Boston events for May 2015. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend street fairs, kids activities, and free entertainment in Boston, Massachusetts.

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May 2015

Enjoy the best Boston events, festivals, and things to do in May 2015 with this calendar of events.

Events are listed by starting date, and all dates are confirmed. Mileage is from Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston, Massachusetts.

Jazz Week

May 1 - 3, 2015 (begins April 24)

Greater Boston locations

Jazz Week offers numerous jazz events, from solo shows to jazz ensembles, and some are free.

Harvard Arts First Festival

May 1 - 3, 2015 (begins April 30)

3.5 miles NW

Harvard Arts First Festival celebrates student and faculty creativity with more than 200 music, theater, dance, film, and visual arts events. Most are free.


May 1 - 10, 2015

Greater Boston

ArtWeek Boston offers 100+ creative experiences, artist talks, performances, behind-the-scenes tours, and kids’ activities. Many are free. Repeats in Sept.

Rare books & photos fair

May 2, 2015

16 miles north

Browse vintage books, documents, and photos or get yours appraised at the Book, Paper & Photo Expo at Shriner’s Auditorium in Wilmington.

Comedy competition

May 2 - 29, 2015

2.6 miles west

See 50 of Boston’s best standup comics compete in the StandUp ThrowDown tournament and vote for your favorites at ImprovBoston.

Charity walk

May 3, 2015

1 mile SW

Join 40,000 people on the Walk for Hunger, which begins at Boston Common and goes up to 20 miles.

Mayfair at Harvard Square

May 3, 2015

3.6 miles west

Mayfair offers five stages of entertainment, chalk art, beer gardens, and vendors of food, art, jewelry, and clothing at Harvard Square. Rain date May 17. Free.

Symphonic concert

May 5, 2015 (8 p.m.)

2 miles west

Berklee Symphonic Winds Spring Concert features works for winds, brass, and percussion at the Berklee Performance Center. Free.

Wine and chocolate

May 8, 2015

6 miles north

Enjoy wine, sparkling juice, appetizers, and desserts at Friends of the Malden Public Library Wine Tasting and Chocolate Buffet, with live piano music.

Bluegrass festival

May 8 - 10, 2015

30 miles SE

Bluegrass on the Bogs [sound] is an acoustic non-traditional bluegrass festival with local bands, food and craft vendors, workshops, kids’ events, and camping at Camp Kiwanee in Hanson.

Fashion show

May 9, 2015

1.5 miles SW

Featuring Ambitious Models & Entrepreneurs Fashion Show (FAME) includes a shopping boutique and a runway walk at 7:45 p.m. at Boston Common Hotel.

Stories about motherhood

May 9, 2015

1.5 miles SW

Listen To Your Mother celebrates and validates motherhood with readings that are touching and humorous at Old South Church, Copley Square.

Japanese festival

May 9, 2015

4.5 miles SW

Sakura Matsuri features Japanese music, food, taiko drumming, bon odori festival dancing, crafts, and games at Brookline High School. Donation.

Mother’s Day wine/chocolate

May 9, 2015

6 miles west

Mother’s Day Wine & Chocolate includes a 2-hour class, a tasting of wine and chocolate, and an Italian dinner with wine at Boston Wine School in Allston.

Steampunk festival

May 9, 2015 (gala May 8)

12 miles west

Watch City Steampunk Festival includes Victorian calliopes, Penny Farthings, costumed performers, musicians, bands, lectures, an open-air market with Steampunk vendors, and a parade in Waltham. Free.
May 2015

Craft fair

May 9, 2015

23 miles north

Shop from 150 vendors at Andover Crafts in the Park.

Mother & daughter art class

May 9 - 11, 2015

3.4 miles SW

Mothers and daughters can make beautiful glass beads or pendants together at Diablo Glass School.

Bike week

May 9 - 17, 2015

Greater Boston area

Find bike rodeos, rides, breakfasts, and workshops offered during Bay State Bike Week.

Mother’s Day restaurants

May 10, 2015

New England locations

OpenTable lists restaurants that offer special brunch, lunch, and dinner menus on Mother’s Day. We also recommend checking the list of Mother’s Day restaurants at BostonChefs.

Duckling parade

May 10, 2015

1 mile SW

Families celebrate the Boston-based book “Make Way for Ducklings” by dressing as ducks for a Duckling Day Parade at Boston Public Garden.

Short play festival

May 10, 2015

1.5 miles SW

See the best 50 plays shorter than 10 minutes, out of 400 entries by New England playwrights, at Boston Theater Marathon at Boston Center for the Arts.

