Boston Event Calendar - May 2015

Where to Find Fun Things to Do

Boston Event Calendar May 2012 Top Event: Duckling Day Parade participants on Mother's Day
Boston's Public Garden in May

Check the Boston Event Calendar for May 2015 for fun things to do as spring arrives.  Boston bursts into bloom, and you'll want to be outside soaking up the sun.

Top May events include the Duckling Day Parade, Mother's Day, free concerts, art walks, and the Boston Theatre Marathon. 

More big events during May 2015 include Lilac Sunday, special Harbor cruises, Greenway Open Markets, the Return of the Swans, Beacon Hill's Hidden Gardens tour, and lots of Theatre District shows and performances.

Take advantage of the balmy tempuratures to take a Boston Duck Boat, catch a Red Sox game at Fenway, or just relax as you enjoy patio dining at one of our wonderful restaurants.  See for yourself why May is the perfect month to be in Boston!

Add an event to the Boston Event Calendar for May 2015

Stay in the Ritz-Carlton Boston Hotel, shown at the top of the page overlooking Boston Common and the Public Garden.

Quick Links:  Boston events:  April   l  June  l  Other Months

Please note: Many event dates and times are still being confirmed for 2015.  We continually update this page - so check back soon if we don't have what you need yet.


Memorial Day Events in Boston

Field of Flags - BostonWhen:  Monday, May 25 - Memorial Day 2015

Many Bostonians leave town on Memorial Day - so if you're visiting, you have the best of both worlds: plenty of fun things to do, and smaller crowds.

Memorial Day events in Boston range from somber ceremonies of remembrance and the Garden of Flags on Boston Common to fun activities embracing summer weather, the city's waterfront location, and of course, the Red Sox, home again and playing at Fenway Park throughout Memorial Day weekend. 

Find out about all the best Memorial Day events and activities.

Try this Memorial Day Weekend itinerary

Need a hotel? is listing lots of last-minute deals right now - Check them out!  

Half-Price Tickets - Shows, Concerts, Cruises

Find half-price Boston Theatre tickets for May

- Blue Man Group @ Charles Playhouse - Ongoing
- B.U.M.P. Boston's Unscripted Musical Project @ Boston Button Factory
- Big Apple Circus, Boston City Hall Plaza under the Big Tent
- Where the Mountain Meets the Moon at Wheelock Family Theatre
- Abe Lincoln's Piano at Cutler Majestic Theatre
- Laugh Boston at the Westin Waterfront Hotel
- Duck Tours 

Most half price tickets usually start becoming available 3-4 weeks before an event, so check back for updates.

Find more half-price events for May!

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Red Sox Ticket Bonus - 2015

Boston Red Sox bonus ticket with GoBoston cardYou can now choose a free Red Sox ticket to select home games at Fenway Park as a bonus when you get a 3, 5, or 7 day GoBoston discount card, starting this month. 

You'll get a ticket to the Outfield Grandstand, Lower Bleachers, or Standing Room sections of the stadium on a space-available basis.  Plus, you also get free VIP access (usually only season ticket holders get this), which lets you enter the ballpark up to 2.5 hours before the game to watch batting practice or explore the Big Concourse.

Get your GoBoston discount card now - and choose your exciting bonus when you get a 3, 5, or 7 day card

Find out more about getting 55% discounts to other attractions with the GoBoston card


Boston Forward Festival

Flash Forward Festival in BostonThis year marks the 5th Flash Forward Festival in Boston, a showcase and competition for emerging talent from Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. 

Dates for 2015 have not been announced yet - check back later for updates.

Look for very cool indoor and outdoor exhibits throughout the month of May along Harborwalk and galleries throughout Boston.

See the 500 ft photo fence featuring the work of 40 photographers from around the world on the Greenway near the North End section across from Faneuil Hall - where you'll find even more exhibits.  The fence will be in place through the summer - don't miss it!

More about the Flash Forward Festival:

The festival features networking opportunities, panel discussions, and evening events at the Fairmont Battery Wharf in the North End.  Free admission to events and exhibits.

Stay at the Fairmont Battery Wharf


MFA:  Memorial Day Open House

Field of Flags - BostonWhen:  Monday, May 25 - Memorial Day Weekend 2015

MFA will celebrate Latin American culture in its "Season of Color in the Americas" festivities this year with special exhibitions and free admission on Memorial Day.  

