Enjoy the best New York City events, festivals, and things to do with this calendar of events.
Mileage is from Rockefeller Center in downtown New York City, New York.
May 1, 2016 (begins April 25)
NYC locationsAttend readings, discussions, and workshops with writers addressing contemporary cultural and political issues in Mexico and other countries at PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature.
Indie film fest
May 1, 2016 (begins April 27)
0.9 miles westNYC Independent Film Festival celebrates the independent filmmaker with screenings, panels, and parties at the Producers Club.
May 1, 2016 (begins April 29)
4 miles eastIndieCade East is a festival for independent video games with talks, panels, parties, and plenty of play time at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens.
May 1, 2016
5 miles southBike 40 miles through New York’s five boroughs on Five Boro Bike Tour, starting north of Battery Park.
Cherry blossom festival
May 1, 2016 (begins April 30)
7.5 miles SESakura Matsuri features 200 blossoming cherry trees and 60 events and performances celebrating Japanese culture at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Food Book Fair
May 1 - 2, 2016
4 miles SEFood enthusiasts, chefs, artists, writers, designers, and publishers attend Food Book Fair to celebrate, discuss, and sample fine food at Wythe Hotel.
May 1 - 15, 2016 (weekends from April 30)
2 miles northSpring Crafts on Columbus features 100 juried artists near the American Museum of Natural History. Free.
May 1 - Sept. 4, 2016
0.3 miles westThe show-business musical Chicago has sizzling songs, seductive dance numbers, and a powerful story at Ambassador Theatre. Discount tickets $33 to $95.
May 1 - Dec. 29, 2016
2.4 miles SWEnjoy 90 minutes of views on an afternoon Statue of Liberty & Skyline Sightseeing Cruise, with a free glass of champagne or other beverage on Yacht Manhattan, from Chelsea Piers (Pier 62). Discount tickets $28.
Taste of Queens
May 3, 2016 (6 to 9 p.m.)
10 miles eastSample food and drink from 60 restaurants, and mingle with the borough’s business leaders at the Queens Taste at New York Hall of Science.
African film festival
May 4 - 10, 2016
NYC locationsThe New York African Film Festival screens films at three venues: Lincoln Center, Maysles Cinema Institute, and BAM Rose Cinemas.
Films about dating
May 4 - 17, 2016
7.8 miles southSee 20 films ranging from cautionary silent dramas about the perils of unsupervised courtship to iconic romantic comedies, plus films of feminism and gay liberation at Labor of Love at BAM Rose Cinemas.
Free Summer Movies
May 4 - Sept. 15, 2016
NYC locationsFree Summer Movies are shown evenings at NYC parks in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.
Cinco de Mayo party
May 5, 2016 (7 to 10 p.m.)
2.9 miles southCinco Strut is a Mexican themed party with open bar, appetizers, a DJ, and six Latin American artists at Rayuela.
Latino film festival
May 5 - 8, 2016
2.6 miles southViva! Latino Film Festival screens subtitled shorts, feature films, documentaries, and music videos at Anthology Film Archives.
Art fair on Randall’s Island
May 5 - 8, 2016
6 miles NEShop for art from 1000 contemporary artists; attend talks, and mingle with art-world celebrities at Frieze New York in tents at Randall’s Island Park.
May 5 - 15, 2016
6 miles northBronx Week includes a film festival, neighborhood tours, Bronx Ball, parade, and a food & arts festival.
May 6, 2016 (6:30 p.m.)
5.9 miles SEFive Boro Craft Beer Fest features 30 craft brewers, local food vendors, and a band at The Well in Brooklyn.
May 7, 2016 (2 & 7 p.m.)
0.1 miles northTaste 200 wines with hors d’oeuvres and live jazz at NYC Spring Wine Festival at 7 West 51st Street.
Mother’s Day R&B
May 7, 2016 (8 p.m.)
8 miles southArriving a day early, the Mother’s Day Good Music Festival features R&B superstars Keyshia Cole, Monica, Tank, Ginuwine, Joe, and Avant at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
May 7, 2016 (4 p.m.)
