NYC events in May 2018

Plan your month with our events calendar highlighting the best NYC events in May 2018 including major holidays

Photograph: Shutterstock

Now that spring is in full swing there’s certainly no shortage of outstanding NYC events in May 2018. 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 2018

Featured events in May 2018

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.

By: Jennifer Picht

Summer Kickoff Yacht Party

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? 

Until Thu May 10

Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit

This city tradition feels fresh every spring when artists following in the footsteps of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning set up shop in the park. Hundreds of exhibitors, from NYU students to artists who remember the Village as a creative enclave, display their paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry and woodcraft. The show takes place on University Place starting at E 13th St. 

Washington Square Park , Greenwich Village Saturday September 1 2018 - Sunday September 9 2018

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.

By: Jennifer Picht

"David Bowie Is"

Over the course of five decades, David Bowie drafted the new rules of rock & roll—and the rest of us are still trying to keep up. After breaking ticket records at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the touring exhibition “David Bowie Is” hits NYC in March, with more than 400 objects from the celestial pop icon’s life, including costumes, lyric sheets and performance clips. Here’s what you should look (and listen) for in this celebration of all things Thin White Duke.

Wed Jun 20 - Sun Jul 15

Cat Camp

No, this isn’t a wilderness retreat that teaches cats how to tie knots, hike and start fires. (But we totally call dibs on that idea.) Instead, it’s a weekend of talks, shopping, and meets and greets where like-minded kitty lovers can revel in all things meow. Speakers like Animal Planet cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy will teach you how to better treat your beloved furball and, of course, expect plenty of adorable kitties up for adoption.

Until Sun May 6

Bike New York for Bike Month

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.

By: Tazi Phillips

Memorial Day

On Memorial Day 2018, 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.

By: Jennifer Picht

Fleet Week

Ahoy, sailors! Fleet Week NYC 2018 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.

By: Vivienne van Vliet

Music events in April 2017


Pastoral and tender in tone, Emily Sprague’s hushed tunes as Florist trade in poignant, unadorned imagery rendered with heart-on-the-sleeve intimacy.

01 May 2018

No Age + Behavior

After this L.A. noise-punk outfit released its minimal An Object in 2013, the band decided to sit back, slow down and take a look around. Five years later, No Age has returned with a thoroughly enjoyable—and quite accessible—new album on Drag City, Snares Like a Haircut. It's a hearty dose of propulsive, anthemic rock and a worthy addition to the duo's already glowing catalogue. The tunes will make for an invigorating show.

02 May 2018

Twin Shadow

Since George Lewis Jr. first introduced himself to the public as north Brooklyn’s one-man laptop act, he’s added a live band to the fray and made for a bona fide Prince-inspired endeavor with slick dance ballads—that is to say, it’s awesome. His new full-length, Caer, is his most fully realized vision yet, so be ready to move to sparkly jams.

02 May 2018

King Krule

Even as a teenager self-releasing songs under the moniker Zoo Kid, Archy "King Krule" Marshall stood out as an old soul. His voice, layered with art-school echo, recalls the smoky baritone of bygone crooners like Johnny Hartman as well as the abrasive romance of Joe Strummer. Here he plays from his most recent album, The Ooz, a surrealist foray into the artist's psyche that effortlessly melds neo-soul, jazz and trashy punk.

04 May 2018

Max Richter: SLEEP

This gig will have you snoozing—and that’s no accident. The celebrated contemporary classical composer Max Richter supplies audience members with cushy mattresses for his eight-hour overnight orchestral concert.

Spring Studios; Friday, May 4 & Saturday, May 5 at 9pm

Princess Nokia

A woman of many aliases, Destiny Frasqueri first made headlines as “Wavy Spice” in 2013 before diving into Afrofuturist explorations as well as disco, blues and soul vibes under her birth name. Recently, as Princess Nokia, she’s become a local icon, spitting an airy flow over hip-hop beats. Despite all the shifts, one trait remains: a commitment to continually breaking expectations. Her newest release, an emo mixtape titled A Girl Cried Red, is the latest thrilling transformation.

Sat May 5 - Sun May 6

Car Seat Headrest

A band-name backstory: for the sake of privacy as a teenager in Virginia, Will Toledo began recording his 11-album discography (all self-released on Bandcamp) by hunkering down in the back of the family car. After picking up on Toledo's unique ear for poignant melody, prestigious indie arbiter Matador Records released his Teens of Style and Teens of Denial, both breathtakingly ambitious efforts with rough-hewn anthems that recall peak-era Built to Spill or Modest Mouse. This year sees the release of a re-recorded version of his 2011 LP, Twin Fantasy. Count on hearing from that cult fave at this outing.

08 May 2018

Power Trip + Sheer Mag

This thrash quintet turned heads with last year's Nightmare Logic, an LP that perfectly captured the precision fury of mid-’80s Metallica—sans the ballads. The Dallas crew hits Elsewhere for a pair of shows with support from Sheer Mag, an anarchic, defiant outfit with incisive politics and arena-sized aspirations. The May 9 bill also includes Outburst and Krimewatch; May 10 features Fury and Red Death.

Wed May 9 - Thu May 10


Though this Madrid garage-pop quartet only just recently emerged—its debut appeared in 2016—the band traffics in loads of vintage, Velvets-esque unpolished charm and summery vibes. Hinds takes the stage here behind its sophomore effort on Mom + Pop, I Don't Run.

10 May 2018

Roy Ayers

Vibraphonist and R&B pioneer Ayers, one of the most sampled artists of all time, brings classics like “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” and “Searchin” to open the Output roof’s summer season.

11 May 2018
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Angie B

I live 3 hours away and I love to drive down for one day and just be surrounded by the culture!! I come home feeling alive again.