Copenhagen has four distinct seasons and a climate much like that of the northeastern United States, though it rarely gets as hot in the summer. The saying goes that "something's rockin' in the state of Denmark," given the many outdoor events and concerts that hit stages in peak summer season. Midsummer's Eve is celebrated on June 23 with evening bonfires and live music on the city's wraparound shoreline, as well as at leafy Faelledparken. The first weekend in July brings the Roskilde Festival, Northern Europe's largest set of rock concerts, with more than 100 bands performing. Summerdance, showcasing contemporary and traditional dance performances, takes place in August at pop-up, open-air venues in the main plazas downtown. A word of caution: Copenhageners typically go on holiday in the last half of August, so many shops are closed at that time.
Shoulder season means late spring and early fall. Spring arrives late, with trees blossoming in May; sweater-and-scarf season returns in early September. These bookend months are a pleasant time to explore Nyhavn, the old sailors’ quarter that has morphed in recent years into a bohemian neighborhood with canal-side cafés. Shoulder season is also an ideal time to stroll Strøget, said to be the world's longest pedestrian shopping street, with many charming boutiques. September brings mild temperatures and the annual Golden Days festival, a three-week series of art exhibits and dance performances focusing on Denmark's artistic heritage from the early 1800s.
Typical light snowfall and brief daylight hours don't stop locals from celebrating Christmas energetically. Trees and pavilions in the 170-year-old Tivoli Gardens, a Victorian-era theme park, are lit up, and a market selling ornaments in the shape of Father Christmas (julemand) runs throughout the month. The quayside Nyhavn district is another hub of holiday spirit and live music, as is the ice-skating rink in the eastern plaza named Kongens Nytorv (King's New Square).