Things to do in NYC in May 2021 depend on the progress of the COVID-19 Pandemic. It’s not a normal May. Get vaccinated!
The Month of May
May is one of the most beautiful times of the year to visit New York City.
May weather is late spring. Average temperatures range from 54° to 71°F so it can be cool or warm. Rainfall is average.
New York’s summer weather pattern starts up and we get big fluffy clouds from the Caribbean that frame the urban landscape. They make the most beautiful photo backdrops.
The City is still in its school year rhythm. The weather, the clouds and the normal rhythm are all reasons to visit New York City in May.
May is National Salsa Month 🕺🏽 and Haitian Heritage Month 🇭🇹.
These events happen all month long.
Things to Do in NYC in May 2021 Week 17
April 26 – May 2, 2021
Saturday, May 1
Celebrate International Workers Day 👷🏽♀️
Sunday, May 2
The first Sunday in May is Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian Mother’s Day 🇪🇸🇵🇹🇷🇴🌹.
Remember the Dos de Mayo 🇪🇸💥 uprising (Second of May uprising) when the Spanish people spontaneously rebelled against French occupation on May 2, 1808. This ultimately led to the independence of the Americas.
Things to Do in NYC in May 2021 Week 18
May 3-9, 2021
Frieze Week 🎨🎪 brings Frieze New York and other art fairs.
Monday, May 3
The Met Gala🥻📸 is tonight.
Tuesday, May 4
Wednesday, May 5
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo 🇲🇽 and commemorate the Mexican victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on the road to Mexico City in 1862. It’s not Mexican Independence Day. That is in September. The French were trying to take over Mexico and join Confederate traitors in their war against the United States.
The Frieze New York 🎨🎪 contemporary art fair preview is at The Shed in Hudson Yards through tomorrow.
The French Revolution 🇫🇷💥 (1789-1799) began with the opening of the Estates General in Versailles, France on May 5, 1789.
Remember Osvaldo Fresedo 🇦🇷, the tango composer who was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on May 5, 1897.
Thursday, May 6
The 16th Harlem International Film Festival 🎞🎪 runs through Saturday.
The Frieze New York 🎨🎪 contemporary art fair preview is at The Shed in Hudson Yards.
Remember Rudolph Valentino 🇮🇹, the first Latin film idol, who was born in Castellaneta, Apulia, Italy on May 6, 1895.
Friday, May 7
The Frieze New York 🎨🎪 contemporary art fair is at The Shed in Hudson Yards through Sunday.
Remember “Evita” Eva Perón 🇦🇷, the legendary first lady of Argentina, who was born in Los Toldos, Argentina on May 7, 1919.
Saturday, May 8
The Frieze New York 🎨🎪 contemporary art fair is at The Shed in Hudson Yards.
Remember Louis Moreau Gottschalk 🇭🇹🇺🇸, the first composer to notate the rhythms and music of Congo Square and the Caribbean, who was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on May 8, 1829.
Sunday, May 9
The Cinco de Mayo Parade 🇲🇽🥁 marches through NYC’s Upper West Side from 1-4pm. (To be confirmed)
Celebrate Laylat al-Qadr ☪️ at sundown, the most sacred night of the Muslim year.
Things to Do in NYC in May 2021 Week 19
May 10-16, 2021
Monday, May 10
Happy Mother’s Day!
Remember Roberto Firpo 🇦🇷, the early Argentine Tango pianist, orchestra leader, and composer who was born in Flores, Buenos Aires on May 10, 1884.
Tuesday, May 11
Wednesday, May 12
Celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the grand family feast that ends Ramadan ☪️. “Eid Mubarak” (Blessed holiday). It’s traditional to share this feast with non-Muslims to help them understand the faith.
Thursday, May 13
It’s the New York City school 🚌 holiday for Eid al-Fitr ☪️.
Friday, May 14
The 73rd Cannes Film Festival 🇫🇷🎞🎪 is in Cannes, France for eleven days through May 25.
Saturday, May 15
Sunday, May 16
Celebrate Shavuot ✡️, the Jewish harvest festival, at sundown through Tuesday.
Things to do in NYC in
May 2021 Week 20
May 17-23, 2021
Monday, May 17
Tuesday, May 18
Celebrate Haitian Flag Day 🇭🇹, the day when the first Haitian flag was adopted in 1803.
Wednesday, May 19
Thursday, May 20
Remember Toussaint Louverture 🇭🇹, the early Haitian Revolution leader who was born in Cap-Haitien, Haiti on May 20, 1743.
Friday, May 21
Celebrate Ascension Day ✝️, which commemorates the ascension of Jesus to heaven.
Saturday, May 22
The 15th Dance Parade 💃🏽🕺🏽🥁 goes virtual.
Alex Sensation headlines the Mega Mezcla reggaeton festival at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey at 8pm.
The new moon 🌙 rises over New York City at 1:38pm.
Sunday, May 23
Celebrate Pentecost ✝️, the Christian festival of the Holy Spirit.
Things to Do in NYC in May 2021 Week 21
May 24-30, 2021
Monday, May 24
Celebrate Eritrean Independence Day 🇪🇷 from Ethiopia on May 24, 1991.
