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NYC events in May 2020

Plan your month with our events calendar highlighting the best NYC events in May 2020 including major holidays

central park
Photograph: Shutterstock
By Evelyn Derico and Time Out editors |
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Now that spring is in full swing there’s certainly no shortage of outstanding NYC events in May 2020. We encourage you to find things to do outside and take in all the greenery by visiting some of the best NYC parks while the flowers are blooming. As for the month’s major holidays, don’t miss out on all the awesome things to do for Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. There’s also incredible spring festivals showcasing some of the best art and music.

RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar for 2020

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Featured events in May 2019

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Photograph: Courtesy Mark Blower
Things to do, Festivals

Frieze New York

Art lovers flock to Randall's Island Park for this dreamy display of works from 200 international galleries (and the view of Manhattan ain’t bad either). Take the ferry or the bus over to the island (buy advance tickets online if you can), and plan to spend some serious time immersing yourself in the imaginative projects found both indoors and out, but this year, some of the art fest’s works are displayed off-site (and virtually) as well. Frieze has teamed up with real estate company Tishman Speyer to create a free and public sculpture park at Rockefeller Center presenting statues crafted by international artists. And for the first time ever, curator Daniel Birnbaum of Acute Art presents an exhibition dedicated to the virtual reality trend. Tech-loving aesthetes can view works in an immersive booth at the fair via headsets provided by LIFEWTR. In case you can’t make it to the island, there are 500 VR sets at aforementioned sculpture park, The Standard High Line and The Standard East Village allowing you to experience the creations remotely in real-time.

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Photograph: Courtesy Christine Han
Things to do, Festivals

Dessert Goals

Sound River Studios, Long Island City

This celebration of all things sweet is back in NYC at Long Island City's Sound River Studios on May 2 and 3. The spring edition aims to provide a sugar high and have you seeing spots—that is, its theme is "Pattern Party." Everyone will be encouraged to wear polka dots, stripes and bold prints. And yes, there will be desserts to match. Prepare yourelf for free candy at the candy bar, complimentary Boxed Water, Koia, Sparkling Ice and coffee, a savory salt bar to cleanse your palate and an Instagram garden. Vendors like Baked in Color, Rebecca's Cake Pops, Posh Pretzels, Island Pops and Spoonable Spirits will be presenting their most delectable—and visually spectacular—goodies. Nosh on cheesecake bars on a stick by Baked, donut ice cream sandwiches from Stax and soft serve by Matcha n' More, then stop off at the Salt Bar to cleanse your palette before heading back for more. Be sure to dress up and clear out your phone memory for this colorful festival, which is likely to crush your Instagram game for the next week.    Here's the vendor list for the weekend:    Rebecca's Cake PopsBaked In ColorSpoonable SpiritsBrooklyn FlossTipsy ScoopZola BakesKeki Modern CakesBaonanasJoey Bats CafeMacaron ParlourTiny Kitchen TreatsBecky's DipsIsland pops    

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3
FAD Market
Photograph: Courtesy Daniel William McKnight
Things to do, Markets and fairs

FAD Market

Multiple venues

FAD Market returns in April with an all-Brooklyn-themed event. Shop from more than 60 makers and artisans hailing from Brooklyn selling jewelry, apparel, bath and body care, tableware, home furnishings, and more on April 4–5. On June 13-14, FAD Market will also take over DeKalb Market Hall in City Point for the first time for Tabletop & Tastings, a market showcasing the independent food scene with locally sourced, small-batch packaged foods and handcrafted food-related products.  Every season, FAD—which stands for Fashion, Art and Design—takes over a different Brooklyn venue with a horde of independent vendors and creators. The schedule through June is as follows: Brooklyn Made – April 4–5 Spring Pop-up – April 25-26 Mother's Day – May 9–10 NYCxDesign - May 16–17 Summer Makers Fair – June 6-7 and 20-21, July 11-12 and 25-26 Tabletop & Tasting – June 13-14  Drop in any one of these to hobnob with local artists and designers while perusing jewelry, clothes, bath and body care, original art, furniture and lots more.  Admission is free.  

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Tokimonsta
Music, Dance and electronic

TOKiMONSTA

Elsewhere, Hell's Kitchen

An alum of L.A.'s famed Brainfeeder label, producer Jennifer Lee touches down in Bushwick to air her psychedelic hip-hop and skittering electronic beats. Expect new tunes here from her latest, Oasis Nocturno, which, if the music video to the first single "Fried for the Night" is any indication, promises to be an especially vivid, technicolor affair, rounding out her bold production with effective vocal features.

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5
@r.ace.me/Richard Acevedo
News, City Life

Bronx Night Market

 On Saturday, May 2, you can cruise uptown to the weekly fete which runs between 4 and 10pm. Every year there's thumping live music, performances, local merchants, and Bronx-based vendors, serving up tamales, soul food, latkes, ice cream, pastries, elotes and vegan creations. This season welcomes new vendors to the mix such as Mao's Baos, Rooster Boys, Wowfulls, Bolivian Llama Party, Fried Lasagna Mama, El Lechon de Negron, Osicala NYC among others. There are also local vendors back by popular demand from last year, like The Bronx Burger Co, The Fried Kitchen, MozzArepa and Chavas Empanadas. Hit the onsite beer garden to loosen up with beer from their rotating list of New York State craft breweries and wait for tunes to start. 

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Flower Girl
Photograph: Jessica Lin
Things to do

Mother’s Day in NYC

You can do better than a dozen carnations for Mother’s Day this year to show Mom how much you love her and how well you know her. After all, she brought you into the world, so the least you can do is show your appreciation. Check out this list of things to do on Mother’s Day including the best restaurants in NYC to take her to, the best shops in NYC for gifts, spas in NYC for a relaxing day, flower shops for the perfect bouquet—basically, how to spoil the most important lady you know.

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7
Photograph: Philip Greenberg
Things to do

Memorial Day

On Memorial Day 2019, NYC will kick off the start to summer with tons of events. Memorial Day isn’t just about day-drinking and savoring the long weekend—it’s also about honoring the men and women who have died while serving in our armed forces. So before you chow down on the best BBQ in the city and line up for the best Memorial Day sample sales, remember the sacrifices made for the red, white and blue.

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Fleet Week 2010, lead image
Things to do, Festivals

Fleet Week

Ahoy, sailors! Fleet Week NYC 2020 is a seven-day celebration in New York City, which honors the members of the United States Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps. Every year, the weeklong party kicks off with the Parade of Ships—a flotilla of visiting vessels and tall ships that cruise along the Hudson river—and continues with military demonstrations, a Memorial Day ceremony and more outstanding things to do around some great New York attractions.

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9
Clubs

Kaytranada

Multiple venues

This Montreal producer rose to fame via an unrelenting series of slam-dunk remixes and Polaris Music Prize-winning debut, 99.9%. Hear him play here from his new follow-up, Bubba, a knockout soul-inflected record that features the likes of Kali Uchis, Pharrell Williams, Mick Jenkins and Tinashe.

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Photograph: Mark Doyle
Things to do, Festivals

Japan Day

The season for things to do outside has arrived along with lush trees and blooming tulips at NYC parks. So what better way to spend an afternoon than by soaking up the sun during the annual celebration of Japan Day? NYC will bring Japan to you at this fun festival, and judging by the lineup of performances, activity tents and other attractions, it’s safe to say that this massive cultural event is certainly one of the best things to do in spring.

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