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

Best events for 12 monthsevents12
January February March April May June July August September October November December
Best events for 12 months
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.

Musical spoof of 1940s Hollywood

May 1 - 2, 2015 (also April)

2 miles SW

City of Angels follows a screenwriter whose film noir mirrors his own life at Lyric Stage. “The clever lines, lyrics, and songs keep on coming!” [NY Times]

Discount tickets.

Portrait of a failing marriage

May 1 - 2, 2015 (also April)

2 miles SW

Come Back, Little Sheba is the intimate story of a couple’s forgotten dreams and missed opportunities onstage at Calderwood Pavilion.

Discount tickets.


May 1 - 2, 2015 (also April)

20 miles NW

Drag queens and conservatives collide in the comic play about gay pride: La Cage Aux Folles at Emerson Umbrella Center for the Arts in Concord.

Discount tickets.

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.

J.C. Superstar

May 1 - 3, 2015 (begins April 24)

5 miles south

Fiddlehead Theatre Company performs Andrew Lloyd Webber’s epic rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester.

Women’s play

May 1 - 3, 2015

18 miles NE

Women recall hilarious & poignant stories based on clothing they wore in Love, Loss and What I Wore, a play at Larcom Theatre in Beverly.

Discount tickets.

Dark cutting-edge comedy

May 1 - 9, 2015 (also April)

3.7 miles north

A couple invites neighbors to a BBQ, which turns into a delirious and dangerous bacchanal with shocking consequences in the critically acclaimed play Detroit at Chelsea Theatre Works.

Discount tickets.


May 1 - 10, 2015 (kickoff April 30)

Greater Boston

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

Big top circus

May 1 - 10, 2015 (also April)

0 miles

Metamorphosis is a classic show by Big Apple Circus with animals, aerialists, contortionists, jugglers, and magicians at City Hall Plaza.

Discount tickets.

Dirty Dancing

May 1 - 10, 2015 (begins April 28)

0.8 miles SW

See the romantic story Dirty Dancing live at Citi Emerson Colonial Theatre with passionate dancing and hit songs from the movie. Discount tickets.

Opera by Mozart

May 1 - 10, 2015

1 mile SW

Don Giovanni is a seduction artist who ends up paying for his immorality in this Italian opera with English subtitles at Shubert Theatre.

Discount tickets.

Solve the crime

May 1 & 15, 2015 (also April/June)

1 mile SW

Winner of “best comedy” awards, Shear Madness is a humorous whodunit with audience participation set in a hair salon at Charles Playhouse.

Discount tickets.

Family drama

May 1 - 16, 2015 (begins April 30)

18 miles west

Other Desert Cities is about a family the NY Times called “balanced on a razor’s edge of affection and aggression” live in Wayland. Discount tickets.


May 1 - 24, 2015 (also April)

3.7 miles SW

Based on the book and movie, Shrek The Musical is an adventure about an ogre and his donkey for ages 7 up at Wheelock Family Theatre.

Discount tickets.

Improvised musical

May 1 - June 19, 2015 (8 p.m.)

1 mile SE

Boston’s Unscripted Musical Project is an improvised one-act musical full of heroes, villains, and comic relief. Songs, dance, and live music are made up on the spot, at 50 Melcher Street.

Discount tickets.

Blue Man show

May 1 - Aug. 30, 2015 (also April)

1 mile SW

Blue Man Group is back with a new stage show that combines comedy, art, and science with visual effects and music at Charles Playhouse.

Discount tickets.

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.

Sesame Street show

May 2 - 3, 2015

0.5 miles SW

Families love watching their favorite characters sing and dance onstage in Sesame Street Live: Make a New Friend at Orpheum Theatre.

Contemporary Russian ballet

May 2 - 3, 2015

0.8 miles SW

Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg performs a dramatic full-length ballet based on the life of French sculptor Rodin at Cutler Majestic Theatre.

Discount tickets.

