New York City events calendar for May 2017. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend street fairs, kids activities, and free entertainment in NYC, New York.

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Best events for 12 months
May 2017
May 2017

Enjoy the best New York City events, festivals, and things to do with this calendar of events.

Distance is from Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan.

Past events are not included. Remove past events. Add past events. You can add them if you turn on JavaScript.

Nonfiction film festival

May 1 - 2, 2017

1.2 miles NW

See a diverse collection of boundary-pushing nonfiction films at Art of the Real at Lincoln Center.

International authors

May 1 - 7, 2017

NYC locations

Attend readings, discussions, and workshops with writers addressing contemporary cultural and political issues in other countries at PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature.

Indie film fest

May 1 - 7, 2017

0.9 miles west

NYC Independent Film Festival celebrates the independent filmmaker with screenings, panels, and parties at the Producers Club.

Taste of Queens

May 2, 2017

10 miles east

Sample food and drink from 60 restaurants, and mingle with the borough’s business leaders at the Queens Taste at New York Hall of Science.

Polish film festival

May 2 - 7, 2017

2.6 miles south

New York Polish Film Festival screens feature films, shorts, and documentaries, which all have English subtitles at Anthology Film Archives.

Taste of the Lower East Side

May 3, 2017

1.7 miles south

Enjoy unlimited tastes from 50 local restaurants plus open bars at the Taste of the Lower East Side in Metropolitan Pavilion for $195+ to support charity.

Contemporary art

May 3 - 7, 2017

3 miles south

Collective Design Fair displays curated pieces from dozens of galleries alongside experimental works from the next generation of global talent, with talks and tours at Skylight Clarkson Sq.

African film festival

May 3 - 9, 2017

NYC locations

New York African Film Festival screens films about the societal transformation of Africa.

Arts festival

May 3 - 20, 2017

Lower Manhattan

See creative plays, films, and more at the Downtown Urban Arts Festival (DUAF), which showcases urban artists and promotes diversity.

Film festival

May 4 - 7, 2017

4 miles north

Harlem International Film Festival shows features, documentaries, shorts, youth projects, and animated works, and it includes panel discussions and awards.

Women’s festival

May 4 - 7, 2017

4.2 miles north

Women of the World Festival features performances, talks, films, workshops, and music celebrating women’s talents at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

Elite art fair

May 4 - 8, 2017 (VIP on May 3)

1 mile north

See exceptional modern and contemporary art from international galleries at the TEFAF New York Spring Fair at Park Avenue Armory. Repeats in October.

Food and wine tasting

May 5, 2017 (7 to 10:30 p.m.)

1.3 miles east

Enjoy good food and wine at Global Food and Wine Experience at Guastavino’s to support diversity in the hospitality and culinary industries.

Cinco de Mayo cruise

May 5, 2017 (boarding 7 p.m.)

1.5 miles west

A ticket for Cinco de Mayo Boat Cruise includes an open bar, Mexican hors d’oeuvres, DJ music, and two hours of views on the Circle Line, leaving Pier 83.

Bicycle expo

May 5 - 6, 2017

4.1 miles south

Visit 100 bicycle and accessory exhibitors, and attend biking presentations and classes at Bike Expo New York at Basketball City, Pier36. Free. [Do not confuse with a different bike expo on May 19 to 20.]

Free film festival

May 5 - 7, 2017 (awards May 8)

1.8 miles SW

Dusty Film & Animation Festival screens 50 films and 40 animations made by students at SVA Theatre. Free.

Art fair on Randall’s Island

May 5 - 7, 2017

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.

Steampunk festival

May 5 - 7, 2017

42 miles SW

Combine mad science with the Victorian era and you have The Steampunk World’s Fair, which features music, entertainment, costumes, games, social activities, and friendly people at the Embassy Suites and the Radisson in Piscataway, NJ.

Racy movies

May 5 - 11, 2017

2 miles south

Hump! is 22 short explicit films made by amateurs of all persuasions at Cinema Village for age 18+.

