Things To Do In NYC In May & Weather
As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers and New Yorkers are eager to spend as much time outside as possible. With an average daily high of 71F (22C), there are plenty of markets, and outdoor things to do in New York in May.
Both Good Morning America and The Today Show kick off their summer concert series so it’s a great chance to catch some live music if you’re an early riser. Although the water can still be a bit chilly, the beaches are open and it’s a great chance to escape the concrete jungle for some sun and sand. Head out to Coney Island and you can ride the world-famous Cyclone Roller Coaster before stopping for a classic New York hotdog at the original Nathan’s.
Mother’s Day (May 9th, 2021) fills up restaurants with Sunday Brunch specials. Come Memorial Day weekend, the city is in full celebration mode. During fleet week, naval ships visit and the streets are filled with young soldiers in dress uniforms, many from small towns, seeing the big city for the first time. You’ll find New Yorkers and tourists alike stopping them for photos or buying them a drink at a bar to show some appreciation for their service.
And of course, book a Streetwise New York Tour to get a real insight into the local life and history of New York’s neighborhoods. We adjust the routes based on your interests and pace.
See our full list of things to do in New York in May below! If you’re considering coming to New York another month, check out our guide, “When is the best time to come to New York?”
Weather in New York City in May
May has some of New York’s best weather. Spring is in full bloom! With an average high of 71F (22C), going down to 54F (12C) at night, this is perfect weather to tour New York day and night.
A few days may reach over 80F (27C ) or could possibly drop to 40F (5C), but for the most part, the weather is mild.
The only weather risk in May is rain. On average it rains nine days a month in May. Often, the rain is just scattered showers, which shouldn’t slow you down!
How to pack for New York in May
In May, you can dress lightly but with a jacket or sweater for the evening. At the beginning of the month, long pants and long sleeves are more common. By the end of the month, summer-like days of t-shirts and shorts are possible. Come prepared for the rain with a rain jacket, waterproof shoes, and an umbrella.
And as always, bring good walking shoes!
What to do in New York in May
There are year-round activities, we recommend, like going up a skyscraper, boat rides to see or visit the statue of liberty, museums, and Streetwise New York walking tours of New York’s many can’t miss neighborhoods!
This is a list of seasonal things to do in New York in May. Take advantage of coming to New York in the Spring!
- Memorial Day ( National Holiday – May 31, 2021)
- Mother’s Day (May 9, 2021)
- Smorgasburg (Popular Outdoor Food Festival- rotating weekly locations)
- Queens Night Market (Popular Food Market with International cuisine and music)
- Fleet Week (Naval Ships from around the world visit New York May 24 – May 31, 2021)
Music and Entertainment
- Met Opera (2022)
- New York Philharmonic (2022)
- New York Ballet Spring Programming (Apr 19 – May 29, 2022)
- American Ballet Theatre (Pending Confirmation 2021)
- GMA summer concerts (Free televised concerts at 7am from Central Park)
- Today Show summer concerts (Free televised concerts at 7am Fri in Rockefeller Center)
- Major League Baseball: Yankees or Mets game.
- NBA Playoff Basketball: New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets game (check if either New York team advances).
- NHL Hockey Playoffs: NY Rangers, NY Islanders, or NJ Devils game. (check if any New York team advances).
- MLS Soccer: NY Football Club or a NY Redbulls game.
- WNBA Basketball (Woman’s league): New York Liberty game.
- West Fourth Street Amateur Basketball Tournament
- Mother Day Brunch Specials
- New York Botanical Garden Mother Day Weekend Party (2021 info Pending)
- Coney Island Cyclone and Luna Park (date pending)
- Met Museum Rooftop is open from April to October. The art and views is popular with locals.
Have any questions about traveling to New York in May? Or about tours with Streetwise New York? Contact us!