New York City May Events

New York City May Events

New York City May Events

Compared to other months of the year, May is a relatively quiet month in NYC. At this time of year, the Big Apple is not nearly as crowded or expensive as it is in winter months like November and December or in summer months like July and August. That means it's the perfect time to go out and enjoy the NYC sights and popular Manhattan attractions.

Listed below are some of our favorite things to do in NYC in May.

Tribeca Film Festival

Tribeca Film Festival

The Tribeca Film Festival NYC is regarded as one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world

The Tribeca Film Festival was established in 2002 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff, who together hoped to reverse the post-9/11 drop in Tribeca tourism. Since then, the Tribeca Film Festival NYC has come to be regarded as one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. Each year, the festival features over 250 films and more than 1,000 screenings around Manhattan. Past premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival include Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones, About a Boy, and Spiderman 3.

Of course, it's not all about the big films. Many critically acclaimed small films debut at the Tribeca Film Festival and then go on to be commercial successes. Besides great films, you can expect interesting panel discussions and some of Hollywood's biggest stars.

Tickets to the Tribeca Film Festival NY go on sale at the beginning of March and can be found online. Tickets can also be found at the Tribeca Cinemas Ticket Window on Varick Street, as well as at the Chelsea Clearview Cinemas in Manhattan.

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Attractions in Manhattan

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New York Explorer Pass


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NY Botanic Garden


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3. NY Hall of Science


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4. NY Transit Museum


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5. Queens Museum of Art


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Great Five Borough Bike Tour

Great Five Borough Bike Tour

The Five Boro Challenge is the largest recreational cycling event in the United States.

Begun in 1977 as the Five Boro Challenge, the Great Five Borough Bike Tour is the largest recreational cycling event in the United States. This fun NYC event, held annually on the first Sunday in May, attracts approximately 32,000 people, including many native New Yorkers and cycling enthusiasts. As its name implies, the Great Five Borough Bike Tour travels through all five New York City boroughs, beginning and ending in Manhattan, for a total circuit of 42 miles. Food can be purchased at any of the countless rest stops and deli-style restaurants passed along the way. We recommend this cool NYC event for those fit and experienced cyclists who want to take in the best sights in NYC.

Note that all children under 14 who participate in this NYC bike tour must be supervised by a parent or guardian.

Ninth Avenue Food Festival

Since 1973, the Ninth Avenue Food Festival has brought to Hell's Kitchen NYC the very best in exotic ethnic cuisine. In addition to traditional American and European fare, you'll find unique and flavorful dishes from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Haiti, Indonesia, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Peru, Trinidad, and Turkey. Your tastebuds will be delighted by curried chicken, fried elephant ears, whole roasted pigs, paella, steak sandwiches, and alligator, shark, and catfish nuggets; your eyes will be dazzled by Egyptian belly dancing, German folk dancing, and Arabian scarf dancing. Because this event is free, we encourage you to bring the whole family; with them, you'll enjoy not only great food, but a leisurely stroll through New York City.

The Ninth Avenue Food Festival is held every year on the weekend after Mother's Day, on Ninth Avenue between 37th and 57th Streets. This NYC food festival begins at 9:30am and ends at 6:30pm.

More Fun Things to Do in May in NYC

New York's Central Park

One of our favorite things to do in NYC on a sunny day is visit New York's Central Park.

One of our favorite things to do in NYC on a sunny day is visit one of New York City's best parks. Central Park NY, of course, is a popular choice. This 843-acre National Historic Landmark - the most visited park in the United States - offers endless recreational opportunities, including tennis courts, baseball fields, boathouses, and trails for hiking and horseback riding. Central Park is also home to the Central Park Zoo and the Delacorte Theatre, where Public Theater's acclaimed Shakespeare productions are held.

As an alternative to Central Park, consider Wave Hill, which boasts 28 acres of public gardens. There you'll find a perennial flower garden, a conservatory, a romantic pergola, views of the Hudson River and the New Jersey Palisades, a wild garden, an aquatic and monocot garden, a crafts center, and 10 acres of second-growth woodlands. Best of all, if you visit Wave Hill between 9am and 12pm on Tuesday, admission is free!

Of course, if the weather is poor, you can always find fun indoor activities in NYC. You might tour The Federal Reserve NY, the nation's largest bank, or visit one of the famous museums in NYC, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. If you'd prefer to avoid NY museums, try catching a Broadway show like La Cage aux Folles or Jersey Boys Broadway. You might even attend a live taping of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon or make an appearance on the live broadcast of Good Morning America. When it comes to things to do in New York City, the options are truly endless.