Check the Boston Event Calendar for May 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 Boston Calling Festival, the start of whale watching cruises,and art walks.
More top May events include Memorial Day Weekend activities, Mother's Day events, and concerts
More big events include Lilac Sunday, the Garden of Flags on the Common, Duckling Day Parade, special Harbor cruises, Beacon Hill's Hidden Gardens tour, and lots of Theatre District shows and performances.
Take advantage of the balmy temperatures to see Boston on a Duck Tour, catch a Boston Red Sox games at Fenway Park, join a Historic Pub Crawl Tour along the Freedom Trail for a fun way to explore Boston, or just relax as you enjoy outdoor patio dining at one of our wonderful restaurants.
See for yourself why May is the perfect month to be in Boston!
Top photo: Tulips blooming in mid-May in Boston's Public Garden, (c) Boston Discovery Guide
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Boston Calling 2023
Boston Calling Music Festival, the popular 3-day indie and pop rock music festival that takes place over Memorial Day Weekend, returns to the Harvard Athletic Complex in Allston bigger and better than ever.
Headliners (last year's were Metallica, Foo Fighters, and Rage against the Machine) will take center stage in 2023.
Look for three music stages, a comedy stage, and more music than ever from over 50 groups, plus over 30 food vendors, a wide selection of beer and wine, sponsor exhibits, and surprise attractions.
Tickets typically go fast, and prices rise as the dates draw closer. In addition for single-day passes, you'll see options for 3-day passes plus a tiered array of VIP tickets; the most expensive tiers typically sell out the fastest.
Boston Calling 2023 Tickets
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Boston Whale Watching Season Begins for 2023!
Boston whale watching cruises start on May 16. Don't wait to get your tickets!
These exciting excursions last about 3.5-4 hours and take you through Boston Harbor and out to Stellwagen Bank, a protected marine area 25 miles east of the city. Marine biologists or naturalists serve as guides to make sure you don't miss a thing.
What will you see? On a typical day, you may see various types of large whales, dolphins, sea birds, and other marine creatures.
Be sure to bring your camera!
Get your whale watch tickets and reservations
More about Boston whale watching cruises
Revere Beach Kite Festival - 2023
Celebrate spring by heading to Revere Beach, America's oldest public beach, on Saturday, May 20 at 10am-1pm for the annual family-friendly kite festival with kite decorating, live music, and of course, kite flying.
Bring your own kite, and watch it soar. You'll see 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 the street from the pavilion, you can get fabulous fried clams or a lobster roll at Kelly's Roast Beef, just a short walk from the Blue Line's Wonderland Station.
More about Revere Beach and other Boston beaches
More Ways to Enjoy Boston
More: Sightseeing Tours | Tours for Teens | Kids & Family Tours
Memorial Day Weekend Events in Boston
When: Monday, May 29 - Memorial Day 2023
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, less competition for tickets (and perhaps lower prices), and somewhat smaller crowds.
Memorial Day Weekend events in Boston range from somber ceremonies of remembrance and the Garden of Flags on Boston Common to fun activities embracing summer weather such as the Boston Calling Music Festival, the city's waterfront location, and of course, the Red Sox, home again in time to play the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park on Memorial Day.
Find out about all the best Memorial Day events and activities.
Need a hotel? Hotels.com is listing lots of last-minute deals right now - Check them out!
Boston Harbor Sightseeing Cruises
Tour Boston by boat - the best way to see the city! Check out these fun sightseeing, music, and entertainment Boston Harbor cruises on the Yacht Northern Lights and Schooner Adirondack III:
Valentine's Day Cruises
- Romantic Valentine's Day Jazz & Champagne Tasting Cruise - Toast your valentine on this romantic evening cruise as you sample 3 champagnes and nibble on chocolate-covered strawberries while a live jazz band plays in the background. Capacity is limited. February 11, 12, 14
Popular Cruises on the Northern Lights:
- Brunch Cruise on the Northern Lights - Savor a delicious 3-course brunch on this relaxing sightseeing cruise around Boston Harbor
- Boston Harbor Cruise on Northern Lights - Soak up Boston's unique sites and rich history on this comfortable sightseeing cruise around the Harbor - perfect friends and family experience! Refreshments are available for purchase at the bar
- Sunset Jazz Cruise on Northern Lights - End your weekend on the perfect note by grooving to live jazz as you watch the ever-changing sunset colors as the sun sets behind Boston's city skyline
Whale Watching Cruise Tickets
Join one of the exciting 3-hour Whale Watching Cruises departing from the Downtown Boston Waterfront, and experience the thrill of spotting whales off the coast of Boston.
