Boston events May 2018. Things to do in Boston.

Best events for 12 months

Boston events May 2018

Film festival

May 1 - 2, 2018
Boston locations
The Independent Film Festival Boston (IFFBoston) shows nearly 100 innovative crowd-pleasing films, invites filmmakers to attend panel discussions, and has an awards ceremony.


May 1 - 6, 2018
Greater Boston
ArtWeek offers hundreds of artist talks, creative experiences, performances, behind-the-scenes tours, and kids’ activities. Many are free.

Return of the Swans

May 2, 2018 (11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)
0.8 miles SW
The 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, a ceremony, and children’s activities. Free.

Technology party

May 3, 2018 (6 to 9 p.m.)
3.6 miles SW
Join tech community professionals at BostInno de Mayo for margaritas, appetizers, and networking at Lansdowne Pub for age 21+. Your ticket includes food and one drink.

Cinco de Mayo pub crawl

May 5, 2018
0 miles
Cinco de Mayo Pub Crawl Boston includes drink specials at the Hard Rock Cafe and Mija Cantina at Faneuil Hall.

Hip festival & parade

May 5, 2018 (12 to 5 p.m.)
4.4 miles SW
Celebrate Spring’s return at Wake Up the Earth Festival, with an 11 a.m. people’s parade, six performances stages, craft booths, and food vendors at SW Corridor Park (between New Minton Street & Lawndale Terrace). Donation. Rain date May 6.

Home tour

May 5, 2018
17.2 miles SW
Wellesley 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.

African dance

May 5 - 6, 2018
0.8 miles SW
Step Afrika tells the story of African-American migrants moving from the South to the North with lightning-fast claps, intricate footwork, percussive chants, and perfect synchronicity at Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre.

Art walk

May 5 - 6, 2018
1.4 miles SW
Meet 100 artists in their studios and view gallery exhibits during the self-guided SoWa Art Walk. The SoWa Open Market also is open on Sunday. Free.

Charity walk

May 6, 2018
1 mile SW
Join 40,000 people on the 20-mile Walk for Hunger and 5K run, which begin on Boston Common.

Short play festival

May 6, 2018 (noon to 10 p.m.)
1.5 miles SW
See 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.

MayFair at Harvard Square

May 6, 2018 (12 to 6 p.m.)
3.6 miles west
MayFair offers three stages of entertainment, chalk art, beer gardens, and vendors of food, crafts, and jewelry at Harvard Square. Rain date May 20. Free.

Symphonic concert

May 9, 2018 (8 p.m.)
2 miles west
Berklee Symphonic Winds Spring Concert features contemporary works by Italian composers at the Berklee Performance Center. Repeats in Dec. Free.

Comedy for a cause

May 11, 2018
2.4 miles west
Boston celebrities and politicians ham it up in skits and songs about pop culture at Banned in Boston at House of Blues, preceded by cocktails at Lansdowne Pub. The pricey tickets support charity.

Adventure race

May 11 - 12, 2018
0.1 miles east
Questival is a 24-hour race that begins with a check-in party at Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park. Your team of 2 to 6 people completes the challenges assigned by a smartphone app to win prizes. Video.

Japanese festival

May 12, 2018
5 miles SW
The Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival features Japanese music, food, taiko drumming, bon odori festival dancing, crafts, and games at Brookline High School. Lawn chairs and blankets welcome. Donation.

Steampunk festival

May 12, 2018
12 miles west
Watch City Steampunk Festival has 65 vendors, kids’ activities, food trucks, and costumed performers at Waltham Common. Free.

Mother’s Day restaurants

May 13, 2018
New England locations
OpenTable 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 cruise

May 13, 2018
0.4 miles east
A Mother’s Day cruise includes a brunch or dinner buffet, views of Boston Harbor, and a flower for Mom.

Duckling parade

May 13, 2018
1 mile SW
Families celebrate the Boston-based book “Make Way for Ducklings” by wearing yellow and registering to join the Duckling Day Parade at Boston Public Garden, rain or shine.

Lilac day

May 13, 2018
5.4 miles SW
Lilac Sunday features tours of the lilacs and other collections, family activities, and picnicking (bring your own food) at the Arnold Arboretum. Free.

