Now that Spring is in full force and the weather is warming, the birds are chirping, and the flowers are blooming, it’s a perfect time to travel around New York.
If you are looking for fun things to do in New York in May, we’ve got you covered with 9 great things to do throughout the state during the month.
Take some time to check out our handpicked events below and start planning your New York travels for the month.
(Article updated April 12, 2023, for events in May 2023)
Rochester Lilac Festival in Rochester – May 12-21
Dubbed the “largest free festival of its kind in North America”, the Rochester Lilac Festival will be returning to the Finger Lakes this May.
While an entire festival highlighting these beautiful and fragrant flowers might be enough on its own to attract visitors, there’s also a lot going on during the event’s three weekends.
Activities include craft beer and wine tastings, kid’s activities, art vendors, garden displays, and several races. There’s also a parade on May 13 featuring more than 2,500 participants and 20 marching bands.
Find out more about all the festival’s events on its website.
Japan Parade in New York City – May 13
Commemorate the history of Japanese relations with the United States with the Japan Parade, happening along Central Park West on Saturday, May 13.
The second edition of the parade is sure to delete with an entire parade filled with rich Japanese culture and music. And, it all starts off with the parade’s Grand Marshall, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi.
Find out more information about this fun and unique parade on the event’s website.
Albany Tulip Festival in Albany – May 13-14
Flower lovers won’t want to miss the Albany Tulip Festival in mid-May. During the festival, visitors will be able to see more than 100,000 tulips from 150 different varieties at the oldest Dutch settlement in the country.
In addition to the many tulips, there will also be traditional Dutch activities like street scrubbing, tours, live entertainment, and much more.
For more information, visit the event’s website.
New York Craft Beer and Food Festival in Sullivan County – May 20-21
If you love craft beer, you won’t want to miss the New York Craft Beer and Food Festival being held this May at Bethel Woods, home of the Woodstock Festival.
This event will feature 100 different breweries from throughout New York sampling more than 200 different craft beers, meaning you are sure to find plenty of beers that you love during the event. There will also be unlimited food available to eat at the event’s food court.
If that’s not enough, you can enjoy live entertainment from The Wailers and Blues Traveler.
For more information and tickets, visit the event’s website.
Apple Blossom Festival in Newfane – May 21
If you love apples, you don’t want to miss the Apple Blossom Festival in northwestern New York.
This festival includes fantastic foods, a flea market, apple butter production, and even historical reenactments. You can also drive a short distance away to tour several historic sites throughout Niagara County.
Find out more on the festival’s website.
GlassFest in Corning – May 25-28
GlassFest in Corning celebrates the town’s rich history of glassmaking. In addition to being able to watch live as gaffers make incredible pieces of art at the Corning Museum of Glass, visitors will also be able to tour historic museums, shop great vendors and shops in downtown Corning, and enjoy live entertainment.
If that’s not enough, there is also the Wineglass 8k race, which offers a great chance to enjoy the beauty of the region while getting some exercise.
Find out more on the event’s website.
Great Adirondack Garage Sale – May 26-28
The annual Great Adirondack Garage Sale returns for three days this May.
Featuring more than 200 miles of yard sales along Routes 3, 28, and 30, there is something for everyone to enjoy and maybe even buy. Plus, you’ll get to drive through some of the most beautiful scenery in New York.
Find out more on the sale’s website.
Memorial Day Parade in Brooklyn – May 29
While there are many Memorial Day parades in New York, none are more iconic than the Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade. Now in its 156th year, this parade is one of the oldest celebrations in the country.
During the parade, thousands of veterans, marching bands, and others will parade through the streets of Brooklyn.
For more information, visit the parade’s website.
See New York’s Waterfalls
May is the perfect month to head out and see the hundreds of waterfalls scattered throughout New York. From the waterfalls in the Finger Lakes to those in the Adirondacks, there are great waterfalls for everyone to visit.
May is a great month to visit these waterfalls as the snow and ice are gone and replaced with the rain that fuels the many waterfalls in New York.