You'll see magnificent creatures such as Humpback and Finback whales close-up from the deck of your ship, and spot White-Sided Dolphins frolicking in the waters.
These cruises sell out quickly, so don't wait to get your tickets now for this iconic Boston experience!
Where to Go for Mother's Day Brunch in Boston 2023
Show your appreciation for all those tasty meals your mom cooked for you, and take her out for Mother's Day Brunch on Sunday, May 8 at one of these Boston and Cambridge restaurants offering a special menu for the occasion.
- Miel Brasserie (InterContinental Hotel on the downtown waterfront; website) - Celebrate your mom with French flair at brunch featuring Chef Didier Montarou's mouth-watering Mother's Day menu; all entrées include the homemade dessert bar with strawberry shortcake
- Peregrine (Whitney Hotel, Beacon Hill; website) - Enjoy patio dining and Peregrine's Italian coastal specialties such as dressed oysters, spring risotto, radiatore pasta, confit lamb breast, and lemon pistachio cake
- Cafe Luna (612 Main Street, Kendall Square, Cambridge; website) - Take your mom to brunch (9am-4pm) and choose from Cafe Luna's huge brunch m menu with specialty eggs benedict (steak and lobster, crab cake, prosciutto with roasted fig jam, smoked salmon and avocado), Mexican churro French toast, shrimp tacos, wings and waffles, lemon ricotta pancakes, and lots more.
- Q Restaurant (660 Washington Street, Chinatown/Theatre District) - Share Mongolian hot pot with your mom, or choose from the extensive Chinese entrees and sushi selections.
- Bistro du Midi (272 Boylston Street, Back Bay; website) - Start with a selection of Viennoiserie or a charcuterie board, follow with a main course such as salade Niçoise, duck confit on a Belgium waffle, bavette steak and eggs, or a croque madame, and end with a chocolate hazelnut torte and you'll almost believe you're in Paris for Mother's Day.
- Stephanie's on Newbury (190 Newbury St; website) - Relax with your mom on Stephanie's huge patio and treat yourselves to her favorite brunch classics: cinnamon monkey break, a smoked salmon platter, New England clam chowder, a skillet breakfast with eggs, smoked bacon, maple sausage, and baked cheddar home fries, and an ice cream sundae.
Forgot to make reservations? Take your mom for Dim Sum in Boston's Chinatown - but pretend that's what you were planning all along. You'll see other mom/child couples doing the same thing.
Duckling Day Parade - 2023
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, and decorate your stroller or even a wagon.
When: Mother's Day Sunday, May 14, with entertainment and the Harvard University Band starting at 10am until the parade kicks off at around noon (to be confirmed)
Where: Boston Common and the Public Garden - Starts at the Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common and ends in the Public Garden near the Make Way for Ducklings statues.
Cost: $35 before May 6 ($40 on day of event) donation per family, which includes a special goodie bag for each child; proceeds benefit the nonprofit Friends of the Public Garden
Need cute duckling outfits? Here's our favorite selection on Amazon (#ad).
