Now that spring is in full swing there’s certainly no shortage of outstanding NYC events in May 2017. 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 in full-bloom. 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 2017
Featured events in May 2017
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.
Summer is coming a little early to New York City Harbor this year as Time Out New York teams up with Hornblower Cruises & Events to throw an epic celebration on the Hudson! Wear your flippy-floppies and get psyched for this three-hour party cruise, which includes an open bar (drink up!), delicious hors d’oeuvres and killer local DJs playing across the yacht’s four floors. Let's not forget about the stunning views of the New York skyline—oh, and did we mention three hours of unlimited booze?
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.
With a growing network of bike lanes and the ever-expanding Citi Bike program, Gotham is becoming ever more cycle-friendly. Here’s what you need to know in order to bike New York, from the best shops for a new set of wheels and how to make use of New York’s bike-share program.You can also get outdoors in New York or plan some weekend getaways and cycle to your heart’s content.
On Memorial Day 2017, 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.
Ahoy, sailors! Fleet Week NYC 2017 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.
Free NYC events in May 2017
Jeffrey Emerson, Jill Weiner and Brian Moran host this weekly night of stellar stand-up in the East Village featuring a diverse range of comedians. The Mon 7 edition boasts Sydney Washington, Kenice Mobley, Damian Holmes, Deno DeMartino, Sally Ann Hall, Jessica Saul and Danny Vega.
Theater review by Raven Snook Move over, Wonder Woman: There’s a new shero in town. In Alexandre Dumas’s 1844 French novel The Three Musketeers, the aspiring swashbuckler D’Artagnan insists he’s “not a boy.” That’s literally the case in Classical Theatre of Harlem’s spirited staging, which casts the winning Miriam Hyman in the role—and boy, is she worth idolizing. She easily keeps up with the sword-fighting trio of the title, both in battle and in the bedroom, as they seduce ladies and fight against the tyranny of Cardinal Richelieu (Michael Early) and his evil agents Rochefort (a menacing R.J. Foster) and Milady de Winter (Piera Van de Weil, pretty and deadly). And in her acting, Hyman bests everyone else onstage; she alone proves able to navigate the production’s tonal inconsistency.Although this free, alfresco, family-friendly show has many strong elements—Rachel Dozier-Ezell’s sumptuous 17th-century costumes, Emmanuel Brown’s lively fight sequences, an adventuresome cast—its attempt to fuse comedy with action-adventure doesn’t always fly. Catherine Bush’s streamlined script is sober and straightforward, but director Jenny Bennett has thrown in anachronistic jokes and gags, some of which work better than others. (Audiences were delighted at the Musketeers’ dabbing.) Sluggish pacing also prevents the production from being a total victory. Still, it’s a worthy effort with many exhilarating moments, especially when Hyman is onstage. You’ll be all for this one. Richard Rodger
Everything you need to know about visiting Smorgasburg (90 Kent Ave; East Dr at Lincoln Rd). At this massive grub hub, there’s only one rule: Come hungry. The Brooklyn Flea spin-off draws more than 20,000 to 30,000 visitors per week, with a slew of 75 to 100 incredible food vendors doling out everything from Dutch waffles to pasta doughnuts. Where is it?Depends on when you go. For the summer 2017 season, the fest is in Williamsburg’s East River State Park (90 Kent Ave) on Saturdays and Prospect Park’s Breeze Hill (East Dr at Lincoln Rd) on Sundays. Additionally, starting mid-July 2017, Manhattanites won’t have to cross the river to taste the treats. A Smorgasburg Soho is coming to 76 Varick St, and will be open seven days a week, with a half-dozen vendors on the weekdays, swelling to as many as twenty on the weekends. When can I go?Smorgasburg is open year-round. The summer months might be the most popular, running from April through October at 11am to 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays, but in the winter months (November to March), the market joins forces with Brooklyn Flea and moves indoors. This past winter, the indoor Smorg was located at Skylight One Hanson (1 Hanson Place) on weekends from 10am to 6pm. Is there anywhere to sit?There are some picnic tables set up by the Smorgasburg team, but don’t plan on snatching one unless you have patience of steel. The organizers encourage you to bring picnic blankets with which to sit on the lawns of East River State Park or Prospect Pa
Once again, the city becomes a movable ode to Bird for a weekend in August. While this fest may be named for the legendary Charlie Parker, SummerStage’s jazz program isn’t stuck in the past. This year, the 25th anniversary, features boundary-pushing talent, presented over four days, including tap dance virtuoso and choreographer Jason Samuels Smith, saxophonist Joshua Redman's quartet and clarinet player Anat Cohen.
