Congratulations, Seattle! We made it through one of the coldest, soggiest Aprils in recent memory. It’s finally May, and with the promise of warmer spring weather comes plenty of fun things to do in Seattle. Prepare to make room in your calendar this month for outdoor brunch, rooftop happy hours, flower festivals, flea markets, live music, and more. Whether you’re a foodie, an art lover, or an adventure-seeker, there’s a Seattle event on our list for everyone.
We put together this comprehensive list of all the most exciting, can’t-miss events happening in Seattle in May.
All ages will enjoy this immersive exhibit featuring life-size, animated replicas of the awe-inspiring reptiles that used to roam our planet. Get your tickets here to see your favorite dinosaur in person before they leave Seattle.
This is your chance to explore space aboard the International Space Station—all without ever leaving Washington! You’ll get to experience a cinematic spacewalk captured in 3D, 360 virtual reality, explore a life-size replica of the International Space Station, and more. Get your tickets for the world’s largest interactive immersive experience about space here.
This 360º digital art exhibition lets you step into the world of Van Gogh’s artwork in a way that you’ll never forget. New dates have been added to this incredibly popular event but May availability is limited, so get your tickets now.
Dining in the Dark is an experience you won’t soon forget. After being blindfolded for your meal, you’ll find that all of your other senses are heightened—including your taste buds. Get more info and tickets here.
5-11. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
Seattle has plenty of Cinco de Mayo celebrations lined up this week, so don’t miss out! Here are some of our top picks below:
- The 16th Cinco De Mayo Block Party in Green Lake on Thursday, May 5 from 1:00 to 11:00 PM will have live music, a jalapeño eating contest, margarita drink specials, and Mexican food. Cost: $10.
- Sabor Fest will have music, food, and art at multiple locations in Ballard and Belltown this Thursday, May 5.
- Cinco de Mayo at Taco City offers free live music, drink specials, and more from 11 AM to 9 PM on Thursday, May 5.
- The Matador’s annual Cinco de Mayo celebration in Ballard runs from 4:00 to 10:00 PM on Thursday, May 5. This 21+ event is an outdoor party with food and drink specials, live music and a DJ!
- Pecado Bueno’s Cinco De Mayo Celebration runs from Thursday, May 5 to Saturday, May 7 at both the Fremont and Eastlake locations. Celebrate with cornhole, live music, and (of course) Mexican food.
- Celebra Nuestra Cultura! at the Plaza Roberto Maestas on Saturday, May 7 from 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM. This free event features local artisans and musicians, food, and more.
- The Cinco de Mayo Boat Party embarks on a cruise across Lake Union and Lake Washington on Saturday, May 7 at 1:00 PM. Enjoy a full bar, a DJ, and sunset views of Seattle. Cost: $25 and up.
Need more Mexican food post-Cinco de Mayo? You can snag $2 tacos every Tuesday at the popular Central District gay bar Diesel.
13. Open Books Poetry Emporium just opened its new store in Pioneer Square.
This charming poetry bookstore is the perfect place to find a last-minute Mother’s Day gift.
14-20. Make your weekends better with some of Seatte’s top brunch menus
Seattle’s brunch scene should not be missed this spring, especially if you’re looking for a way to treat your mom for Mother’s Day. If you’re overwhelmed by the options (understandable; there’s a lot) then check out our suggestions below:
- B*tches Love Brunch at The 101 in Pioneer Square on Sunday, May 8. This is a Mother’s Day brunch for only the coolest moms. In addition to the food and drinks there will be a pop-up shop and a panel discussion on the topics of motherhood, bodies, and sex.
- BluWater Bistro Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday, May 8 features a Dungeness crab quiche holiday special.
- Dia Fiora’s Mother’s Day Brunch will be serving Asian-European cuisine in a way that she’s never tried before.
- The Flora Bakehouse is offering a brunch kit to-go throughout Mother’s Day weekend. Surprise your mom with mimosas and pastries at home.
- Mother’s Day Brunch at Wilridge Winery on Sunday, May 8 from 12 to 5 PM. No reservations required for this vineyard event that features a food truck, cocktails, and live folk music.
- 10 of the best boozy brunches in Seattle
- 20 of Seattle’s best outdoor brunch spots. You’ll definitely want to save this list for sunny weekends this May.
It’s free to compete at this weekly trivia night at The Runaway in Capitol Hill. May’s theme is Rick and Morty and there’s a $200 cash prize up for grabs at the end of the month.
22-25. Snag food and drink deals at happy hour—with a twist
There’s no shortage of happy hour deals in Seattle. It takes a lot to stand out so here are a few spots offering a fresh spin on happy hour fun:
- Brews ‘n Board Games Happy Hour at Snapshot Brewing in Greenwood happens every Sunday. Bring your friends and your favorite board game (or borrow from the brewery’s stash) while drinking discounted beer.
- Mary! Drag Happy Hour at Queer/Bar in Capitol Hill every Tuesday at 7 PM. Enjoy food, drinks, and weekly guests, plus karaoke at 9 PM.
- Spin vinyl during happy hour at Life on Mars in Capitol Hill every day from 4:00 to 6:00 PM. This bar has walls lined with records that you can play as well as purchase. Make sure to order from their menu of plant-based menu of comfort food too.
- Challenge your friends to a game or two at Citizen Campfire’s happy hour. This outdoor beer garden in lower Queen Anne has tons of yard games as well as fire pits in case it gets chilly. Happy hour starts at 4 PM Wednesday through Friday and at 2 PM on Saturday.
This popular Capitol Hill bar offers free weekly karaoke every Monday from 8:00 PM to midnight (all ages are welcome up until 10:00 PM). Shake off your Monday doldrums and sing your heart out.
