New York City events May 2019. Things to do in NYC.

New York City
Best events for 12 months

New York City events May 2019

Tribeca Film Festival

May 1 - 5, 2019
(begins April 24)
2 miles south
Tribeca Film Festival is a giant festival offering films, music, and cultural events in Lower Manhattan.

Contemporary art fair

May 1 - 5, 2019
3.2 miles south
Superfine promises 75 “galleries and artists at the cutting edge of emerging contemporary art, with an array of price points friendly to even the most novice collector” at 107 Grand Street. Tours & parties too.

Arts festival

May 1 - 18, 2019
(begins April 11)
Lower Manhattan
Enjoy music, creative plays, poetry, and films at Downtown Urban Arts Festival (DUAF), which showcases urban artists and promotes diversity.
  • April 11 - music
  • April 20 - poetry
  • April 24 to May 11 - theater
  • May 15 to 18 - films

Interested in technology?

May 2, 2019
1.5 miles SW
TechDay is a giant science fair with 400 exhibitors, including innovative startups at the Javits Center. Free.

Art fair on Randall’s Island

May 2 - 5, 2019
6 miles NE
Shop for art from 190 galleries, attend talks, and mingle with art-world celebrities at Frieze New York in tents at Randall’s Island Park.

Bicycle expo

May 3 - 4, 2019
4 miles south
Visit 100 bicycle and accessory exhibitors, and attend biking presentations and classes at Bike Expo New York at Basketball City. Free. [Do not confuse with NYC Bike Expo.]

New art fair

May 3 - 5, 2019
(preview May 2)
4.4 miles SE
Based in London, The Other Art Fair “leads the way in uncovering and nurturing new and innovative creative talent” exhibiting works by 130 emerging artists at the Brooklyn Expo Center. Held in May and November.

Ticket deal $6 to $11

Elite art fair

May 3 - 7, 2019
(VIP on May 2)
1 mile north
See exceptional modern and contemporary art from international galleries at TEFAF New York Spring at Park Avenue Armory. Repeats in October.

Jazz cruise

May 3 - June 30, 2019
2.4 miles SW
Enjoy skyline views, jazz performed by a trio, and a complimentary drink during a two-hour Evening Jazz Cruise Aboard Manhattan on a 1920s-style yacht departing from Pier 62 at Chelsea Piers.

Ticket deal $51

Asian burlesque

May 4, 2019
(8 p.m.)
2.3 miles SW
This year’s New York Asian Burlesque Extravaganza features Calamity Chang and nine more in glamorous costumes at Le Poisson Rouge for age 18+.

Food truck festival

May 4, 2019
(12 to 7 p.m.)
6.5 miles SW
Cinco de Mayo Food Truck Fest has 20 food vendors, live music, and family activities at LM Urby Parking in Jersey City, NJ. Children younger than 12 are free.

Brooklyn neighborhood tasting

May 4, 2019
(2 to 6 p.m.)
9 miles south
A ticket to Carroll Gardens & Cobble Hill Summer Crawl gets you either 4 or 11 tastes in eateries and businesses from Atlantic Avenue south. Dogs welcome.

Beer festival

May 4, 2019
10.2 miles east
A ticket to NY Beer Festival includes unlimited beer tastes from 80 breweries, with games, entertainment, and food for sale at Citi Field for age 21+. No dogs.

Ticket deal $40

Hoboken festival

May 5, 2019
4.7 miles SW
Spring Arts & Music Festival features 300 artists, sculptors, photographers, and crafters, plus three stages of music, rides, games, and food vendors at 94 Washington Street in Hoboken, NJ. Free.

Bike tour

May 5, 2019
5 miles south
Bike 40 miles through New York’s five boroughs on Five Boro Bike Tour, starting north of Battery Park.

Cirque show in Queens

May 5, 2019
(3 p.m.)
10.5 miles east
Spherus Cirque promises “a combination of high-energy juggling, clean comedy, and unique performance pieces” at Kupferberg Center for the Arts.

Ticket deal $18 to $25

Indie film festival

May 5 - 12, 2019
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 7, 2019
10 miles east
Sample food and drink from 60 restaurants, and mingle with the borough’s business leaders at the $125 Queens Taste at New York Hall of Science.

