The 8 Best Summer Solstice Events in NYC

New York City is busier than most cities on an average day, but there’s one day each year when you’ll find more people in the parks and streets than any other. This day is known as the summer solstice, and in 2023, it falls on Wednesday, June 21. As the sun stays up a bit longer than usual, there’s no better time to join in for some summer solstice events in NYC. 

Please note that some of the summer solstice events for 2023 are not updated as of yet. As soon as there are updates, you’ll be the first to know here!

What is the Summer Solstice?

Each year the summer solstice occurs in the month of June and marks the start of summer for the Northern Hemisphere. On this day, the Earth reaches its orbit point where the North Pole is tilted to its maximum toward the sun at 23.5 degrees, which results in the shortest night and longest day of the calendar year. In other words, the day of the summer solstice has more daylight hours than any other throughout the year. 

8 Amazing Summer Solstice Events in NYC

So, with all those daylight hours to enjoy, what will you do? Well, if you find yourself in NYC, you’ll have no shortage of options when it comes to summer solstice events. Here is a list of our favorite summer solstice events in NYC!

  1. 01

    Solstice in Times Square: Mind Over Madness Yoga

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    Times Square isn’t just one of the best places in NYC to spend New Year’s Eve, but it can also be the perfect spot to spend the summer solstice. This event focuses on helping people find the calm in the chaos of NYC life through Yoga. 

    You may be familiar with this celebration, as they are back with their 20th annual event. It’s Mind Over Madness Yoga, and it returns to Times Square on Wednesday, June 21, 2022! Solstice in Times Square is an excellent option for first-times and experienced yogis alike, and everyone is invited to join for yoga classes throughout the day. 

  2. 02

    Summer Solstice Festival

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    The summer solstice is the longest day of the year. You can experience the sunset either in one of the many parks in Manhattan or you can go to Socrates Sculpture Park. Here every year the summer solstice is celebrated with its own event. There are various live acts, ceremonies and smaller art exhibitions. From Socrates Sculpture Park you can enjoy the sunset over the East River and the New York skyline. 

    An alternative is to visit the New York observation decks. Once you’re at the top and see the setting sun, it can’t get much better!

  3. 03

    27th Annual Paul Winter’s Summer Solstice Celebration

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    Paul Winter is an iconic Grammy Award-winning jazz saxophone player who hosts an annual summer solstice celebration each year at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. The 28th Annual Paul Winter’s Summer Solstice Celebration is set to take center stage in June 2023, but has yet to be confirmed. 

    This is a must-see event, as you will welcome the dawn of the northern hemisphere’s longest day through the Rose Window at the Cathedral. Why is this so special? Well, because the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine is home to the world’s third-largest rose window, which is forty feet wide and contains over ten thousand pieces of glass. Each year this memorable concert welcomes guest appearances and lasts until the sunlight breaks through the glass of the Cathedral’s rose window. 

  4. 04

    Coney Island Mermaid Parade

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    Have you ever dreamed of bringing relics from ancient mythology to life? If so, you are in luck! NYC’s Mermaid Parade is an annual celebration of honky-tonk seaside rituals and ancient mythology, as it showcases over 3,000 artistic individuals from around the five boroughs and further. 

    This parade helps kick off the summer season by displaying community pride, fantastic art, and a tremendous entrepreneurial spirit. Whereas many parades are based on commercial, ethnic, and religious ideas, this is a Coney Island special that simply focuses on art and the vision of its creators! The 41st Annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade is scheduled for Saturday, June 17, 2023, so don’t miss it!

  5. 05

    Make Music Festival

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    If you would rather spend the extra hours of the summer solstice outdoors enjoying music, be sure to check out the Make Music Festival. This event began in France in 1982 as the Fete de la Musique but gained significant momentum and is now held on the same day each year in 120 countries and over 1,000 cities. 

    Unlike any traditional music festival you’ve ever attended, Make Music is open to anyone who wants to join in. Here you’ll find every type of musician – both old and young, professional and amateur, from every genre. On June 21, 2022, you’ll have the opportunity to watch said performers flood the streets, parks, porches, and plazas around the city. The entire event is open to the public and free of charge. 

  6. 06

    Help Fight Alzheimer’s with The Longest Day

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    The number of people living with Alzheimer’s is growing and fast! In fact, it’s estimated that nearly 6 million people in the United States alone are living with this debilitating condition, and it’s expected to reach 13 million people by 2050. This is a great reason to spend the longest day of the year fighting the good fight with other like-minded people. 

    As this day has more light than any other, The Longest Day is the perfect time to fight through the darkness of Alzheimer’s by partaking in any fundraising activity of your choice. And the best part is that you can celebrate at home, online, or in-person via participating events. 

  7. 07

    Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy Summer Solstice Festival and Hike-A-Thon

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    You can celebrate the summer solstice by joining the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy’s Summer Solstice Festival and Hike-A-Thon.

    While the date has not been released for 2023 as of yet, this festival is fun for people of all ages. Here, you can join local businesses, neighbors, friends, and families to kick off summer by enjoying many activities, animals, music, food, vendors, artists, and more.

  8. 08

    The Summer Solstice Crown

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    Our last summer solstice event in NYC is perfect for anyone who is feeling generous and athletic! And who knows, maybe you’ll be crowned the winner of the 35M. Yes, you heard right – this event is scheduled to occur just one week before the summer solstice.

    Perhaps the best part is that it doesn’t matter if you do a 5, 10, or 35-mile run; you’ll still walk away with a Summer Solstice Crown Tech-T and finisher medal! But, for those who feel extra energetic and attempt to complete the 35-mile run, you’ll also receive a hand-carved wooden crown award that comes shipped with your time and name engraved. The Summer Solstice Crown starts in Forest Park, Queens, NY. The park offers plenty of shade and refreshments; just don’t forget your comfiest shoes!

    The exact date for 2023 will be announced soon.

Profilbild Steffen Kneist
About the author


I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 25 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On my blog I show you the best and most beautiful spots of the city, so that you have a really good time! You can also find lots of insider tips in our New York travel guide. Also check out my hotel finder for New York!

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