A pair of DJs spin for the crowd at the...

A pair of DJs spin for the crowd at the "We Belong Here" music festival in Miami, which is coming to Governors Island in New York City. Credit: Luis Antonio

There are always new things to try in New York City, even if you're just a daytripper. From music festivals to the opening of the first LGBTQ+ visitor center within the National Park Service, here are the top things to do this summer in the city.

Wonderland: Curious Nature at NYBG

The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical...

The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden is hosting "Wonderland: Curious Nature at NYBG" this summer. The exhibit is inspired by the "Alice" stories written by Lewis Carroll. Credit: NY Botanical Garden

2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx

Through Oct. 27, New York Botanical Garden guests can explore a new exhibit inspired by author Lewis Carroll’s stories of Alice and her trips through Wonderland and the Looking Glass. The garden will host 21-and-over “Wonderland Nights” (June 1, 15, Sept. 20-21, Oct. 4-5, 18, 25) from 7 to 10 p.m. with performances and adult beverages to purchase and some of the books’ characters will appear Saturdays, Sundays and select Mondays. Themed “Eat This and Drink This” food options will also be available, including afternoon tea parties at the facility’s Hudson Garden Grill and a pop-up “Looking Glass” dining and bar spot on the NYBG Visitor Center patio.

Cost Daytime entry tickets are $35;  $15 ages 2-12 (special evening events are not included).

More info 718-817-8700, nybg.org

'De Niro Con' at the Tribeca Film Festival

Left to right, Robert De Niro, Mayor Eric Adams, Martin...

Left to right, Robert De Niro, Mayor Eric Adams, Martin Scorsese and Jane Rosenthal at the Tribeca Festival opening night at Tribeca Grill June 2023 in New York City. Credit: Getty Images for Tribeca Festiva/Arturo Holmes

6 St. Johns Lane, Manhattan

This special celebration will showcase the work of actor and native New Yorker Robert De Niro at Spring Studios in TriBeCa, June 14-16. The festival will feature movie props, scripts, rare photos and other content from De Niro’s personal archives. Guests will also have a chance to explore interactive film set re-creations, take photos, see screenings and sit in on related chat sessions — even participate in costume and impersonation competitions.

Cost Tickets are available in advance; one-day passes are $150, full event access tickets start at $500.
More info tribecafilm.com

The Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center

People walk by the Stonewall Inn, an iconic bar for...

People walk by the Stonewall Inn, an iconic bar for the LGBTQ community in Manhattan. Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

51 Christopher St., Manhattan

Slated to open in June, this space will be the first LGBTQ+ visitor center within the National Park Service, located next to the historic Stonewall Inn, where the Stonewall Uprising took place in June 1969. The center will host tours, talk sessions and live performances, as well as a section that highlights the history of the uprising, a major milestone in the LGBTQ+ rights movement.

Cost Free.

More info stonewallvisitorcenter.org

Pier 97 at Hudson River Park

At the west end of West 57th Street, Manhattan

Already used as a performance space in the past, the pier will now include amenities like a lawn for gatherings, an athletic field and a playground with water sprays and a splash pad set to open before the fall. Aesthetics like a sunset deck, an all-ages slide and a raised belvedere will also be available to explore, and parkgoers will have access to a concession area and restrooms, as well as wide views of the Hudson River and the skyline looking east.

Cost Free.

More info hudsonriverpark.org

‘We Belong Here’ festival on Governors Island

910 Gresham Rd. (Ferries leave from 10 South St. in Manhattan.)

The six-day, two-weekend festival (May 24-26, May 31-June 2) will have daily DJ sessions, featuring a total of 23 selectors such as the Grammy-nominated duo Sidepiece (May 26), Ukrainian producer and mixer Korolova (May 31) and NYC’s own Exstra (May 24). Attendees will be able to party on an outdoor dance floor with views of the Statue of Liberty plus the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines. The event also features a lounge area that offers seating, free water and lawn games; food and beverages will also be available for purchase.

Cost Tickets start at $40 for a one-day visit with the round-trip ferry ride included. Passes for all six days start at $200.

More info webelonghere.world

An exhibition of hip-hop jewelry at AMNH

200 Central Park W., Manhattan

The American Museum of Natural History kicks off summer with the “Ice Cold” exhibit, a special retrospective focused on how hip-hop influenced culture with expressive custom-made jewelry worn by some of the genre’s best-known stars. Dozens of pieces will be on display, including pendants, gold chains, medallions and other items that once adorned such old-school notables as the Notorious B.I.G. and Slick Rick, as well as Nicki Minaj, A$AP Ferg and Tyler the Creator.

Cost $28, $16 ages 3-12.

More info 212-769-5100, amnh.org

Mini golf for grown-ups

The indoor ski lodge-themed mini golf course is one of...

The indoor ski lodge-themed mini golf course is one of two available at Puttery NYC in Manhattan. Credit: Puttery

446 W. 14th St., Manhattan

Puttery NYC is a new 24,000-square-foot, adults-only entertainment venue that features four bars throughout its five floors and two nine-hole mini golf courses. A full menu of American food is served, as well as craft cocktails and beer, so golfers can sip as they putt. There’s a rooftop bar and a private underground lounge for those looking to hang. 

Cost $29 per person, per round.

More info puttery.com

Manhattan Healing Forest

An overhead view of Roosevelt Island, where the Manhattan Healing...

An overhead view of Roosevelt Island, where the Manhattan Healing Forest is being planted. Credit: Manhattan Healing Forest/SUGi

South end of Roosevelt Island

Located in Southpoint Park on Roosevelt Island, this pocket forest is free to visit. Part of a global plan to create thick wooded zones home to native species in urban settings, this green zone is also intended to improve the environment and support local nature. 

More info sugiproject.com

Immersive photo studio experience

406 W. 13th St., Manhattan

The Leica Camera company opened its flagship store in the city’s Meatpacking District this year and customers can also dig into a gallery featuring work by both established and new talents from the photography world. There’s also an outdoor rooftop space and a library of photography books, plus those in attendance can test and experiment with Leica’s photo tech in a photo studio.

More info 332-222-1690, leicacamerausa.com

An ‘art decision’ on the High Line

Parallel to 10th Avenue from Gansevoort to West 30th Streets, Manhattan

A former abandoned freight railway-turned-elevated park and green space, it’s also a destination where artists can display their work to the public. People who stop through at the Plinth portion of the park (in the Coach Passage along 30th Street and 10th Avenue) through June will get a chance to view 12 sculptural maquettes — 3D models used to demonstrate what an artist eventually plans to create on a larger scale — before two are selected to be re-created at full-size for installation on the Plinth in 2026 and 2027. Those who visit can read more about each of the proposed pieces, and then use posted QR codes to provide their feedback.

Cost Free.

More info 212-206-9922, thehighline.org


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