Festival of colors

May 6, 2017

5 miles south via ferry

Throw brightly colored powder, dance to the music, and buy Indian food to celebrate spring at Holi Hai festival at Governors Island. Buy non-toxic color on site, don’t bring your own. Free entry.

Art on Randall’s Island

May 6, 2017 (12 to 4 p.m.)

6 miles NE

Attend the grand opening of the Flow.17 outdoor art exhibit and meet the artists at Randall’s Island Park. Free.

Bike tour

May 7, 2017 (SOLD OUT)

5 miles south

Bike 40 miles through New York’s five boroughs on Five Boro Bike Tour, starting north of Battery Park.

Free kids’ concert

May 7, 2017 (11 a.m.)

7.2 miles south

Joanie Leeds and The Nightlights band perform a family show in the atrium at City Point in Brooklyn, followed by a meet-and-great at Flying Tiger. Free.

Classical music

May 8, 2017 (6:30 to 8 p.m.)

0.9 miles north

Orchestra of St. Luke’s performs works by Mozart and Mendelssohn at Streicker Center (Temple Emanu-El). Free.

Whisky tasting

May 10, 2017

1.3 miles north

The Whisky Extravaganza includes unlimited tastes from distillers and a buffet at Prince George Ballroom.

Creative film festival

May 10 - 16, 2017

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 Lincoln Center.

Latino LGBTQ festival

May 10 - 21, 2017

3.2 miles NE

FuerzaFest includes films, short plays, dance, panel discussions, networking events, and art exhibitions.

Food Book Fair

May 11 - 14, 2017

1.4 miles south

Food enthusiasts, chefs, artists, writers, designers, and publishers attend Food Book Fair to celebrate, discuss, and sample fine food at Ace Hotel.

Bronx Week

May 11 - 21, 2017

6 miles north

Bronx Week includes a breakfast, neighborhood tours, Bronx Ball, parade, and a food & arts festival. Schedule.

Beer festival

May 12, 2017 (6:30 to 10:30 p.m.)

5.9 miles SE

A ticket to Five Boro Craft Beer Fest includes beer from 55 craft breweries, food from local restaurants, and music by two bands at The Well in Brooklyn.

Mother’s Day R&B

May 12, 2017 (8 p.m.)

8 miles south

Arriving two days early, the Mother’s Day Good Music Festival features R&B superstars Tyrese, Anthony Hamilton, KEM, and Brandy, plus special guest Major at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Dance party

May 12 - 14, 2017

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).

Coffee festival

May 13, 2017

1.7 miles south

Taste coffee, see exhibits, and attend classes at the consumer CoffeeCon at the The Metropolitan Pavilion.

Art party

May 13, 2017 (7 p.m. to midnight)

2.8 miles SE

Join “500 art lovers, artists, musicians, grinders, art collectors, and entrepreneurs” at the indoor/outdoor Ultra Art Bash for live body painting, breakdancing battles, performances, and mind-blowing art at Q Studios in Long Island City.

Fitness event

May 13, 2017

3.5 miles SW

Hudson River Park Games has a Team Pentathlon competition, Healthy on the Hudson workouts & yoga, health and wellness stations, and a Games Village with live music, a beer garden, and family-friendly activities at Pier 26 in Hudson River Park. Mostly free.

Brooklyn wine tasting

May 13, 2017

10 miles south

Sample 200 wines with hors d’oeuvres at Brooklyn Crush Wine & Artisanal Food Festival at Industry City. Repeats in Nov.

Gospel festival

May 13, 2017 (4 p.m.)

13 miles SW

Gospelfest is a talent competition followed by a gospel concert at the Prudential Center in Newark.

Mother’s Day in the garden

May 13 - 14, 2017

12 miles north

Mother’s Day Weekend Garden Party features live music, games, family activities, tours, food trucks, and casual picnicking at New York Botanical Garden.

