May 2013 events calendar for New York City

Plan your month with our events calendar of the very best activities, including Memorial Day activities, free things to do, and our picks from the arts and music.

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Top ten events from Time Out's events calendar for May 2013

1. TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour

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Photograph: Seth Olenick

Top ten events from Time Out's events calendar for May 2013

2. The Thrilling Adventure Hour at the Bell House

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Top ten events from Time Out's events calendar for May 2013

3. Queens Taste at Citi Field

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Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Top ten events from Time Out's events calendar for May 2013

4. The Manhattan Cocktail Classic

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Photograph: Sion Fullona

Top ten events from Time Out's events calendar for May 2013

5. Fleet Week

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Photograph: Sean Ellingson

Top ten events from Time Out's events calendar for May 2013

6. Governors Island reopens on May 25

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Photograph: Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Top ten events from Time Out's events calendar for May 2013

7. "PUNK: Chaos to Couture" opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Photograph: Courtesy of Press Here PR

Top ten events from Time Out's events calendar for May 2013

8. The Killers + Tegan and Sara play Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center

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Photograph: Graham Carlow

Top ten events from Time Out's events calendar for May 2013

9. Frieze New York happens on Randall's Island Park

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Photograph: Susan Johann

Top ten events from Time Out's events calendar for May 2013

10. Lynn Nottage and Stephen Adly Guirgis at 92nd Street Y

Start planning your summer now with our events calendar for May. This guide has all of the best things to do this month, including Memorial Day activities, Fleet Week, and the best arts and music events. Plus, get information about popular attractions like Governors Island.

RECOMMENDED: New York City events calendar for 2013

Featured events in May 2013

TD Five Boro Bike Tour

Critics' pick

More than 30,000 bikers will be able to enjoy a scenic 42-mile, traffic-free spin through the five boroughs during this mass ride. Advance registration is required. Ride begins at Battery Park.

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Location TBA Until Sun May 3

The Thrilling Adventure Hour

Critics' pick

This L.A.-based comedy show is a big, boisterous spoof of old-time radio shows. The campy tales of hobos, robots and celebrities past (e.g., Amelia Earhart) feature soundtracks, sound effects and big-name performers hamming it up in the best sort of way. Tonight brings regular player Paul F. Tompkins, along with Paget Brewster, John Hodgman, Marc Evan Jackson and James Urbaniak.

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The Bell House Until Fri Oct 11

Queens Taste

Critics' pick

Celebrate the diversity of the city in the best way possible—with your taste buds. Now in its 11th year, this festival that began as a handful of restaurants in a JFK terminal has made its home in Citi Field’s Caesars Club, a sprawling convention hall with views of Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. Fifty food vendors from the borough will be on hand, from Redwood Deli and Ottomanelli & Sons to Mama’s and Bourbon Street Café (let’s hope they bring the outstanding gumbo they’ve served every other year). Sip on Turkish coffee from the Turkish Cultural Center and wine from Long Island’s Borghese Winery—all included in your admission price. Plus, we have it on good authority that Mr. Met himself will be present. Visit queensny.org/queenstaste for more informaiton.

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Citi Field 12 May 2015

The Manhattan Cocktail Classic

Critics' pick

For serious connoisseurs, this annual festival is an opportunity to pay homage to Manhattan’s preeminent cocktail culture—and revel in five days of merry, mixology-fueled debauchery. The close to a hundred events range from scholarly lectures and conferences to parties and bar crawls that don’t lend themselves to retention of information. The crown jewel of the fest is the opening-night gala, held at the grand New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Though details for the ball are still under lock and key, in 2012 it featured mountains of oysters, ’20s-style burlesque dancers and more than 30,000 hand-stirred cocktails. Tickets sold out in just a few hours last year; be at the ready when they go on sale March 15 at noon. Visit manhattancocktailclassic.com for more information.

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Various locations Until Tue May 19

The Great GoogaMooga

Critics' pick

The cool-kid food-and-music extravaganza is back in Brooklyn for its second year, kicking off with a Friday night concert, headlined by NYC alt-rockers Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Flaming Lips, and a marathon lineup of grub from a whopping 85 joints.

