New song competition
May 1, 2017 (8 p.m.)
2 miles westWriters pitch their songs to 12 vocalists, who perform with a band before a panel of judges to win prizes at Perfect Pitch Concert at Berklee Performance Center.
Flowers & art
May 1, 2017 (begins April 29)
2.6 miles SWArt in Bloom is a festival of floral arrangement and fine art that includes a preview party, classes, demonstrations, walking tours, and a family-friendly Community Day on Sunday at Museum of Fine Arts.
May 1 - 3, 2017
Boston locationsThe Independent Film Festival Boston (IFFBoston) shows nearly 100 innovative crowd-pleasing films, holds frequent parties, invites filmmakers to attend panel discussions, and has an awards ceremony.
May 1 - 7, 2017
Greater BostonArtWeek Boston offers hundreds of artist talks, creative experiences, performances, behind-the-scenes tours, and kids’ activities. Many are free. Repeats in Sept.
Return of the Swans
May 2, 2017 (noon)
0.8 miles SWThe Return of the Swans from their winter home at Franklin Park Zoo to the lagoon in Boston Public Garden includes a parade with a brass band, children’s activities, and a welcome by the mayor. Free.
May 3, 2017 (6 to 9 p.m.)
0.2 miles eastJoin tech community professionals at BostInno de Mayo for margaritas, snacks, and networking at Tia’s. Your ticket includes food and a drink.
May 3, 2017 (8 p.m.)
2 miles westBerklee Symphonic Winds Spring Concert features works for stage and screen at the Berklee Performance Center. Repeats in Dec. Free.
Cinco de Mayo pub crawl
May 5 - 6, 2017
0 milesCinco de Mayo Pub Crawl Boston includes drink specials at the Hard Rock Cafe and Mija Cantina at Faneuil Hall.
Viking beer marathon
May 6, 2017
2.6 miles SWA ticket to Great Boston Beer Marathon gets you a shirt, a Viking hat, and food and drink specials at 26 Fenway and Allston bars.
May 6, 2017 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
17.2 miles SWWellesley Kitchen and Home Tour features a ticketed tour of six different houses in Wellesley, with gourmet bites and an opportunity to meet the interior designers and landscape architects for age 18+. No photos.
May 6 - 7, 2017 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
1.4 miles SWMeet 100 artists in their studios and view gallery exhibits during the self-guided SoWa Art Walk. The SoWa Open Market also will be open until 4 p.m. Free.
May 6 - 7, 2017
54 miles NWBig trucks with big wheels create big noise and excitement at Monster Jam at SNHU Arena in Manchester, NH.
May 7, 2017
1 mile SWJoin 40,000 people on the 20-mile Walk for Hunger and 5K run, which begin on Boston Common.
May 7, 2017 (3 to 6 p.m.)
1.3 miles NWTaste lamb and BBQ cooked by six local chefs, and sample beer, wine, and spirits at Boston Lamb Jam, with butcher demonstrations and live music at Royal Sonesta Cambridge for age 21+.
MayFair at Harvard Square
May 7, 2017 (12 to 6 p.m.)
3.6 miles westMayFair offers three stages of entertainment, chalk art, beer gardens, and vendors of food, crafts, and jewelry at Harvard Square. Rain date May 21. Free.
Music and food benefit
May 10, 2017 (7 to 10 p.m.)
2.4 miles westSample fare from 15 Boston restaurants, dance to reggae, and attend an auction at Beyond Shelter at House of Blues for the Friends of Boston’s Homeless.
May 12 - 14, 2017
1.1 miles SESee galleries and artists’ studios in historic waterfront warehouses during Spring Art Walk in Fort Point. Free. Repeats in Oct.
May 13, 2017 (12 to 4 p.m.)
5 miles SWThe Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival features Japanese music, food, taiko drumming, bon odori festival dancing, crafts, and games at Brookline High School. Donation.
May 13, 2017
5.4 miles SWLilac Sunday features tours of the lilacs and other collections, family activities, food trucks, and picnicking at the Arnold Arboretum. Free.
May 13, 2017 (rain date May 14)
12 miles westWatch City Steampunk Festival promises 50 vendors, kids’ activities, food trucks, and costumed performers in Waltham. Free.
May 13, 2017
23 miles northShop from 150 vendors at Andover Crafts in the Park. Free.
May 13 - 21, 2017
Greater Boston areaFind bike rodeos, rides, breakfasts, and workshops offered during Bay State Bike Week.
May 13 - 14 and 20 - 21, 2017
48 miles northNew Hampshire 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.
Mother’s Day restaurants
May 14, 2017
New England locationsOpenTable lists restaurants that offer special brunch, lunch, and dinner menus on Mother’s Day. We also recommend checking the list of Mother’s Day restaurants at BostonChefs.
Mother’s Day wine/chocolate
May 14, 2017 (4 to 6 p.m.)
0.2 miles northMother’s Day Wine & Chocolate includes a two-hour class about wine and chocolate from Boston Wine School, plus a tasting at The Kitchen at the Boston Public Market for age 21+.
Mother’s Day cruise
May 14, 2017 (boarding 11:30 a.m.)
0.4 miles eastMother’s Day Brunch Cruise includes a brunch buffet, views of Boston Harbor, and a rose for Mom for $75.
May 14, 2017
1 mile SWFamilies celebrate the Boston-based book “Make Way for Ducklings” by wearing yellow and registering to join the Duckling Day Parade at Boston Public Garden.
