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.

Adult Disney spoof

May 1, 2015 (begins in Feb.)

1 mile SW

Distorted Diznee wows with 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 tix.

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.

Mets baseball

May 1 - 2, 2015

8 miles east

Watch the New York Mets play a game at Citi Field.

Bicycle expo

May 1 - 2, 2015

Location uncertain

Visit 90 bicycle and accessory exhibitors, and attend biking presentations and classes at Bike Expo New York in Midtown Manhattan. Free. (A similar bicycle expo is listed under May 15.)

Rockettes show

May 1 - 3, 2015 (begins March 12)

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.

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.

Horror show

May 1 - 3, 2015 (begins Jan.)

2 miles west

Put on a white mask and take a 3-hour walk through 90 rooms of scenes from a Hitchcock-like Macbeth at provocative and disturbing Sleep No More at the McKittrick Hotel for age 16+. Bar available. Reviews.

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.

Soho film festival

May 1 - 7, 2015 (begins April 30)

2.3 miles south

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

Student monologue contest

May 2 - 5, 2015

0.5 miles east

Watch the best high-school students from six cities perform monologues from August Wilson’s Century Cycle to win the August Wilson Monologue Competition at August Wilson Theatre. Free.

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.

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.

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.

Gospel festival

May 9, 2015

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.

TV expose

May 9 - 10, 2015

1 mile SW

Nellie Olson from TV’s Little House on the Prairie, shares her Confessions of a Prairie Bitch at Laurie Beechman Theatre. Food minimum.

Discount tickets.

Mother’s Day in the garden

May 9 - 10, 2015

12 miles north

Mother’s Day Weekend Garden Party includes live music, dancing, games, food trucks, and casual picnicking at New York Botanical Garden.
New York City
May 2015

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.

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.)

9 miles east

Sample food and drink from 50 restaurants and mingle with the borough’s business leaders at the Queens Taste at Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel.

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.

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.

Bicycle party

May 15, 2015

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

1.6 miles south

Join 15,000 cyclists visiting exhibitors at the NYC Bike Expo at Lexington Armory. 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, to live music and seasoned DJs with fun people at Big Apple Balboa, Blues and Lindy Exchange (BABBLE).

Tattoo convention

May 15 - 17, 2015

Location uncertain

New York City Tattoo Convention features tattoo artists, piercing professionals, vendors, live stage entertainment, and contests.

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 opening-night gala, tastings, parties, pairings, seminars, and a trade conference.

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.

Beer festival

May 16, 2015

32 miles SW

Taste the offerings of 30 brewers with food and music at Garden State Brewfest in Berkeley Heights, NJ.

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.

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.

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 on May 23, 24, 25, 30, and 31. Repeats in Sept. Free.

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 - Aug. 23, 2015

2 miles north

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

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.

Uptown Arts Stroll

May 28 - June 30, 2015

9 miles north

See hundreds of art exhibitions, open studios, concerts, dance and literary events at Uptown Arts Stroll in Northern Manhattan. Free.

Funny songs festival

May 29 - 31, 2015

Lower East Side

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

Brooklyn Film Festival

May 29 - June 7, 2015

NYC locations

See more than 100 films made by independent filmmakers in 20 countries during Brooklyn Film Festival at indieScreen and Windmill Studios.

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.

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.

Film festival

May 2015 (undated)

NYC locations

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

Kite making

May 2015 (undated)

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.

Fishing tournament

May 2015 (undated)

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.

Japanese festival

May 2015 (undated)

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.

Ukrainian Festival

May 2015 (undated)

2.5 miles south

Enjoy Ukrainian food, music, dance, and artwork at the Ukrainian Festival at St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church on East 7th Street.

African festival

May 2015 (undated)

6 miles south

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

Art on Randall’s Island

May 2015 (undated)

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.

Festival of the arts

May 2015 (undated)

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.

Wine tasting

May 2015 (undated)

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.
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.