This fun family event takes place in the Shapiro Family Courtyard where you can make art, make music, watch a film, and joi tours and discussions in the art galleries.

More about MFA



Duckling Day Parade 2015

Make Way for DucklingsWhen:  Mother's Day Sunday, May 10 (to be confirmed) - parade begins at 12 noon
Where:  Boston Common and the Public Garden - Preregister at 10:30am on Boston Common at the base of the Shaw Memorial , across from the Massachusetts State House; enjoy entertainment until the parade starts
Cost:  $35 ($40 on day of event) donation per family, which includes snacks, entertainment, and a small duckie toy for each child

More about the Duckling Day Parade  

For the perfect Mother's Day celebration, join Boston's annual Duckling Day Parade with your young children - and be sure to bring your camera!

You'll retrace the path taken by Mr. and Mrs. Mallard and their own flock of 8 young ducklings in Robert McCloskey's beloved children's book, Make Way for Ducklings.  To really get into the spirit, dress your offspring in yellow to resemble their favorite Ducklings characters.  Boston Mayor Marty Walsh will be there to welcome your young ducklings - and massage therapists will be on hand to offer free mini-massages to moms.

For a special Mother's Day weekend, stay in a hotel overlooking the Public Garden.  Here are three with spectacular views to consider:

View from Four Seasons Boston hotel Ritz-Carlton Boston Hotel provides spectactular views of Boston Common View of Taj Hotel Boston from across the Lagoon in the Public Garden
View from the Four Seasons Hotel
Ritz Carlton - Room with view of Boston Common
Taj Hotel - Overlooking Lagoon at Public Garden


Boston Concerts & Shows - May 2015

Boston concerts in May  - Joe Bonamassa
Photo of Iggy Azalea courtesy of

More Boston Concerts during May


May 2015- Red Sox Schedule for Fenway

Choose Your Seats & Get Tix 

Friday, May 1 vs Yankees - 7:10pm
Saturday, May 2 vs Yankees - TBD 
Sunday, May 3 vs Yankees - TBD
Monday, May 4 vs Rays - 7:10pm
Tuesday, May 5 vs Rays - 7:10pm
Wednesday, May 6 vs Rays - 7:10pm
Tuesday, May 19 vs Rangers - 7:10pm
Wednesday, May 20 vs Rangers - 7:10pm
Thursday, May 21 vs Rangers - 7:10pm
Friday, May 22 vs Angels - 7:10pm
Saturday, May 23 vs Angels - 7:10pm
Sunday, May 24 vs Angels - TBD

Hotels near Red Sox Games in Fenway Park 

Hotel Buckminster, near Fenway Park in Boston Howard Johnson, next to Boston's Fenway Park Hotel Commonwealth, in Boston MA Back Bay Hilton, close to Boston's Fenway Park
Howard Johnson

More about:  Hotels near Fenway Park


Boston Museum Show Opening - May

Museum of Science exhibits in BostonTake in three exciting new shows at Boston's Museum of Science, all opening on May 25. 

Grossology answers the slimiest, ooziest, crustiest, and skinkiest questions about the human body in a fun interactive exhibit.  Animals without Passports lets you follow humpback whales as they migrate from Massachusetts to the Caribbean.  And 2theXtreme:MathAlive! immerses you in sports, music, fashion, games, and more as you discover the math behind the magic.

Get free admission to the Museum of Science with your Go Boston Card - and get free admission to 50 other top attractions as well.  With a 3, 5, or 7 day pass, choose a free bonus - a Boston Red Sox Ticket, a Gray Line Boston Tour, a Duck Tour, or an exciting Whale Watch.

Find out more


Mother's Day Brunch & Dinner Cruises

Make Way for DucklingsShow your mom your love and a good time by treating her to a special Mother's Day Brunch or Dinner Cruise on the luxurious Odyssey

Enjoy the gourmet cuisine, feel pampered by the attentive service, and try out the great dance floor.  Or just relax on the deck, enjoying the best views of Boston.