More about the Duckling Day Parade
For a special Mother's Day weekend, stay in a hotel overlooking the Public Garden. Here are 4 with spectacular views to consider:
Hotels with Public Garden & Boston Common ViewsFind out more about these spectacular hotels
Boston Theater & Shows for May 2023
Top May Shows in Boston - Schedules & Tickets
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- MINDscape: Boston Ballet - Boston Opera House - May 5-15
- Riverdance - Wang Theatre - May 10-15
- Sea Sick - Jackie Liebergott Black Box @ Cutler Majestic Theatre - May 11-22
- Swan Lake: Boston Ballet - Boston Opera House - May 26-June 5
- Blue Man Group - Charles Playhouse - Multiple shows
More Boston Theater District Shows
Where to stay and dine in Boston's Theatre District
Top Hotels near Boston's Theatre District
Enjoy your Boston performance or show experience to the fullest when you stay in one of the nearby Theatre District hotels, such as the hip and glamorous Revere Hotel:
More top Theatre District hotels:
Check out more hotels in Boston's Theatre District
Fun Boston Sightseeing Tours
Boston Concerts & Shows - May
Top April Concerts & Shows in Boston
Top concerts in Boston in May 2023 include 3 Taylor Swift shows at Gillette, Seal at the Wang Theatre, Blink-182 at the Garden, and the 3-day Boston Calling Music Festival over Memorial Day Weekend - plus plenty more concerts to enjoy throughout the month:
- Gipsy Kings - Wang Theatre - May 3
- Raffi - Orpheum Theatre - May 7
- Natalie Merchant - Colonial Theatre - May 10, 11
- Seal - Wang Theatre - May 12
- Steve Martin & Martin Short - Wang Theatre - May 13
- Janet Jackson & Ludacris - Xfinity Center - May 19
- Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers & Gayle - Gillette Stadium - May 19 - May 20 - May 21
- Blink 182 - TD Garden - May 21
- Boston Calling Music Festival - Harvard Athletic Complex - May 26, 27, 28 - also 3-day pass
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Schedules & Tickets
Boston Concerts throughout the Year
Boston Comedy Clubs May 2023
Looking for something to do in Boston that doesn't (usually) cost too much money? Head over to one of Boston's comedy shows. You're sure to leave smiling!
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Find more comedy club show schedule & tickets
More about Boston's comedy clubs
May Boston Red Sox Schedule - Home Games at Fenway
Location: Fenway Park
Nearest T stations: Green Line B or C/Kenmore; Commuter Rail Worcester Line/Yawkey
Indulge your passion for baseball by going to see the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park!
Get Schedule & Tickets
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Find Red Sox Home Games at Fenway for Other Months
June - July - August - September - October
Stay: Hotels near Fenway Park
Park: Garages & lots near Fenway Park
Celebrate: Best sports bars near Fenway Park
Find out about more Boston sports
MFA: Memorial Day Open House - Free Admission - 2023
When: Monday, May 29 - Memorial Day Weekend
MFA will offer family-oriented 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 join tours and discussions in the art galleries.
Want to come on another day? If you have a GoBoston card or CityPASS, you can get free admission at any time.
Find more things to do on Memorial Day Weekend in Boston
Boston Hotels with Outdoor Swimming Pools
- Verb Hotel next to Fenway Park (shown in photo) - Find Lowest Rates
- Colonnade Hotel near Prudential Center - Find Discount Rates
- Revere Hotel in the Theatre District -Find Discount Rates
Find more Boston hotels with outdoor swimming pools
Fun Boston Tours for May
Fun Events & Activities on the Rose Kennedy Greenway
The Rose Kennedy Greenway is offering so many fun things to do this summer:
- Greenway Food Trucks: Over 35 trucks offering specialties ranging from Korean to Summer Shack's seafood to fresh seafood in Dewey Square, the Carousel, Rings Fountain (Milk Street), State Street, Rowes Wharf Plaza, and Trillium Beer Garden. You'll find them at several locations each day, usually with a total of 5-7 trucks per day.
- Farmers Market in Dewey Square run by Boston Public Market offering fresh produce, meat, cheese, breads and pastries, ice cream, and more. Open Tuesdays and Thursdays 11am - 4pm
- Trillium Beer Garden in the Wharf District Parks (High Street and Atlantic Ave) featuring draft beers by Trillium Brewing Company and a rotating selection of food trucks. Open Wednesday and Thursday2-9pm, Friday and Saturday 12 noon-10pm, Sunday 12 noon-7pm.
