June is Pride Month in NYC (and everywhere!) and the city is ready to celebrate. While the legendary Pride Parade is adjusted to keep it Covid-safe, it’s still on, as are numerous events sponsored by NYC Pride, including Youth Pride and Family Movie Night. There are still more family-friendly NYC pride events happening around town, all month long. Read on for our top picks for kid-friendly Pride events in NYC this year!
NYC Pride 2021
The big event, NYC Pride, will be broadcast on Sunday, June 27, from noon-3 p.m., with the theme "The Fight Continues," a reflection of the multitude of battles the community has been fighting, including ongoing coronavirus pandemic, issues of police brutality, the alarming murder rate for trans POC, violent efforts to disenfranchise voters, rights being questioned at the level of the Supreme Court, and more. The event will feature a mix of a live broadcast, a streaming virtual experience, and in-person pop-ups at local businesses using outdoor seating. This year's Grand Marshalls are Wilson Cruz, Ceyenne Doroshow, Menaka Guruswamy & Arundhati Katju, Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, and Aaron Philip.
Tour NYC LGBT Sites
Create your own walking tour (or visit spots virtually) with the help of the excellent NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project. Filter by neighborhood, public spaces, notable residences, cultural and educational institutions and more. You can even download it to your phone for a self-guided tour!
Drag Queen Story Hour at Showfields & Online
Can't make it to the museum? NYC Pride invites you to an afternoon of family friendly fun at Drag Queen Story Hour with Cholula Lemon at Showfields and online. (Space is limited for the in person event.)
This interactive and fluid story hour experience captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.
Sun., June 6, Noon-1 p.m.
Pride Day at the Brooklyn Children's Museum
Join Brooklyn Children’s Museum for a full day of celebrating! Enjoy Drag Queen Story Hour, then join in the family dance party with DJ Dynamite!
Sat., June 12
Brooklyn Children's Museum
145 Brooklyn Ave.
Youth Pride, a celebration of and for LGBTQIA+ and ally teens, will be held as a virtual gathering this year. For the 2021 experience, NYC Pride has partnered with youth-focused LGBT centers, organizations, and programs nationwide. The online event will include musical performances, LGBTQIA+ center spotlights, DJ's, and a special ballroom segment. Youth Pride will be hosted both Amber Whittington and Jorge “Gitoo” Wright, both influencers and activists working to create positive change in the U.S. and beyond.
Performers lined up for Youth Pride include: Brita Filter, Deetranada, Mia Lailani, Tarriona 'Tank' Ball, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, Kate Gil, Citizen Queen, RAYE, Gotham Cheer, Serpentwithfeet, Aaron Rose Philip, Papi Juice, DJ Karaba, and Devan Ibiza – with more to be announced in the coming weeks.
Tickets: free, but you must register in advance
NYC Pride Family Movie Night
Family Movie Night returns, and it's also virtual this year. (But is still packed with lots of fun and special guests!) Suitable for kids of all ages, this digital streaming event will feature spotlights on organizations whose work focuses queer family advocacy, planning, and support, as well as queer families to tell their family-building stories directly. Hosted by the charming Miss Richfield 1981, the event culminates in a family movie screening for all to enjoy!
Sat., June 17, 7 p.m.
Tickets: free, register online
LGBTQ Yarn Bombing at Historic Richmond Town
Historic Richmond Town has partnered with the Pride Center of Staten Island to create a yarn bombing at the village site. In observance of LGBTQ Pride, knitted and crocheted works in the Rainbow and Trans Pride motifs will be affixed to the lampposts along Center St and Court Place. The yarn bombing will be viewable for free on the Historic Richmond Town grounds, open dawn to dusk, 7 days a week.
On display throughout June
441 Clarke Ave.
New York City Opera Pride in the Park
Bryant Park's outdoor summer series celebrates Pride with the New York City Opera this year. "Pride in the Park" is free, and tickets are available now. Head here to get yours!
Fri., June 18, 7 p.m.
41st & 6th Ave.
