Gothamist Summer Guide: 20 Fun Things To Do In June

<br/><br/>May's unusual weather was a bit trying, but at least Captain Picard <a href="">ate his first New York slice</a>, and <a href="">bike share</a> finally made its long-awaited debut. But that's all behind us now—June is imminent and it's time to start making some PLANS. Dive headfirst into summer by clicking through on the photos here. (One note: The Mermaid Parade, <a href="">which was recently saved</a>, is not included here—we'll continue to cover that separately in the coming weeks, but for now mark your calendars for <a href="">Saturday, June 22nd</a>!)

(Original image by Mattron/Flickr)

<br/><br/>If it's summer, it's time to head to Central Park and enjoy some theater <em>en plein air</em> with Shakespeare in the Park. The first offering is <a href="!coe/c1qsz">Comedy of Errors</a>, one of Shakespeare's earliest (and shortest) plays, featuring two sets of accidentally separated-at-birth twins who happen to be master-servant pairs in different cities. The star-studded cast includes Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Becky Ann Baker, Emily Bergl, and Hamish Linklater. It's playing through June 30 at the Delacorte Theater. <a href="!calendar/cfvg">Check here for the schedule</a>—all shows begin at 8:30 p.m. and <a href="!in-the-park/c21rq">tickets are free but there may be long lines</a>. <em>(Jen Chung)</em><br/><br/><em>Tuesday, May 28th through Sunday, June 30th // <a href="">Delacorte Theatre in Central Park</a> // Tickets are free, <a href="!tickets-support/c1nlx">here's how to get them</a></em>

(Charley Lhasa/Flickr)

<br/><br/>Now in its 7th year, <strong><a href="">Bushwick Open Studios</a></strong> offers a glimpse into the neighborhood's vibrant art scene with three days of performances, visual art exhibitions and arts-related events. This year's festival showcases work from over <a href="">500 artist studios</a> plus dozens of group exhibitions, including an Electronic Music Showcase and Community Mural Launch Party on June 1st. From abstract oil paintings to <a href="">giant mythical creatures sculpted out of paper</a> to <a href="">pop-up styling shops</a>, there are enough activities to keep you occupied the whole three days.<br/><br/><em>Friday, May 31st through Sunday, June 2nd // <a href="">Multiple Locations</a> // Free</em>

<br/><br/>The sixth-iteration of the international <a href=""><strong>Brooklyn Film Festival</strong></a> features over 100 film premieres in just over a week. From Sundance darlings <a href=""> starring Justin Timberlake's wife</a>, to new, <a href="">experimental music videos</a>, the BFF tries to "draw worldwide attention to Brooklyn as a center for cinema."<br/><br/>If you're looking for weirdness and variety, skip the features and go straight to the shorts. We're looking forward to Xander Robin's <em>Are We Not Cats</em>, where "A welder discovers his eccentric girlfriend eating his hair subconsciously as they take a truck drive to an abandoned resort." <br/><br/>For $30 you can get a pass to the opening night screening of Billy Kent's <em>Hairbrained</em>, starring Parker Posey and Brendan Fraser, as well as access to the after-party. There's also <a href="">a kids' film festival</a>, featuring short films for children from across the world. <em>(Max Rivlin-Nadler)</em><br/><br/><em>Friday, May 31st through Sunday, June 9th // <a href="">Windmill Studios</a> and <a href="">indieScreen</a> // <a href="">Single Program Tickets $12; Festival Pass $100</a></em>

<br/><br/>Unless you're a driver or someone who hates fun, it's always very exciting when the city closes down the streets for fairs (eh, maybe not <a href=""> the interminable San Gennaro festival)</a>. The Lower East Side's <strong><a href="">Daylife</a></strong> is a 3-block fair that covers Orchard Street in astroturf and pushcarts, and features food and fashion from local stores. There are also ping-pong tables, music, and last year (and hopefully this year again) skate ramps. <em>(Max Rivlin-Nadler)</em><br/><br/><em>Sunday, June 2nd, noon to 5 p.m. // Orchard Street between Delancey and East Houston // Free</em>

