New York City events calendar for May 2015. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend street fairs, kids activities, and free entertainment in NYC, New York.

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New York City
Best events for 12 months
May 2015

Enjoy the best New York City 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 Rockefeller Center in downtown New York City, New York.

Food and wine tasting

May 1, 2015 (7 to 10:30 p.m.)

0.7 miles south

Sample current trends & flavors in food and wine at $106 Global Food and Wine Experience at BCA Global.

Beer festival

May 1, 2015

3.5 miles east

Five Boro Craft Beer Fest features 30 craft brewers, local food vendors, and a band at Studio Square.

Bicycle expo

May 1 - 2, 2015

4 miles south

Visit 100 bicycle and accessory exhibitors, and attend biking presentations and classes at Bike Expo New York at Basketball City on Pier 36. Free. (A similar bicycle expo is listed under May 15.)

Popular musical

May 1 - 3, 2015 (also April)

0.2 miles west

The Fantasticks is a funny and romantic musical entertaining audiences since 1960, at intimate Snapple Theater in Times Square.

Poignant play

May 1 - 3, 2015 (also April)

0.6 miles west

The Heidi Chronicles returns with a stellar cast to tell a poetic story about coming-of-age in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s at Music Box Theatre.

Discount tickets.

Creative film festival

May 1 - 3, 2015

1.3 miles NW

Columbia 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 the Lincoln Center.

Mets baseball

May 1 & 3, 2015

8 miles east

Watch the Mets play the Nationals at Citi Field.

Discount tickets for Friday or Sunday.

Long Island Marathon

May 1 - 3, 2015

27 miles east

Long Island Marathon Weekend includes a sports and fitness expo Friday; a 5K and 1-mile Saturday; and a marathon, half marathon, and 10K Sunday.

Rockettes show

May 1 - 7, 2015 (also April)

0 miles

New York Spring Spectacular is a new musical about springtime in New York, starring high-tech puppets and the dancing Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall.

Discount tickets.

Polish film festival

May 1 - 3 and 12, 2015

2.6 miles south

New York Polish Film Festival screens feature films, shorts, and documentaries, which all have English subtitles at Anthology Film Archives.

Musical comedy in drag

May 1 - 17, 2015 (also April)

0.7 miles SW

Fabulous is a silly gender-bender onboard a cruise ship at Times Square Art Center.

Discount tickets.

Zombie escape

May 1 - 24, 2015

1.2 miles south

You and 11 others are Trapped in a Room with a Zombie on a chain and have one hour to solve clues and escape, at 355 7th Avenue.

Discount tickets.

African film festival

May 1 - 25, 2015

NYC locations

The New York African Film Festival screens films at three venues: Lincoln Center, Maysles Cinema Institute, and BAM Rose Cinemas.

Diverse circus

May 1 - 25, 2015 (also April)

NYC locations

UniverSoul Circus features flashy Caribbean dancers, amazing Chinese acrobats, funny South African clowns, and exotic animals inside a heated tent.

Adult Disney spoof

May 1 & 29, 2015

1 mile SW

Distorted Diznee has high-energy dancing, comedy, dazzling costumes and lip synching by drag queens dressed as Ariel, Snow White, and Mary Poppins at Laurie Beechman Theatre.

Discount tickets.

Relive the Ziegfeld Follies

May 1 - June 6, 2015 (also April)

0.7 miles SW

Ziegfeld’s Midnight Frolic re-imagines Ziegfeld’s extravaganza with lavish showgirls, risqué burlesque, thrilling aerialists at Liberty Theater.

Discount tickets.

Star-studded comedy

May 1 - June 7, 2015 (also April)

0.6 miles west

Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane star in It’s Only a Play, a sharp satire about the business of big-budget theater at the Jacobs Theatre.

Discount tickets.

Hit musical for adults

May 1 - June 21, 2015 (also April)

0.9 miles west

The Disenchanted Disney princesses sing, dance, and poke fun at pop culture in their hilariously subversive renegade show at Westside Theatre. Discount tickets.

