June 16 Sing for Hope Pianos
For 16 days, service organization Sing for Hope will scatter 88 artist-decorated pianos in outdoor public locations throughout the five boroughs. Passersby are encouraged to pull up a bench and show off their skills. At the end of the project, the instruments will be donated to schools, hospitals and other community institutions that otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to buy one. Visit singforhope.org for details. Free.
Leave your Ipod home because you will enjoy plenty of tunes with musicians swarming sidewalks, parks and other outdoor spots to serenade New Yorkers in all five boroughs throughout the day. Visit makemusicny.org for details. Free.
June 22 Coney Island Mermaid Parade
Glitter-covered revelers, aquatically adorned floats and classic cruisers fill Surf Avenue for this annual art parade. The party now draws an audience of more than half a million, with well past a thousand marchers. Subway: D, F, N, Q to Coney Island–Stillwell Ave. Free.
June-August Shakespeare in the Park
This annual festival, which begins in June, presents the Bard's greats performed in open air at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. It's a night of free theater in New York's backyard featuring some of the most talented actors of our day, including Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Al Pacino, Oliver Platt, Blythe Danner, Philip Seymour Hoffman, George C. Scott and Denzel Washington. Free.
June 25-July 13 Midsummer Night Swing
For 15 days, this dance fest hosted by Lincoln Center welcomes jazz, mambo, rock and, yes, swing bands to Damrosch Park’s open-air ballroom. Highlights include two wallet-friendly, late-night silent discos (July 5, 11 10–11:30pm; $5), in which participants boogie down wearing individual headphones; salsa dancing led by the Spanish Harlem Orchestra (June 28); and a toe-tapping set by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra on opening night (June 25). Tue–Sat 6:30pm; $17, four-night pass $60, six-night pass $84, season pass $170.
June 28-30 NYC Pride
The NYC Pride festivities culminate in Manhattan during the last weekend in June with an array of official NYC Pride events—including an opening rally (June 28), the Rapture on the River women’s dance (June 29) and the big event: the LGBT Pride March, commemorating the 1969 Stonewall riots. The massive Dance on the Pier closes the official celebration, but the party continues all over the city well into the night (June 30). Visit nycpride.org for details.