13 miles SWGospelfest is a talent competition followed by a gospel concert at the Prudential Center in Newark.
Chicken wings festival
May 7, 2016 (1 to 5 p.m.)
18.8 miles eastA ticket to Ultimate Wing Fest “includes all you can eat wings cooked by local wingmasters with their special sauces” plus beer, wine, cider and live music at Belmont Park Race Track in Elmont.
May 7, 2016
28 miles eastThe Dutch Festival features jazz music, blooming tulips, face painting, craft vendors, and authentic Dutch food and beverages outdoors on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead. Free.
May 7 - 8, 2016
1.7 miles southNYC Vegetarian Food Festival features food samples and meals from vegetarian restaurants, health and wellness vendors, vegetarian and animal-welfare groups, and talks and shows at Metropolitan Pavilion.
Mother’s Day in the garden
May 7 - 8, 2016 (SOLD OUT)
12 miles northMother’s Day Weekend Garden Party features live music, dancers, games, food trucks, and casual picnicking at New York Botanical Garden.
Mother’s Day restaurants
May 8, 2016
NYC locationsOpenTable lists restaurants that offer special brunch, lunch, and dinner menus on Mother’s Day. Also see:
Mother’s Day at the zoo
May 8, 2016
0.7 miles northA $75 ticket to Mother’s Day Celebration at Central Park Zoo includes baby animal feeding, a scavenger hunt, craft making, and treats for an adult and child.
Mother’s Day scavenger hunt
May 8, 2016 (2 to 5 p.m.)
0.7 miles southFind hidden clues and complete fun tasks in a race around the city on The Amazing Mother’s Day Scavenger Hunt beginning at Slattery’s Midtown Pub.
May 8, 2016
1.2 miles northJapan Day @ Central Park includes dancing and singing, calligraphy and origami, activity tents, and food tents at Central Park Bandshell. Free.
May 8, 2016 (8 p.m.)
2.3 miles SWOttmar Liebert & Luna Negra play nouveau flamenco, which blends in jazz rhythms and pop music structures, at Highline Ballroom.
Mother’s Day walk
May 8, 2016
Starting location is 3.6 miles southThe Mother’s Day Walk begins at Park Row & Centre Street and crosses the Brooklyn Bridge to a family picnic with dance music in Cadman Plaza Park to celebrate Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day in the garden
May 8, 2016 (10 a.m. & 1 p.m.)
11 miles eastEnjoy a caterred Mother’s Day Brunch plus a stroll in the gardens at Queens Botanical Garden.
Mother’s Day at Wave Hill
May 8, 2016 (SOLD OUT)
12 miles northWave Hill offers family art projects and garden walks in the Bronx, plus a Mother’s Day Brunch.
May 8 - 15, 2016
NYC locationsNew York Guitar Festival features familiar and influential guitarists plus new talent and new sounds.
Eat breakfast for dinner
May 11, 2016 (8 to 11 p.m.)
1.2 miles westYour ticket to Brunch Eats includes samples of brunch dishes and cocktails from 20 restaurants and bakeries selected by the Village Voice, set among World War II airplanes atop the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
May 13, 2016 (7 p.m., VIP 6)
1.7 miles southEnjoy bites from 60 restaurants and tastes from breweries, wineries, and distilleries at Spring Taste NYC, which includes live entertainment and cooking demos at Metropolitan Pavilion.
NJ wine festival
May 13, 2016 (7 to 10 p.m.)
29 miles westTaste 150 wines, hors d’oeuvres, cheeses, pasta, and desserts to live jazz at New Jersey Spring Wine Festival at the Hilton Hotel in Short Hills, NJ.
May 13 - 14, 2016
1.5 miles southJoin 15,000 cyclists visiting exhibitors at the NYC Bike Expo at 69th Regiment Armory. Secure bike check. Free. [Do not confuse with the bike expo on April 29-30.]
May 13 - 15, 2016
NYC locationsDo the dances you love with fun people, to live music and seasoned DJs at Big Apple Balboa, Blues and Lindy Exchange (BABBLE).