Winston Churchill

May 1 - July 12, 2015 (also April)

0.5 miles west

The Chicago Tribune calls Churchill, a one-man show about the Prime Minister who led Britain in her finest hour, “very enjoyable and surprisingly emotional.” See it live at New World Stages. Discount tickets.

Glamorous comedy

May 1 - Aug. 2, 2015 (also April)

0.4 miles west

Living on Love stars world-renowned soprano Renée Fleming in a new comedy about music, marriage, and celebrity at Longacre Theatre. Discount tickets.

Tony winning musical

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

0.6 miles SW

Based on a book by Roald Dahl, Matilda the Musical is about a girl who dares to take a stand and change her own destiny, at the Shubert Theatre.

Discount tickets.

Classic musical

May 1 - Sept. 1, 2015 (also April)

0.6 miles SW

On the Town is a joyful 1940s musical comedy about 3 sailors on a whirlwind tour of NY full of song, dance, and romance at Lyric Theatre.

Discount tickets.

Funny Hitchcock play

May 1 - Sept. 6, 2015 (also April)

1.7 miles south

The 39 Steps is a classic film by Alfred Hitchock about a wrongly accused man racing to clear his name while evading the law. This comedic spoof is a fast-paced play at Union Square Theatre.

Discount tickets.

Award-winning show

May 1 - Dec. 31, 2015 (also April)

0.5 miles SW

STOMP has high-energy dance, acrobatics, comedy, and nonstop rhythym from unusual instruments at the Orpheum Theatre.

Discount tickets.

Blue Man show

May 1 - Dec. 31, 2015 (also April)

2.3 miles south

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

Discount tickets.

Wine tasting

May 2, 2015 (afternoon)

2.7 miles south

Wine on Wheels features 175 wines served by 50 sommeliers with hors d’oeurves, plus 20-minute wine seminars, and a silent auction at City Winery.

Food & travel show

May 2, 2015 (12 to 5 p.m.)

7 miles south

Local Food & Travel Expo includes locally produced food, an outdoor farmer’s market, and local travel vendors at Brooklyn Borough Hall. Free registration.

Brooklyn wine tasting

May 2, 2015 (3 or 8 p.m.)

10 miles south

Sample 200 wines with hors d’oeuvres at Brooklyn Crush Wine & Artisanal Food Festival at Industry City. Coupon code “events12” saves 10%.

Staten Island Brewfest

May 2, 2015

10 miles south via ferry

Staten Island Brewfest offers 40 craft beers, chicken wings from restaurants, and views.

Discount tickets.

Singles walks

May 2 - 3, 2015

Manhattan area

Take a walk with singles of all ages. Register for $5.
  • May 2 (11:30 a.m.) - 3-Bridge Walk is 6.1 miles from Manhattan to Smorgasburg in Williamsburg.
  • May 3 (1 p.m.) - Roosevelt Island Walk circles the island and ends at Studio Square in 5.5 miles.

Black heroes of World War II

May 2 - 30, 2015 (Saturdays)

0.6 miles west

The NY Times calls Black Angels Over Tuskegee an “uplifting inspirational melodrama...about trailblazing African-American fighter pilots” at St. Luke’s Theatre on West 46th Street.

Discount tickets.

Campy burlesque

May 2 - July 25, 2015 (Saturdays)

4.5 miles north

Burlesque is More gets high marks for its entertaining and funny combination of striptease & improvisation at Annoyance Theatre and Bar.

Discount tickets.

Family comedy

May 2 - Aug. 29, 2015 (also April)

0.6 miles NW

Kids howl with laughter at funny improvised skits, and some join onstage at family-friendly Improv 4 Kids [sound] at Broadway Comedy Club.

Discount tickets.

Tony-winning musical

May 2 - Aug. 29, 2015 (Saturdays)

4.5 miles north

The cast of In the Heights sings and dances around you to vibrant hip-hop, pop, and Latin music as they tell the story of tight-knit Dominican-Americans at Harlem Repertory Theatre.
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Hoboken festival

May 3, 2015

4.7 miles SW

Spring Arts & Music Festival features 300 artists, sculptors, photographers, and crafters, plus top music acts, rides, games, and food vendors. Free.