Mother’s Day memorial

May 13, 2018 (2 to 3:30 p.m.)
6.5 miles west
Visit the graves of notable mothers and see symbols of motherhood on monuments during the Memories of Mothers tour at Mount Auburn Cemetery.

Beer festival

May 18 - 19, 2018
1.5 miles SE
Catch 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 19, 2018
6 miles SE
Buy a kite and borrow a free bike at the Kite and Bike Festival on Franklin Park Golf Course, or bring your own.

Run in the mud

May 19, 2018
38.6 miles NW
Run through the wet and muddy 5K obstacle course in Devens called Muckfest both for the fun of it and to support charity at Willard Athletic Complex in Devens.

Kids’ obstacle race

May 19, 2018
47 miles west
Kids 5 to 16 run through mud and over obstacles during the Kids Obstacle Challenge at Kalon Farm in Lancaster. Parents can race for free.

Bike week

May 20, 2018
Greater Boston area
Find bike rodeos, rides, breakfasts, and workshops offered during Bay State Bike Week.

Lamb tasting

May 20, 2018 (3 p.m., VIP 2 p.m.)
2.2 miles south
Taste 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 the SoWa Power Station for age 21+.

Memorial Day Parade

May 20, 2018 (3 p.m.)
3 miles NW
Watch marching bands, veterans’ groups, and beauty queens in the Memorial Day Parade that begins at Somerville City Hall and goes down Highland Avenue and then Holland Street. Free.
CityPass Boston

Renaissance fair

May 20, 2018
54 miles north
Family-friendly New Hampshire Renaissance Faire has craft and food vendors, wandering musicians, theater on stage, fanciful fairies, and knights jousting on a farm in Fremont, NH.

Nantucket Wine Festival

May 20, 2018
112 miles SE via ferry
Nantucket Wine Festival offers 70 events, including tastings, seminars, meals, and marketplaces.

Comedy competition

May 20 & 25, 2018
2.6 miles west
Vote for your favorite Boston standup comics in the semi-finals (May 19 & 20) or finals (May 25) of the month-long StandUp ThrowDown tournament at ImprovBoston.

The Wiz

May 24 - June 24, 2018
1.4 miles SW
Dorothy and her companions sing and dance to rock, gospel, and soul in The Wiz traveling though a gritty African-American land of Oz at Lyric Stage Company of Boston.

Ticket deal $26 to $39

Boston Calling music festival

May 25 - 27, 2018
5.6 miles west
Family 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 25 - 28, 2018
3.6 miles NW
Hear 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.

Lunch cruise

May 26 - July 15, 2018
0.5 miles SE
Take a 2.5 hour Spring Luncheon Cruise through the Boston Harbor Islands, and enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch aboard the 1920s Northern Lights yacht, departing from 60 Rowes Wharf.

Ticket deal $45

Bicycle film festival

May 30 - 31, 2018
7.6 miles NW
See 8 short films about bicycling worldwide, with a cookie buffet and live band at the Bike Travel Film Festival at Regent Theatre in Arlington.

Musical comdedy

May 31, 2018 (8 p.m.)
2.1 miles SW
Boston Pops presents On the Town, a joyful 1940s comedy about three sailors on a whirlwind tour of NY, full of song, dance, and romance at Boston Symphony Hall.

Ticket deal $28 to $35

Cheeky comedy

May 31, 2018 (7:30 p.m.)
10 miles north
Based on a real story, Calendar Girls is about eleven English Ladies Club members who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for charity, at Greater Boston Stage Company in Stoneham.

Ticket deal $20

Greek festival in Arlington

May 31 - June 3, 2018
7.8 miles NW
Arlington Greek Festival offers Greek food, beer, wine, music, dancing, and kids’ activities at St. Athanasius the Great Greek Orthodox Church in Arlington. Free.

All-male drama

May 31 - July 1, 2018
3.2 miles west
Les Liaisons Dangereuses is a play about seduction and revenge that led to Oscar-winning film Dangerous Liaisons at Central Square Theater in Cambridge. This production features an all-male cast.

Ticket deal $20 to $28