Enjoy the best Boston events, festivals, and things to do with this calendar of events.
Mileage is from Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston, Massachusetts.
May 1, 2016 (begins April 22)
Greater Boston locationsJazz Week offers numerous jazz events, from solo shows to jazz ensembles, and some are free.
May 1, 2016
1 mile SWJoin 40,000 people on the 10-mile Walk for Hunger and 5K run, which begin on Boston Common.
May 1, 2016 (begins April 29)
1.5 miles SWSee the contemporary work of 90 juried artists at the CraftBoston Spring show in the Cyclorama at Boston Center for the Arts.
May 1, 2016 (begins April 28)
3.5 miles NWArts First celebrates student and faculty creativity with more than 100 music, theater, dance, film, and visual arts events at Harvard University. Most are free.
Visit art studios
May 1, 2016 (begins April 30)
4.2 miles SWVisit 35 artists’ studios and homes during Open Studios weekend sale in Brookline. Free.
Cinco de Mayo Festival
May 1, 2016 (3 to 7 p.m.)
5.5 miles NEThe Cinco de Mayo Festival features food, festive entertainment, and drinks in Winthrop.
May 1, 2016 (begins April 29)
7.6 miles NEA-Town Jazz Festival has concerts on three days, with the main event Sunday evening at Regent Theatre in Arlington.
May 1, 2016
44 miles westDiscover new food items, taste samples, speak to producers, and shop at the New England VegFest at the DCU Center in Worcester. Free.
Flowers & art
May 1 - 2, 2016 (begins April 29)
2.6 miles SWArt in Bloom is a festival of floral arrangement and fine art that includes classes, demonstrations, walking tours, teas, a preview party, and a family-friendly Community Day on Sunday at the Museum of Fine Arts.
May 1 - 4, 2016 (begins April 27)
Boston locationsThe Independent Film Festival Boston (IFFBoston) shows about 100 innovative crowd-pleasing films, holds frequent parties, invites filmmakers to attend panel discussions, and has an awards ceremony.
May 1 - 8, 2016 (begins April 29)
Greater BostonArtWeek Boston offers hundreds of creative experiences, artist talks, performances, behind-the-scenes tours, and kids’ activities. Many are free. Repeats in Sept.
May 4, 2016 (8 p.m.)
2 miles westBerklee Symphonic Winds Spring Concert features works for winds, brass, and percussion at the Berklee Performance Center. Repeats in Nov.
Cinco de Mayo pub crawl
May 5, 2016 (4 p.m.)
0 milesCinco de Mayo Pub Crawl Boston includes drink specials at the Hard Rock Cafe and Mija Cantina at Faneuil Hall.
Cinco de Mayo at WGBH
May 5, 2016 (7 to 9 p.m.)
7.2 miles westEnjoy Mexican food, drink, and music at WGBH Celebrates Cinco de Mayo, and hear professors explain the significance of the holiday at WGBH Studios.
Wine and chocolate
May 6, 2016 (7 to 10 p.m.)
6 miles northEnjoy wine, sparkling juice, appetizers, and desserts at Friends of the Malden Public Library Wine Tasting and Chocolate Buffet, with live piano music.
Witty & romantic musical
May 6 - 22, 2016
9.3 miles NWA Tony Award winning play by Sondheim, A Little Night Music follows the romantic lives of several couples over a weekend at a Swedish country house in 1900, in Winchester.
Charlie Brown musical
May 6 - 22, 2016
24 miles SWComic book characters Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, Sally, and Schroeder come to life in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown in Walpole.
May 6 - 28, 2016
0.6 miles SWBoston Ballet presents Mirrors, four groundbreaking contemporary works at the Boston Opera House.
Mother’s Day wine/chocolate
May 7, 2016 (4:30 to 7:30 p.m.)
4.8 miles SWMother’s Day Wine & Chocolate includes a two-hour class about wine and chocolate from Boston Wine School, a tasting, and a dinner with wine in Brookline.
Stories about motherhood
May 7, 2016 (2 p.m.)
5.1 miles SWListen To Your Mother celebrates and validates motherhood with readings that are touching and humorous at Hope Central Church in Jamaica Plain.
May 7, 2016 (gala May 6)
12 miles westWatch 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 7, 2016 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
17.2 miles SWWellesley Kitchen and Home Tour features a ticketed tour of six different houses in Wellesley, with gourmet bites and an opportunity to meet the interior designers and landscape architects for age 18+. No photos.
May 7, 2016
23 miles northShop from 150 vendors at Andover Crafts in the Park.
May 7-8 and 14-15, 2016
48 miles northNew Hampshire 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.
