Get set for an exciting May in New York State, where an array of delightful experiences awaits food enthusiasts, birdwatchers, motorcyclists, music aficionados, pirates, and more! Savor the finest cuisine in the Catskills, partake in spring and floral celebrations, sway to music on Buffalo’s porches, and experience an exhilarating air show on Long Island, among other fantastic events! Check out our calendar for a full list of events. Photo Credit: @crnphoto on Instagram.

Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (Multiple Regions)

Various dates

The red Mahayana Buddhist Temple with traditional stairs and green roof with lanterns along the pathway
Credit: @xueyuanchen68 on Instagram

The month of May honors the culture, traditions, and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. In the Finger Lakes, visit the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester for the Asian Pacific Heritage Celebration on May 19. While you're there, visit the Asian art gallery on the second floor featuring paintings and sculptures. Enjoy free admission to the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens for their Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration on the evening of May 1. In the Hudson Valley, visit the Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden or take a trip to the Catskills where you’ll find the Mahayana Buddhist Temple (pictured), the oldest Chinese Buddhist temple in the eastern US. Click here to discover more ways to learn about, appreciate, and experience Asian Pacific American culture and history in New York State!

Attend a Tulip Festival (Multiple Regions)

Various Dates

A field of red tulips in bloom in front of a terracotta colored house at the Albany Tulip Festival on a partly cloudy day
Credit: @shancroix3 on Instagram

Get ready for a vibrant celebration of spring! The Long Island Tulip Festival (through May 10) brings a touch of Holland to Waterdrinker Family Farm & Garden’s two farms in Manorville and Riverhead. Embrace spring enchantment at Mohonk Mountain House, where their Victorian Show Garden awakens with a mesmerizing display of 20,000 tulips for the Mohonk Tulip Festival (April 29-May 10). Featuring annual traditions rooted in Albany’s rich Dutch heritage, the Albany Tulip Festival (pictured, May 11-12)  features nearly 100 artisans selling handmade crafts, a fine arts show, delicious food, a KidZone family fun area, two stages of live entertainment, and more than 140,000 tulips in 150 different varieties! Also be sure to catch the Holland Tulip Festival (May 2-4) in the Greater Niagara region and witness spring’s colorful arrival at Meadowbrook Farm’s Tulip Walk (May 4). Prices vary.

Frieze New York 2024 (New York City)

May 1-5

A prestigious event in the world of contemporary art, Frieze New York, brings together over 60 leading New York-based and international galleries at The Shed in Hudson Yards to showcase ambitious solo, group, and themed presentations by pioneering artists as well as emerging and up-and-coming talent. New York City; prices vary.

Bird Walks at Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History (Chautauqua-Allegheny)

Wednesdays through June 19

Bird at Roger Tory Peterson Institute

Grab your binoculars and get ready to witness a tidal wave of birds! May 11 is Migratory Bird Day when hundreds of thousands of warblers, including tanagers, thrushes, grosbeaks, flycatchers and cuckoos fill New York’s trees and skies with color and song. Join the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History for a series of 1-hour Wednesday morning bird walks to help you get a great view of our returning flying friends. Jamestown; free (registration encouraged). To register, click here, or call (716) 665-2473.

Rhinebeck Antique Car Show & Swap Meet (Hudson Valley)

May 3-5

Car enthusiasts from across the Northeast are heading to the beautiful Dutchess County Fairgrounds for three days of automotive bliss! Following Friday’s swap meet, Saturday’s Rod and Custom Dust Off is devoted to hot rods, street rods, customs, race cars, and compact customs/pickups, while Sunday’s car show features unmodified antique and classic vehicles manufactured up to 1998. Both days will include hundreds of vendors and many great cars for sale in the Car Corral! Rhinebeck; $15 individual, $25 2-day weekend pass, $35 3-day weekend pass, $12 senior & veteran tickets (box office sales only). Online tickets have a $1.50 convenience fee, and children 12 and under are free.