Tuesday, May 25
Remember George Floyd 🇺🇸 who was murdered for a pack of cigarettes under a policeman’s knee while others stood by.
Remember the May Revolution of 1810 🇦🇷 which launched the Argentine War of Independence on May 25, 1810. It was the first South American independence movement to succeed.
Wednesday, May 26
The UEFA Europa League Final ⚽️🏆 is today.
Celebrate Guyanese Independence Day 🇬🇾 from the UK on May 26, 1966.
Thursday, May 27
Friday, May 28
The New York Mets ⚾️ game 1 of 3 against the Atlanta Braves is at Citi Field in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens at 7:10pm.
It’s Memorial Day Weekend ⛱, the popular start of summer!
Saturday, May 29
The UEFA Champions League Final is at Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul.
The New York Mets ⚾️ game 2 of 3 against the Atlanta Braves is at Citi Field in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens at 7:15pm.
Sunday, May 30
The New York Mets ⚾️ game 3 of 3 against the Atlanta Braves is at Citi Field in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens at 7:08pm.
Things to Do in NYC in May 2021 Week 22
May 31, 2021
Monday, May 31
Commemorate Memorial Day 🕯🇺🇸 and those who died in military service.
Remember the Tulsa Greenwood Massacre 🕯🇺🇸 of May 31, 1921.
The Open Roads: New Italian Cinema 🇮🇹🎞🎪 film festival is at Film at Lincoln Center through June 6.
The New York Philharmonic plays its annual free Memorial Day Concert at the Cathedral of St John the Divine in Morningside Heights, Manhattan. TBD
Categories of Things to Do in NYC in May 2021
- Memorial Day Weekend 🕯⛱ May 28-31, 2021
- Ramadan ☪️ April 12-May 12, 2021
- Cinco de Mayo 🇲🇽 May 5
- Laylat al-Qadr ☪️ May 9, 2021
- Mother’s Day 🌹 May 10 (USA)
- Shavuot ✡️ May 16-18, 2021
- Haitian Flag Day 🇭🇹 May 18
MAY INDEPENDENCE DAYS
- Eritrean Independence Day 🇪🇷 (from Ethiopia) May 24, 1991
- Guyanese Independence Day 🇬🇾 (from the UK) May 26, 1966
It’s uncertain whether parades will be allowed in New York City yet.
- Cinco de Mayo Parade 🇲🇽🥁 Sunday, May 2, 2021 TBC
- 15th Dance Parade 💃🏽🕺🏽🥁 Saturday, May 22, 2021
- Cuban Parade of New Jersey 🇨🇺🥁Expected Sunday, May 16, 2021 TBC
MAY STREET FAIRS
- Bronx Week 🗽(May 7-16 to be confirmed)
- 152nd St. Cultural Festival (Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 29)
- NYCxDesign 🛋🎪 design festival May 13-18, 2021
- Frieze Week 🎨🎪
- TEFAF New York Spring 🛋🎪 Cancelled. Next May 6-10, 2022
- May art auctions 🎨🖼
- American Ballet Theatre Met Opera spring season Cancelled, but digital & outdoor plans
- Dance Parade 💃🏽🕺🏽🥁 Saturday, May 22, 2021
- Dance Africa festival at BAM (2020: May 17 – July 7)
- Big Salsa Festival (Memorial Weekend, May 27-31, 2021 to be confirmed)
- Met Gala (first Monday in May) May 3, 2021
- Ninth Avenue Food Festival (2019: Sat-Sun, May 18-19)
- 16th Harlem International Film Festival 🎞🎪 May 6-9, 2021
- New York African Film Festival 🎞🎪 MOVED in 2021 to February
- Open Roads: New Italian Cinema 🎞🎪 (2020: May 31 – June 6)
- Pen World Voices Festival 📚🎪 ongoing virtually (2020: May 4-9)
- Alex Sensation Mega Mezcla reggaeton festival, Saturday, May 22, 2021.
- New York Philharmonic Free Memorial Day Concert, Monday, May 31, 2021. TBC
- UEFA Europa League Final ⚽️🏆 Wednesday, May 26, 2021
- UEFA Champions League Final ⚽️🏆 Saturday, May 29, 2021
- New York Mets ⚾️ baseball, April 8 – October 3, 2021
- New York Yankees ⚾️ baseball, April 1 – October 3, 2021
- NYCFC ⚽️ soccer, April 3 – November 7, 2021
- NY Red Bulls ⚽️ soccer, April 3 – November 7, 2021
- Sky Blue FC ⚽️ women’s soccer (April to October)
- 36th Lucille Lortel Awards 🎭🏆 Off-Broadway awards, TBD (2020: May 3)
- Louis Moreau Gottschalk 🇭🇹🇺🇸 composer, May 8, 1829
- Enrique Iglesias 🇪🇸 pop star, May 8, 1976
- Prince Royce 🇩🇴🇺🇸 bachata star, May 11, 1989
- Toussaint Louverture 🇭🇹 revolutionary hero, May 20, 1743
- Hector “El Torito” Acosta 🇩🇴 merengue singer, May 23, 1967
- Fonseca 🇨🇴 singer, May 29, 1979