Enjoy the best Boston events, festivals, and things to do with this calendar of events.
Distance is from Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston, Massachusetts.
New song competition
May 1, 2017 (8 p.m.)
2 miles westWriters pitch their songs to 12 vocalists, who perform 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 classes, demonstrations, walking tours, teas, a preview party, and a family-friendly Community Day on Sunday at the Museum of Fine Arts.
May 1 - 3, 2017 (begins April 26)
Boston locationsThe Independent Film Festival Boston (IFFBoston) shows about 100 innovative crowd-pleasing films, holds frequent parties, invites filmmakers to attend panel discussions, and has an awards ceremony.
May 1 - 7, 2017 (begins April 28)
Greater BostonArtWeek Boston offers dozens of creative experiences, artist talks, performances, behind-the-scenes tours, and kids’ activities. Many are free. Repeats in Sept.
May 1 - Aug. 31, 2017
multiple locationsThese discount ticket prices include all taxes and fees.
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.
May 3 - 20, 2017 (begins April 28)
1.5 miles SWDesire is an evening of edgy plays that depict love, innocence, isolation, and loss, based on six short stories by Tennessee Williams at Boston Center for the Arts. Discount tickets $10 to $15.
Cruise the harbor
May 4 - 28, 2017 (also April)
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 $26.
Cinco de Mayo pub crawl
May 5, 2017
0 milesCinco de Mayo Pub Crawl Boston includes drink specials at the Hard Rock Cafe and Mija Cantina at Faneuil Hall.
May 5 - 7, 2017 (begins April 21)
20 miles NWBig Fish is about a traveling salesman who tells tall tales and his son who seeks the truth behind the stories at Umbrella Center for the Arts in Concord. Discount tickets $15.
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. Discount tickets $15.
Wine and chocolate
May 6, 2017 (7 to 10 p.m.)
6 miles northEnjoy wine, sparkling juice, appetizers, and desserts at Friends of the Malden Public Library Wine Tasting and Chocolate Buffet, with live piano music.
May 6, 2017
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
54 miles NWBig trucks with big wheels create big noise and excitement at Monster Jam at SNHU Arena in Manchester, NH.
Evening jazz cruise
May 6 & 26, 2017 (board 9:15 p.m.)
0.5 miles SEThe 1.5-hour Boston Jazz Cruise features music by Benjamin Young Jazz Trio and views of Boston Harbor aboard the vintage Northern Lights, departing from Rowes Wharf. Discount tickets $28.
May 6 - 31, 2017
0.4 miles SETour Boston Harbor aboard beautiful pilot schooner Adirondack III, which sails from Rowes Wharf.
May 7, 2017
1 mile SWJoin 40,000 people on the 10-mile Walk for Hunger and 5K run, which begin on Boston Common.
MayFair at Harvard Square
May 7, 2017 (rain date May 21)
3.6 miles westMayFair offers four stages of entertainment, chalk art, beer gardens, and vendors of food, art, jewelry, and clothing at Harvard Square. Free.
Music and food benefit
May 10, 2017 (7 to 10 p.m.)
2.4 miles westSample fare from 20 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, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)
3.7 miles SWCharlotte’s Web is the award-winning story about Charlotte the spider who saves Wilbur the pig at Wheelock Family Theatre. Discount tickets $13 to $16.
Open art studios
May 12 - 14, 2017
1.1 miles SESee studios of 80 artists in historic waterfront warehouses during Fort Point Open Studios. Free. Repeats in Oct.
May 13, 2017 (12:30 & 5:30 p.m.)
1.2 miles SWBeer Summit is a craft beer tasting, with 50 brewers, 200 spring beers, and food for sale at the Castle at Park Plaza.
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 p.m.)
10.4 miles NEYou’ve seen the famous dogs of Chris Perondi on the Tonight Show. Now watch them live during Stunt Dog Experience at Lynn Auditorium. Discount tickets $11.
May 13, 2017
12 miles westWatch City Steampunk Festival includes Victorian calliopes, Penny Farthings, costumed performers, musicians, bands, lectures, an open-air market with Steampunk vendors, and a parade in Waltham. Free.
May 13, 2017
23 miles northShop from 150 vendors at Andover Crafts in the Park.
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.
Charles River cruise
May 13 - 31, 2017 (departures 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
1.3 miles NWTake the 70-minute narrated Charles River Boat Tour for views of Beacon Hill, Esplanade Park, the Back Bay, Boston University, M.I.T., and Harvard, departing from Lechmere Canal Park at CambridgeSide Galleria Mall. Discount tickets $13.
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+. [This is likely to sell out.]
Mother’s Day cruise
May 14, 2017
0.4 miles eastMother’s Day Brunch Cruise includes a brunch buffet, views of Boston Harbor, and a rose for Mom for $60.
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 comedy
May 14, 2017
4.5 miles NWThe Boston Comedy Chicks tell jokes about motherhood at their Mother’s Day Comedy Show at The Center for Arts at the Armory in Somerville.
May 14, 2017
5.4 miles SWLilac Sunday features tours of the lilacs and other collections, live music, family activities, food trucks, and picnicking at the Arnold Arboretum. Free.
Mother’s Day tea
May 14, 2017 (3 p.m.)
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 cupcakes
May 14, 2017 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
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.
May 15, 2017 (8 p.m.)
2.1 miles SWMamma Mia! is a rousing dance musical and story of love and friendship with 24 Abba songs at Boston Symphony Hall. Discount tickets $61 to $81.
Nantucket Wine Festival
May 17 - 21, 2017
112 miles SE via ferryNantucket Wine Festival offers 60 events, including tastings, seminars, meals, and marketplaces.
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.
Romantic musical: Camelot
May 19 - 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 $37.
Kite and Bike Festival
May 20, 2017
6 miles SEBuy a kite and borrow a free bike at the Kite and Bike Festival in Franklin Park Playstead, or bring your own.
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.
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, with a party afterward. Free.
May 23 - 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.
Mother’s Day memorial
May 24, 2017 (2 to 3:30 p.m.)
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.
May 26, 2017
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.
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.
May 27, 2017 (10:15 a.m.)
1.4 miles SWYour reward for taking the one-mile Back Bay Chocolate Walking Tour is chocolate samples in various shops and a scenic tour. Discount tickets $24.
May 28, 2017 (departs 11 p.m.)
1.1 miles SEWear upscale white to the Pier Pressure Memorial Day cruise to enjoy hours of views, DJ music, and two dance floors aboard the Spirit of Boston for age 21+, leaving 200 Seaport Boulevard. Discount tickets $10.
Memorial Day Parade
May 28, 2017
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 to Veterans Memorial Cemetery at 1330 Broadway. Free.
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 2 in Newburyport and June 17 in Danbury, CT.