Bike tour

May 3, 2015 (sold out)

5 miles south

Bike 40 miles through New York’s five boroughs on Five Boro Bike Tour, starting north of Battery Park.

Italian comedy

May 3 - 31, 2015 (Sundays from April)

0.2 miles west

Four stand-up comedians act as therapy patients in the comic play Shut Up Sit Down & Eat at Snapple Theater in Times Square.

Discount tickets.

Brunch cruise

May 3 - Dec. 27, 2015 (Sundays 12:30 p.m.)

3 miles south

Enjoy a buffet, live jazz, and two hours of views on the Sunday Brunch Cruise by Hornblower Yachts, departing from Pier 40.

Discount tickets.

Student monologue contest

May 4, 2015 (7 p.m.)

0.5 miles east

Watch the best U.S. high-school students perform monologues from August Wilson’s Century Cycle to win the National Finals at August Wilson Theatre. Free.

Jazz festival

May 4 - 9, 2015

4 miles north

Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival features new and established jazz artists in historic Harlem venues.

African authors

May 4 - 10, 2015

NYC locations

Attend readings, discussions, and workshops with writers who share their ideas about contemporary cultural and political issues in Africa at PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature.

Funny and romantic operetta

May 7, 2015 (also April)

1.1 miles NW

The Metropolitan Opera House takes on an an art-nouveau look for The Merry Widow, the story of a rich widow and the men who court her.

Discount tickets.

Bronx Week

May 7 - 17, 2015

6 miles north

Bronx Week includes a film festival, neighborhood tours, Bronx Ball, parade, and a food & arts festival.

Cajun, Creole, zydeco festival

May 8 - 10, 2015

7 miles south

Bayou 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.

Design celebration

May 8 - 19, 2015

NYC locations

NYCxDesign includes hundreds of exhibitions, installations, trade shows, talks, launches, and open studios that deal with graphic design, architecture, urban design, fashion design, and product design.

Yankees game and picnic

May 8 - July 5, 2015

6 miles north

Choose from two New York Yankees package deals with a seat and picnic meal at Yankee Stadium.
  • May 8 - June 18: Field-level seat and unlimited picnic until 30 min. into game. Deal is $91.
  • May 10 - July 5: Center-field seat and unlimited picnic until 30 min. before game. Deal is $79.

Film festival

May 9, 2015

NYC locations

NYLA International Film Festival shows work by independent filmmakers and provides networking opportunities at Producers Club & Millennium Theater.

Kite making

May 9, 2015

4.2 miles NE

Sign up for a workshop to build and decorate a paper kite, and then fly it during Kite Flite at Socrates Sculpture Park. Free.

Wine tasting

May 9, 2015 (3 or 8 p.m.)

4.2 miles south

Taste 200 wines with hors d’oeuvres and live jazz at NYC Spring Wine Festival at Broad Street Ballroom. Coupon code “events12” saves 10%.

Gospel festival

May 9, 2015 (3 p.m.)

13 miles SW

Gospelfest is a talent competition that also features top gospel singers at the Prudential Center in Newark.

Dutch Festival

May 9, 2015

28 miles east

The 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.

Asian/Islander festival

May 9, 2015 (1 to 5 p.m.)

55 miles east

The Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration has music, dance, martial arts, crafts, and food at Stony Brook University. Free.

Mother’s Day in the garden

May 9 - 10, 2015

12 miles north

Mother’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 10, 2015

New York City area

OpenTable lists restaurants that offer special brunch, lunch, and dinner menus on Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day at the zoo

May 10, 2015 (10 to 11:30 a.m.)

0.7 miles north

A $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.

Japanese festival

May 10, 2015

1.2 miles north

Japan Day @ Central Park includes dancing and singing, calligraphy and origami, activity tents, and food tents at Central Park Bandshell. Free.

Mother’s Day in the garden

May 10, 2015

11 miles east

Mother’s Day at Queens Botanical Garden includes a light brunch and children’s crafts. Details to come.

Taste of Queens

May 12, 2015 (6 to 9 p.m.)