- City Winery Open Air Wine Garden on Dewey Square across from South Station, serving their locally-crafted wine on tap plus with craft beer and cider by Harpoon Brewery along with a menu of fresh wraps, cheese boards, and snacks. Open Wed and Thurs 4-9pm, Friday 4-10pm, Sat. 1-9pm, Sunday 11am-7pm.
- Public Art - See new installations by Rob "ProBlak" Gibbs, Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong, Juan Travieso, and Yu-Wen Wu.
- Fountains - You'll find them in 7 different locations along the Greenway - so get ready to splash, wade, and cool off!
- Carousel - Open daily, 11am-8pm. Tickets: $4.
- Greenway Fitness Programs: Free fitness and yoga classes from local studios; must preregister
More about the Rose Kennedy Greenway
Independent Film Festival Boston
When: May 5-15 (to be confirmed)
Where: Normally at the Somerville Theatre, Brattle Theatre, and Coolidge Corner Theatre - but online this year
Tickets: Buy season passes (partially tax deductible) or individual tickets - see IFF's website for pricing.
More information: IFF Boston Website
The Independent Film Festival Boston spans 11 days this year year, and promises to be bigger and better than ever, with familiar names plus many new ones. IFF Boston showcases independent film makers from around the world working outside of the Hollywood system, and the lineup offers plenty of interesting features, shorts, and documentaries. Lots of panels and parties let you can talk with the filmmakers and ask them questions. Boston film fanatics rate this festival as one of the best.
Find more Boston film festivals
SoWa First Fridays
On April 2 as well as on other SoWa First Fridays in Boston's art-filled South End, over 60 galleries south of Washington Street and at the Artist's Guild at 450 + 460 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 either 450 or 460 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.
Martha's Vineyard Day Trip from Boston
Spend the day exploring the beautiful beaches, art galleries, gingerbread houses, and seafood restaurants on this unforgettable Martha's Vineyard Day Trip fro Boston. And don't forget to catch the brass ring at the country's oldest carousel!
Pickup and dropoff from selected Boston hotels plus ferry tickets are included.
More Fun Boston Tours
What to See in Boston's Museums - May 2023
Museum of Science Exhibits
- New England Climate Stories - Meet fascinating New England animals
- All Aboard! Trains at Science Park - Visit miniature landscapes with fantasic model trains - through January 16
- Gaia - View our planet in a new way through UK artist Luke Jerram's artwork with NASA images of Earth's surface
- Mental Health: Mind Matters - Get insights into understanding mental health through this interactive exhibit
With fascinating permanent exhibits for all ages, there's always something to see, do, and learn. Here are just a few of the most popular: Engineering Design Workshop, Colossal Fossil: Triceratops Cliff, Cosmic Light, Dinosaurs, Arctic Adventure, Hall of Human Life, Live Animal Care Center, Mathematica, Exploring AI, Natural Mysteries, New England Habitats, Project Vaccine.
Where: Boston's Museum of Science
When: Daily, 9am-5pm; open until 9pm on Fridays
Admission: $29 general museum admission ($24 for kids; children under 3 free). Get free museum admission when you have a GoBoston Discount card or Boston CityPASS card.
Imax Theater and Planetarium: Additional fees apply
New England Aquarium
Harbor seals and seal lions, a giant 4-story ocean tank with hundreds of Caribbean reef animals, an Amazon rain forest, sharks, Myrtle the green sea turtle, and frisky penguins are just a few of the thousands of aquatic animals you'll experience here.
Get your tickets in advance, or find out more about the Aquarium. Admission also available through the Go Boston Pass, Explorer Pass, and Boston CityPASS discount cards.
Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
Watch the famous tea party event come alive with live actors, immersive exhibits, and a visit to the full-scale replica 18th century sailing ships at this unique living history museum. Get advance tickets.