More about Mother's Day cruises:

Make your reservations for a Boston Odyssey Dinner Cruise for another date

Read more about dinner and brunch cruises on the Odyssey


Revere Beach Kite Festival

Revere BeachCelebrate spring by heading to Revere Beach, America's oldest public beach, on Sunday, May 17 (to be confirmed) at 11am for the annual kite festival.  The first 300 kids under the age of 12 to arrive will receive a complimentary kite to fly.

If you don't want to get up that early or don't qualify for a free kite based on your age, bring your own.  You'll see plenty of people of all ages flying kites, having a great time, and enjoying this lovely 2-mile long expanse of sun and water.

Don't forget that across from the pavilion, you can get fabulous fried clams or a lobster roll at Kelly's Roast Beef, near the Blue Line's Wonderland station.

More about Revere Beach and other Boston beaches


A Taste of Faneuil Hall

Taste okf Faneuil Hall - photo of CheersKick off Memorial Day weekend on Thursday evening, May 21 (to be confirmed for 2015), for the 2nd annual Taste of Faneuil Hall from 6pm - 9pm in the Upper Rotunda and Ned Devine's Parris Lounge at Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

You'll get to sample tasty dishes and craft beers from Cheers, Ned Devine's, Durgin Park, and many other Faneuil Marketplace restaurants and Quincy Market Food Hall vendors will be available to sample.  Live music will round out the fun. 

Tickets are $10, and proceeds benefit Children's Hospital.


Greenway Open Market

Greenway Open Market - BostonWhen:  Opening day: Saturday, May 2, 11am - 5pm (to be confirmed for 2015)
Where:   Rose Kennedy Greenway, near Rings Fountain along the Wharf District parks (look for the Carousel and the vendors' white tents)
Nearest T station:  Blue Line/Aquarium, or Orange and Green Lines/Haymarket
Cost:  Free (but of course you'll probably be tempted to buy things

Greenway Open Market, sister market to SoWa Open Market held Sundays in the South End, brings an eclectic mix of crafts, art, music, and indie designs to Boston each Saturday through the end of October.  Look for the sea of white vendor tents - and get ready for some fun shopping, plus good eating at the gourmet food trucks.  With a different mix of vendors present each week, you never know what treasures you'll find!  It's a quintessential Boston event.


Where to Go for Mother's Day Brunch in Boston

Belgian waffle with fresh berries at Braserrie Jo restaurant in BostonPlease note:  Brunch specials have not been announced yet for 2015, but this information from last year will give you an idea about what to expect this year.  Updates should appear by April, maybe earlier!

Show your appreciation for all those tasty meals (even the slightly burnt ones) your mom cooked for you, and take her out for Mother's Day Brunch at one of these Boston restaurants offering special menus:

- Brasserie Jo - Look for Mother's Day Specials on the a la carte menu.  120 Huntington Ave at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston's Back Bay
- UpStairs on the Square - Enjoy a special 3-course prix fixe brunch designed with children in mind from 10am-3:30pm in this favorite Harvard Square restaurant.  $50 per adult, $25 per child under 12; 91 Winthrop Street, Cambridge; 617-864-1933
- Scampo - Try famed Chef Lydia Shire's special Mother's Day a la carte creations on the lunch and dinner menu at this wonderful Italian restaurant in the Liberty Hotel.  215 Charles Street, Boston's West End; 617-536-2100
- L'Espalier - Enjoy the 3 course brunch in this top French restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.  774 Boylston St, Back Bay; 617-262-3023
- Top of the Hub - Choose from a special brunch (11am - 3pm) or dinner (3:30pm - 9pm) and enjoy the spectacular 52nd floor views.  800 Boylston Street, Back Bay, 617-536-1775
- North 26 - Special Mother's Day Brunch menu (12 noon-3:30pm); 26 North Street at the Millennium Bostonian Hotel; 617-557-3640

Forgot to make reservations?  Go for Dim Sum in Boston's Chinatown - but pretend that's what you were planning all along

Not sure where to find all these Boston restaurants?  Our Boston sightseeing map will help orient you:

Map of Boston showing central neighborhoods

Need a more details?  Here are our favorite free and low-cost Boston maps.