If you’re getting baked on the beach, time your sunbathing to coincide with Carter Van Pelt’s monthly skankathon, which welcomes local selectors and legends. Stake out a spot on the sand and you’ll still be able to hear the ska, rocksteady, dub, lovers rock and early dancehall emanating from the booming speaker stack.
Travel to beautiful Hong Kong without ever leaving the city thanks to this annual event at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, now in it’s 26th year. Around 180 teams gather at the lake to race on long boats while paddling to the beat of their boat’s drummer at this culture fest inspired by Chinese tradition. On land, you can join in on the fun with music and dance performances, martial arts demonstrations and food-court vendors selling Asian cuisine like steamed dumplings, pork-belly buns and frozen delights such as Sno Biz shaved ice.
This Lower East Side flea hosts one of Manhattan’s best collections of vendors, with more upstarts joining the fray every week. Standouts from recent years that have gotten their start at the fair include Macaron Parlour, Petee’s Pie Company, Melt Bakery, La New Yorkina, Arancini Bros and Cheeky Sandwich.
Music events in May 2017
Back around 2004, pop songstress Jojo penned a megahit that charted No.1 on Billboard‘s mainstream Top 40, signed a a seven-album deal with Blackground Records and released a platinum-selling debut album. Most impressive about those stats? She was 12. After a decade-long struggle with label woes and legal snafus, the star recently returned to the spotlight with a hook-heavy third studio album, Mad Love—and it sounds like the time away has only matured her R&B pipes.
You already know Carter is an iconic bassist. And, well, even if you don't, chances are you own a record that features his playing—the guy continues to hold the title of "most recorded jazz bassist" (Miles Davis! A Tribe Called Quest!). The vet's been leading several sparkling ensembles the past few years, but no word yet as to who's on hand here at his 80th birthday celebrations. Regardless, you can rest assured the talent will be world-class.
Get yourself to Greenwich Village for this show, featuring Syrian star Omar Souleyman, whose fame has been fueled by three Sublime Frequencies compilations, a hit YouTube video and a potent endorsement from Björk on NPR. His manic electronic take on the Syrian dabke is designed for frenzied dancing at weddings, and attracted the attention of venerable electronic whiz Kieran Hebden—a.k.a Four Tet—who produced Souleyman's Wenu Wenu.
Mastodon tempers its doom-thrash onslaught with prog, boogie and psychedelic pop, as heard to great effect on 2015's Once More ’Round the Sun. The hard-rocking Atlanta juggernaut plays alongside instru-metal technicians Russian Circles, who construct towering riffscapes that occasionally veer from brutal to cinematic, and California rock dudes Eagles of Death Metal.
San Francisco songwriter Ty Segall typically follows a timeworn formula, in which welcoming pop melodies come layered in antisocial fuzz. Thankfully, his newly released ninth studio album—and second self-titled record, following his 2008 debut—doesn't stray from those tendencies. Grab some Polish sausage while you catch the prolific glam-psych mastermind live at Brooklyn's Warsaw.
The xx manages to communicate volumes in its elegant, subdued and understatedly sensual songs. The last time the deservedly fussed-over London trio touched down in the city, the transmissions were fittingly intimate: a 25-show residency with 40 people at each gig. In support of the newly released third studio album, I See You, though, the band notches the volume back up as it returns to the stadium stage.
Intense young English neofolk singer Laura Marling emerged from the celebrated London scene that gave us Mumford & Sons and Noah and the Whale and released her first album just days after her 18th birthday. Armed with a bigger sound and a bolder voice, Marling makes that case that her tunes are more timeless than they are old-fashioned with her sixth album, Semper Femina.
Headed by guitarist Max Kakacek and singer-drummer Julien Ehrlich—of Smith Westerns and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, respectively—this Chicago indie-rock outfit has been filling bigger and bigger spaces with each NYC visit. No wonder: Its 2016 debut, Light Upon the Lake, is a deeply satisfying album steeped in ’70s country and soft rock and bouyed by Ehrlich's honeyed falsetto vocals.