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Prospect Park 19 May 2013

Big Mark’s Action Park opens

Slated to debut Memorial Day weekend, this new boardwalk destination aims to complement Coney Island’s kitschy, throwback vibe while offering modern touches. Most of the rides and attractions were selected with high action and a low carbon footprint in mind; look for a wind tunnel designed to simulate skydiving, a zip line spanning the length of a city block, rock-climbing walls and hot-air-balloon rides. The now-defunct Mega Whirl, a ride that was destroyed by Sandy, will find new life as a tropical-themed bar. And if you’re not in the mood for a hot dog (especially post–wind tunnel), the park plans to offer a variety of international, health-conscious fare. facebook.com/bigmarksactionpark. Mon–Thu 10am–11pm; Fri, Sat 10am–midnight; Sun 10am–11pm. $5–$25/ride.

Dan Savage

Critics' pick

The syndicated sex columnist brings his hilarious, often heartfelt observations to the New York Public Library’s Celeste Bartos Forum for a sure-to-be-lively chat. The engagement marks the release of his new book, American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics, in which the It Gets Better campaign cofounder sounds off on gun control, gay marriage, health care and other hot topics.

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Celeste Bartos Forum, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building Until Tue May 28

Citi Bike launches

Never worry about cycle theft again with this new bike-share program perfect for making quick trips. Sometime in May, 6,000 seriously uncool-looking two-wheelers will appear at 330 stations along a corridor that runs downtown from 60th Street, across the East River and infto central Brooklyn. A pass affords you unlimited 30–45 minute trips—but beware, staying out longer incurs a penalty ($2.50–$12). To see how the ride handles, take a trial run with a gratis day pass, given out after free Street Skills classes at Bicycle Habitat in Soho or Red Lantern Bicycles in Fort Greene (locations, dates and times vary; visit bikenewyork.org for details; registration required). citibikenyc.com. Passes: day $9.95, week $25, annual $95.

Free events in May 2013

Beaches open

Hurricane Sandy threatened to put the kibosh on idyllic summer days of crashing waves, sun-drenched picnics and walks in the surf. Thankfully, the parks department has been hard at work rebuilding the devastated and debris-littered oceanfront areas. With the exception of Fort Tilden in storm-battered Breezy Point, all of the city’s public beaches will reopen on Memorial Day. Work on your tan at family-friendly standby Coney Island Beach (Surf Ave between Ocean Pkwy and W 37th St, Brooklyn), foodie and Ramones favorite Rockaway Beach (Boardwalk between Beach 9th and 149th Sts, Queens) or Orchard Beach, a mile-long stretch that’s been dubbed “The Riviera of New York” (Park Dr at Orchard Beach Rd, Bronx). Suck it, Sandy. Visit nycgovparks.org for details. Beaches are open for swimming May 25–Sept 2.

World Science Festival

Critics' pick

This four-day affair combines scientific innovation with cutting-edge arts and culture. Past special guests have ranged from super genius Stephen Hawking to downtown darling Maggie Gyllenhaal, and discussions have covered everything from string theory to the cultural importance of beer. This year’s events remain under wraps, but expect Saturday-night stargazing in Brooklyn Bridge Park and a display of new inventions at the festival’s “Innovation Square.” Visit website for schedule (212-352-3101, worldsciencefestival.com). $10–$40.

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Locations and times vary Wednesday May 27 2015 - Sunday May 31 2015

Theater events in May 2013

The Broadway Beauty Pageant

Critics' pick

Broadway chorus boys strut their stuff in a Miss America–style competition that will include talent and bathing-suit segments (which in some cases may be redundant).

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Skirball Center for the Performing Arts Until Mon May 20

Music events in May 2013

Rihanna

Critics' pick

Though Rihanna typically doesn't get tossed up on the Lady Gaga tier of all-encompassing superstardom, she may have a claim to be there, as she's consistently dominated the radio with songs like "Umbrella," "Don't Stop the Music," "Disturbia" and "SOS." And it's surely a sign of her burgeoning megastar status that, like Gaga, Rihanna is selling tickets now for a 2013 event at Brooklyn's Barclay's Center.

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Barclays Center Until Tue May 7

Paramore

Critics' pick

It’s comeback time for Paramore, currently gearing up to release its first LP sans founding members Josh and Zac Farro. Superfans might be bummed, but for the rest of us, the heart and soul of this Tennessee emo-pop powerhouse will always be the mammoth-lunged Hayley Williams, who’s stayed firmly put in her starring role. If appropriately titled lead single “Now” is any indication, a record of arena-sized anthems is on the way.