MFA Boston - Current & Future Shows
- Frank Bowling's Americas: Powerful color-saturated abstracts by this BritishGuiana-born artist who has spent much of his career in London and New York - Through April 9, 2023
- Weng Family Collection of Chinese Painting: Art Rocks - Over 25 works exploring how the aesthetics of rocks permeate Chinese architecture, landscape design, and painting styles - Through May 3, 2023
- Touching Roots Black Ancestral Legacies in the Americas - Exhibition tracing the ways in which 20th century Black artists trace their African roots in their art - Through May 21, 2023
- Making Past Present: Cy Twombly - Explores Twombly's fascination with antiquity and its influence on his art - January 14-May 7, 2023
- Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, SC - Focuses on the work of 19th century Black potters in Old Edgefield, a center of stoneware production before the Civil War - March 4 - July 9, 2023
- Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence - A new look at the impact of Japanese artist Hokusai on other artists; features over 90 woodblock prints, paintings, and illustrations by Hokusai - March 26-July 16, 2023
Museum (and show) admission: $27; some special exhibits require a timed-entry reservation and/or additional fee; free entrance with Boston Discount Cards (GoBoston card and Boston CityPASS). Free admission on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Lunar New Year Celebration Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, & Indigenous Peoples' Day. MFA is open Thursday - Monday and closed Tuesday & Wednesday.
Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston - Current & Future Shows
- To Begin Again: Artists & Childhood - Works depicting childhood by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Paul Klee, Faith Ringgold, and other artists from the early 20th century through today - Through Feb 26, 2023
- Barbara Kruger - Large-scale commissioned work on the Fineberg Art Wall- Through Jan 21, 2024
Admission: $20 adults, 18 and under free; free entrance with GoBoston card and Boston CityPASS. Closed on Mondays. Free admission on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Labor Day, & Indigenous Peoples' Day, and every Thursday from 5-9pm. For free days and nights, you must have timed tickets for free admission.
Monster Jam at Gillette Stadium 2023
See massive trucks compete at Monster Jam at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on May 6, with a Pit Party starting at 2:30pm where you can see the monster trucks upclose, watch live pre-race interviews, participate in Q&As with drivers, and relax with other fans at this family-friendly event.
Get your tickets now (add the Pit Party Pass at the bottom of the ticket list to your regular ticket if you want both experiences).
Voices of Humanity Concert at Vilna Shul
Vilna Shul, a historic landmark on Beacon Hill and Boston's last remaining immigrant-era synagogue (now a Jewish cultural center), presents their annual Voices of Humanity concert on May 14 at 3pm. (to be confirmed) In this community event, three Boston-based choirs will perform uplifting songs from Jewish, Muslim, and Christian traditions in an expression of unity and hope.
Location: 18 Phillips St, Beacon Hill, Boston
Tickets & more information: Vilna Shul website
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Anime Boston - the largest anime convention in New England - returns to the Hynes Convention Center and Sheraton Boston Hotel (find rates & reviews) on May 26-28 (to be confirmed) with music, films, cosplay, and star guests plus lots of exhibits, artists, and special presentations. The focus is on Japanese pop culture, including anime, manga, J-Pop, J-Rock, and live-action Japanese media, plus some aspects of Japanese history and traditional culture. More information
Harpoon Brewery (306 Northern Ave, South Boston Waterfront) celebrates spring, local music, and local beer with a 2-day beer festival at their brewery featuring a large selection of Harpoon beers, live music, and food trucks plus drinks from UFO Beer, Clown Shoes Beer, Arctic Chill Hard Seltzer, and WhistlePig PiggyBack Rye Smash.
Dates: May 19 and 20, rain or shine (to be confirmed)
Cost: Tickets (credit cards onlyi) start at $30 - Includes festival entrance, souvenir cup, and first beer.
Nearest T station: Silver Line 2/Harbor Ave
More information and advance tickets: Harpoon Brewery website
Not Sure about Boston Neighborhood Locations?
This neighborhood map should help you get oriented. You can find a list of top attractions in each neighborhood here.
Need a more details? Here are our favorite free and low-cost Boston maps.
Lawn on D
Lawn on D, a playground for adults (kids are welcome too but this is primarily an adult venue) located behind the Convention Center in the South Boston Waterfront, is where you'll find fun swings with LED lights and comfy seating, bocce and other games, and music throughout the summer and early fall, along with casual food and wine, beer, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages.
