" (June 18) and "The Philadelphia Story" (June 25).
The lawn opens at 5 p.m. and the movie begins at dusk (between 8 and 9 p.m.). Food vendors will be available on the Fountain Terrace. It's a great experience and truly gives you a taste of being a local New Yorker.
When: June 26–30, 2018
Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park becomes an outdoor dance party when some of the best dance bands around play swing, salsa, tango, disco, rhythm and blues, and more. You don't have to be a pro to join in—shortly after the dance floor opens at 6 p.m., you can participate in the group dance lesson. The evening includes live music sets at 7:30 and 9 p.m. Tickets are required to go on the dance floor, but you can be a wallflower for free.
Food trucks and alcohol will be available. There's even a kid zone with a special mini bar stocked especially for Midsummer Night Swing's youngest attendees.
When: June through September 2018
Held annually since 1986, SummerStage is New York City's largest free outdoor performing arts festival. From June through September, SummerStage presents more than 100 shows in 18 New York City parks throughout all five boroughs. Listen to music from all over the globe performed by well-known and emerging artists. There's also dance, film, children's programming, panels, screenings, and workshops. June performances include Yiddish Under the Stars, Big Daddy Kane, Talib Kweli, and many more.