May 7 - Sept. 18, 2016
0.3 miles eastView the city’s skyline and harbor on a Sunset Cruise, and watch as the USS Constitution fires her cannon and lowers her flag to end the day, departing from 1 Long Wharf. Discount tickets Sun. to Wed. $17.
Mother’s Day restaurants
May 8, 2016
New England locationsOpenTable 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.
Mother’s Day cruise
May 8, 2016 (noon)
0.4 miles eastMother’s Day Brunch Cruise includes a brunch buffet, views of Boston Harbor, and a rose for Mom for $60.
May 8, 2016
1 mile SWFamilies celebrate the Boston-based book “Make Way for Ducklings” by wearing yellow and registering to join the Duckling Day Parade at Boston Public Garden.
Short play festival
May 8, 2016
1.5 miles SWSee 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 comedy
May 8, 2016 (3 & 7 p.m.)
4.5 miles NWThe Boston Comedy Chicks tell jokes about motherhood at their Mother’s Day Comedy Show at The Center for Arts at the Armory in Somerville.
May 8, 2016 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
5.4 miles SWLilac 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 memorial
May 8, 2016
6.5 miles westVisit 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 tea
May 8, 2016 (3 p.m.)
10 miles westTake Mom to Mother’s Day Tea at Gore Place to have tea and cake and hear a talk about tea in a beautiful 1806 mansion in Waltham.
Mother’s Day cupcakes
May 8, 2016 (12 to 2 p.m.)
14 miles SWDecorate 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.
Kite and Bike Festival
May 14, 2016 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
6 miles SEBuy a kite and borrow a free bike at the Kite and Bike Festival in Franklin Park Playstead, or bring your own.
Run in the mud
May 14 - 15, 2016
40 miles NWRun through the wet and muddy 5K obstacle course in Devens called Muckfest both for the fun of it and to support charity.
May 14 - 22, 2016
Greater Boston areaFind bike rodeos, rides, breakfasts, and workshops offered during Bay State Bike Week. Some events start May 1.
MayFair at Harvard Square
May 15, 2016 (12 to 6 p.m.)
3.6 miles westMayFair offers four stages of entertainment, chalk art, beer gardens, and vendors of food, art, jewelry, and clothing at Harvard Square. Free. (Postponed from May 1 to May 15 due to rain.)
May 15 - 22, 2016
Cambridge locationsTogether Boston celebrates music, art, and technology with performances, films, exhibits, and educational panels in Cambridge.
May 18 - 19, 2016 (8 p.m.)
2.1 miles SWGershwin Celebration features the vibrant, lush, jazzy, and uniquely American sound of George Gershwin performed by the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall.
Nantucket Wine Festival
May 18 - 22, 2016
112 miles SE via ferryNantucket Wine Festival offers 60 events, including tastings, seminars, meals, and marketplaces.
May 20 - 21, 2016
1.5 miles SECatch a shuttle from South Station to Harpoon Brewery to enjoy beer, great food, and live local music at HarpoonFest. Tickets at the door.
May 20 - 22, 2016
30 miles SEBluegrass 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.
May 20 - 23, 2016
multiple locationsThirst Boston features cocktail seminars, tastings, and parties for beverage enthusiasts and industry insiders.
May 21, 2016 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
1.2 miles westEarthFest is a popular outdoor concert that includes environmental exhibits, healthy food vendors, and a separate kids’ stage at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River. Free.
May 22, 2016
3.3 miles SWRide 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.
Wine on a sailboat
May 25, 2016 (5:30 p.m.)
0.8 miles SEHead to Courthouse Dock for a two-hour evening sail aboard the historic Roseway with wine and snacks on a Wine Down Wednesday Sail for age 21+.
Boston Pops - show tunes
May 26, 2016 (8 p.m.)
2.1 miles SWTony winner Sutton Foster sings Broadway theater songs accompanied by the Boston Pops at Boston Symphony Hall.
May 27, 2016
0.3 miles eastQuestival is a 24-hour adventure where your team completes challenges via smartphone app to win an exotic trip, at Christopher Columbus Park.
May 27, 2016 (10 p.m.)
2.6 miles westVote for your favorite Boston standup comics in the final round of the month-long StandUp ThrowDown tournament at ImprovBoston.
Boston Calling music festival
May 27 - 29, 2016
0.1 miles westFamily friendly Boston Calling has outdoor stages for big-name music acts at City Hall Plaza. Repeats in Sept.
Campfire music festival
May 27 - 30, 2016
3.6 miles NWHear 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 29, 2016 (1 p.m.)
3 miles NWWatch 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.