Cajun, creole, zydeco festival
May 13 - 15, 2016
7 miles southBayou n’ Brooklyn Music Festival features Cajun-zydeco music and dance of Louisiana, fiddle and guitar workshops, jam sessions, and Southern food at Jalopy Theatre and School of Music in Brooklyn.
May 13 - 15, 2016
42 miles SWCombine mad science with the Victorian era and you have The Steampunk World’s Fair, which features music, entertainment, costumes, games, social activities, and friendly people at Radisson Hotel, Piscataway, NJ.
Creative film festival
May 13 - 17, 2016
1.3 miles NWColumbia University Film Festival premieres short films, feature screenplays, and teleplays created by graduate MFA students of Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program at Lincoln Center.
May 14, 2016 (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
1 mile NWKids Spring Fling has sing alongs, dance performances and lessons, and short films at Lincoln Center. Free.
May 14, 2016 (12 to 5 p.m.)
1.3 miles westTexas Chili Cook-off serves chili, beer, and a band, rain or shine at Pier 84 at Hudson River Park.
Art on Randall’s Island
May 14, 2016
6 miles NEAttend the grand opening of the Flow.16 outdoor art exhibit and meet the artists at Randall’s Island Park. Free.
International food fest
May 14 - 15, 2016 (12 to 5 p.m.)
1 mile NWNinth Avenue International Food Festival features food from around the world, international music and dance, artists and vendors, and children’s rides and games on 9th Avenue (42nd to 57th). Free entry.
May 14 - 15, 2016
10.5 miles eastElectric Daisy Carnival combines electronic dance music with cutting-edge production to create a unique experience of sight and sound at Citi Field.
May 15, 2016
0.4 miles SWSee extraordinary decorated cakes and visit vendors at The NY Cake Show at Marriott Marquis. Classes and a Saturday off-site cocktail party are at additional cost.
May 15, 2016 (12 to 5 p.m.)
1.7 miles NWMamapalooza offers music, art, kids’ activities, food vendors, and crafts for mothers and the people who love them on the pier near Pier i Cafe. Free.
May 15, 2016 (12 to 6 p.m.)
17 miles southBayfest is 8 blocks of local food vendors, live music, and kids’ crafts on Emmons Ave. in Brooklyn. Free.
Freshkills Park preview
May 15, 2016 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
18 miles SW via ferryGet a sneak peak at the park built on Staten Island landfill on Discovery Day, when you can walk 8 miles of trails, bike 5 miles of pavement, run a 5K course, or register for a kayak tour. Free. Repeats June 26.
May 16 - 22, 2016
NYC locationsInternet Week includes talks, interviews, panels, and discussions with celebrities, business executives, founders of New-York-based startups, and leaders.
May 16 - Sept. 23, 2016
NYC locationsEnjoy outstanding music, comedy, theater, dance, lectures, and films during SummerStage in city parks. The free concerts are popular, so arrive early.
Contemporary design fair
May 17, 2016
1.5 miles SWThe International Contemporary Furniture Fair is a showcase for 500 exhibitors from May 14 to 17, and it opens to the public on the last day in Jacob Javits Convention Center.
Taste of Greece
May 18, 2016
2.7 miles southTaste of Greece features wines from 50 Greek wineries plus Greek appetizers at City Winery.
Funny songs festival
May 19 - 21, 2016
Lower East SideHear funny music and witty verses by 75 jokesters and comedians at the NY Funny Songs Fest.
Pop music festival
May 19 - 22, 2016
NYC locationsThe upbeat NYC Popfest brings indie-pop bands from around the world to Brooklyn and the Lower East Side.
May 19 - 22, 2016
3 to 10 miles eastQueens New Music Festival features live concerts of music written in the last 50 years at the Secret Theatre (first day at Church-in-the-Gardens).
Parade of dancers
May 21, 2016 (1 p.m. parade)
2 miles southWatch colorful dancers perform ballet, break dance, disco, hula, and samba in Dance Parade, which ends at DanceFest in Tompkins Square Park 3 to 7 p.m. Free.
May 21, 2016
3 miles southThis year’s Asian Burlesque Spectacular features Calamity Chang, Sukki Singapora, and 8 others in glamorous costumes with lavish set pieces at Drom.
