NYC Events, Concerts, and Things to Do in June 2014

Man working the Big Apple BBQ in NYC by cutting up smoky meat

It's now full-on glorious summer-in-the-city and I can't ever remember when June felt so packed with fun weekend and things to do. Almost makes me glad I don't have a beach house! Here's a partial list of some of my personal favorite events and parties and festivals going on all over town in the coming weeks… 

Young girl plays mini golf at the Figment NYC arts festival

There's Plenty of Food and Fun to be Had!

This coming weekend, June 7 and 8, features two of the summer's best events in each of these respective categories. The Big Apple BBQ takes over Madison Square Park (and surrounding streets) with the smoky, meaty delights of 17 of America's best pitmasters. This is a huge party, and it's a great opportunity to try out how they do things in barbecue meccas like Texas, the Carolinas, and St. Louis. Warning, though: either go early or spring for a Fast Pass, because the place gets packed.

In addition to the usual summer fun on Governors Island this weekend the great Figment NYC interactive-arts festival brings its annual two days of raucous silliness to town, highlighted by the artist-designed mini golf course, the treehouse and City of Dreams Pavillion, and literally dozens of often strange and always wonderful activities, all geared toward families but definitely still enjoyable even if you're not with kids. It's all free, too. Oh and if you've never been to the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, it's on June 21 this year and it is truly a spectacle not to be missed. 

Four women dressed up in green mermaid costumes, walk down the streets for the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island

Free Outdoor Movies, Music, and Festivals 

June marks the kick-off for several of NYC's ever-growing number of free-outdoor-movie and free-concert festivals, including: 

  • The hugely-popular HBO Bryant Park film series begins on June 16 with Saturday Night Fever.
  • Front Row Cinema at the South Street Seaport is already in full swing (hits for June: Perks of Being a Wallflower on the 21st, Brave on the 25th).

Concert-wise, there are tons of good shows this year, such as:

A crowded stadium seating area yells with excitement for Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park

Shakespeare, Adventuring, and Beer! 

For nearly 60 years, the free Shakespeare in the Park has been a NYC summertime tradition. This season, taking place as usual in Central Park's Delacorte Theater, starts with Much Ado About Nothing (starring Hamish Linklater and Lily Rabe) through July 6, and then King Lear (with John Lithgow) runs from July 22 to August 17. Outdoorsy types will want to check out Adventures NYC at the bandshell area in Central Park on June 21, with activities such as rock climbing, stand-up paddleboarding, and a bike helmet giveaway. Last but not least, on the weekend of June 20 and 21: the NYC Craft Beer Festival at the Lexington Armory on 25th Street, where you can sample UNLIMITED two-ounce tastings from some 150 breweries from all over the country.

Did you enjoy these events? Make sure to follow up on 2015 June happenings and mark your calendar!

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