Mother’s Day restaurants

May 14, 2017

NYC locations

OpenTable lists restaurants that offer special brunch, lunch, and dinner menus on Mother’s Day. Also see Best Mother’s Day Brunch in New York.

Mother’s Day dining cruise

May 14, 2017

NYC locations

Take a Mother’s Day brunch or dinner cruise with views.

Mother’s Day at the zoo

May 14, 2017 (9 to 10:30 a.m.)

0.7 miles north

A $75 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. [This event had 2 tickets left when we checked.]

Mother’s Day scavenger hunt

May 14, 2017 (1:30 p.m.)

0.7 miles south

Find hidden clues and complete fun tasks in a race around the city on The Amazing Mother’s Day Scavenger Hunt beginning at Slattery’s Midtown Pub.

Japanese festival

May 14, 2017

1.2 miles north

Japan Day @ Central Park includes a four mile run and kids’ race, dancing and singing, calligraphy and origami, and food tents at Central Park Bandshell. Free.

Jewish parade & fair

May 14, 2017

10.3 miles SE

The Great Parade of floats, marching bands, and school groups begins at 10 a.m. at Brooklyn Avenue & Eastern Parkway and goes to The Great Fair at Troy Avenue & Maple Street from 12 to 5 p.m. Free.

Mother’s Day in the garden

May 14, 2017 (SOLD OUT)

11 miles east

Enjoy a catered Mother’s Day Brunch plus a stroll in the gardens at Queens Botanical Garden.

Mother’s Day at Wave Hill

May 14, 2017 (SOLD OUT)

12 miles north

Wave Hill offers family art projects and garden walks in the Bronx, plus a Mother’s Day Brunch that requires making a reservation.


May 17, 2017 (also June to Sept.)

NYC locations

Enjoy outstanding music, comedy, theater, dance, lectures, and films during SummerStage in city parks. The (mostly) free concerts are popular, so arrive early.

Restaurant tasting

May 19, 2017 (7 p.m., VIP 6)

1.7 miles south

Sample food from 50 restaurants and 35 nations as chosen by Village Voice food critics, plus drinks at Choice Eats at the Metropolitan Pavilion for age 21+.

Bicycle expo

May 19 - 20, 2017

1.1 miles SW

Join 10,000 cyclists visiting exhibitors at the NYC Bike Expo at Penn Plaza Pavilion. Secure bike check. Free. [Do not confuse with the bike expo on May 5-6.]

Taste of the Upper West Side

May 19 - 20, 2017

1.7 miles north

Sample food from 40 restaurants, and taste wine, beer, and cocktails under a tent at Columbus Avenue & West 77th Street.

New-music festival

May 19 - 21, 2017

3.1 miles east

Queens New Music Festival features live concerts of music written in the last 50 years at the Secret Theatre.

Bad films

May 19 - 21, 2017

6 miles SE

Bad Film Fest screens weird, wild, and outrageous films by new filmmakers that are supposed to be so bad they’re good at Cloud City.

Chili cook-off

May 20, 2017 (12 to 5 p.m.)

1.3 miles west

Texas Chili Cook-off serves chili, beer, and a band, rain or shine at Pier 84 at Hudson River Park.

Parade of dancers

May 20, 2017 (1 p.m.)

2 miles south

Watch colorful dancers perform ballet, break dance, disco, hula, and samba in the 1 p.m. Dance Parade beginning at Broadway & 21st Street and ending at DanceFest in Tompkins Park from 3 to 7 p.m. Free.

Block party

May 20, 2017 (12 to 5 p.m.)

3.2 miles south

Essex Street Market - Block Party has food vendors, pushcarts, live music, and kids’ activities on Essex Street (from Delancey to Rivington). Free.

World block party

May 20, 2017

3.3 miles north

East Harlem’s Ethnic Festival has music, dance, arts and crafts, ethnic food, and children’s activities on E. 104th Street (from 2nd to 3rd Avenue). Free.

