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.

Beer festival

May 1, 2015 (affordable tickets sold out)

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.)

Rockettes show

May 1 - 3, 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 $48 to $83.

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 Miami Marlins at Citi Field.

Discount tickets $28 Friday or Saturday 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.

Relive the Ziegfeld Follies

May 1 - 9, 2015 (begins April 18)

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.

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.

Adult Disney spoof

May 1 & 29, 2015 (also April)

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.

Hit musical for adults

May 1 - June 7, 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.

Popular musical

May 1 - June 28, 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.

Discount tickets.

Glamorous comedy

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

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.

Sexy musical

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

0.7 miles SW

50 Shades! The Musical is a humorous satire of the bestseller “50 Shades of Grey” with song, dance, and adult lyrics at Elektra 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. This comedic spoof is a fast-paced story about a wrongly accused man racing to clear his name while evading the law at Union Square Theatre.

Discount tickets.

Film festival

May 2, 2015

NYC locations

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

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%.

Black heroes of World War II

May 2 & 9, 2015 (also April)

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.

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.

National Lampoon musical

May 2 - May 30, 2015 (also April)

2.5 miles south

Fans of TV show Saved by the Bell are laughing at Bayside! The Musical!, a raunchy, low-brow parody by National Lampoon at Theatre 80.

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.

Hoboken festival

May 3, 2015

4.7 miles SW

Spring Arts & Music Festival features 300 artists, sculptors, photographers, and crafters, as well as rides, games, entertainment and food vendors. Free.

Bike tour

May 3, 2015

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 March)

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 - 31, 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 $51.

Student monologue contest

May 4, 2015

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 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.

African film festival

May 6 - 12, 2015

NYC locations

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

Kite making

May 9, 2015

4.2 miles NE

Sign up for a workshop to build and decorate a paper kite and fly it, and then watch a pro kite battle during Kite Flite at Socrates Sculpture Park. Free. [They will update page in April 2015.]

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 [middle of their page] has live music, dancers, games, food trucks, and casual picnicking at New York Botanical Garden.

Mother’s Day at the zoo

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

0.7 miles north

A 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 brunch

May 10, 2015

8 locations

See Mother’s Day Brunch in NYC recommendations.

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.

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.

Discount tickets for May 14.

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.

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 party

May 15, 2015 (6:30 to 9:30 p.m.)

5 miles south

Celebrate cycling with food, drink, and vendors under the Manhattan Bridge at Bike Home from Work Party.

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 the Radisson Hotel in Piscataway.

Cocktail festival

May 15 - 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.

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 under covered tents at Pier 84.

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. 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.

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

17 miles south

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

Internet conference

May 18 - 21, 2015

NYC locations

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

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.

Tap dance day

May 25, 2015 (1, 2, and 3 p.m.)

2.7 miles SW

Watch the Tap Attacks show in Hudson River Park at Pier 45, or attend a nearby class. Both are free.

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.

Wine tasting

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

5.8 miles south

Sip award-winning New York state wines and taste fine fare while you saunter around Skylight One Hanson in Brooklyn at Brooklyn Uncorked.

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.

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.

Summer beer festival

May 29 - 30, 2015

Location uncertain

Sample 150 craft beers with local restaurant food at NYC Craft Beer Festival, Armory on Lexington Ave.

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

5 miles south

Enjoy children’s films followed by a filmmaker’s workshop at KidsFilmFest at indieScreen in Brooklyn.

Art on Randall’s Island

May 30, 2015

6 miles NE

Attend a grand opening of the Flow.15 outdoor art exhibit, meet the artists, and see children perform Latin music and dance 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.

Tourist attractions

Expires Feb. 28, 2017

New York City

CityPass saves 40% on admission to six sights for a six-day period. Adults $114, age 6-17 $89.
Next month:June 2015

May 2015 calendar of events in NYC, NY. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in New York City, New York.     steve.fox@events12.com