Fun at Fenway Park

Current Boston Red Sox Schedule Best hotels near Fenway Park in Boston Best sports bars near Fenway Park Boston Red Sox Hats and Shirts
Red Sox Schedule Fenway Park Hotels Fenway Sports Bars Red Sox Hats & Shirts


Boston Theater Marathon XVII

Boston Theatre MarathonEven though the Boston Theater Marathon, produced by the Boston Playwrights' Theatre, stretches across a weekend filled with full-length play reading, the heart of this part-festival, part-race takes place from noon until 10pm on one special day when 50 New England theater actors, directors, and technicians present 50 new 10-minute plays (out of 400 submissions) produced by 50 New England theaters.

To call this event "lively" is an understatement!  In one short 10-hour period, you'll see the wide diversity of Boston theater in this showcase for the local and New England theater community.

When:  May 9 (free warm-up laps featuring 3 staged readings) and May 10, noon-10pm (ticket needed) - Please note - dates are being confirmed for 2015
Where:  Calderwood Pavillion at the Boston Center for the Arts at 527 Tremont Street in Boston's South End neighborhood
Cost:  Tickets required for May 10; $25 in advance, $35 on day of marathon;  all net proceeds benefit the non-profit Theatre Community Benevolent Fund to provide financial help for actors in dire need
More information:  617-353-5443

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Boston Theater and Shows for May 2015

Don Giovanni - Boston Lyric Opera

Boston Ballet's Cinderella ticketsShubert Theatre - May 1-10

Love can be difficult.  Come see Don Giovanni for a night of comedy, seduction, jealousy, and death, while listening to some of the best music composed one of the best musicians of all time.

Get Best Tickets Now!

More Shows in May

Find More Theatre Tickets


Top Boston Tours for May

Boston Trolley Tours Boston Harbor Tours of All Types Boston Duck Tours Complete Guide to Boston Tours


SoWa First Fridays - 2015

SoWa First Fridays in Boston's South EndOn May 1st as well as on other SoWa First Fridays in Boston's South End, over 60 galleries south of Washington Street and at the Artist's Guild at 450 Harrison Ave, and nearby businesses and restaurants open their doors from 5pm to 9pm to give you a chance to experience the vibrant South End arts community. 

Start at 450 Harrison, and just follow the gallery lights and signs as you stroll around the neighborhood.  Wrap up your evening at one of the South End's renowned restaurants.


Street Performer Spring Showcase at Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Street performer in Boston's Faneuil Hall MarketplaceDon't miss the talented street performers who make shopping and dining in Faneuil Hall Marketplace (also called Quincy Market) so much fun throughout the Spring Showcase.  You'll see jugglers, mimes, acrobats, stilt-walkers, musicians, magicians - and more! 

When:  May 24-25 (dates are being confirmed for 2015)
Closest T station: Blue Line/State
Cost:  Free (although once you're here, it's hard to resist something good to eat and perhaps a little shopping

More about the Street Performers at Faneuil Marketplace


Taste of the North End 

Italian pastries at Modern Pastry in Boston's North EndTaste of the North End on May 3, 7pm-11pm gives you a great chance to sample special dishes from 40 North End restaurants and bakeries in this annual tasting event. 

This is also the North End's biggest fundraiser - proceeds benefit the North End Community Health Center, schools, and recreation centers providing services to neighborhood children and seniors. 

The list of participating restaurants is too long to name . . . but just to whet your appetite, look for treats from Fiore, Mamma Maria, Bricco, Taranta, Artu, Lucca, Massimino, Neptune Oyster, and Modern Pastry, as well as liquid refreshments from a number of neighborhood wine importers.

With panoramic waterfront views to enjoy from the Steriti and with popular NECN personality Billy Costa as MC, this is sure to be a spectacular evening. 

Interested in staying in the North End?  Check rates at Bricco Suites, in the heart of the neighborhood, and the waterfront Yacht Haven Inn and Fairmont Battery Wharf Hotel.

Where:   Steriti Memorial Ice Rink, 561 Commercial Street, North End, Boston
Tickets:   $65-$99 (plus service fee)
Nearest T:   Orange and Green Lines/North Station
More info:   Taste of the North End Website

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EarthFest - Free Concert at the Hatch Shell

EarthFest in Boston - photo courtesy of EarthFestWhen:   Saturday, May 17, 11:30 am - 4:30 pm; kids performers start at 10:45
Where:   Hatch Shell, Boston's Esplanade; enter via the footbridges at Dartmouth Street or Cambridge Street
Cost:   Free
Nearest T:   Green Line/Arlington
More info:   Event Website

EarthFest gives you the perfect excuse, if you need one, to spend a day outdoors enjoying music and activities at one of Boston's biggest free concerts at the Hatch Shell.  Look for performances by Neon Trees, Morning Parade, The Wailers, Smallpools, and an award-winning local band.

