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.


May 1 - 2, 2015 (begins April 17)

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.

Discount tickets.

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 (begins April 10)

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.

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 - June 28, 2015 (also March/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.

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 (12 to 6 p.m.)

3.6 miles west

Mayfair offers four 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.

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 (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.

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

0.5 miles SW

The Merry Wives of Windsor entertains with hilarious jokes and wild pranks at Trinity Episcopal Church.

Discount tickets.

May 2015

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 features 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.

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.

1940s musical revue

May 12 - 24, 2015

0.8 miles SW

In the Mood is a big-band stage show with singers and dancers at Citi Emerson Colonial Theatre.

Discount tickets.

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.

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.

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.

Guitar concert

May 26, 2015 (7:30 p.m.)

1.8 miles SW

Guitar Night: R&B/Funk Showcase features six guitarists leading their groups in an evening of original and cover material in the genres of R & B and funk at 921 Boylston Street. Free.

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.

Music concert

May 2015 (undated)

1.2 miles west

EarthFest is a popular outdoor concert that includes environmental exhibits and a family area at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River. Free.

Taste of Faneuil Hall

May 2015 (undated)

0 miles

A ticket to Taste of Faneuil Hall includes all-you-can-eat restaurant samples, beer tasting, and DJ music.
Next month:June 2015

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