☀️ The 21 Best Things To Do In NYC in June | UPDATE 2021

New York City is one of the places you can always find something to do, whether it’s snowing outside, the sun is shining, or you are stuck in the midst of a spring shower – the Big Apple always has something to offer. Below, you can find all of our favorite things to do in New York in June.

The 21 absolute best things to do in June in New York

New York in June is a charming time. The summer temperatures are rolling in, the parks are filled with people, outdoor activities are in full effect and the city colors come alive. In the evening, many restaurants and rooftop bars welcome you to sit outside. June also offers some exciting events and attractions. See below for some of New York’s most popular events in June!

1. June 1-3: The Scooper Bowl Ice Cream Festival at Bryant Park

Hot weather means, cold food. And what cold food is better than ice cream? At Bryant Park, you can eat as much ice cream as you want in the first three days of the month! For $20, an all-you-can-eat ice cream extravaganza takes place. Here, famous New York-based ice cream shops such as Baskin-Robbins, Ben & Jerry’s, Big Gay Ice Cream, Waffle & Dinges and the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. Now that’s some big-time names all in one park. Something like this only exists in New York!

Scooper Bowl Ice Cream Festival

2. Taste of Times Square (June 7 – 14)

 The month begins with a very special New York event in Times Square. Over 52 restaurants share their best foods from around the globe at the Taste of Times Square Food and Music Festival. With great live music and many other surprises, Broadway is filled up and stretches all the way West to 10th avenue. For a full list of participating restaurants and information, click here.

3. Honorable William Wall

Honorable William Wall

This is my discovery of the summer in New York – the floating boathouse from Manhattan Sailing Club! It is called Honorable William Wall and is located right next to Ellis Island. Especially in the evening, when you look at the illuminated Manhattan, it is just sensational here.

This is my review (AWESOME!) of the Honorable William Wall.

4. Discover New York from an observation deck

Views Edge Hudson Yards

This should be a part of any New York experience: visiting one of the world famous observation decks and observatories  in New York! You can choose between Empire State Building, The Edge Hudson Yards, Top of the Rock, One World Observatory and (from October 2021 on) One Vanderbilt.

Want to know more? Check out our article about the 8 Best Observation Desks New York!

Budget tip

If you want to visit several observations deck, attraction and tours in New York, check out the New York sightseeing passes. You can save up to 60% on the ticket price!

To find out which New York Pass is the best for you, check out my New York Pass Comparison.

5. Visit the new Hall of Gems at the American Museum of Natural History

More than 5,000 new exhibits from 98 countries await you in this fascinating new exhibit, officially called the Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals. Truly impressive!

This is our article about the American Museum of Natural History.

6. Free Kayaking on the Hudson River & East River

This is a really cool event that can be booked several times a month: discover New York from the water – and even better: from a kayak! You can start at the Manhattan Community Boathouse (Pier 96 at the Hudson River) or at the Brooklyn Bridge Park between Pier 1 and Pier 2 (every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday until the end of August).

Seats are limited, so be quick to secure your preferred date – here for the Manhattan Community Boathouse and here for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse.

7. Visit Little Island

Little Island New York
Photo credit Michael Grimm

Not far from the Meatpacking District and the High Line, Little Island is one of the newest attractions in New York and is something very special: a park on 132 beautiful tulip-shaped concrete stilts in the Hudson River.

Besides the view, you can visit various events and art exhibitions (every day except Tuesday). Click here for the Little Island event calendar.

8. Shakespeare in the Park

Delacorte Theater Central Park New York

At the Delacorte Theater you can see one of the most famous plays in the world in Central Park. Sounds crazy? Well, it is in New York! In recent years, some stars have made it to the stage as well. Stop by and you might see Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Al Pacino, Blythe Danner, George C. Scott or Denzel Washington.

Find out more about the Shakespeare in the Park event in New York and the current dates here.


9. Celebrating Juneteenth

This official holiday, which celebrates the end of slavery, has only existed in the USA since 2021. The name is a combination of the words Nineteen and June – hence “Juneteenth”. The story behind it is really exciting: on January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln passed a law banning slavery. From that point on, Union soldiers marched into Confederate territories and freed the enslaved people. But it was not until two and a half years later that their mission was accomplished: on June 19th, 1865, Galveston Bay was reached by Texas – the people here being the last to be freed, so to speak.

In New York itself, there has been a Juneteenth Festival since 2009, which always takes place around June 19th in Brooklyn.

10. Father’s Day in New York (June 21st)

Father’s Day is also celebrated in June! If your dad is up for a day in the city, fortunately, New York in June is a great place to be! Here are some of our recommendations: The Best Restaurants NYC, The Best Helicopter Rides, & tickets for sporting events.