Opening date: May 21 (to be confirmed)
Open daily from 7am-11pm from May to October, except when closed for private events (always check their website before going). Food, drinks, and lawn games available Thursday 3-10:30pm, Friday & Saturday 12 noon-11pm, Sunday 12 noon-10:30pm, with live entertainment by local bands on the weekends. Swings are open whenever Lawn on D is open.
Rules, in case you're wondering: No dogs, no outside alcohol, no outside food during concession hours.
Another option in this area is to sample one of the many restaurants in the Seaport and Fort Point areas of the South Boston Waterfront. For Boston Harbor views while you dine, visit a Seaport restaurant. To try the creative cuisine of some of Boston's most innovative chefs, head to a Fort Point restaurant.
Featured New Hotel for May: Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton
One Dalton Street, Boston's Back Bay neighborhood
The opening this month of Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street in Boston's third tallest building brings another 5-star luxury hotel to chic Back Bay. You'll enjoy the excellent location near renowned Newbury Street, top cultural attractions, and Fenway Park - plus the onsite spa, restaurant, and bar, and superb service.
Boston Theater Marathon XXIII
Even 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 18, noon-10pm (ticket needed) - To be confirmed
Where: Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts at 527 Tremont Street in Boston's South End neighborhood
Tickets: $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: www.bu.edu/bpt/performances/boston-theater-marathon-xvi
SoWa Open Market Opening Day & Sunday Markets 2023
A sea of white, blue, and even a few red tents await you at SoWa, Boston's biggest outdoor art and indie market showcasing over 100 local and regional artists, artisans, designers, and creators in Boston's South End.
Add in musicians, the SoWa Vintage Market (downstairs at 450 Harrison Ave) Sundays, 10am-4pm all year), and onsite food trucks, 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: Every Sunday from May 7 through October 29, 10am - 4pm (to be confirmed)
Where: 530 Harrison Ave, Boston's South End
Closest T station: Orange Line/Back Bay, or Red Line/Broadway
Free Art and Architecture Tour at BPL
Join one of the Boston Public Library's free tours offered once a day almost every day. You'll see highlights of the library's magnificent Renaissance Revival architecture by Charles Follen McKim and late 20th century building by Philip Johnson. You'll also get to view some of the many works by famous artists throughout the building. Tours last about an hour, and are conducted by trained volunteer guides.
When: Every day in May - and almost every day throughout the year; times vary
Where: Meet at Dartmouth Entrance (McKim Building), 700 Boylston Street, Copley Square, Boston
Closest T station: Green Line/Copley
More information: 617-536-5400; BPL website - click "Central Library/Art & Architecture Tours" on the top menu to get dates and times
More about Boston Public Library
Boston Discount Cards for Attractions, Tours, Cruises
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, Museum of Fine Arts, Fenway Park Tour, and more. Compare to find out which one is best for you.
Greenway Open Market
Greenway Open Market, sister market to SoWa Open Market (held Sundays in the South End), brings an eclectic mix of hand-made art, music, and locally produced products to Boston. 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.
When: Every Saturday and 1st and 3rd Sunday from May through October,
11am - 5pm May, June, Sept, Oct, and 11am-6pm July and August (to be confirmed)
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
Opening Day for Boston Harbor Islands
When: Saturday, May 20 to Spectacle Island; service from Boston to both Spectacle and Georges Islands begins June 24
Where: Long Wharf - North (ferry location)
Closest T station: Blue Line/Aquarium
Cost: Check Boston Harbor Islands for current ticket costs. 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
When: May 4 (to be confirmed) through June, with dance and music performances by the Wampanoag Nation Singers and Dancers on Monday, June 1 during school hours
Where: Boston Common
Each year, members of the local Wampanoag and Massachusetts Nations collaborate with about 1,000 Boston public school students to build a 150 foot fishweir sculpture on the Common to commemorate those built by local Native people about 5,000 years ago to catch alewife, herring, smelt, and salmon in the tidal flats then covering the area. Remnants of these still exist, buried in layers of clay 28-35 feet under the city's streets.