Rap about consciousness

May 7 - 21, 2019
2.7 miles south
Rap Guide to Consciousness takes a deep dive into the neuroscience of human experience—from sensations to hallucinations—offering “a funny but serious appreciation of the wonders of the human mind” [The Psychologist] at Soho Playhouse. Video (3 minutes).

Ticket deal $20

Latino LGBTQ festival

May 8 - 19, 2019
3.2 miles NE
FuerzaFest includes films, short plays, dance, panel discussions, networking events, and art exhibitions.

Taste of the Lower East Side

May 9, 2019
(6 to 10 p.m.)
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.

Bronx Week

May 10 - 19, 2019
6 miles north
Bronx Week [very slow website] includes a breakfast, neighborhood tours, Bronx Ball, parade, and a food & arts festival.

Gospel festival

May 11, 2019
(5 p.m.)
16.6 miles SW
Gospelfest is a talent competition followed by a gospel concert at Newark Symphony Hall in Newark, NJ.

Children’s food festival

May 11 - 12, 2019
3.8 miles south
Kids Food Fest encourages healthy eating for kids of all ages with food tastings, cooking demos, hands-on activities, special guests, and family-focused entertainment at Westfield World Trade Center.

Mother’s Day in the garden

May 11 - 12, 2019
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 scavenger hunt

May 12, 2019
(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 12, 2019
1.2 miles north
Japan Day @ Central Park includes a 4-mile run, dance performances, music, calligraphy, origami, and food tents at Central Park Bandshell. Free.

Mother’s Day in the garden

May 12, 2019
(10 a.m. & 1 p.m.)
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 12, 2019
12 miles north
Wave Hill offers family art projects and garden walks in the Bronx, plus a Mother’s Day Brunch that requires reservations.

New-music festival

May 14 - 19, 2019
3.1 miles east
Queens New Music Festival features live concerts of music written in the last 50 years at the Secret Theatre.

Bicycle expo

May 16 - 19, 2019
1.1 miles SW
Join 10,000 cyclists visiting exhibitors at the NYC Bike Expo at Penn Plaza Pavilion. Free admission and secure bike check. [Do not confuse with Bike Expo New York.]

Film festival

May 16 - 19, 2019
4 miles north
Harlem International Film Festival screens 75 features, documentaries, shorts, youth projects, and animated works from 25 different countries, and it includes panel discussions and awards.

Creative film festival

May 16 - 20, 2019
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.

Whiskey tasting

May 17, 2019
7.7 miles south
Taste 60 whiskeys and hear the band St. Paul & The Broken Bones at WhiskyX, with food trucks and restaurant food for sale at Duggal Greenhouse in Brooklyn for age 21+.

Video-game expo

May 18, 2019
(noon)
0.9 miles SW
Play new games from 100 developers at the Spring Play: NYC Game Expo, with pizza at the Microsoft office in Times Square. Register online for free and be sure to bring your ID.

Parade of dancers

May 18, 2019
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.

Chili cook-off

May 18, 2019
(1 to 6 p.m.)
2.3 miles NW
Texas Chili Cook-off serves chili, beer, and a band, rain or shine at Boat Basin Cafe.

World block party

May 18, 2019
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 18, 2019
3.6 miles south
Made in New York Jazz Gala features famous jazz artists plus international guest performers at Tribeca Performing Arts Center.

Korean Street Festival

May 18, 2019
5.2 miles north
Korean Street Festival is a Harlem neighborhood event featuring Korean food, games, entertainment, and crafts at 134th Street and 7th Avenue. Free.

Beer festival

May 18, 2019
(4 to 9 p.m.)
5.9 miles SE
A ticket to Five Boro Craft Beer Fest includes beer from 50 craft breweries, food from local restaurants, and music by three bands at The Well in Brooklyn for age 21+.

International food fest

May 18 - 19, 2019
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 18 - 19, 2019
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.

Ticket deal $15

A taste of Harlem

May 18 - 19, 2019
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+.

International fair in Queens

May 18 - 19, 2019
10.2 miles east
The World’s Fare has music plus international food & drink for sale “curated by New York City’s leading taste makers” with a focus on equality and cultural diversity at Citi Field.