Family Art Project at Wave Hill: Chosen Family Trees
Celebrate Pride and commemorate the Stonewall Uprising by creating your own chosen family tree! For LGBTQ people, found families are bonded by an unwavering love, and are supported by each other so they can be their full selves. Celebrate this kind of love by inviting your own chosen family to co-create tree sculptures holding photographs or drawings.
Registration required, online or by calling 718.549.3200 x251. Space is limited. For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sat., June 19, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
4900 Independence Ave.
Pride Birding with the Park Rangers
Celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month with the Urban Park Rangers on a birding outing. On this fun and inclusive adventure, hike and learn about about all things birding, from color identification to conservation. All friends and allies are welcome.
Sat., June 26, 10-11 a.m.
Van Cortland Park
For a Library You Can Be Proud Of
In addition to pride parades and street fests there are other ways to open the age-appropriate lines of communication with your children about the LGBTQ community—and acceptance of all people, regardless of gender, race, religion and sexuality differences. We recommend browsing one of our favorite NYC independent bookstores for kids for books dedicated to diversity and acceptance. These reads are a great place to start.
"PRIDE: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag" by Rob Sanders
Just in time for the 40th anniversary of the Rainbow Pride Flag comes a picture book that tells the empowering true story about how the flag came to be. From its start in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its role spanning the globe today, you'll hear a story of love, hope, equality and, of course, pride.
"A Tale of Two Mommies" and "A Tale of Two Daddies" by Vanita Oelschlager
Both of these stories are great reads for ages 4-8 and allow us a peek inside the conversation between kids who are curious about one friend's two mommies and another's two daddies. They're both perfect for introducing kids to same-sex families that are becoming increasingly more common to see in society.
"This Day in June" by Gayle E. Pitman
Show your kids the beauty of the pride parade without ever leaving your house. This picture book perfectly captures the diversity, exuberance and, well, pride on display and provides a solid springboard into a meaningful conversation. As a bonus, this book includes a reading guide chock full of facts about LGBTQ history and culture.
“Welcome to the Family” by Mary Hoffman
Explores one element of its prequel, “The Great Big Book of Families”, which is the arrival of new members into a family. Written with a humorous tone, you’ll have an opportunity to light-heartedly explore all different ways a baby or child can become a member of a family — natural birth within a nuclear family, adoption, fostering and same-sex families—while sending the message that all families are special and equal.
“The Family Book” by Todd Parr
Children are introduced to an array of families through whimsical, colorful illustrations. Pages are full of silly examples of differences (i.e.: some families like to be messy, some like to be clean), plus serious topics like adoption, same-sex relationships and single parenting.
“It’s Okay to Be Different” by Todd Parr
Similar to the “The Family Book,” Parr reinforces the need for acceptance of individuality through repetition and fun and colorful drawings. He mixes big ideas (“It’s okay to have different dads”) with random silliness (“It’s okay to eat macaroni and cheese in the bathtub”).
“King and King” by Linda de Haan
In this fairytale, a prince must find a mate to help rule the kingdom so the Queen can retire. While being introduced to a series of princesses, the prince meets a suitor’s brother and it’s love at first sight. Collage-style illustrations are bright, colorful and altogether engaging.
"10,000 Dresses" by Marcus Ewert
Bailey loves dresses in all the colors of the rainbow. Dresses that sparkle, that shine, that twirl. His parents, however, are in his ear to remind him that he's a boy and boys don't wear dresses. In comes Laurel, a friend that shows him that it's okay to be whoever he wants to be. This is an inspiring friendship story that any kid can relate to — but especially those who refuse to conform.
"This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids" by Dannielle Owens-Redi and Kristin Russo
Have a child who recently came out or is early-on in the stages of questioning their sexuality? First off, congratulations that you've created an environment where your child feels open enough to talk about those feelings. Next up? This book. Written in Q&A format, it's a go-to resource for parents committed to understanding and being the best support possible for their child. The authors share insight on everything from the emotional to the practical topics, peppered with real-life experiences from gay kids and their parents.