Sponsored by Whole Foods, Radio 92.9, and the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation, EarthFest showcases environmentally friendly products, information about local non-profit environmental organizations, and a day of terrific music by local and national groups.  This family-friendly event also features Kids' Planet, an interactive area with entertainment and music appealing to kids.

Photo courtesy of EarthFest

Find more free Hatch Shell events


Boston discount cards for attractions, tours, cruises

GoBoston Card
51 ways to save up to 55%
On attractions, tours, cruises
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47% savings
GoBoston discount card at CityPASS Boston discount card at

Best way to save in Boston.  Save 50% or more when you take a Boston Harbor cruise or Duck Boat tour, visit Plimouth Plantation, the New England Aquarium, Museum of Science, Prudential Skywalk Observatory, Museum of Fine Arts, Fenway Park Tour, and more.   Compare to find out which one is best for you.


SoWa Open Market Opening Day - 2015

SoWa Open Market Opening Day in May - BostonA sea of white, blue, and even a few red tents await you at SoWa, Boston's biggest outdoor art and indie market showcasing artists, artisans, and designers in Boston's South End.  

Add in musicians, the South End Farmers Market, food trucks, and South End Arts Market (at the end of Thayer Street), and you have the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. 

Vendors are carefully chosen to avoid duplication - plus the mix of vendors is different every week, so you never know what you'll find.  

More information:   What to shop for at SoWa Open Markets

When:  Sunday, May 3, 10am - 4pm, and then every Sunday afternoon until the end of October (can't make it on Sunday? head over to the Greenway Open Market on Saturdays)
Where:  460 Harrison Ave, Boston's South End
Closest T station: Orange Line/Back Bay, or Silverline bus
Parking:  Look for signs to free parking 

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Wampanoag Dance, Song, Stories at Peabody Museum

Wampanoag Dance, Song, and Stories September event at Peabody Museum near BostonWant to learn more about Boston's inhabitants when the Puritans arrived in 1620? 

Harvard's Peabody Museum's special "Wampanoag Dance, Song, and Stories" event on May 16 (date to be confirmed for 2015), noon - 4pm, features Annawon Weeden, member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Nation and traditional dance, music, and storytelling. 

Kids even get to make "action figures" out of corn husks.

Free with Peabody Museum admission.  More information:  617-495-3216


Fort Point Open Studios - 2015

Fort Point Open StudiosDuring this twice a year event, 75 Fort Point artists open their studios to the public in this former warehouse district now housing one of New England's largest art communities.  During the Art Walk and Spring Open Studios, you'll see paintings, sculptures, photographs, textiles, jewelry, ceramics, and more.  Talk with the artists, admire the art, and purchase something wonderful for your home or office directly from the artist.  Or come on Sunday, Mother's Day, with your mom and buy her a unique Mother's Day gift.

When:   Friday, May 15, 4pm-7pm; Saturday and Sunday, May 16 and 17, 12 noon - 5pm
Where:   Fort Point area of South Boston Waterfront, across Fort Point Channel from South Station in Downtown Boston
Cost:   Free
Nearest T:   Red Line/South Station; walk across Fort Point Channel over the Summer Street or Congress Street Bridge
Parking:  Free (for event only) in large lot across from 249 A Street (enter on Binford Street)

Next Fort Point ArtWalk:  October 

Return to top - Boston Event Calendar for May


Free Jazz Performances at the Hatch Shell

Free jazz concerts at Boston's Hatch ShellThe Massachusetts Association for Jazz Education (M.A.J.E.) showcases top high school jazz groups in this free festival at the Hatch Shell.  Bring a picnic lunch and blanket, and relax and enjoy the music.  Great way to celebrate Mother's Day!