<br/><br/>February's <a href="">Vegan Bake-Off</a> proved a smashing success and this month <a href="">the skint</a> tackles a new meal with the <strong><a href="">Vegan Cook-Off: Hors D'Oeuvres</a></strong>. Competitors prepare their best vegan snacketizers in hopes of receiving praise from the judges—oh, and a $250 cash price for first place. All manner of delights—from "dips and spreads to crostini and mini-sandwiches to sushi rolls, mock chicken wings, and beef-less BBQ and beyond"—are fair game, so long as they are meat-free and fall somewhere in the appetizer category. Veggie big wigs <a href="">Terry Hope Romero</a> and Michael Parkin, managing partner of Blossom Restaurant, are on hand to judge, as is brisket king <a href="">Dan Delaney</a>, acting as "resident carnivore."<br/><br/>Interested competitors <a href="">still have time to register</a> or you can just attend the cruelty-free fete and gorge yourself on all the vegan treats your body can handle.<br/><br/><em>Sunday, June 2, 2 p.m. // <a href="">The Bell House</a> // <a href=";eventId=3557884&amp;pl=bellpl">Tickets $12</a></em>

<br/><br/>Washington D.C. is having a moment on television right now, with multiple political dramas and thrillers set in the Nation's capitol. The 92YTribeca brings together three showrunners from acclaimed D.C-centric series to <strong><a href=";utm_source=92YTRI_HP&amp;utm_medium=cal_learn&amp;utm_campaign=Institutional">discuss "Washington insiders" as portrayed on television</a></strong> for an in-depth look at what makes these characters tick. Danny Strong (<em>Recount</em>, <em>Game Change</em>), Joe Weisberg (<em>The Americans</em>) and Beau Willimon (<em>House of Cards</em>) sit down with moderator Sefan Forbes to shed light on their popular series and explore the string that binds them all together.<br/><br/><em>Monday, June 3rd, 6:30 p.m. // <a href="">92Y Tribeca</a> // <a href=";utm_source=92YTRI_HP&amp;utm_medium=cal_learn&amp;utm_campaign=Institutional">Tickets from $20</a></em>

<br/><br/>This is it, folks: the greatest pun competition in New York City. Hosted by a “Rodney Dangerfield impersonator” (and his daughter) <strong><a href="">PUNDERDOME 3000</a></strong> really pushes the envelope (unless you're already stationery). <br/><br/>The event will be way more fun than that time the Buddhist skipped Novocaine for his root canal (he was trying to transcend dental medication). And you can bring your date, the whiskey-maker (if you love her still). <br/><br/>Ugh. Make me stop. <em>(Max Rivlin-Nadler)</em><br/><br/><em>Wednesday, June 5th, doors at 7:30, event at 8 p.m. // <a href="'&gt;Littlefield NYC&lt;/a&gt; // &lt;a href=" http:="">Tickets $6</a></em>

<br/><br/><strong>Rob Delaney's</strong> Twitter feed oscillates between <a href="">hilariously odd thoughts</a>, <a href="">bizarre self-portraits</a> and <a href="">non sequiturs aimed at national brands and celebrities</a> and wherever else the comics mind wanders to that day. This month the Boston native is <a href="">taking his act to Caroline's On Broadway</a> to probably talk about filthy things like <a href="">men without pants</a> or possibly just <a href="">rave about his favorite music</a>. Regardless, don't miss one of his six shows or you might <a href="">incur his wrath</a>.<br/><br/><em>Thursday, June 6th through Sunday, June 9th // <a href="">Caroline's On Broadway</a> // <a href="">Tickets $38.25</a></em>

<br/><br/>The Harlem River, <a href="">treacherous for boats</a> but a great place for fun, has been getting cleaned up over the past few years. Parks that skirt the edge of it, like Sherman Creek Park, now offer kayaking and fishing, actually reacquainting New Yorkers with their waterways. <br/><br/><strong><a href="">The Harlem River Festival</a></strong>, a day of racing and activities along the Manhattan shores of the river, offers concerts, tours of the wetlands and fresh water pond, and a chance to cool off at the beginning of what should be a hot summer. Arrive early or stay late for the boat races, and enjoy the festival in between. <em>(Max Rivlin-Nadler)</em><br/><br/><em>Saturday, June 8th, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. // <a href="">Sherman Creek Park</a> // Free</em>

<br/><br/>Celebrated drumming ensemble <strong><a href="">So Percussion</a></strong> brings their lively and entertaining show to the Metropolitan Museum of Art this month. The group performs on a variety of instruments, from steel drums to xylophones, creating unique sounds and rhythms in unexpected patterns. Man Forever, an experimental drum project by composer and percussionist John Colpitts, also performs. The concerts are presented in conjunction with the museum's <a href="">PUNK: Chaos to Couture</a> exhibit, which runs through the beginning of August.<br/><br/><em>Saturday, June 8th, 7 p.m. // <a href="">Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium</a> at the Metropolitan Museum of Art // <a href="">Tickets $25</a></em>