Opening of the Antique Boat Museum (Thousand Islands-Seaway)

May 4

Three canoes docked at sunset at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, NY.

Credit: @Antiqueboatmuseum on Instagram

The Antique Boat Museum, home to the largest collection of antique and classic boats in North America, is getting ready to open its doors for 2024!  You’re invited to the banks of the picturesque St. Lawrence River to immerse yourself in the rich maritime history as you explore beautifully restored vessels from wooden runabouts to elegant steamboats. Whether you’re a boating enthusiast or simply appreciate craftsmanship, this museum is a must-visit destination in the heart of the Thousand Islands region! Clayton; click here for admission prices and packages.

Hudson Valley Marathon at Walkway Over the Hudson (Hudson Valley)

May 5

Get set for a one-of-a-kind run through the historic Hudson Valley! The Hudson Valley Marathon at the Walkway Over the Hudson is returning for its second year, with a course offering an unparalleled view of the region as runners make their way across the historic walkway. The race features 1 mile, 5k, 10k, half marathon and marathon distances, making it the ideal event for any athlete. The Hudson Valley Marathon is a Boston Qualifier, and the Half Marathon and Marathon courses are USATF certified. Highland and Poughkeepsie; $25 – $175 registration fee; free to spectate.

TD Five Boro Bike Tour (New York City)

May 5

5boro BIKE Tour _ Photo by Julienne Schaer - Courtesy of NYC & Co

Photo Credit: Julienne Schaer/NYC Tourism + Conventions

Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a first timer, you’re invited to take an exhilarating springtime ride through the heart of New York City, all while supporting great causes! This iconic event, organized by Bike New York, annually draws over 32,000 participants from around the world. Cyclists pedal through all five boroughs of the city — Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island — covering a 40-mile route that includes traversing five major bridges. New York City; $139 standard registration, $400 VIP registration.

Peony Celebration (Hudson Valley)

May 9

Bloom lovers will want to head to Rockefeller State Park Preserve for a fun, community-based cocktail reception where you’ll be treated to the amazing tree peony garden in bloom! A fundraiser for the Friends of the Rockefeller State Park Preserve and the projects in the Preserve, the evening features a fine art exhibit and a silent auction of floral centerpieces designed and donated by local garden clubs. Pleasantville; three support levels, all include buffet & cocktail reception: $300 – Peony, $200 – Forsythia, and $150 – Daffodil.

Catskill Cuisine (Catskills)

May 10-12

Calling all foodies! Head to the grounds of the legendary 1969 Woodstock Festival at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts as Catskill Cuisine returns with another flavor-packed weekend full of tastings, demos, meet and greets, book signings, and more. This year’s food-filled festivities also feature a charity golf tournament and exclusive Mother’s Day Brunch with culinary offerings curated by celebrity chefs including Andrew Zimmern, Michael Symon, Scott Conant, Marcus Samuelsson, Anne Burrell, Melba Wilson, and Geoffrey Zakarian. Bethel; starting at $64 for general admission, and $179 for VIP admission.

Rochester Lilac Festival (Finger Lakes)

May 10-19

A bed of rich red tulips in front of a blossoming lilac tree at the Rochester Lilac Festival
Credit: @rochesterlilacfestival on Instagram

Bloom into Rochester at one of its most iconic events, the Lilac Festival! Each year this free festival, the largest of its kind, draws over half a million visitors from all over the world to the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Highland Park to see and celebrate the blooming of the largest collection of lilacs in North America. You’ll marvel at the sight of 1,200 lilac bushes displaying 500 varieties of lilacs in a floral masterpiece of the deepest purples and purest whites. This year’s festival lineup is set to dazzle with a stellar selection of musical acts including hometown hero Danielle Ponder. There will also be an amazing variety of mouthwatering food, the 45th Annual Lilac Run 5K, 10K, and Dunkin' Dash, a Kids’ Zone, the Lilac Parade, Seniors’ Day, a special events tent with wine and craft beer expos, exhibitors and vendors, an award-winning art show, and a whole lot more! Rochester; free admission.

