Summer’s on its way. While you get gear up for beaches, waterparks and other outdoor excitement, there are plenty of things heating up this month around New York State. Don’t miss May’s must-dos, like celebrations of flowers, food, shopping and much more.


Saratoga Springs Horse Show

Saratoga Springs Horse Show
Saratoga Springs is always full of equine delights thanks to the Saratoga Race Course, which is a must-see for sporting fans and casual day trippers alike. But in May, the horsey fun gets even more exciting thanks to the 58th annual Saratoga Springs Horse Show, featuring world-class jumpers competing for $100,000 in prizes. When you're not watching all the action in three rings, you can browse a marketplace full of snacks and horse-related swag. May 10 - 14, May 17 - 21; Saratoga Springs, $4, children under 12 free

READ MORE: 48 hours in Saratoga Springs

Rochester Lilac Festival

Rochester Lilac Festival
The largest free festival of its kind in North America features music, food and wine tastings, a parade, a road race and much, much more. And it's all surrounded by thousands of sweet smelling lilacs in Rochester's scenic Highland Park. On May 12, the event kicks off on a feel-good note: Festival goers will attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the world's largest relay hug, so don't miss your chance to be part of history. May 12 -21, Rochester, free

READ MORE: Spotlight on Rochester

Albany Tulip Festival - Photo by Joe Elario

Albany Tulip Festival
Featuring more than 140,000 tulips in 150 different varieties, the Tulip Festival is a sparkling showcase of local culture and business in the Albany area. The festival takes place in historic Washington Park, the 81-acre “crown jewel” of the city. But the festival is much more than the flowers, with nearly one hundred artisans selling their handmade crafts, a fine arts show, delicious food, the KidZone family fun destination and two stages of world-class live entertainment. May 13 - 24; Albany; free

READ MORE: The Capital-Saratoga Region

Dance Parade & Festival

11th Annual Dance Parade & Festival
Downtown Manhattan gets moving for this annual parade featuring more than 150 dance groups representing virtually every style. It's one of the more eye-popping spectacles of springtime in New York City (which is really saying something) and it all winds up in historic Tompkins Square Park in the East Village, where attendees can watch performances on four separate stages, and learn a few moves themselves with free dance lessons. May 20; New York City; free

READ MORE: Arts and culture in New York


This annual four-day event marks the unofficial start of summer in the Finger Lakes region with a bang. Corning's historic Gaffer District comes to life with outdoor glass-making demonstrations, delicious street food, a scavenger hunt, beer tastings and so much more. On Saturday night, cast your eyes to the sky for a fireworks display. May 25 - 28; Corning; free

READ MORE: Interview with the Corning Museum of Glass's hot glass program manager, Eric Meek

Hall of Fame Classic

Hall of Fame Classic Weekend
On Memorial Day Weekend, Cooperstown is all about baseball - more so than usual, even! The Hall of Fame Classic Weekend takes over the town, with panel discussions, a kids clinic (advance registration is required) and a seven-inning legends game with Hall of Famers Wade Boggs, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Juan Marichal, Phil Niekro and Ozzie Smith and several recently retired players representing all 30 major league teams. May 26, 27; Cooperstown; prices very by event. Check the official website for schedule and pricing details

READ MORE: Spotlight on Cooperstown

Beers and Cheers Microbrewery Festival - Photo Courtesy of Beers and Cheers Microbrewery Festival

Beers and Cheers Microbrewery Festival
This beer festival is unlike any other, showcasing all the local and spectacular breweries of New York’s Southern Tier. Exhibitors include Binghamton’s Water Street Brewing Company and Galaxy Brewing. Beers and Cheers is apart of Binghamton’s larger Marathon Weekend, with other events like the titular road race and pub runs throughout the town. Best part? Proceeds from from the benefit support the Southern Tier Veteran Support Group & STAP. May 28; Binghamton; ticket information here

READ MORE: Breweries in New York

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