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What's On This Month In NYC | May 2016
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What's On This Month In NYC | May 2016

Picture of Culture Trip
Updated: 7 October 2016
New York City’s cultural scene is in full bloom this month, as music fests, foodie events, and landmark museum exhibitions all clamor for a spot on your social calendar. With several holiday celebrations, art fairs, and more, you’re sure to beat boredom this May – a month filled with activities perfect for easing into that blissful summer state of mind. We profile what’s on this month in NYC.


Pentagram | © Associated Fabrication/Flickr / Frieze New York, Courtesy of Marco Scozzaro/Frieze / "Dark Angel" | Nastya Sten, Aya Jones, Yumi Lambert & Harleth Kuusik (in Alexander McQueen from the Autumn-Winter 2009 'Horn of Plenty' collection) by Tim Walker for "British Vogue" - February, 2015 | © Ŧhe ₵oincidental Ðandy/Flickr / Origami | © Tom Page/Flickr
© Associated Fabrication / | Marco Scozzaro/Frieze New York / | Ŧhe ₵oincidental Ðandy / | Tom Page

FOOD | Sample A Boroughs Culinary Offerings At Taste of Queens

Tuesday, May 3rd

For Queens residents, this month’s hottest dinner reservation isn’t at a restaurant at all.

ART | Explore The Best Of Global Design At NYCxDesign

Tuesday, May 3rd – Tuesday, May 17th

Highlighting fashion, interior, graphic design, and more, this far-reaching art fair offers something for everyone.

FILM | Celebrate African Culture At Lincoln Center’s New York African Film Festival

Wednesday, May 4th – Tuesday, May 10th

Film fans rejoice; this showcase of independent African cinema is coming soon to a theater near you.

FILM | May The Fourth Be With You On Star Wars Day

Wednesday, May 4th

Pack some popcorn and your lightsaber for summer’s first free outdoor flick.

CULTURE | Join NYC Parks For A Festive Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Thursday, May 5th

Feliz Cinco de Mayo! Celebrate Mexican culture at this free community event.

ART | Delve Into The International Art World At Frieze New York

Thursday, May 5th – Sunday, May 8th

Celebrated international art show Frieze New York sets up shop on Randall’s Island this month.

ART | Explore The Technology Of Fashion At Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology

Thursday, May 5th – Sunday, August 14th

It’s man versus the machine at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new tech-centric costume exhibition.

MUSIC | Bask In Mozart’s Genius At The Metropolitan Opera House

Friday, May 6th – Saturday, May 7th

Mozart’s comic opera, Die Entführung Aus Dem Serail, shows at the Metropolitan Opera for a final weekend.

CULTURE | Sample The Best Of Japanese Culture On Japan Day

Sunday, May 8th

Japanese crafts and cuisine take center stage in Central Park in honor of Japan Day.


© DORIVAL ELZE / © InSapphoWeTrust / © Bill Strain / © justine-reyes
© DORIVAL ELZE / | InSapphoWeTrust / | Bill Strain / | justine-reyes

FOOD | Taste Your Way Around The World At The Ninth Avenue International Food Festival

Saturday, May 14th – Sunday, May 15th

International food, crafts, and family fun are on the menu at the Ninth Avenue International Food Festival.

FILM | Discover Tomorrow’s Leading Filmmakers At The Columbia University Film Festival

Friday, May 13th – Tuesday, May 17th

Don’t call them amateurs; the artists behind this year’s Columbia University Film Festival are pros in the making.

DANCE | Salsa On Down To The Cuba Festival: DanzAbierta

Saturday, May 14th – Tuesday, May 17th

DanzAbierta graces the stage of the Joyce Theater this month.

MUSIC | Jam With Mac DeMarco At Webster Hall

Sunday, May 15th

Mac DeMarco brings his blue wave tunes to the East Village of Manhattan.


© m01229 / Courtesy of Colangelo & Partners Public Relations / © Quinn Dombrowski / © Courtesy of Nick Amoscato/Flickr (For Renegade Craft Fair)
© m01229 / Courtesy of Colangelo & Partners Public Relations / | Quinn Dombrowski / | Courtesy of Nick Amoscato/Flickr (For Renegade Craft Fair)

PERFORMANCE | Get Cultural At Central Park’s SummerStage Series

Monday, April 16th – Friday, September 23rd

Concerts, theater performances, and more take the stage at this multi-genre entertainment series.

CULTURE | Join Industry Players For Internet Week New York

Monday, May 16th – Sunday, May 22nd

Dating sites, virtual reality, and more are on the menu at this month’s tech fest.

FOOD | Immerse Yourself In Greek Culture At Taste Of Greece

Wednesday, May 18th

Embark on a cultural getaway without ever leaving the city at Taste of Greece.

MUSIC | Indulge In Popular-And-Proud-Of-It Music At NYC Popfest

Friday, May 19th – Sunday, May 22nd

The season’s most summer-appropriate music festival is one you may not have heard of before.

FOOD | Sample Local Fare At The Harlem Eat Up! Festival

Friday, May 19th – Sunday, May 22nd

An eclectic festival of culture, spirit, and food hosted by Harlem’s best eateries, the Harlem Eat Up! Festival returns this May.

FOOD | Hone Your Oenological Pallet With Wine Tasting In Brooklyn

Saturday May 21st

The Brooklyn Crush Wine & Artisanal Food Festival brings the Napa Valley to the East Coast for a day of boozy fun.

ART | Dare To DIY With Indie Retailers At The Renegade Craft Fair

Saturday, May 21st – Sunday, May 22nd

Shop small this month at artsy pop-up emporium, Renegade Craft Fair.


© Kathleen Maher / © Strand / © MarineCorps New York / © Jeff Kubina
© Kathleen Maher / | Strand / | MarineCorps New York / | Jeff Kubina

THEATER | Enjoy A Modern Twist On Tradition At Shakespeare In The Park

Tuesday, May 24th – Sunday, June 26th

A bold take on the classic battle-of-the-sexes narrative steals the spotlight at Shakespeare in the Park’s The Taming of the Shrew.

CULTURE | Talk Street Style At Strand’s The Sartorialist + Amy Arbus

Wednesday, May 25th

Fashion meets function at this talk by A-list street style shutterbugs.

CULTURE | Meet Maritime Professionals On Dry Land During Fleet Week New York

Wednesday, May 25th – Tuesday, May 31st

Sailors and Marines and Coast Guards, oh my! Celebrate America’s servicemen with this long-standing local tradition.

FOOD | Enjoy The Finer Things At Brooklyn Uncorked

Thursday, May 26th

Taste the best of New York State at this one-night-only foodie fest.


© m01229 / © Dale Cruse / © jnn1776 / © Mike Mozart
© m01229 / | Dale Cruse / | jnn1776 / | Mike Mozart

ART | Peruse Art Under The Arch At The Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit

Saturday, May 28th – Monday, May 30th

Started by famed artist Jackson Pollock, the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit is a must for art aficionados across the city.

HISTORY | Honor U.S. Heroes At The 2016 Memorial Day Parade

Monday, May 30th

Honor our nation’s heroes across the five boroughs at one of several 2016 Memorial Day Parades.