<br/><br/>Staten Island is considered ground zero for <a href="">New York City cicadas</a>, and the borough's museum is ready. The Staten Island Museum has <a href=""><strong>numerous cicada-related programs</strong></a> this year, but June is expected to be peak time for the insects to sing and... die after mating. <br/><br/>There are three Sunday outdoor workshops, 12 p.m.-2 p.m., in three different locations: Bloomingdale Park on June 2 (meet at Drumgoole Rd. W and Maguire Ave.); High Rock Park on June 9 (meet in parking lot); and Clove Lakes Park on June 16. There are also some Cicada Walks with the museum's Director of Natural Science, Ed Johnson: On Sunday June 9 at 9 a.m., he'll go to Long Pond Park, which hosted all three species of periodical cicadas during the 1996 emergence; and on Saturday, June 15 at 10 a.m., Johnson will head to Buck’s Hollow, where all three species appeared in 1979 AND 1996. (<a href="">More details here</a>.)<br/><br/>Perhaps you'll have enough footage to <a href="">enter something in this Cicada Movie Festival</a> this fall. <em>(Jen Chung)</em><br/><br/><em>Sunday, June 9th, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. // <a href="">Long Pond Park, Staten Island</a> // Free</em>

<br/><br/>Plus size fashionistas looking for some new-old duds should head to the <strong><a href="">Big Fat Flea</a></strong> to rummage through clothes for all genders. Snap up swimsuits, evening wear, shoes and all other manner of garb for seriously bargain prices. They'll even have wedding dresses, festival flapper gear and designer suits for all your party needs. Proceeds from the BFF benefit <a href="">NOLOSE</a>, a "vibrant community of fat queers and our allies with a shared commitment to feminist, anti-oppression ideology and action, seeking to end the oppression of fat people." <br/><br/><em>Sunday, June 9th, 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. // <a href="">NYU Law School</a> // General Admission $10</em>

<br/><br/>PRI's award-winning series of short fiction, <strong><a href="">Selected Shorts: Complicated Families</a></strong>, continues with a reading by actors Edie Falco and James Naughton about "family angst and agita." Stories include ones written by Charles Baxter and Susan Perabo, in addition to the brand new award-winning story "When We Lived Together In The Belly Of A Whale, Some Nights Were Perfect" by Mara McCormick Sternber.<br/><br/>Sure, you could wait and listen (for free) on NPR, but Symphony Space is a wonderful venue, and you can't see the sparkle in Edie Falco's eye staring at your boom box.<em> (Max Rivlin-Nadler)</em><br/><br/><em>Wednesday, June 12th, 7:30 p.m. // <a href="">Symphony Space</a> // <a href="">Tickets $28</a></em>

<br/><br/>The first of this summer's <strong><a href="">Jazz Age Lawn Parties</a></strong> comes to Governors Island this month. The bi-annual celebration of all things 1920s brings historical-frocked revelers out for dancing, dining and drinking to the tunes of Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra and other period musicians. The 1920s Motorcar Exhibition puts the decade's vehicles on display; Tug O' War contests pit strong-legged ladies and gents against each other; and dance lessons make sure you're prepared for all the toe-tapping and knee-slapping as the day goes on.<br/><br/>In case you don't have a parasol and flapper-gear hiding in your closet, vintage clothing vendors can dress you to impress. Era-inspired entrees and picnic fare will be available on site, as will cocktails, beer and booze-free beverages courtesy of St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur and Brooklyn Brewery. <br/><br/><em>Saturday and Sunday, June 15th and 16th, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. // <a href="">Governor's Island</a> // Free</em>

(Silvia Saponaro/Flickr)

<br/><br/>Staten Island's <strong><a href="">LUMEN</a></strong> International Video and Performance Festival has illuminated unusual spaces on the island for the past three years and this year organizers are taking over a not-yet-filled public pool for their production. The Lyons Pool, which is conveniently located right near the St. George ferry terminal, is the largest public pool on Staten Island, able to accommodate 2,800 bathers at one time. Instead of chlorinated water and swimsuit-clad visitors, the pool will be illuminated by 50 local and international artists whose works involve film and other light-producing materials.<br/><br/>New media projectionists <a href="">DD</a> have re-animated the <a href="">octopus-like creature</a> from <em>It Came From Beneath The Sea</em>, which will "swim" through the empty pool. Butterfly Machine, a creation by Scott Van Campen, invites visitors to "drive" the machine, which projects a silent film of mechanical butterflies in flight along the sides of the pool. Additionally, LUMEN provides access to Staten Island's waterfront, which boasts lovely views across the Narrows into Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Verrazano Bridge.<br/><br/><em>Saturday, June 15th, 6 p.m. to midnight // <a href="">Lyons Pool</a>, Staten Island // Free</em>