10 miles east

Sample food and drink from 50 restaurants, and mingle with the borough’s business leaders at the Queens Taste at New York Hall of Science.

Romantic ballet classic

May 12 - 24, 2015

1 mile NW

New York Ballet performs La Sylphide, a story of passion and unrequited love with an alluring fairy and a diabolical witch at Lincoln Center. Discount tickets.

New-music festival

May 13 - 17, 2015

3 miles east

Queens New Music Festival is eight live concerts of music written within 50 years at the Secret Theatre.

Jazz concerts

May 14 - 17, 2015

0.8 miles NW

Wayne Shorter Festival includes Wayne Shorter and Wynton Marsalis at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Art fair on Randall’s Island

May 14 - 17, 2015

6 miles NE

Shop 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.

Soho film festival

May 14 - 21, 2015

2.3 miles south

See great films from around the world at the Soho International Film Festival at Village East Cinema.

Free dance parties

May 14 - 28, 2015 (Thursdays)

5 miles south

Expect a big turnout for Brooklyn Bridge Park Dance Parties with classic/electro soul and Latin jazz. Free.

Fishing tournament

May 15, 2015

2.5 miles SW

Register to win prizes for catching striped bass, bluefish, and weakfish from boats at FCA Manhattan Cup, an inshore catch-and-release tournament that ends with awards and a party, at Chelsea Piers.

Bicycle expo

May 15 - 16, 2015

1.1 miles south

Join 15,000 cyclists visiting exhibitors at the NYC Bike Expo at Penn Pavilion. Secure bike check. Free. (A similar bicycle expo is listed under May 1.)

Dance party

May 15 - 17, 2015

NYC locations

Do the dances you love with fun people, to live music and seasoned DJs at Big Apple Balboa, Blues and Lindy Exchange (BABBLE).

Steampunk festival

May 15 - 17, 2015

42 miles SW

Combine mad science with the Victorian era and you have Steampunk World’s Fair, which features music, entertainment, costumes, games, social activities, and friendly people at Radisson Hotel, Piscataway, NJ.

Chili cook-off

May 16, 2015 (12 to 5 p.m.)

1.3 miles west

Texas Chili Cook-off serves chili, beer, and a band, rain or shine at Pier 84 at Hudson River Park.

Parade of dancers

May 16, 2015

2 miles south

Watch colorful dancers perform ballet, break dance, disco, hula, and samba in Dance Parade, which ends at DanceFest in Tompkins Square Park. Free.

Ethnic Festival

May 16, 2015

3.3 miles north

East Harlem’s Ethnic Festival has music, dance, arts and crafts, ethnic food, and children’s activities. Free.

International food fest

May 16 - 17, 2015

1 mile NW

Ninth 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.

Family train show

May 16 - 17, 2015

1.7 miles NW

Kids who watch the animated TV show Chuggington will love Chuggington Live! The Great Rescue Adventure at Beacon Theatre.

Discount tickets.

Cocktail festival

May 16 - 19, 2015

NYC locations

Manhattan Cocktail Classic offers nearly 100 events, including a black-tie Saturday-night gala, tastings, parties, pairings, seminars, and a trade conference.

Contemporary design fair

May 16 - 19, 2015

1.5 miles SW

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair is a showcase for 500 exhibitors that opens to the public on the last day in Jacob Javits Convention Center.

Waterfront celebration

May 17, 2015 (12 to 6 p.m.)

17 miles south

Bayfest is 8 blocks of local food vendors, live music, and kids’ crafts on Emmons Ave. in Brooklyn. Free.

SummerStage

May 18 & 19, 2015 (plus June - Oct.)

NYC locations

Enjoy outstanding music, comedy, theater, dance, lectures, and films during SummerStage in city parks. The free concerts are popular, so arrive early.

Internet conference

May 18 - 23, 2015

NYC locations

Internet Week includes 250 talks, interviews, panels, and discussions with celebrities, business executives, founders of New-York-based startups, and leaders.

Contemporary Russian ballet

May 22 - 24, 2015

0.5 miles north

Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg performs a dramatic full-length ballet based on the life of French sculptor Rodin at New York City Center.