Mother’s Day talk

May 10, 2015

4 miles west

RSVP to hear about the nurturing nature of mothers and how we can nurture ourselves and others at Honoring Mothers: Remembering the Days of Our Childhood at Inner Space at Harvard Square. Free.

Lilac day

May 10, 2015

5.4 miles SW

Lilac Sunday features tours of the lilacs and other collections, live music, family activities, food trucks, and picnicking at the Arnold Arboretum. Free.

Mother’s Day tea

May 10, 2015

10 miles west

Take Mom to Mother’s Day Tea at Gore Place for tea and cake in a beautiful 1806 mansion in Waltham.

Mother’s Day memorial

May 10, 2015

6.5 miles west

Visit the graves of notable mothers and see symbols of motherhood on monuments during the Memories of Mothers tour at Mount Auburn Cemetery.

Mother’s Day cupcakes

May 10, 2015

14 miles SW

Decorate six jumbo cupcakes either with or for Mom at Mother’s Day Cupcake Decorating Class at Treat Cupcake Bar in Needham for $75 per person.

Mother’s Day on the farm

May 10, 2015

38 miles NW

Mom’s get free entry and a free massage with a paid child at Davis Family Farm, which has farm animals, children’s play areas, hayrides, and more in Sterling.

Music festival

May 10 - 17, 2015

Cambridge locations

Together Boston celebrates music, art, and technology with performances, films, exhibits, and educational panels in Cambridge.

Beer festival

May 15 - 16, 2015

1.5 miles SE

Catch a shuttle from South Station to Harpoon Brewery to enjoy beer, great food, and live local music at HarpoonFest. Tickets at the door.

Open art studios

May 15 - 17, 2015

1.1 miles SE

See studios of 150 artists in historic waterfront warehouses during Fort Point Open Studios. Free. Repeats in Oct.

Kite and Bike Festival

May 16, 2015

6 miles SE

Buy a kite and borrow a free bike at the Kite and Bike Festival in Franklin Park Playstead, or bring your own.

Renaissance fair

May 16 - 17, 2015

48 miles north

NH Renaissance Faire is a laid-back event with craft and food vendors, wandering musicians, theater on stage, and knights jousting in a field in Kingston NH.

Bike parade

May 17, 2015

3.3 miles SW

Ride five miles on Beacon Street with no cars and a police escort in the Brookline Bicycle Parade, which has adult and child versions that begin and end at Amory Park, with a party afterward. Free.

International films

May 18, 2015

12 miles west

See eclectic movies from around the world at the International Film Series at West Newton Cinema.

Boston Calling music festival

May 22 - 24, 2015

0.1 miles west

Family friendly Boston Calling has outdoor stages for big-name music acts at City Hall Plaza. Repeats Sept.

Campfire music festival

May 22 - 25, 2015

3.6 miles NW

Hear new performers and watch songwriters interact and swap tunes as they sing in the round at the Campfire Festival at Club Passim. Repeats in Aug.

Memorial Day Parade

May 24, 2015

3 miles NW

Watch marching bands, veterans’ groups, and beauty queens in the Memorial Day Parade that begins at Somerville City Hall and goes up Highland Avenue to Veterans Memorial Cemetery at 1330 Broadway. Free.

Taste at Faneuil Hall

May 28, 2015

0 miles

Taste of Boston has restaurant food samples, beer samples, and DJ music for age 21+ at Ned Devine’s.

Irish pops

May 28, 2015

2.1 miles SW

A Celtic Sojourn at Pops features Boston Pops playing Celtic music, plus Irish step dancers, pipers, and vocalists at Symphony Hall.

Beer festival

May 29 - 30, 2015

1.1 miles SE

Billed as the East Coast’s largest craft beer event, American Craft Beer Fest (ACBF) features 640 beers from 140 brewers at the Seaport World Trade Center.

Quilt show

May 29 - 31, 2015

5.8 miles west

See 200 quilts that range from classic to cutting-edge at Quilters’ Connection Quilt Show, which has guided tours and demonstrations of quilting techniques at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown.

Wine at the zoo

May 30, 2015

3.5 miles SW

Sample wines at Uncorked as you stroll past animals in the Tropical Forest Pavilion at Franklin Park Zoo.

Get painted as you run

May 31, 2015

28 miles SW

Wear a white shirt, and then get bombarded by handfuls of colored cornstarch and glitter as you run the Color Run 5K at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough.
Next month: June 2015
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May 2015 calendar of events in Boston, MA. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Boston, Massachusetts.