Japan Day Parade and Street Fair (New York City) 

May 11

A woman in traditional Japanese clothing at the Japan Day Parade in New York City

Credit: on Instagram

Come experience and celebrate the wonders of traditional and modern Japanese culture, art, and food at the Japan Day Parade and Street Fair on the Upper West Side. You’ll see talented martial arts groups, traditional troupes, hear the thunder of taiko drums at the parade, and more. This year’s Grand Marshal is wheelchair tennis star and four-time Paralympic gold medalist Shingo Kunieda. Make sure to stop by the Japan Day Street Fair to indulge in delicious traditional Japanese foods, browse art, learn about history, and shop for treasures. Manhattan, Free.

HV Pirate Fest 2024 (Hudson Valley)

May 11-12

Journey to a bygone era of pirate dominion over the oceans and embark on a swashbuckling adventure for all ages, steeped in authentic pirate tradition! The Hudson Valley Pirate Festival, anchored at the Ulster County Fairgrounds, invites you to a weekend brimming with melodious shanties, lively jigs, thrilling swordfights, bustling marketplaces, artisanal wares, and a feast of food and drink. Plus, encounter enchanting mermaids, majestic pirate galleons, and hidden booty aplenty! On May 11 the fest will feature a special Adults Only Night from 7-10 pm (18+ only). New Paltz; $10 to $20 (limited time discounted tickets available online), $5 admission to Adults Only Night.

Montauk Music Festival (Long Island)

May 16-19

Groove to the rhythm of live music set against the picturesque backdrop of Montauk on the festival’s main stage at the Montauk Yacht Club or check out the over 35 additional venues hosting free performances! The festival kicks off May 16 at the Westlake Fish House with an evening of music, appetizers, cocktails, and dancing. Whether you’re a music aficionado or simply looking for a lively experience, the Montauk Music Festival promises a harmonious blend of talent, community spirit, and coastal charm. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Lucia’s Angels and the East End Coalition for Women’s Cancers. Montauk; admission to the festival on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (from 11am-6pm) is free but donations are encouraged; to attend the opening party, admission is $60 (includes appetizers and free sponsor drinks along with music all night long); donations are encouraged for Thursday main stage performances.

Camping Season Begins (Multiple Regions)

May 17

A yellow tent sitting along Lake Ontario as the sun sets

Credit: @visit1000islands on Instagram

Campers mark your calendars for the start of camping season in New York! As the days grow warmer and the natural world awakens, outdoor enthusiasts can explore the state’s picturesque landscapes from the crisp, star-studded nights of the Adirondacks and the Catskills to the tranquil sunrise vistas along the shores of the St. Lawrence River. Discover a variety of options for your stay: from parking your RV, or renting a cozy cabin or cottage, to pitching a tent beneath the celestial canopy. Discover private campgrounds, many of which can be conveniently booked through, or explore the public campgrounds managed by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation and the Department of Environmental Conservation. For an elevated experience, indulge in New York State’s finest glamping adventures! So, gather your gear, stoke the campfire, and immerse yourself in the great outdoors—New York style! Prices vary.

Buffalo Porchfest (Greater Niagara)

May 18

A crowd gathers outside a home as a band plays at Buffalo Porchfest
Credit: Drew Brown/Visit Buffalo Niagara 

Buffalo’s Porchfest offers a one-of-a-kind musical extravaganza right on the city’s porches. Dive into the local tunes at this community-driven festival where neighborhood porches transform into intimate venues for an array of bands and solo acts. Held annually in the charming Elmwood Village, named one of America’s top 10 neighborhoods, Porchfest is the perfect backdrop for a day of melody, merriment, exploration, and music appreciation in the city’s most vibrant shopping, dining, and cultural district! Buffalo; free admission.