11. Bryant Park Film Festival and Bryant Park Picnic Performances

Bryant Park Film Festival New York

One of the best things to do in September in New York is visiting the free Bryant Park Film Festival and picnic performances in Bryant Park. In the heart of Manhattan, people gather in the summer months with blankets and chairs they’ve brought themselves to relax at the outdoor movie theater and concerts by the New York Philharmonics.

You can get a seat from 5pm, the films start around 8pm as darkness falls, and the Philharmonic concerts 7pm. You can find out more about the events and the free concerts here with us and on the Bryant Park website.

12. Gay Pride Sunday & Christopher Street Parade

People watching gay pride parade in nyc

The New York Gay Pride Week is the oldest in the world. The beautiful Greenwich Village invites thousands of people each year to Gay Pride. Christopher Street is especially colorful and you will notice that the well-known rainbow flags, which is a symbol of the LGBTQ community, everywhere. Even the global company Google adorns its exterior with the flag in support of the community. Gay Pride Week recalls the first homosexual homicide by the police in 1969.

The parade has become a tradition, with an average of 500,000 visitors per year. It makes it one of the biggest parades in New York City and will most likely be one of the top events in New York in June. It usually moves through 5th Avenue (Madison Square Garden) to Greenwich Street. The parade ends at Pier 54 and is met with an exuberant party.

Here you can see our Guide to Gay Pride in New York.

13. Visit Governors Island

Biking at Governors Island

Every year, Governors Island hosts many unique events. We have put together the most popular for you in a separate article. In June, there are a lot of great highlights!

Things to do in the summer on Govis Island

14. Summer Stage Festival

At this event you can visit over 100 concerts & shows for free in many parks all over New York. It’s one of the most popular summer events in New York and a MUST DO for locals. If you’re in New York this summer, be sure to check out one of the shows – the exact dates and hours can be found here.


15. Every Friday once a month: Free Admission at The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

The USS Intrepid docked in nycOne Friday per month, The Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum will open its doors to the public for free. For more information on these special nights, please click the link here.

16. Enjoy the Sun at the Grand Banks

The Grand Banks

What could be better than sitting in the sun, drinking a glass of wine, listening to relaxing music and looking at the skyline of New York? You can enjoy just that at two different spots. The “Grand Banks” is a two-master ship at Chelsea Piers where you can get a view of the Hudson River, the Statue of Liberty and the One World Trade Center.

In addition, there is also an offshoot of The Grand Banks in Brooklyn. Located at Pier 6 of the Brooklyn Bridge Park, the “sister-ship” is docked here. You will immediately recognize similarities. Both ships are tall, have a wonderful atmosphere and has a similar menu as well.

17. Spend a Day at the Beach

Walking the boardwalk at coney island

Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and spend a relaxing day on Brighton Beach in Coney Island. If you don’t want to be in Coney Island, you can also check out some of our favorite beaches in New York here.

New York Beaches

18. NYRR Mini 10K – Women Only

In June, the largest women’s 10-kilometer run takes place in New York City. The world’s elite comes here to run the 6.2 miles through Central Park. Among them are of course many amateur runners as well. If you do not want to miss out on this special running event then be sure to drop by the NYRR website and secure your spot.

19. Philharmonic in the Park (free)

The New York Philharmonic performs “Tchaikovsky”, “Gershwin” and much more at the dream location in Central Park in Manhattan in June. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, this event is a great way to see the famous New York Philharmonic live and free. Usually, thousands of New Yorkers enjoy the event laying on blankets and having a candlelit picnic. The dates will be announced once they become available.

20. National Puerto Rican Day Parade (free)

One of the most popular Summer NYC events is The National Puerto Rican Day Parade. It will take place at 11:00 AM on 5th Ave. from 44th to 79th Street. For 63 years, the Puerto Rican community has been showing their national pride here and are also promoting their personal contribution as a unit within the United States.

There will be a lot of dancing and celebrating everywhere. Even if you’re watching the parade, the event will surely have you dancing as well. It’s really worth seeing the parade and is definitely a summer highlight.

21. Museum Mile Festival

In June 2021, the annual Museum Mile Festival offers its visitors free entry to the most famous and popular museums in New York City during a prolonged opening time from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm. Between 82nd and 105th street on Fifth Avenue, Museum Mile is home to participating museums of the festival: El Museo del Barrio, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cooper-Hewitt, The Jewish Museum, The National Academy Museum, The New Gallery, The Museum of the City of New York and the Africa Center. This is one of the best summer events in New York in June. From the music to the activities happening on the streets, Museum Mile welcomes everyone!

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