May 21, 2016
3.3 miles northEast Harlem’s Ethnic Festival has music, dance, arts and crafts, ethnic food, and children’s activities. Free.
May 21, 2016
3.5 miles SWHudson River Park Games has a body-busting obstacle course called Fear the Pier at Pier 26 and a Team Pentathlon at Pier 40, both in Hudson River Park.
May 21, 2016 (7:30 p.m.)
3.6 miles southHear famous jazz artists at Made in New York Jazz Gala at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center.
May 21, 2016 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
5 miles northNYC Multicultural Festival promises diverse cultural music, dance, food, fashion, and a kids’ area on St. Nicholas Avenue from 141st to 145th. Free.
Brooklyn wine tasting
May 21, 2016 (2 & 7 p.m.)
10 miles southSample 200 wines with hors d’oeuvres at Brooklyn Crush Wine & Artisanal Food Festival at Industry City.
May 21 - 22, 2016
2.4 miles SWAttend screenings, discussions, and jams with movie, TV, and music icons at the Vulture Festival, mostly at Milk Studios and run by Vulture, the culture and entertainment brand of New York Magazine.
May 21 - 22, 2016 (not public on May 20)
4.4 miles SEShop from 200 artisans, chefs, and vintage vendors at Renegade Craft Fair at Brooklyn Expo Center. Free.
May 22, 2016 (2 to 8 p.m.)
1.4 miles NWBring your dog to Barkfest to enjoy live music, a DJ, celebrity dogs, interactive games, food trucks, and vendors on Hudson River Park’s Pier 97.
May 22, 2016 (12 to 5 p.m.)
1.8 miles southPassport to Taiwan Festival features night-market foods, teas, Taiwanese crafts, and aboriginal music and dance in Union Square Park North. Free.
May 23, 2016 (6:30 p.m., VIP 5)
0.4 miles southSample handcrafted spirits and meet the makers at NY Indie Spirits Expo at the Penn Club of New York.
Shakespeare in the Park
May 24 - Aug. 14, 2016
2 miles northFor tickets to Shakespeare in the Park at Delacorte Theater in Central Park, become a $200 “supporter,” or get free tickets by joining a lottery or waiting in line.
May 25 - 30, 2016
7.9 miles southDanceAfrica celebrates the dance, music, and culture of Senegal with performances, classes, films, a dance party, and a craft & food bazaar at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House.
May 26, 2016 (6 to 9 p.m.)
6 miles southSip award-winning New York state wines and taste fine fare at Brooklyn Uncorked at 26 Bridge Street in Brooklyn.
Festival of the arts
May 27 - 29, 2016
3 miles southLower East Side Festival of the Arts [sound] features dance, film, music, poetry, theater, and visual art at the Theater for the New City. Free.
May 27 - Aug. 5, 2016
1.2 miles westSee free movies about outer space at Summer Movie Series at Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum outdoors. Arrive early.
Puerto Rican festival
May 28, 2016 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
6.8 miles north152nd Street Cultural Festival celebrates Puerto Rican culture with live music, dancing, comedy, art and food vendors, celebrity appearances, and a children’s pavilion with storytelling, face painting, and crafts on 152nd Street (Jackson Ave. to Union Ave.). Free.
May 28 - June 4, 2016
1.7 miles SWGet your postage-stamp collection evaluated, and visit 200 dealers and exhibitors (including the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum) at the World Stamp Show in Javits Center. Free.
May 28 - June 5, 2016
2 miles southWashington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit features 120 artists on the sidewalks of University Place, May 28-30 and June 4-5. Repeats in Sept. Free.
May 29, 2016 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
2.9 miles SEThe Loisaida Festival is a family friendly event with music starting at noon, shows, and vendors on Losaida Avenue. The kids’ parade is 11 a.m. Free.
May 29 - June 11, 2016 (8 p.m.)
2.4 miles southHear macabre stories read by candlight during Edgar Allan Poe Festival in St. John’s Lutheran Church.
May 31 - July 2, 2016
NYC locationsBlue Note Jazz Festival is 150 concerts in 15 venues.