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.

Nonfiction film festival

May 1 - 2, 2017 (begins April 20)

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, with a special focus this year on the relationship between gender and power 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.

Cocktail show

May 1 - June 30, 2017 (also April)

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 $39 to $49.


May 1 - Aug. 31, 2017

multiple locations

These discount ticket prices include all taxes and fees.

Champagne Sunset Cruise

May 1 - Sept. 30, 2017

2.4 miles SW

The Champagne Sunset Cruise includes 1.75 hours of views and a glass of champagne or other beverage on the Yacht Manhattan, leaving Chelsea Piers (Pier 62). Discount tickets $35 to $40.

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.

Star-studded dramatic comedy

May 2 - July 16, 2017 (also April)

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.

Opera by Mozart

May 3, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

1.1 miles NW

Don Giovanni is a seduction artist who ends up paying for his immorality in this Italian opera with subtitles at Metropolitan Opera House. Discount tickets $81 to $119.

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.

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 (begins April 8)

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

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.

Martial arts show

May 5 - 6, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

3.9 miles south

Fusing Chinese martial arts with acrobatics, Immortal Chi has stunts, traditional weaponry, feats of human endurance, and stunning costumes at Schimmel Center at Pace University. Discount tickets $15.

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.]

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.

Harry Potter parody

May 5 - 27, 2017 (also April)

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.

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.

Stories about motherhood

May 6, 2017 (6 p.m.)

5.2 miles north

Listen To Your Mother celebrates and validates motherhood with short stories that are touching and humorous at Broadway Presbyterian Church.

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.

Hip hop

May 6, 2017 (8 p.m.)

10 miles north

Hip Hop Fever brings you 18 legendary performers, including Rakim, at Lehman Center for the Arts CUNY. Discount balcony tickets $23 to $28.

Buy American

May 6 - 7, 2017

10 miles south

Shop from 60 vendors selling American-made goods at American Field at Industry City in Brooklyn. Free.

Science magic

May 6 - 28, 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 $32.


May 6 - July 2, 2017 (also April)

0.7 miles SW

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

Classic soul & Motown revue

May 6 - July 29, 2017 (also April)

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 $10.

Free Summer Movies

May 6 - Aug. 20, 2017 (begins April)

NYC locations

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

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 in Lower Manhattan.

Jazz cruise

May 7 - 28, 2017 (7:15 p.m.)

2.4 miles SW

Enjoy skyline views, live jazz, and a complimentary drink on the Evening Jazz Cruise Aboard Manhattan on a decorated 1920s-style yacht that leaves Chelsea Piers (Pier 62). Discount tickets $39.


May 7 & 31, 2017

7.9 miles north

Watch New York City FC play in a home game this month at Yankee Stadium. Discount tickets $22 - $59.
  • May 7 - Atlanta United FC
  • May 31 - New England Revolution

Sunday brunch on a sailboat

May 7 - 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.

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.

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 talent show, neighborhood tours, Bronx Ball, parade, and a food & arts festival.

Beer festival

May 12, 2017

5.9 miles SE

Five Boro Craft Beer Fest has 30 craft brewers, local food vendors, and a band at The Well in Brooklyn.

Mother’s Day R&B

May 12, 2017 (8 p.m.)

8 miles south

Arriving a day 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).

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 (afternoon & evening)

10 miles south

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

Discount early access tickets $72.

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.

Coffee festival

May 13 - 14, 2017

1.7 miles south

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

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.

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.

Mother’s Day in the garden

May 14, 2017 (10 a.m. and 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 14, 2017 (11:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.)

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 - Sept. 13, 2017

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 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.

Asian burlesque

May 20, 2017 (8 p.m.)

2.3 miles SW

This year’s Asian Burlesque Extravaganza features Calamity Chang and nine others in glamorous costumes at the Highline Ballroom. Discount tickets $10 to $18.

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. Discount tickets $29.

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. Discount tickets $19.

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.

Pop-erotica show

May 21, 2017 (6 p.m.)

5.3 miles SE

The Sweet Spot is a high-energy celebration of the sexy arts, featuring spoken word, burlesque dance, body painting, erotic fashion, comedy, and DJ music at The Hall Brooklyn for age 21+. Discount tickets $10 to $20.

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.

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.

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

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.

Wizard of Oz

May 27, 2017 (3 p.m.)

4.5 miles north

The Wizard of Oz is a one-hour version featuring Dorothy, Toto, the scarecrow, the lion, and the tin man at Harlem Repertory Theatre. Discount tickets $10.

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.

Art fair

May 27 - June 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.

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.

Mothers celebration

May 28, 2017

2 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.

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.

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.

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.
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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