Discount tickets.

Festival of the arts

May 22 - 24, 2015

3 miles south

Lower East Side Festival of the Arts features dance, film, music, poetry, theater, and visual art at the Theater for the New City. Free.

Brazil festival

May 22 - 25, 2015

6 miles south

DanceAfrica celebrates Brazilian dance, music, and culture with performances, classes, films, a dance party, and a craft & food bazaar in Brooklyn.

Get painted as you run

May 23, 2015

8 miles east

Wear a white shirt, and then get bombarded by handfuls of colored cornstarch and glitter as you run through Citi Field in the Color Run 5K.

Dance-music concert

May 23 - 24, 2015

9 miles NW

Electric Daisy Carnival combines electronic dance music with cutting-edge production to create a unique experience of sight and sound at MetLife Stadium.

Art exhibit

May 23 - 25 and 30 - 31, 2015

2 miles south

Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit features 120 artists on the sidewalks of University Place. Repeats in Sept. Free.

Memorial Day concert

May 25, 2015 (7 p.m.)

1.2 miles NW

Life and Remembrance is a stirring orchestral concert with 10 choirs at Avery Fisher Hall.

Discount tickets.

Book expo

May 27 - 29, 2015

1.5 miles SW

Book Expo America includes 1000 exhibitors, author lectures and autographing events, and publishing-industry sessions at Jacob Javits Convention Center.

Science festival

May 27 - 31, 2015

NYC locations

Attend 50 world-class lectures, films, and events on science and innovation at World Science Festival.

Shakespeare in the Park

May 27 - July 5, 2015

2 miles north

Wait in line or join the online lottery for a ticket to The Tempest at Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Free.

Burlesque & vaudeville show

May 28, 2015 (also April 30)

1.5 miles NW

Bawdy brings together cabaret, comedy, drag, and burlesque for adults at Stage 72. Discount tickets.

Wine tasting

May 28, 2015 (6 to 9 p.m.)

6 miles south

Sip award-winning New York state wines and taste fine fare at Brooklyn Uncorked at 26 Bridge Street in Brooklyn.

Funny songs festival

May 28 - 30, 2015

Lower East Side

Hear funny music and witty verses by 75 jokesters and comedians at the NY Funny Songs Fest.

Summer beer festival

May 28 - 30, 2015

4.2 miles south

Sample 150 craft beers with local restaurant food at the NYC Craft Beer Festival at Pier 15 East River Esplanade.

Pop music festival

May 28 - 31, 2015

NYC locations

The upbeat NYC Popfest brings indie-pop bands from around the world to Brooklyn and Lower East Side.

Greek festival

May 28 - 31, 2015

26 miles SW

Enjoy Greek music, dancing, cooking demonstrations, kids’ activities, and delicious food at NJ Greek Fest at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Westfield, NJ.

Bicycle party

May 29, 2015 (6 to 10 p.m.)

5 miles south

Celebrate cycling with food, drink, and vendors at Bike Home from Work Party in Dumbo, Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Film Festival

May 29 - June 7, 2015

NYC locations

See more than 100 films made by independent filmmakers in 20 countries at Brooklyn Film Festival.

Kids’ film festival

May 30, 2015

6 miles south

Enjoy children’s films followed by a filmmaker’s workshop at KidsFilmFest at Made in NY Media Center in Brooklyn.

Art on Randall’s Island

May 30, 2015 (1 to 3 p.m.)

6 miles NE

Attend the grand opening of the Flow.15 outdoor art exhibit and meet the artists at Randall’s Island Park. Free.

Pet expo

May 30, 2015

27 miles east

Bring your pet (see rules) to New York Pet Expo, which offers vendors, vaccinations, entertainment, and adoptions at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. Free except parking.

Curious George musical

May 30, 2015 (1:30 p.m.)

3.6 miles south

Kids age 4+ go bananas for the funny lovable monkey Curious George, who has an adventure at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center.

Discount tickets.

Next month:June 2015
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May 2015 calendar of events in NYC, NY. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in New York City, New York.