Short play festival
May 14, 2017
1.5 miles SWSee 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.
Mother’s Day memorial
May 14, 2017 (canceled due to weather)
6.5 miles westVisit the graves of notable mothers and see symbols of motherhood on monuments during the Memories of Mothers tour at Mount Auburn Cemetery.
Mother’s Day tea
May 14, 2017 (SOLD OUT)
10 miles westTake Mom to Mother’s Day Tea at Gore Place to have tea and cake and then tour the beautiful 1806 mansion at Gore Place in Waltham.
Mother’s Day comedy
May 14, 2017 (5 to 6:30 p.m.)
14 miles SWThe Boston Comedy Chicks tell jokes about motherhood at their Mother’s Day Comedy Show at the Holiday Inn in Dedham (plus Manchester).
Mother’s Day cupcakes
May 14, 2017 (SOLD OUT)
14 miles SWDecorate six jumbo cupcakes either with or for Mom at Mother’s Day Cupcake Decorating Class at Treat Cupcake Bar in Needham, $75 includes adult & child.
May 14 - 21, 2017
Cambridge locationsTogether Boston celebrates music, art, and technology with performances, films, exhibits, and educational panels in Cambridge.
Nantucket Wine Festival
May 17 - 21, 2017
112 miles SE via ferryNantucket Wine Festival offers 70 events, including tastings, seminars, meals, and marketplaces.
May 18, 2017 (6 to 9 p.m.)
5 miles SWSweet Tastes of JP (Jamaica Plain) features an assortment of desserts from Boston bakeries, a no-host bar, and music at Bella Luna & The Milky Way to support seniors. Tickets are $35.
May 19 - 20, 2017
1.5 miles SECatch a shuttle from South Station to Harpoon Brewery to enjoy beer, great food, and live local music at HarpoonFest. Tickets at the door.
Kite and Bike Festival
May 20, 2017 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
6 miles SEBuy a kite and borrow a free bike at the Kite and Bike Festival in Franklin Park Playstead, or bring your own.
Country music festival
May 20, 2017 (12 to 10 p.m.)
30.7 miles SESouth Shore Country Festival is an all-ages event with food vendors and seven bands, including Lonestar, in Marshfield.
Run in the mud
May 20 - 21, 2017
40 miles NWRun through the wet and muddy 5K obstacle course in Devens called Muckfest both for the fun of it and to support charity.
Medieval battle in the park
May 21, 2017 (8 to 11 a.m.)
0.9 miles SWEngage in combat using padded swords, shields, spears, axes, grappling equipment, and archery at Medieval Combat on Boston Common near the baseball field for age 18+. Free.
Memorial Day Parade
May 21, 2017 (1 p.m.)
3 miles NWWatch marching bands, veterans’ groups, and beauty queens in the Memorial Day Parade that begins at Somerville City Hall and goes up Highland Avenue and then Holland Street. Free.
May 21, 2017
3.3 miles SWRide 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, plus a party in the park. Free.
May 24 - June 3, 2017
2 miles SWBased on a best-selling book, The Bridges of Madison County is about a farm wife who finds her life forever changed when she meets a traveling photographer at Calderwood Pavilion. Discount tickets $31 to $62.
May 24 - Aug. 31, 2017
multiple locationsThese discount ticket prices include all taxes and fees.
May 25 - 28, 2017
47.4 miles westMotown the Musical is the history of Motown music told in nearly nonstop songs and energetic dance numbers at Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester. Discount tickets $25 to $30.
Cruise the harbor
May 25 - June 30, 2017
0.5 miles SETake a 3-hour Boston Harbor Islands Cruise aboard the 1920s Northern Lights yacht for great views of Boston Harbor, leaving Rowes Wharf. Discount tickets $20 to $26.
May 26, 2017 (10 p.m.)
2.6 miles westVote for your favorite Boston standup comics in the final round of the month-long StandUp ThrowDown tournament at ImprovBoston.
May 26 - 27, 2017
0.3 miles eastQuestival is a 24-hour adventure where your team completes challenges via smartphone app to win an exotic trip, at Christopher Columbus Park.
May 26 - 28, 2017
0.8 miles SWEifman Ballet of St. Petersburg performs “Tchaikovsky” under the direction of Boris Eifman at Cutler Majestic Theatre. Discount tickets $46 to $95.
Boston Calling music festival
May 26 - 28, 2017
5.6 miles westFamily friendly Boston Calling has outdoor stages for big-name music acts in the Harvard Athletic Complex at 65 N. Harvard Street in Allston. Repeats in Sept.
Campfire music festival
May 26 - 29, 2017
3.6 miles NWHear 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.
Funny murder mystery
May 26 - June 30, 2017
1 mile SWAwarded “best comedy” by the Boston Globe, Shear Madness is a whodunit with audience participation, set in a hair salon at Charles Playhouse. Discount tickets $20 to $35.
Bicycle film festival
May 31, 2017
7.6 miles NWSee 8 short films about bicycling worldwide, with a cookie buffet and live band at the Bike Travel Film Festival at Regent Theatre in Arlington. Films repeat June 15 in Northampton and June 16 in Danbury, CT.
Romantic musical: Camelot
May 31 - June 25, 2017
1.4 miles SWFull of catchy tunes by Lerner and Loewe, Camelot is a Tony winner about a love triangle between King Arthur, Queen Guenevere, and Sir Lancelot at Lyric Stage Company of Boston. Discount tickets $25 to $48.