Jazz gala

May 20, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

3.6 miles south

Made in New York Jazz Gala features famous jazz artists plus international guest performers at Tribeca Performing Arts Center.

Multicultural festival

May 20, 2017

5 miles north

New York City Multicultural Festival promises diverse cultural music, dance, food, fashion, and a kids’ area on St. Nicholas Avenue (from 141st to 145th). Free.

Festival of colors

May 20, 2017 (1:30 to 7:30 p.m.)

8.1 miles north

Throw brightly colored cornstarch, dance to live music, shop from artists, and buy food and drink at Festival of Colors - Holi NYC [sound] at 1110 Oak Point Avenue for age 18+. You cannot bring your own powder.

International food fest

May 20 - 21, 2017

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 (42nd to 57th). Free entry.

Vegetarian festival

May 20 - 21, 2017

1.7 miles south

NYC Vegetarian Food Festival features food samples and meals from vegetarian restaurants, health and wellness vendors, vegetarian and animal-welfare groups, and talks and shows at Metropolitan Pavilion.

Pop-culture festival

May 20 - 21, 2017

2.4 miles SW

Attend screenings, discussions, and jams with movie, TV, and music icons at the Vulture Festival, mostly at Milk Studios and run by Vulture, the culture and entertainment brand of New York Magazine.

A taste of Harlem

May 20 - 21, 2017 (12:30 to 5:30 p.m.)

4.2 miles north

A ticket to Ultimate Grand Tasting (highlight of Harlem EatUp!) gets you unlimited food tastes and samples of wine, beer, and cocktails, plus entertainment and a marketplace at Morningside Park for age 21+.

Spirits tasting

May 24, 2017 (6:30 p.m., VIP 5)

0.4 miles south

Sample handcrafted spirits and meet the makers at NY Indie Spirits Expo at the Penn Club of New York.

Discount VIP tickets $43.

Contemporary design fair

May 24, 2017

1.5 miles SW

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair is a showcase for 500 exhibitors from May 21 - 24, 2017, and it opens to the public on the last day in Jacob Javits Convention Center.

Spooky stories

May 24 - 27, 2017

2.4 miles south

Hear macabre stories read by candlight during Edgar Allan Poe Festival in St. John’s Lutheran Church.

Discount tickets $12.


May 24 - June 28, 2017

0.8 miles west

Birdland showcases jazz orchestras, vocalists, and virtuosos every night on West 44th Street, with a $10 food or drink minimum. Discount tickets $15 to $20.


May 24 - Aug. 31, 2017

multiple locations

These discount ticket prices include all taxes and fees.

Evening cruise

May 24 - Sept. 30, 2017

2.4 miles SW

A cruise on the Yacht Manhattan includes skyline views and a glass of champagne or other beverage, departing from Chelsea Piers (Pier 62).

Guitar festival

May 25 - June 8, 2017

NYC locations

New York Guitar Festival features familiar and influential guitarists plus new talent and new sounds.

Cocktail show

May 25 - June 30, 2017

0.6 miles west

A ticket to The Imbible includes 3 craft cocktails plus a comic romp through the history of spirits and cocktails at New World Stages. Discount tickets $20 to $49.

Tony-winning musical

May 25 - July 2, 2017

0.3 miles west

The show-business musical Chicago has sizzling songs, seductive dance numbers, and a powerful story at Ambassador Theatre. Discount tickets $33 to $91.

Star-studded dramatic comedy

May 25 - July 16, 2017

0.5 miles west

Six Degrees of Separation is a fast-paced story about how the threads of chance link one person to another, at Barrymore Theatre. Discount tickets $49 to $69.

Free Summer Movies

May 25 - Sept. 20, 2017

NYC locations

Free Summer Movies are shown evenings at parks in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.

Musical about Vietnam War

May 25 - Dec. 30, 2017

0.5 miles NW

Miss Saigon is about the tragic romance between a strong-willed Vietnamese woman and an American soldier during the last days of the Vietnam War at the Broadway Theatre. Discount tickets $59 to $99.