When:  Sunday, May 10, starting at noon (still confirming date and time for 2015)  
Where:   Hatch Shell
Cost:  Free
Closest T station: Red Line/Charles-MGH
If you drive:   Boston Common Garage


Paul Revere House May Events

Paul Revere House activities in BostonLearn more about Colonial life in Boston at a series of fun-filled and informative events at Paul Revere House in the North End on every Saturday during May.

Events take place from 1pm - 3pm, and are included with your admission to the museum.  Activities vary each week - but typically include hands-on Colonial craft demonstrations, historical talks, live music, and reenactors that take you back in time to 18th century Boston.

More about Paul Revere House 


Opening Night for the Boston Pops

For over 125 years, the Boston Pops orchestra conducted by Keith Lockhart has rocked Symphony Hall with American popular music - jazz, blues, Broadway, Dixieland, country, bluegrass, Hollywood, and even sing along.   For extra fun, sit at the orchestra level tables, and order food, beer, and wine from the famed Pops Kitchen to enjoy during the concert.

The Pops' Spring Season is all too short.  It starts in early May, and then after their final concert in mid-June, they give 2 spectacular free July 4th concerts in the Hatch Shell and then head out to Tanglewood in Western Massachusetts for the rest of the summer.

Interested in hotels near Symphony Hall?  Good choices to consider include the elegant Colonnade, popular luxury boutique hotel Inn at St. Botolph, and the gorgeous Eliot Hotel. 

When:  May 7, 8pm (tentative - schedule to be confirmed)
Where:  Symphony Hall, 301 Mass Ave., Boston's Fenway neighborhood
Tickets:  $41 - $125 (opening night only, and being confirmed for 2015- tickets for most other concerts range from about $21 - $91, with even better pricing if you're under 40 years old or want to try to get last-minute $9 tickets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays)
Closest T station: Green Line/Symphony
If you drive:   Parking garages in Fenway
More informationwebsite (look for Pops on the top menu bar); 617-266-1492  


Opening Day for Boston Harbor Islands

Harbor Island Express - BostonWhen:  Saturday, May 10 (tentative - being confirmed for 2015)
Where:  Long Wharf - North (ferry location)
Closest T station: Blue Line/Aquarium
Cost (round trip):  $15 adults, $9 children (ages 3-11), $11 seniors 65+, children under 3 free, family (2 adults, 2 children) $43 - you can buy your tickets at Long Wharf ticket booth
More information:  Park Rangers:  617-223-8666; Harbor Island Express: 617-222-6999

Hop on a ferry at Boston's Long Wharf (near the Boston Marriott Long Wharf) for a 15 minute cruise to Georges or Spectacle Island.  Join a free tour led by the Park Rangers, or enjoy a day of exploring historic sites, photographing birds, enjoying a picnic, hiking, swimming, wading in tidal pools, or simply enjoying the scenery. 


Ancient Fishweir Project on Boston Common

Fish weir on Boston Common - Photo courtesy of Fishweir dot orgWhen: Mid-May - Mid-June, with dance and music perfromances by the Wampanoag Nation Singers and Dancers on Monday, June 1
Where:  Boston Common, near Charles Street and the baseball field
Cost:  Free
More informationFishweir website   

Excavations of Boston Common and Back Bay for the construction of the subway's Green Line almost 100 years ago uncovered ancient fishweirs. 

Native people built the fishweirs about 5,300 years ago to catch alewife, herring, smelt, and salmon in the tidal flats then covering the area.  Over 65,000 wooden stakes were used for the 4-foot high fence-like structures.

Each year, members of the local Wampanoag and Massachuset Nations collaborate with Boston school children to build a 150 foot fish weir sculpture on the edge of Boston Common. 

Even though the temporary fish weir sculpture resides on the Common for only a couple of months each year, it is Central Boston's only historical monument focused exclusively on the Native people who lived here for 12,000 years before the arrival of the Puritans, and maintained fish weirs similar to the one that you'll see on the Common for 1,500 years.  Remnants of these still exist, buried in layers of clay 28-35 feet under the citiy's streets.

Photo courtesy of Ancient Fishweir Project

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SoWa Art Walk in the South End

SoWa Open StudiosThe annual spring SoWa Art Walk in Boston's South End gives you the perfect destination for enjoying a Sunday afternoon in May while viewing the creations of emerging and established artists.

Explore the fascinating artists' studios, and admire the paintings, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, photography, and more in the South End's SoWa (South of Washington) neighborhood, home to the largest concentration of artists in the city. 