Footloose – Interactive Movie (Thousand Islands-Seaway)

May 18

A cherished cultural icon that resonates across generations, the 1984 film “Footloose” tells the story of Ren McCormack, a spirited teenager from Chicago who challenges a small town’s ban on dancing, and features a memorable soundtrack with hits like “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins and “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” by Deniece Williams. Don’t miss your chance to cut loose and kick off your Sunday shoes at the Clayton Opera House with The Butler Did It Players for an immersive and interactive showing of this classic movie where you’ll dance, sing, and relive the rebellious spirit of Ren as he challenges the town’s ban in this toe-tapping extravaganza! Clayton; $5 general admission; interactive portion begins at 6:30 pm, film begins at 7 pm.

Waterford Canal Festival (Capital-Saratoga)

May 18-19

Crowds and boats gather for the annual Steamboat Rally in Waterford

This year marks the 200th consecutive season of navigation along New York’s Canals. Celebrate the vital role of the Erie Canal in the region’s heritage at this fun and much-anticipated annual event. At the festival, you can groove to the sounds of local bands and musicians, savor a variety of delectable treats from food vendors, explore stalls featuring unique crafts, artworks, and other goods, and witness the impressive workings of the canal locks in action while learning about their history and significance. And that’s not all! Your kids can enjoy face painting, bounce houses, and other fun activities, and you can take a leisurely stroll along the canal, participate in guided tours, and immerse yourself in Waterford’s rich history. Waterford; free admission.

Ninth Avenue Food Festival (New York City)

May 18-19

A person holds a pair of chorizo plantain cups at the Ninth Avenue International Food Festival
Credit: @jc_upfront on Instagram

A gastronomic paradise and one of the most enduring and expansive traditions in New York City, the Ninth Avenue Food Festival is a vibrant celebration honoring the rich tapestry of cultures through a culinary lens, with neighborhood eateries and vendors hitting the streets to dish out a smorgasbord of ethnic delicacies! You’ll indulge in classic festival favorites such as zeppolis, mozzarepas, funnel cakes, and egg creams, alongside a feast of flavors from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Greece, Haiti, Ireland, Morocco, Ukraine, and beyond. The festival atmosphere is further enlivened by a global symphony of music and dance, spanning from German folk and Arabian scarf dances to Celtic tunes and Egyptian belly dancing. New York City, 9th Avenue between 42nd-57th Streets; free admission.

Baby Goat Yoga & Wine (Central New York)

May 19

A goat on a stack of hay during a yoga class at Gilbertsville Farmhouse

It's NY Goat Yoga's first class of the 2024 season, you know what that means right? Baby goats! Not only will the goats be at their smallest, and cutest, but NY Goat Yoga will also add wine into the mix. That's right, picture yourself enjoying the mental, and physical health benefits of goat yoga, inside Gilbertsville Farmhouse chandelier-lit barn, and rewarding yourself at the end of class with a glass of wine and some extra goat time. Do not worry, NY Goat Yoga staff has your back in this beginner-friendly style class as well as getting the best picture for you to share with your friends and family! South New Berlin; $45.

Newfane Apple Blossom Festival  (Greater Niagara)

May 19

Get ready for a delightful springtime event that’s a perfect way for the entire family to celebrate the planting season and enjoy everything it has to offer. The festival is presented by the Newfane Historical Society, which invites you to come and savor great food, including Art Gladow's famous chicken chowder, baked goods, hot dogs, sausages, cotton candy, and pies; take in live musical performances; shop the flea market and craft vendors; see historical demos, car and tractor displays, and historical reenactments; and take part in great hands-on fun! Newfane; free admission.

Fleet Week New York (New York City)

May 22-28

Now in its fourth decade, Fleet Week New York, organized by the New York Council Navy League, celebrates the sea services with unwavering enthusiasm. It’s anticipated that about 2,300 service members will participate in this year’s event, and you’re invited to join in the celebration and engage with Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen, while witnessing firsthand the cutting-edge capabilities of today’s maritime services. New York City; free admission to ship tours.