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.
May 2015

Mayfair at Harvard Square

May 3, 2015 (12 to 6 p.m.)

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.

Lexington concert

May 3, 2015 (3 p.m.)

10 miles NW

The Spring Concert by Metropolitan Wind Symphony includes the world premiere of Boston Strong and other stirring works at National Heritage Museum.

Discount tickets.

International films

May 3 & 11, 2015 (also April)

12 miles west

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

Discount tickets.

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.

Create your own concert

May 7 - June 5, 2015 (8 p.m.)

2.1 miles SW

Bring a smartphone to vote for the music you want the Boston Pops to play during By Popular Demand at Boston Symphony Hall.

Discount tickets.

Wine and chocolate

May 8, 2015 (7 to 10 p.m.)

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.

Multimedia dance spectacle

May 8 - 10, 2015

0.8 miles SW

Momix dancers bring beauty, innovation, and humor to their exploration of earth, air, fire, and water in Alchemia at Cutler Majestic Theatre.

Discount tickets.

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.

Shakespeare comedy

May 8 - 17, 2015

10 miles north

The Merry Wives of Windsor entertains with hilarious jokes and wild pranks in Melrose.

Discount tickets.

Clean comedy

May 8 - Aug. 15, 2015 (also April)

multiple locations

ComedySportz acts out humorous situations based on audience suggestions in a fast-paced show.

Modern family drama

May 8 - June 6, 2015

2 miles SW

When her son dies, a Dallas matriarch travels to NY to meet his partner in Mothers & Sons, which deals with changing definitions of family at Calderwood Pavilion.

Discount tickets.

Fashion show

May 9, 2015 (7 p.m.)

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.

Classical music

May 9, 2015 (8 p.m.)

2.3 miles SW

Longwood Symphony Orchestra plays Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy at the New England Conservatory, with movie music by John Williams and Aaron Copland.

Discount tickets.

Japanese festival

May 9, 2015 (12 to 3 p.m.)

4.5 miles SW

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

Steampunk festival

May 9, 2015 (gala May 8, rain day May 10)

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.

Craft fair

May 9, 2015

23 miles north

Shop from 150 vendors at Andover Crafts in the Park.

Bike week

May 9 - 17, 2015

Greater Boston area

Find bike rodeos, rides, breakfasts, and workshops offered during the month-long Bay State Bike Week.

Renaissance fair

May 9 - 10 and 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.

Roman drama

May 9 - 30, 2015

2 miles SW

Julius Caesar is locked in a life-and-death struggle for power in Shakespeare’s bloody drama of the Roman Empire at Calderwood Pavilion.

Discount tickets for 2 people on May 27.

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.

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. Register online.

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.

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.

Music festival

May 10 - 17, 2015

Cambridge locations

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

Award-winning musical

May 14 - June 7, 2015

9.2 miles north

Follow an ambitious window washer learning how to climb the corporate ladder in the comic musical How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying at Stoneham Theatre.

Discount tickets.

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.

Contemporary ballet

May 15 - 17, 2015

1 mile SW

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet of New York performs daring, innovative works by cutting-edge choreographers at Shubert Theatre.

Discount tickets.

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 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

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.

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.

Russian play

May 21 - June 21, 2015

18 miles

The Three Sisters who once led a privileged life must cope with misfortune and life in a tiny Russian town in a play by Chekhov at Wellesley. Discount tickets.

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.

A play about bullying

May 22 - June 21, 2015

2 miles SW

After All the Terrible Things I Do is an emotional play about bullying, second chances, dignity, and sexual orientation at Calderwood Pavilion.

Discount tickets.


Street performers

May 23, 2015

0 miles

See musicians and entertainers throughout Faneuil Hall during Street Performer Spring Showcase. Free.

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 (5:30 to 8:30 p.m.)

0 miles

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

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 (5 to 7:30 p.m.)

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
add event home contact us

May 2015 calendar of events in Boston, MA. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Boston, Massachusetts.