Be sure to drop into SoWa Open Market while you're in the neighborhood, and enjoy gourmet cuisine from Boston's best food trucks. 

When:  Sunday, May 5, 11am-6pm
Where: Start on Harrison Ave in Boston's South End, with more studios on Wareham, Waltham, Plympton, Thayer, and Washington Streets
Closest T station: Orange Line/Back Bay; or Silver Line bus to E. Berkeley Street or Union Park
Parking:  500 Harrison Street, 38 Wareham, and 500 Albany
Cost:  Free


Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill Special Tour - 2015

Beacon Hill hidden garden photo by When:  Thursday, May 21, 9am - 5pm, rain or shine
Where:  Beacon Hill; hostess booths will be at the corners of Charles and Mt. Vernon, and Charles and Chestnut Streets
Closest T stations: Green and Red Lines/Park
Cost:  $35 advance reservations (see website for deadline), $45 day of the event
More information:  website

Once a year on the third Thursday in May, a dozen or so Beacon Hill Garden Club members open their gardens to the public for a special Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill self-guided tour.  Celebrate spring by spending a day exploring Boston's secret gardens.

More about Boston and Cambridge garden tours

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Mother's Day Events in Boston

Mother's Day 2015 is on Sunday, May 10.  Quick links to top Mother's Day events:

More things to do in Boston on Mother's Day


Waltham Symphony Orchestra Presents
Mother's Day Concert

Soran Sophia Lee with Waltham Symphony OrchestraAcclaimed cellist Allison Eldredge performs Hebert's Second Cello Concerto with the Waltham Symphony Orchestra in their special "Mother's Day Concert."

When:  May 10, 8pm
Where:   Kennedy Middle School Auditorium, 655 Lexington Street, Waltham
Parking:   Free, on-site
Free admission:  Contributions accepted at the door
More information:  Waltham Symphony Orchestra website


Return of the Swans

Swans in Public GardenWelcome the return of Romeo and Juliet, the Public Garden's resident swans, from the Franklin Park Zoo where they spend the winter. 

A brass band leads a parade departing at 11:30am from the corner of Beacon and Charles Street near the Make Way for Ducklings statue and ends up at the Lagoon 15 minutes later, for the official Return of the Swans ceremony presided over by Boston's mayor.

The Four Seasons Hotel provides refreshments, and other entertainment such as face painters and readings of Make Way for Ducklings by Boston Park Rangers round out the event - an annual ritual that truly marks the beginning of spring in Boston!

When:  May 7, at 11am  
Where:  Public Garden
Cost:  Free
Stay:  Four Seasons Hotel  (find rates and reviews)
Closest T station: Green Line/Arlington
If you drive:   Boston Common Garage
More information: 617-635-4505 (Boston Parks and Recreation Department)


How & Why to Taste Wine 

What:  21+ event
When:   May 11, 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Where:   Boston Wine School, 1354 Commonwealth Ave, Allston
Cost:   $100 for wine tasting class and dinner
Nearest T:   Green Line/Griggs St (Outbound) and Warren St (Inbound)
More info:   617-84-7150; Boston Wine School website

Enjoy a relaxed evening learning how to taste wine, and when you should - accompanied, of course by wine and dinner.  If you're thinking ahead to Mother's Day tomorrow, treat your mom a special evening to remember.

BWS offers lots of other wine-pairing classes and events - so if you're planning a visit and looking for something fun and unusual to do in Boston, check out the event calendar on their website.

Lilac Sunday -  Mother's Day Event

Lilac Sunday at Arnold ArboretumThe Arnold Arboretum's large lilac collection bursts into glorious bloom in May, putting on an exuberant show of color and intoxicating fragrance just in time for Mother's Day.  Visit on Lilac Sunday to enjoy family-oriented activities in honor of Mother's Day - or come any time during early-to-mid-May to experience the unforgettable scent of these gorgeous lilacs. 

Lilac Sunday is the only day of the year when the Arboretum allows picnics - so be sure to bring a tasty brunch or lunch and perhaps a blanket for sitting.