GlassFest 2024  (Finger Lakes)

May 24-26

Art, music, food, and fun are coming together for a celebration of creativity, community, and culture in downtown Corning! As you stroll the city’s historic Market Street, you’ll encounter pop-up entertainment, dining, shopping, and family activities while enjoying live music, glass exhibits, art vendors, mouthwatering food, and special shopping promotions. Be sure to catch the mesmerizing live glass blowing demonstrations on Centerway Stage, where skilled artisans showcase their craft. Each night, immerse yourself in the vibrant beats and melodies during the free Rock the Park concert series in Centennial Park. On Saturday night, the festival culminates with spectacular fireworks over the Chemung River! Corning; free admission.

Letchworth Red, White & Blue Balloon Festival (Greater Niagara)

May 24 – 26

Two hot air balloons soar through the blue skies over the green forests at Letchworth

Credit: @balloonsoverletchworth on Instagram

Mark your calendars for a truly uplifting celebration amidst the natural wonders at breathtaking Letchworth State Park! You’ll be awed by 20 colorful hot air balloons soaring gracefully over the majestic Letchworth gorge, their vibrant hues contrasting against the lush greenery and cascading waterfalls. As the sun sets, the balloons come alive, illuminating the evening sky in a mesmerizing glow. Whether you’re an avid photographer, a romantic at heart, or simply seeking awe-inspiring moments, this festival has something for everyone! Castile; free admission, but a park entrance fee must be paid if you arrive during regular operating hours; balloon flights are weather and wind dependent and may be canceled without advance notice.

Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach (Long Island)

May 25-26

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels flying through the sky at an air show in New York

Credit: @crnphoto on Instagram

Look – up in the sky! The United States Navy Blue Angels are on their way to Jones Beach State Park to headline and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Bethpage Air Show! In addition to the Blue Angels, this year’s lineup features a variety of military and civilian aerial performers including the US Army Golden Knights, a USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II demo, a US Navy F-35C Lightning II demo, Michael Goulian, David Windmiller, Warbird Thunder Airshows, the Skytypers Airshow Team, Farmingdale State College Aviation, and American Airpower Museum Warbirds. Wantagh; $10 parking fee.

Americade Motorcycle Touring Rally (Adirondacks)

May 28 - June 1

Motorcyclists gathered on a large green lawn in Lake George for the Americade motorcycle touring rally.

Hey, motorcycle enthusiasts – you’re invited to cruise into the scenic Village of Lake George for Americade, the world’s largest multi-brand motorcycle touring rally! Throughout this legendary five-day event, more than 100,000 riders are expected per day. Attend massive trade shows to check out the latest bikes, gear, and demonstrations, watch stunt shows and live comedy, and enjoy a catered dinner boat cruise. And of course, join kindred spirits for a peaceful ride through the stunning Adirondacks. As part of the festivities, a huge section of the village’s ‘main drag’ will host a block party featuring free entertainment, including stunt shows, a custom motorcycle show, and street entertainers, as well as delicious food and much more. New this year is a professional rodeo arena, featuring men and women competing for money and fame, with bull riding, bronc bustin’, and barrel racing at its best, plus a great western BBQ! Lake George; $105-$260, register online here (online prices increase after May 15). In-person registration begins the Tuesday of Americade Week at the Holiday Inn Resort Lake George.

Ithaca Festival (Finger Lakes)

May 30 – June 2

Get ready to “Let the Sunshine In” and experience an exhilarating fusion of art, music, and community spirit! You’re invited to explore the heart of Ithaca and enjoy captivating performances, mouthwatering food, a colorful parade, and a lively springtime atmosphere! At the festival, you’ll discover nearly 100 local and regional vendors showcasing their unique creations. From exquisite jewelry to handcrafted pottery, metalwork, and more, you’ll find treasures that resonate with your soul. Don’t forget to explore the small-batch craft foods and beverages, including syrup, honey, and wine. You’ll be entertained by over 70 captivating performances, from local community groups to touring artists, gracing stages throughout the city. Ithaca; free admission.

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