Escape to Pride Island in NYC This June
An ultimate guide to the best parades and pride events NYC has on deck this year.
June is a joyous month in New York City, filled with color and energy as LGBTQ+ people get their moment in the sun. Pride Month—which happens annually, timed with the anniversary of the liberating 1969 Stonewall Riots—encourages queer and trans folks to live out loud, all while reminding allies of the ongoing fight for equality. Lucky for us, in the city where Pride was born, there’s never a shortage of fun and empowering activities to take part in.
For 2023—in addition to supporting new queer bars—you can attend festivals, hit the Yankees Stadium, eat incredible food, get sweaty on the dance floor, and even glam up your dog. Whether you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community or an ally, we’ve rounded up the best things to do this month, keeping every identity, personality, and budget in mind. Nobody does Pride like New York City, and these are the 15 can’t-miss events of the year.
Saturday, June 10
Park Slope/Prospect Park
Brooklyn Pride always begins with the annual 5K run/walk through Prospect Park at 10 am before the neighborhood turns into party mode for the afternoon, filled with vendors and entertainers that make a summer day in the park all the more exciting. In a move that’s unique to Brooklyn’s celebration, the day ends with a Pride parade, circling the park area from 7:30 to 10 pm, wrapping just in time to hop into local queer watering holes Branded Saloon, Ginger’s, and Good Judy.
Cost: Free to attend; vendor prices vary; $40 to participate in the 5k
Saturday, June 10, 12 pm
Dog owners get their day at Paws for Pride, a one-of-a-kind festival designed to appease pups and their owners alike. Walk your furry friend down the green carpet for a photo op, before treating ‘em to a tarot card and crystal ball reading, a rainbow “paw-dicure,” and a hand-drawn caricature. Circus Amok, a queer circus theater act, will perform throughout the afternoon, and just as pet owners can eat at any of Manhattan West’s dining options, their pets can stop by the treat table for an assortment of bones and dog treats, or run wild in the mini dog run set up specifically for the festivities.
Saturday, June 17, 4:30 pm
154 Christopher Street
Whereas the NYC Pride Parade (also on this list) is a celebration of LGBTQ+ people, the NYC Pride Rally is a time to listen, learn, and rally as a community. The first rally happened one month after the Stonewall Riots as a “Gay Power'' demonstration in Washington Square Park, and while a lot has changed in the past 54 years, anti-LGBTQ+ movements have begun picking up steam in recent years, reminding New Yorkers of the need to keep on fighting against injustices toward the queer and trans community.
Saturday, June 17, 11 pm
BUBBLE_T, the party collective known for hosting events that champion the Asian & Pacific Islander communities, is going all in with its TIARA_BY_NIGHT Pride event at Elsewhere. The talent lineup is extensive, including a takeover by K-Pop party organizers BIAS NYC in the intimate Zone One performance area. Get your glitter ready and do some stretches—this multi-room dance party isn't one to miss.
Sunday, June 18, 11:30 am
The best brunch of the Pride season doubles as a Juneteenth event, with dishes curated by queer Black chefs that each tell a story. The menus have yet to be revealed, but tickets are on sale now: general admission gets you basic access to the venue and three drink tickets to get the fun flowing, whereas higher VIP tiers include open bar and access to special areas. High-profile guests are sure to be in attendance, so the attire is dress to impress.
Cost: Tickets start at $75
Sunday, June 18, 12 pm
Juneteenth and Pride collide at The Center’s Queer Juneteenth Block Party, honoring the history of the holiday and providing a space for Black members of the LGBTQIA+ community to mix, mingle, make some art, and participate in a slate of activities lined up. The free event—produced in partnership with D*ck Appointment—is open to all ages, and includes food, beverages, and summer cocktails for anyone over 21 years old. The Center has also invited local artisans and businesses to set up shop for anyone looking to make a purchase and walk away with some crafted goods.
Cost: Free; vendor prices vary
Wednesday, June 21, 7 pm
The Yankees’ first-ever Pride Night in partnership with NYC Pride comes with all sorts of perks (in addition to watching the Bronx-based MLB team take on the Seattle Mariners). Tickets include a New York Yankees cap with Progress Pride Flag colors, a hot dog, and a drink. A portion of each ticket sale benefits Heritage of Pride, the organization that puts together New York City’s official LGBTQIA+ events.