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Hammerstein Ballroom (at the Manhattan Center) Until Wed Nov 13

The Killers + Tegan and Sara

Critics' pick

It’s not such a surprise that director Tim Burton is a fan of Brandon Flowers’s Vegas crew the Killers, since both artists share a penchant for drama and darkness—check out the Burton-directed video for the band’s latest single, “Here with Me,” for evidence. At these two arena dates, the group toasts Battle Born, its grandiose, back-to-form 2012 album.

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Barclays Center 08 Aug 2013

Liars

Critics' pick

Building on the momentum of last year’s electronica-drenched WIXIW, this popular, provocative California art-punk trio returns for a glitzy exclusive at the Met’s Temple of Dendur, and a more conventional romp at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple.

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Brooklyn Masonic Temple Until Fri May 9
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Arts events in May 2013

The Royal Ballet of Cambodia

The gorgeous Royal Ballet of Cambodia presents The Legend of Apsara Mera, which is choreographed by Her Royal Highness Princess Norodom Buppha Devi, in collaboration woth Proeung Chhieng and Soth Somaly.

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BAM Howard Gilman Opera House Until Sat May 4

"PUNK: Chaos to Couture"

Critics' pick

Expect to see studded jackets, safety-pin accessories and a lot of black at this exhibit, which examines the origins of punk fashion and how that look was co-opted by high-end designers. In addition to photos of icons like the Sex Pistols and the Ramones, the show will feature pieces by designers like Vivienne Westwood, Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander McQueen and Anna Sui.

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art 14 Aug 2013

Stephen Adly Guirgis + Lynn Nottage

Critics' pick

This bill features two of the best playwrights working today, both New Yorkers. Guirgis nails the impassioned yearning of the city’s desperate, repentant sinners (in their own vernacular), in plays that include prison drama Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train and Broadway's The Motherfucker in the Hat. Nottage channels the struggle and pain of black women, be they a turn-of-the-20th-century seamstress (Intimate Apparel) or a Mother Courage–like business owner in the Congo (Ruined). Don’t be surprised if some of their actor friends show up to help out.

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92nd Street Y Until Thu May 9

Frieze New York

Critics' pick

Last year’s debut of the London superfair’s New York edition was a splashy affair that stole much of the Armory Show’s thunder. It’s setting up on Randall’s Island again in a twisting, winding tent along the waterfront and making use of the sylvan location with commissioned outdoor projects. This year’s fair includes a tribute to the legendary artist-run restaurant, Food, which in early-’70s Soho provided sustenance to the neighborhood’s loft-dwelling creative class–back when the term actually referred to making art. $42, students $26, with catalog $75. Visit friezenewyork.com for more information.

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Randalls Island Park Until Sun May 17

Paul McCarthy

Critics' pick

One of the godfathers of L.A. art (or at least the branch that treats pop culture as one big wallow in sexual abjection), McCarthy has certainly made his contribution, with sculptures of cute Santa figures wielding butt-plugs and depictions of the Seven Dwarves with flacid penises for noses. But more than that, his work sends up America’s glorification of masculinity. With two galleries at his his disposal, expect something big and disturbing.

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Hauser & Wirth New York 27 Jul 2013 Free

American Ballet Theater 2013 Spring Season

Critics' pick

ABT returns to the Metropolitan Opera House with the premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's Shostakovich trilogy, as well as the company debut of Frederick Ashton's A Month in the Country and a new production of Le Corsaire. Dancers include Roberto Bolle, Irina Dvorovenko—in her final season with the company—Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg, Paloma Herrera, Julie Kent, Cory Stearns, Ivan Vasiliev, Natalia Osipova and the newest principal, Hee Seo.

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Metropolitan Opera House (at Lincoln Center) Until Sat Jul 6

Lower East Side Festival of the Arts

Critics' pick

Poets, playwrights, puppeteers and other performers in and around the Lower East Side will partake in this annual gathering centered at the Theater for the New City.

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Theater for the New City Until Monday May 25 2015 Free

Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit

Critics' pick

More than eight decades ago, New York artists Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning propped up a few of their paintings in Washington Square Park and called it a show. A lot has changed since then: Now, more than 100 artists and artisans—including painters, sculptors, jewelers and glassblowers—exhibit their wares at the Washington Square Park Outdoor Art Exhibit.

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Location TBA Saturday May 23 2015 - Monday September 7 2015 Free

Comments

3 comments
John
John

Umm I thought Fleet Week was cancelled because of the Sequester?

james rodriguez
james rodriguez

hello, love your site. do you accept any submissions for upcoming art events, please provide email for submissions. Thanks