Classical music

May 26, 2017 (7 p.m.)

0.5 miles north

Celebration & Reflection features an orchestra and choir performing works by Bach, Mendelssohn, Faure, and Guanais at Carnegie Hall. Discount tickets $6 to $50.

Outdoor movies

May 26, 2017

1.2 miles west

See free movies outdoors at Summer Movie Series at Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Arrive early.
  • May 26 - Top Gun

Dinner cruise

May 26, 2017 (7 p.m.)

2.4 miles SW

Enjoy a buffet dinner with 2.5 hours of views on the New York Dinner Cruise by Spirit Cruises, with DJ dance music, leaving Pier 61. Discount tickets $84.

Chinese restaurants: exhibit & taste

May 26, 2017 (12 to 6 p.m.)

6 miles SE

Chow: Making the Chinese American Restaurant traces the history of Chinese American cuisine. Get a fortune-cookie made onsite by a machine and a taste of Chinese food in the culinary studio at the Museum of Food and Drink in Brooklyn. Discount tickets $8.50.

Charming musical

May 26 - 28, 2017

0.4 miles west

The Fantasticks is a funny and romantic musical entertaining audiences for years, in intimate Anne Bernstein Theater. Discount tickets $38.

Festival of the arts

May 26 - 28, 2017

3 miles south

Lower East Side Festival of the Arts [sound] features dance, film, music, poetry, theater, and visual art at the Theater for the New City. Free.

African festival

May 26 - 29, 2017

7.9 miles south

DanceAfrica celebrates the dance, music, and culture of Guinea with performances, classes, films, a dance party, and a craft & food bazaar at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House.

Weird films

May 26 - 30, 2017 (reception May 25)

multiple locations

Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival screens dozens of unusual films “that challenge the viewers reality with ideas and concepts not normally found in conventional stories” at four different venues. Discount weekend tickets $8 to $30.

Harry Potter parody

May 26 - June 30, 2017

0.7 miles SW

Puffs is all about the mediocre students of Hogwarts School, lovable underachieving wizards not destined to save the world from the forces of evil, at Elektra Theatre. Discount tickets $31.

Sailboat ride on Clipper City

May 26 - Oct. 9, 2017

4.5 miles south

Tour New York City Harbor aboard the majestic Clipper City tall ship, departing from Battery Park.

Memorial Day cruise

May 27, 2017 (11 p.m.)

4.3 miles south

Take a three-hour Memorial Day Weekend Dance Cruise with views, DJ music, a bar, and food for sale aboard the Hornblower Serenity Yacht departing from Pier 15 for age 21+. Discount tickets $13.

Puerto Rican festival

May 27, 2017

6.8 miles north

152nd Street Cultural Festival celebrates Puerto Rican culture with live music, dancing, comedy, art and food vendors, celebrity appearances, and a children’s pavilion with storytelling, face painting, and crafts on 152nd Street (Jackson Ave. to Union Ave.). Free.

James Cagney musical

May 27 - 28, 2017

1 mile west

Cagney is about the energetic New York actor, singer, and tap dancer famous for his “tough guy” roles in films, at The Westside Theatre. Discount tickets $45 to $49.

Art fair

May 27 - 29 & June 3 - 4, 2017

2 miles south

Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit [sound] features 120 artists on the sidewalks of University Place, May 27-29 and June 3-4. Repeats in Sept. Free.

Drama about two brothers

May 27 - June 25, 2017

1 mile SW

The Lucky One by A. A. Milne explores the antagonistic relationship between two brothers (one who lives in the sun and the other who lives in his shadow) at 410 W 42nd Street. Discount tickets $55.

Classic soul & Motown revue

May 27 - July 29, 2017

0.7 miles SW

A Decade of Soul features R&B music of the classic soul era performed live on stage at B.B. King Blues Club ($10 minimum food/drink at tables). Discount tickets $8 to $12.