This temporary fishweir is Boston's only centrally-located historical monument focused exclusively on the Native people who lived here for 12,000 years before the arrival of the Puritans.
If you want to take a look at this temporary memorial, you'll easily find it close to the path running from Charles Street to the baseball field.
More info: Ancient Fishweir Project
SoWa Art Walk in the South End
The 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 in 200+ working artists studios.
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 which kicks off on Sunday.
When: Saturday May 6, and Sunday, May 7, 11am-5pm (dates and times to be confirmed)
Where: Participating locations include 450 and 460 Harrison Ave in Boston's South End
Closest T station: Orange Line/Back Bay; or Red Line/Broadway
Parking: Look for signs
Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill Special Tour
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 the secret gardens in this historic Boston neighborhood. But don't forget to break for a relaxing brunch or lunch in one of these wonderful neighborhood spots:
- 75 Chestnut Street - Brunch menu will be available in dining room or on the patio
- Peregrine at the Whitney Hotel - (170 Charles Street) - Start your day with breakfast here, enjoy coastal Italian specialties for lunch, or relax with a glass of wine at the bar
- The Paramount (44 Charles Street) - Classic diner food with a huge local fan base
- The King & I (145 Charles Street) - Some of the best Thai food in Boston
- The Grotto (37 Bowdoin Street) - Wonderful Mediterranean cuisine; nice wine list
More about Boston and Cambridge Garden Tours
When: Thursday, May 18, 9am - 5pm, rain or shine (to be confirmed)
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
If you drive: Park in the garage under Boston Common; if you plan to find on-the-street parking, read this first
Cost: $50 advance reservations (see website for deadline), $60 day of the event
More information: Beacon Hill Garden Club website
More about What to See & Do in Beacon Hill
Mother's Day Events in Boston
Mother's Day is on Sunday, May 14. Check out things to do with your mom in Boston on Mother's Day
More Mother's Day events:
- Duckling Day Parade
- Lilac Sunday
- Where to Go for Mother's Day Brunch
- SoWa Open Market
- Fort Point Art Walk
- Waltham Symphony Orchestra Mother's Day Concert
- Theatre and Shows
Mother's Day Harbor Cruises
Treat her to a fun, relaxing cruise around Boston Harbor aboard the Northern Lights classic 1940s-style commuter yacht or Adirondack III, Boston's own "tall ship" schooner.
Enjoy the music, treat your mom to the beverage of her choice, and smile as you watch her relax and enjoy the best views of Boston.
Mothers Day Cruise
- Mother's Brunch Day Cruise with Live Jazz - Celebrate your mom while you enjoy a delicious brunch and live jazz on this relaxing cruise around the Harbor - May 8
More Cruises on Mothers Day Weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
- Adirondack III Day Sail - Relax with your mom on this afternoon sail
- Boston Harbor Cruise on Northern Lights - Toast your mom with a drink from the bar
- Adirondack III Sunset Sail - Watch the setting sun turn the sky brilliant colors
- Northern Lights Sunset Cruise - Treat your mom to refreshments from the bar as you relax and watch the sun set
- Brunch Cruise - Savor a delicious 3-course brunch on this relaxing sightseeing cruise around Boston Harbor
Lilac Sunday - Mother's Day Event
The 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 take advantage by bringing a tasty brunch or lunch and perhaps a blanket for sitting.
When: May 14; lilac tours and family activities from 10am - 3pm; 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 so don't count on finding any available on Lilac Sunday - take public transportation!
More information: 617-524-1718; Arnold Arboretum website
Looking Ahead to June Events in Boston
More Things to Do in Boston in May
More Ways to Experience Boston in May
Balmy May days make exploring the city easy. These fun trolley tours, bus tours, and special destinations let you enjoy Boston at its best!
Continuing during May
- Noon Concerts at King's Chapel on the Freedom Trail
- First Fridays at Museum of Fine Arts
Boston Events Each Month
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December | Year at a Glance
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