When:  May 10; activities and refreshments from 10am - 4pm; Arboretum open from dawn to dusk
Where:  Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Way, Boston
Closest T station: Orange Line/Forest Hills; follow the signs to the Arboretum, about a 10 minute walk
Parking:  Street-side parking spaces are always quite limited; don't count on finding any available on Lilac Sunday
Cost:  Free
More information:  617-524-1718; Arnold Arboretum website


Continuing during May in Boston

Big Apple Circus in BostonBig Apple Circus through May 13

Noon Concerts at King's Chapel on the Freedom Trail

First Fridays at Museum of Fine Arts

Return to top - Boston Event Calendar for May


Looking ahead to June 

Tall ships at Boston's Harborfest in June and JulyChinatown Festival


Scooper Bowl


More June events for Boston

Photo courtesy R. Thiele

Best Boston Events All Year!

Boston Events in January - Wine Festivals, Polar Bear Swim, New Year Brunch February Events in Boston - Valentines Day, Running of the Brides, Chinese New Year March Events in Boston - St Patricks Day Parade, Film Festivals, Restaurant Week April Events in Boston - Marathon, Patriots Day, Boston Garden Show Boston May Events - Memorial Day, Duckling Day Parade, Open Studios Boston June Events - Harborfest, Scooper Bowl, Dragon Boat Races
Boston Events in July - Fireworks, Harborfest, Shakespeare on the Common August Events in Boston - Shakespeare on the Common, Running of the Brides, Restaurant Week September Events in Boston - Labor Day, Fashion Week, BeanTown Jazz Festival October Events in Boston - Columbus Day Parade, Halloween, Head of the Charles Boston Thanksgiving Events - Thanksgiving, The Nutcracker, Black Friday Boston December Events - First Night, Holiday Pops, Black Nativity


More Boston Events for May

Add your event to the Boston Event Calendar for May

Let us know where it's being held, dates and times, and who's sponsoring it. Most important, tell us why others will enjoy it!

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More Events for May

Click below to see more May events in Boston.

ART Off the Wall Not rated yet
The Brookline Arts Center is pleased to present ART Off The Wall, an exhibition and fundraiser on Saturday, May 16 from 7:00-9:00pm. ART Off The Wall …

Boston Music Event in May: BLO Opera at the Movies: AMADEUS Not rated yet
Boston Lyric Opera Signature Series in partnership with Somerville Theatre Opera at the Movies: Amadeus Friday, April 10 | 7:00 – 10:30 p.m. $10 adult/$7 …

Boston May Event: 2015 Mother's Day Walk for Peace Not rated yet
We hear and read about it every day. Needless and senseless violence in our schools, on our streets, in our neighborhoods. Please join us as Boston, …

Boston May 2015: Rapid Jewerly Fashion Show • Exhibition-In-Motion Not rated yet
On May 23rd, join Design Museum Boston and the Society of North American Goldsmiths at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel in the Imperial Ballroom for an exciting …

Boston May 2015 Concert: Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas Not rated yet
ALASDAIR FRASER & NATALIE HAAS Saturday, May 9, 8:00 pm First Parish Unitarian 1446 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge General Admission …

Momix: Multimedia Show at the Cutler Majestic in Boston May 2015 Not rated yet
MOMIX Friday, May 8, 8:00 pm Saturday, May 9, 8:00 pm Sunday, May 10, 3:00 pm Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theatre 219 Tremont St., Boston Reserved …

Noura Mint Seymal in Concert - Boston May 2015 Event Not rated yet
NOURA MINT SEYMALI Friday, May 1, 7:30 pm Johnny D's 17 Holland St. Somerville, 02144 Guaranteed seating with dinner reservation $25 General admission, …

Boston Fundraiser May 2015: 47th Annual Walk For Hunger - Project Bread Not rated yet
Project Bread’s 47th annual Walk for Hunger will take place on Sunday, May 3, 2015. The 20-mile Walk for Hunger begins and ends at the Boston Common, …

47th Annual Walk for Hunger: Boston Fundraiser May 2015 Not rated yet
47th annual Walk For Hunger set to May 3 in Boston! On Sunday, May 3, 2015, more than 40,000 people will come together with one voice and walk for our …

May 2014 Boston Events Not rated yet
Food Truck Festival, May 30, 2014 5 – 9 pm, $ Take a night off from cooking and purchase food from different food truck vendors and local restaurants. …

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