May 27 - July 29, 2017

0.7 miles SW

Talented magician Miles Thorn performs astonishing illusions and incredible feats of juggling at Elektra Theatre. Discount tickets $19 to $36.

Science magic

May 27 - July 30, 2017 (weekends)

0.7 miles SW

A physics demonstrator from Rutgers University performs amazing feats in That Physics Show using cold liquid nitrogen, burning hydrogen, and bright laser lights at Elektra Theatre. Discount tickets $20 to $32.

Mothers celebration

May 28, 2017

1.7 miles NW

Mamapalooza offers music, art, kids’ activities, food vendors, and crafts for mothers and the people who love them at Riverside Park South. Free.

Taiwan festival

May 28, 2017 (12 to 5 p.m.)

1.8 miles south

Passport to Taiwan Festival features night-market foods, teas, Taiwanese crafts, and aboriginal music and dance in Union Square Park North. Free.

Latino festival

May 28, 2017

2.9 miles SE

The Loisaida Festival is a family friendly event with music starting at noon, shows, and vendors on Losaida Avenue, plus an 11 a.m. kids’ parade. Free.

Brunch cruise circles Manhattan

May 28 - Aug. 26, 2017 (10 a.m.)

2.4 miles SW

Around Manhattan Brunch Cruise offers 2.75 hours of views as you circle Manhattan Island in a classic 1920s yacht and eat a buffet brunch with a complimentary beverage, departing from Chelsea Piers (Pier 62). Discount tickets $112.

Brunch show with cocktails

May 28 - Sept. 2, 2017 (Sunday afternoons)

0.6 miles west

The Imbible: Day Drinking has four friends preparing brunch as they talk about the history of brunch food and beverages and you enjoy continental brunch and three craft cocktails at New World Stages for age 21+. Discount tickets $20.

Sunday brunch on a sailboat

May 28 - Oct. 8, 2017

4.1 miles south

Enjoy skyline views on a two-hour Champagne Brunch Sail Aboard the Shearwater classic schooner, leaving North Cove Marina. No heels. Discount tickets $69.

Memorial Day concert

May 29, 2017 (7 p.m.)

1.1 miles NW

The emotional concert With Strength & Joy begins with a performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s powerful hymn Gloria, followed by Pepper Choplin’s new work of guidance and reflection for tumultuous and uncertain times at Lincoln Center.

Classical music of Brahms

May 29, 2017 (8 p.m.)

1.2 miles NW

Johannes Brahms composed A German Requiem to help deal with the grief of losing his mother. Hear it performed by New York City Chamber Orchestra and a choir at Lincoln Center. Discount tickets $7 to $10.

Memorial Day ceremony

May 29, 2017 (10 a.m. to noon)

2.7 miles NW

Memorial Day Commemoration begins with music at 10 a.m. and then has a procession with Scottish pipes and drums at 10:30 a.m. at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in Riverside Park. Free.

Science festival

May 30 - June 4, 2017

NYC locations

Attend 50 world-class lectures, films, and events on science and innovation at World Science Festival.


May 31, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

7.9 miles north

Watch New York City FC play New England Revolution in a home game this month at Yankee Stadium. Discount tickets $20 to $46.

Wine tasting

May 31, 2017 (6 to 9 p.m.)

10.9 miles south

Sip award-winning New York state wines and taste fine fare at Brooklyn Uncorked at Industry City, age 21+.

Book expo

May 31 - June 2, 2017

1.7 miles SW

Book Expo America includes 1000 exhibitors, author lectures and autographing events, and publishing-industry sessions at the Javits Center.

Uptown Arts Stroll

May 31 - June 30, 2017

9 miles north

See hundreds of art exhibitions, open studios, concerts, dance and literary events at Uptown Arts Stroll in Northern Manhattan. Free.
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© May 2017 calendar of events in NYC, NY. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in New York City, New York. nyc-05