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time out market beer garden
Photograph: Courtesy Reagan Byrne Time Out Market beer garden in Boston

10 best things to do in Boston this May

Good times are blooming as spring heats up.

Jillian Dara
Written by
Jillian Dara

According to the magnolias of Newbury Street and tulips of the Public Garden, spring is in full swing in Boston. With the weather only getting warmer, there are more al fresco events in the May lineup—whether you want to sip, sing along or savor a meal outside, there’s something for everyone when it comes to the best things to do in Boston this month.

Best things to do in Boston this May

1. Get sweaty in the Seaport

Seaport Sweat returned May 1 for its ninth season and will run through September 28. The series of free outdoor workouts on Seaport Common includes yoga, HIIT and dance classes led by pro instructors from brands like Rhone, Equinox and lululemon.

2. Indulge in Boston Asian Restaurant Week

“Have you eaten yet?” is another way of asking “how are you?” across Asian cultures; just one of the tidbits you will learn by partaking in Asian Restaurant Week. Boston’s first celebration of Asian cuisine runs through May 11 with participating venues offering stamps to customers trying signature dishes for a chance to win prizes, like limited-edition swag and restaurant gift cards.


3. Celebrate grads at Bambara Kitchen & Bar

On Saturdays later this month, Bambara Kitchen & Bar will host a prix fixe dinner menu for $60 per person as recognition for all the new graduates and their families who are visiting from out of town. Reserve a table here.

4. Visit Night Shift Brewing on the Greenway

Night Shift Brewing Company is behind the newest beer garden on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The new location opens May 8 at Dewey Square, joining Trillium’s popular al fresco spot elsewhere on the Greenway. It’s Night Shift’s third scenic, outdoor beer garden in Boston.


5. Get to know some of the world’s best whiskies

Brighton rock club Roadrunner transforms into a walk-around whiskey tasting experience on Thursday, May 9—with music on the menu too. The WhiskyX features more than 60 premium brands of the best in bourbon, American, Irish, Scotch, and rye whiskies, including Russell’s Reserve, Glenmorangie, Basil Hayden, Uncle Nearest, and more, plus a performance by St. Paul & the Broken Bones. Tickets are required.

6. Spoil Mom at Mother’s Day brunch

Here’s hoping your calendars are marked: Mother’s Day is May 12. Restaurants throughout the city—like Deuxave, Bistro du Midi, and Grill 23—observe the Sunday holiday with special brunches dedicated to mom. For something a little different, reach new heights at View Boston, which is celebrating with a floral arrangement session on Saturday, May 11, as well as brunch both weekend days.


7. Celebrate Greek food and culture

Chefs Jody Adams and Diane Kochilas are collaborating for a unique evening focused on Greek food and culture on Monday, May 13. The ticketed event takes place at Adams’ downtown restaurant Trade, where guests can mingle with the chefs over meze and beverages, have the chance to check out Kochilas’ new cookbook The Ikaria Way, and enjoy a four-course meal paired with Greek wines. Tickets are $150 per person.

8. Honor the whales

Music—and animal—lovers will want to bookmark May 16 for Whale Jam, a benefit concert in honor of saving the gray whales, a beloved marine mammal that’s significantly depleted around Massachusetts waters due to overfishing. Hosted at Roadrunner and presented with Nantucket Crisps, the show features Matt Quinn from Mount Joy, Taylor Meier from Caamp, and Yoke Lore. Tickets are $49.50.


9. Witness world-class chefs in action

Cooking Live returns to Kimpton Marlowe Hotel on May 20 to support Family Reach, an organization that ensures no family facing cancer goes hungry. A ticket allows you to watch headlining chefs like Guy Fieri, Ken Oringer, Joanne Chang, Ming Tsai, and Adam Resnick do their thing.

10. Attend Boston Calling

Every year, this music festival seems to attract a more impressive lineup than the past.This year is no exception with big names like Ed Sheeran, Leon Bridges, Tyler Childers, and The Killers at the top of the bill. Check out all the musicians here and get your ticket for the weekend-long concert on Memorial Day weekend (May 24-26).

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