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What to Do in New York City in June

By Emmie MurphyMay 19 2023
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Rooftop bars are buzzing, parks are packed, and crowds are taking to the streets. Summer in New York City has arrived, and with it comes a whole host of things to see and do – many of them outside. Whether you’re sipping champagne at the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic or watching Shakespearean plays in an open-air theater, June in New York City brings a feverish energy that is hard to match. At Rockefeller Center, you’ll find several outdoor art exhibitions and events — including Basil Kincaid’s Art in Focus installation and Thursday dance parties at Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace.

So slather on some SPF, grab your sunglasses, and read on for the best of what to do in New York City in June.

For the latest news and announcements about happenings at Rockefeller Center, sign up for The Center Newsletter and view the full calendar of programming and events here.

Photo courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival
Photo courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival

1. Tribeca Film Festival

June 7-18

What started as an Indie film festival has grown into one of the most important and influential film festivals in the world. This year’s Tribeca Film Festival lineup underscores the heft of this annual production and will present documentaries, shorts, feature films, conversations with industry insiders, and much more. The 2023 festival opens with Misty Copeland’s “Flower,” a short dance film intended to highlight “intergenerational equity,” and includes over 100 feature film screenings. Throughout the 10 days of screenings, attendees will recognize many other on-screen actors and behind-the-scenes players like Sara Bareilles, Ariana DeBose, Nick Jonas, Brittany Snow, and more — though there are also plenty of first-timers making their Tribeca debut. Whether you’re interested in film premieres, in-person talks, or immersive experiences, the festival brings a lineup that will appeal to just about anyone. Learn more about tickets to in-person and virtual events here.

Photo courtesy of LaForce, Veuve Cliquot
Photo courtesy of LaForce, Veuve Cliquot

2. Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic

June 3

Stunning views of the NYC skyline, flowing coupes of champagne, and a star-studded guest list make the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic a must for many New Yorkers. Held every June at Liberty State Park, the event centers around an exciting polo match hosted by Veuve Clicquot. But there are plenty of other happenings to draw the eye. Guests step out in their finery — hats encouraged — and celeb sightings are likely. Stars like Michael B. Jordan, Jennifer Lawrence, and Nicole Kidman have all made appearances in the past, and Prince Harry even competed on the field one year!

Photo courtesy of NYC Pride
Photo courtesy of NYC Pride

3. NYC Pride March

June 25

The NYC Pride March marks one of the biggest events of the year. First held in the 1970s in the wake of the Stonewall Uprising, NYC Pride has happened every year since as a show of solidarity for the LGBTQIA+ community and a celebration of individuality and acceptance. This year’s event — whose theme is “Strength in Solidarity” — begins at 12pm along Fifth Avenue. Christina Aguilera is also set to headline the evening concert Pride Island. Spectators can expect to see over-the-top attire and inspiring performances as well as activists, advocates, and thought leaders sharing their messages. The parade is free to all, however, if you would like to volunteer, you can sign up here.

Photo by Joseph Moran
Photo by Joseph Moran

4. Shakespeare in the Park

Beginning June 8

The harbinger of summer, Shakespeare in the Park is an iconic New York City tradition. Beginning every June, the Public Theater stages Shakespearean plays at the open-air Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Tickets are completely free of charge (though competition to secure them can be fierce), and top talent like Al Pacino and Natalie Portman have been known to participate in years past. This season will commence with a contemporary take on Hamlet, arguably The Bard’s most famous tragedy, beginning June 8. Ticket information and additional details can be found here.

Photo by Reno Laithienne
Photo by Reno Laithienne

5. Museum Mile Festival

June 13

One of summer’s biggest and best block parties will take place along Upper Fifth Avenue on June 13. The Museum Mile Festival not only includes free admission to some of the city’s best cultural institutions, but it also offers musical performances, outdoor activities, and, of course, world-class art exhibitions. Take advantage of the opportunity to own the streets, as Fifth Avenue between 82nd and 105th streets will be a traffic-free haven from 6 to 9pm. Participants in the annual event include the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, and El Museo del Barrio, among several others. Soak in views from The Met’s rooftop, create a sidewalk chalk masterpiece, or join a free gallery tour. The festivities happen rain or shine, so plan accordingly!

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