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central park
Photograph: Shutterstock

NYC events in May 2020

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

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

Featured events in May 2019

Photograph: Courtesy Mark Blower

1. Frieze New York

Things to do Festivals

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.

@r.ace.me/Richard Acevedo

2. Bronx Night Market

News City Life

 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

3. Mother’s Day in NYC

Things to do

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.

Photograph: Philip Greenberg

4. Memorial Day

Things to do

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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5. Fleet Week

Things to do Festivals

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.

Photograph: Mark Doyle

6. Japan Day

Things to do Festivals

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.

Looking for more things to do?

Coney Island Sand Castles 2015
Photograph: David Williams

The best beaches in NYC

Things to do

A visit to one—if not all—of the best beaches NYC has to offer is needed when temperatures become hot and sticky.

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