<br/><br/>The Museum of the City of New York's exhibit on designer <strong><a href="">Stephen Burrows: When Fashion Danced</a></strong> has been up since March, but this month the designer <a href="">sits down with Parsons graduate Kim Jenkins</a> for an "Intimate Interview." Burrows will discuss the scene in downtown Manhattan in the '70s, his design aesthetic and his role in defining the look of the disco generation. Before the interview, stroll through the show and check out Burrows's beautiful garments and sketches plus photographs of his fashion in action. <br/><br/><em>Wednesday June 19, 2013, 6:30 p.m. // <a href="">Museum of the City of New York</a> // <a href="">Tickets $12</a></em>

<br/><br/>The 25th anniversary of Lincoln Center's heel-kicking series <strong><a href="">Midsummer Night Swing</a></strong> begins at the end of this month. Damrosch Park transforms into an open-air ballroom, where dancers of all levels can strut along to live music of many styles. The dancing frenzy kicks off with <a href="">Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis</a> on June 25th, where instructor Adam Brozowski will teach jazz and lindy hop dances for anyone who, ya know, doesn't already know how to do that. The series runs for three weeks until the middle of July, with a different style of music and dance presented each night. Mercifully, we see no entries for the Harlem Shake.<br/><br/><em>Tuesday, June 25th through Saturday, July 13th // <a href="">Damrosch Park</a> // <a href="">Single Tickets $17</a>; <a href="">Season Passes also available</a></em>


<br/><br/>Summerstage has had <a href=""><strong>an annual comedy showcase</strong></a> dating back to the early aughts, and it used to be run by the Upright Citizens Brigade theater. It got a little rough when it was taken over by Comedy Central (I cringe remembering a very drunk Horatio Sanz and Rob Riggle saying unfunny stuff for 2 hours), but this line-up looks pretty fantastic. Gabriel Iglesias hosts (ok, he's not funny), but the show will feature Adam DeVine from <em>Workaholics</em>, comedy vet John Mulaney, and the pretty damn funny Amy Schumer. Anyway, it's a nice evening in the park, and the un-annouced guest stars are usually pretty amazing. Expect a whole lot of SNL-ers in the audience or on the stage. <em>(Max Rivlin-Nadler)</em><br/><br/><em>Wednesday, June 26th, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. // <a href=";hl=en">Rumsey Playfield in Central Park</a> // Free</em>

<br/><br/>Did you know Scrabble <a href="">was invented in Queens</a>? Well now you do! And as a resident of the birthplace of Scrabble, don't you deserve to be a master? The <a href="">National Museum of Mathematics</a> (<a href="">it's pretty freakin' sweet!</a>) <a href=";id=117">invites players of all skill levels</a> to learn from 3-time National Scrabble Champion Joe Edley, that promises to make you the least fun, but incredibly effective Scrabble player you can be. Edley will also discuss his life as a Scrabble champion, which we imagine to be a little less glamorous then being a Chess master, but still cooler then being a Sorry! champion. <em>(Max Rivlin-Nadler)</em><br/><br/><em>Friday, June 28th, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. // <a href=";id=71">National Museum of Mathmatics</a> // <a href=";reset=1">Registration Fee $12</a></em>

<br/><br/>While nothing might match the <strong>Pride</strong> <a href="">following the passage of gay marriage</a> in NYC, expect this year to be <a href="">another celebration</a> of a movement that has had success after success recently (and might just be celebrating the striking down of DOMA). <br/><br/>Sadly, <a href="">recent gay bashing incidents</a> in NYC cloud this year's event, but that definitely won't stop the solidarity and celebration. It's <a href="">a whole week of fun</a> including roof parties, the parade, and then the glorious post-parade parties. <em>(Max Rivlin-Nadler)</em><br/><br/><em>Pride Parade: Sunday, June 30th, 12 p.m. // Begins at 36th St. &amp; Fifth Ave.Ends at Christopher &amp; Greenwich Streets // Free</em>

(Katie Sokoler/Gothamist)