27-33. Choose from all the spring festivals happening in May
- 2022 Peony Festival at the Seattle Chinese Garden will have live performances and tree peonies for sale on Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8.
- Pike Place Flower Festival on Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8 is the perfect opportunity to buy flowers for Mother’s Day.
- Washington State Apple Blossom Festival is happening now and has tons of events and festivities planned through Sunday, May 8.
- Edmonds Spring Fest will have food trucks and tons of art and craft vendors on Saturday, May 11.
- Upper Left Comedy Festival in Capitol Hill is supplying laughs from from Thursday, May 12 to Saturday, May 14.
- Northwest Folklife Festival at Seattle Center has a packed schedule of events from Friday, May 27 to Monday, May 30. The admission cost is by donation only and you can enjoy a wide variety of music, dance, arts, food, traditions, and heritage.
- Seattle Cabaret Festival is happening now through Sunday, May 29. You can see the full schedule of performances and venues here.
This trippy 2006 film now has a newly remastered picture and soundtrack supervised by director David Lynch. You have until May 12 to see it at The Beacon in Columbia City.
35-43. Shop until you drop at these markets and pop-ups
- Book carts in Freeway Park. You can buy new and gently used books for $2-3, with the proceeds going towards the Friends of Seattle Public Library and the Freeway Park Association. Every Tuesday and Thursday in May from 12:00 to 2:00 PM.
- South Lake Union Saturday Market Opening Day on Saturday, May 7. Downtown Seattle’s largest street market returns with over 75 booths!
- Georgetown Flea Market on the first Saturday of every month. Pet and family friendly, this market boasts a ton of vintage and handmade goods for sale.
- SODO Flea Market on May 14 (reoccurs on the second Saturday of every month). This flea market is located in the SODO neighborhood and connects with Epic Antique’s vast mall of vintage and antique goods.
- UW Night Market on Saturday, May 14 is presented by the Taiwanese Student Association at the University of Washington. Enjoy Taiwanese food, activities, and entertainment.
- PhinneyWood Garage Sale Day on Saturday, May 21 from 9 AM to 1 PM. Explore garage sales around the PhinneyWood neighborhood or sign up ahead of time to sell your own belongings.
- University District Street Fair on Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22 features hundreds of artisan vendors, entertainment, and food and drink.
- Seattle Night Market on Saturday, May 28 at Magnuson Park Hangar 30 runs from 2:00 to 10:00 PM. Food, drinks, and shopping are always on the docket for this event but for May they are also presenting a Lucha Libre Volcanica wrestling performance. This ticketed event is 21+ and indoors.
- Pop-up plant vendor weekend at Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden on Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15. Stock up on house plants while enjoying tacos from the Tacos El Guero food truck. Note that there is no admission to shop, but tickets are required to visit the garden.
This popular nightclub in Capitol Hill has reoccurring dance parties twice a week. Check out their free House Party every Monday night and their Dance Yourself Clean indie dance party every Saturday night.
45-50. Get cultured at these art exhibits and events
- Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop at Museum of Pop Culture. Learn about the evolution of hip-hop at MoPOP’s current exhibit.
- Squinch by Nate Clark opens Thursday, May 5 and runs until Friday, May 27. Gallery 4Culture in Pioneer Square reopens this May with this exhibit that features hand-tied nets and cedar constructions.
- Vashon Island Studio Tour on on Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8. Hop on the ferry to Vashon to check out this tour of 36 island studios and galleries.
- Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water runs from May 18 to May 30 at the Seattle Art Museum. Ticket cost varies.
- The Elisabeth C. Miller Library Exhibit at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture is happening now through May 24. You can go in-person to see all the artwork, cards, and prints for sale or check out the virtual exhibit here until May 18.
- Community Day at Frye Art Museum on Saturday, May 14 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. All ages are invited to come participate in a full day of hands-on activities at the museum.
While you’re at the Museum of Pop Culture taking in the latest exhibit, be sure to stop by their Sound + Vision Theater. From now until June, Three Dollar Bill Cinema will be showcasing a curated lineup of queer horror shorts. These screenings are included in the museum’s general admission ticket cost so there’s no reason to miss out!
52. Participate in a DIY animal tote bag workshop
Make your very own animal tote bag during this workshop led by artist Nina Vichayapai at AMcE Creative Arts Gallery in Capitol Hill. The workshop takes place on Saturday, May 14. Cost: $35. You can contact the gallery for more information here.
This free open mic at Hugo House is open to the public on the first and third Monday of every month at 7:00 PM. Slots do fill up quickly so if you’d like to share your work in progress this May be sure to sign up now.
54-56. Get outside and enjoy spring
- Parties in the Parks starts the first week of May and continues all summer. This free event takes place on Tuesdays in Occidental Square and Thursdays in Westlake Park. Enjoy food trucks, games, live music, and more.
- Bark at the Park lets you bring your furry friend to catch a Mariners Game. After the game, you and your dog get to circle the bases! Don’t miss out on the Monday, May 9 game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
- These 20 Seattle restaurants with a view will let you enjoy the fresh outdoors while dining.
In case the April chill lingers in May, you can check out our guide to all of Seattle’s best spas, saunas, and hot tubs that you can relax in.
Washington’s oldest winery is only about 20 miles from Seattle. It’s worth going even if you’re not a big wine drinker—you’ll see why once you step foot onto the mansion’s gorgeous 105-acre grounds.
59. Go for a spring hike in one of our many nearby parks
Seattleites are absolutely spoiled for scenic parks and trails. Now that the weather is getting nicer, you’ll want to get out there and take advantage of the surrounding beauty. If you’re not sure where to go, you can peruse our list of some of our favorite Washington state parks that are driving distance from Seattle.
60. May is the perfect time to make your whale-watching plans
See our comprehensive guide to spotting whales and orcas in Seattle here.