Wine in the garden

May 18 - 19, 2019
(12 to 4 p.m.)
12 miles north
Sample wine from a dozen New York vintners and tour the gardens during Spring Uncorked at New York Botanical Garden.

Shakespeare in the Park

May 21 - Aug. 11, 2019
2 miles north
For tickets to Shakespeare in the Park at Delacorte Theater in Central Park, pay $500 as a “supporter” or get free tickets by joining a lottery or waiting in line.

Contemporary design fair

May 22, 2019
1.5 miles SW
The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) is a showcase for 800 exhibitors from May 19 - 22, 2019, and the public can buy tickets to attend on the last day in Jacob Javits Convention Center.

Whisky tasting

May 22, 2019
1.8 miles south
A ticket to Whisky Live includes a dinner buffet, live music, chocolate pairings, and a glass to sample scotches, bourbons, and whiskies from around the world at the Altman Building.

Fleet Week

May 22 - 28, 2019
multiple locations
Tour ships, hear band concerts, watch demonstrations, and see military displays during Fleet Week, which begins with a parade of ships. Tours require ID if you are age 18+. Free.

Polish film festival

May 22 - 25 and June 1 - 2, 2019
0.8 miles south
New York Polish Film Festival screens feature films, shorts, and documentaries, which all have English subtitles at Scandinavia House.

African film festival

May 23 - June 9, 2019
NYC locations
New York African Film Festival screens both new and classic African cinema, with a special focus on intergenerational discourse, featuring works by women and younger generations.

Festival of the arts

May 24 - 26, 2019
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.

African festival

May 24 - 27, 2019
7.9 miles south
DanceAfrica celebrates the dance, music, and culture of Africa at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House. The 2019 theme is Rwanda.

Free movies on a ship deck

May 24 & 31, 2019
1.2 miles west
Doors open at 7 p.m. to see movies at sunset during Summer Movie Series at Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Held in May, June, July, and August.

Free movies in parks

May 24 - Sept. 8, 2019
NYC locations
Free Summer Movies are shown evenings at parks in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.

Puerto Rican festival

May 25, 2019
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.

Mothers celebration

May 26, 2019
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 26, 2019
1.8 miles south
Passport to Taiwan Festival features “small eats,” stage performances, craft demonstrations, exhibitors, and family activities in Union Square Park North. Free.

Latino festival

May 26, 2019
2.9 miles SE
The Loisaida Festival is a family friendly event with music, shows, and vendors on Losaida Avenue. It usually begins with a community parade at 11 a.m. Free.

Science festival

May 28 - June 2, 2019
NYC locations
Attend dozens of world-class lectures, films, and events on science and innovation during World Science Festival.

Uptown Arts Stroll

May 29 - June 30, 2019
9 miles north
See hundreds of art exhibitions, concerts, dance, and literary events at Uptown Arts Stroll in Northern Manhattan. Free. Open studios held 1 to 6 p.m. on:
  • June 8 - from West 179th to 220th Street
  • June 15 - from West 135th to West 178th Street

Festival in Red Hook

May 31 - June 1, 2019
9.9 miles south
Red Hook Fest includes a barbecue and DJ dance party on Friday (5:30 p.m.) at Public School 15 (Patrick F. Daley), plus performances on the main stage Saturday (2 to 7 p.m.) at Louis Valentino, Jr. Park and Pier. Free.

Music festival

May 31 - June 2, 2019
6 miles NE
Governors Ball is a three-day outdoor music festival with 65 acts “featuring music of all genres, foods of all flavors, arts of all variety” at Randall’s Island Park.

Greek festival

May 31 - June 2, 2019
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.

Brooklyn Film Festival

May 31 - June 9, 2019
NYC locations
Watch 120 films made by independent filmmakers from 27 countries during the Brooklyn Film Festival, mostly at Wythe Hotel and Windmill Studios.

Guitar festival

May 2019
(undated)
NYC locations
New York Guitar Festival features familiar and influential guitarists plus new talent and new sounds.

Pop-culture festival

May 2019
(undated)
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.

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