Cost: Tickets start at $50
Thursday, June 22, 6 pm
Once a month, the Museum of the City of New York keeps its doors open into the evening for Cocktails & Culture, an event that allows visitors to roam the exhibits in a more fun environment (read, with cocktails, light bites, and a DJ). In June, the event is Pride-themed, featuring queer DJ Chauncey D and especially highlighting the museum’s new centennial exhibition, “This Is New York: 100 Years of the City in Art and Pop Culture.” Get some drinks, get some culture, and most importantly, make some new friends in the community as you prepare for the wild weekend ahead.
Cost: Free with museum admission
Thursday, June 22, 10 pm
Pregame Pride Weekend with a massive, kinky dance party spanning both floors of 3 Dollar Bill. The event describes the vibe as “leather gear and feather capes, candelabras and hot wax, glitz and kinks.” On the main floor is “Casa de Liberace,” with beats by Velez & Parada and the headlining DJ duo Heidi Lawden & Lovefingers. Down below is the “Raunch Room,” amped up with tech house music by DJs Waly Verdun and the renowned Justin Cudmore. One ticket provides access to both areas.
Cost: Tickets start at $40
Saturday, June 24, 12 pm
Harlem is one of the few New York City neighborhoods to have its own Pride celebration day, sprouting up one day before the city-wide celebration in Lower Manhattan. The street fair includes two entertainment stages—the main stage for its biggest performers, and the DJ stage for its beat-makers—plus a slew of family-friendly activities like Drag Queen Story Hour and face painting. Event organizers have also lined up free public services for the community, offering on-the-spot STI testing and referrals for health, legal, or financial services. The block party lasts till 6 pm.
Cost: Free to attend
Saturday, June 24, 4 pm
One of Raw Honey’s numerous Queerpalooza events during Pride Week is the Mega Day Party, posted up in the multilevel Bogart House that includes a rooftop space and VIP sections. The event—intended for queer and trans BIPOC—features beats from Hourglass, Babe It’s Purr, DJ Reckless, FLA$H, and Undocubougie. Kick back with friends, food, hookah, and various vendors as you soak up Pride Weekend in great company.
Cost: Tickets start at $24
Sunday, June 25, 12 pm
The most famous Pride event in the world, the NYC Pride March is an enormous display of queer visibility that dominates Lower Manhattan. The first march was held in the West Village in 1970—on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots—and more than a half-century later it continues running strong, shutting down major avenues to publicly celebrate LGBTQ+ people in a way once unthinkable. This year’s grand marshals are actor Billy Porter, asexual activist and model Yasmin Benoit, trans activist AC Dumlao, national organizer and author Hope Giselle, and Randy Wicker, a longtime LGBTQ+ trailblazer who participated in the game-changing “Sip-In” at Julius’ in 1966. For the third year, groundbreaking trans actor and musician Angelica Ross (of Pose and American Horror Story) will co-host and perform at the event.
Sunday, June 25, 2 pm
The Reclaim Pride Coalition aims to make Pride Sunday more of a protest and less of a parade, rejecting corporate sponsorships and instead embracing the original spirit of the Stonewall Riots that kickstarted Pride. For the fifth annual Queer Liberation March, organizers chose the tagline “Trans + Queer; Forever Here!” The event begins with a rally at Foley Square from 2 pm-3:30 pm and is immediately followed by a march through the streets.
Cost: Free, but donations are welcomed to help the coalition achieve its goals
Sunday, June 25, 2 pm
Pride Island is one of the biggest blowout events of Pride Weekend, headlined by none other than Christina Aguilera this year with DJ sets by Guy Scheiman, Karina Kay, and Mor Avrahami. The 2023 party lasts from 2 pm to 10 pm at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and also plays host to local food trucks, numerous bar areas, and spots to get official NYC Pride merch. Festival-esque and full of energy, Pride Island is one of those must-experience Sunday parties.
Cost: Tickets start at $104
Sunday, June 25, 2 pm
Lower East Side
Bliss Days is one of Pride Sunday’s hottest rooftop parties—the official NYC Pride partner event geared toward LGBTQ+ womxn. Up on The DL Rooftop & Lounge in the Lower East Side, the event—formerly known as Femme Fatale—offers a sacred space for womxn and femmes to dance and drink with DJs, pop-up performances, dancers, and surprise guests sweetening the deal.
Cost: Tickets start at $31.50