Congratulations, Seattle! We made it through one of the coldest 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 shows, and more. Whether you’re a foodie, an art lover, or an adventure-seeker, there’s a Seattle event on our list for everyone.
Here are over 50 fantastic things to do this May in Seattle:
1. Unlock your power at Stranger Things: The Experience
This new immersive exhibition opens in Seattle at the end of May! You’ll be able to walk through the world of hit Netflix show Stranger Things and use your new power to become a hero just like Eleven. You can get your tickets for the experience now!
If you loved the TV show FRIENDS™ then you won’t want to miss this immersive exhibition in Seattle. It’s only here through May 14 so be sure to get your tickets while you still can.
3. Take advantage of free museum days in Seattle
Every month, most of Seattle’s museums offer a free admission day to all. Most of them take place on the first Thursday of the month, which will be May 4 this year. Read more about free museum days in Seattle.
4. Get a discount at Museum of Pop Culture for May the Fourth
The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) is offering 20% off admission on May 4, also known as Star Wars Day. You’ll get to be among the first to see their new exhibition of Star Wars artifacts, located in the science fiction area.
5. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Seattle
Cinco de Mayo takes place on Friday, May 5, 2023. Seattle has plenty of Cinco de Mayo celebrations lined up this May, so don’t miss out! Here are some of our top picks below:
- Cinco de Mayo Party Cruise by Waterways Cruises on May 5 from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. (ages 21+ only)
- Cinco de Mayo Celebration on May 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Plaza Roberto Maestas in Beacon Hill
- Cinco De Mayo and Silent Disco Party at Hatch Cantina on May 6 at 11:00 p.m. (ages 21+ only)
- Cinco de Mayo: Battle of Puebla, Before & Since musical performance on May 8 at 7:00 p.m. at Tagney Jones Hall at the Opera Center
6. Attend one of Seattle’s Candlelight Concerts
Seattle’s stunning Candlelight Concerts make for a romantic date night. Here are the Candlelight Concerts happening in Seattle throughout May 2023:
- Candlelight: The Best of Hans Zimmer at Sparkman Cellars on May 3
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Taylor Swift at the Lotte Hotel on May 17
- Candlelight: The Best of Joe Hisaishi at The Museum of Flight on May 24
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Radiohead on May 25
7. Send your teen to a party at Seattle Art Museum
Most of the events on this list are for adults, so here’s something fun for the teens in your life! Seattle Art Museum is hosting Teen Night Out on May 5, 2023. This free event is for ages 13-19 and is planned by teens, for teens. There will be a DJ, a fashion show, an open mic, and more. Get more info on the Seattle Art Museum website.
8. Eat, drink, and dance at Party on the Cut
On Friday, May 5 Windermere Cup weekend will be kicked off by the fifth annual Party on the Cut. There will be food trucks, drink tents, live music, and rowing sprints from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the northeast corner of Montlake Cut. This event is for ages 21 and up only and tickets are $30.
9. Watch the Opening Day 2023 boat parade and crew races
Every May, Seattle’s boating season is officially opened with activities such as a boat parade and crew races. Head to the Montlake Cut on Saturday, May 6 to watch the crew races (these start at 10:15 a.m.) and the boat parade (start time is noon). See more info and the full events schedule on the Seattle Yacht Club website.
10. Dance to live music at Belltown Bloom
Music festival season has finally arrived in Seattle! Belltown Bloom has an amazing lineup of musical artists performing in Belltown on May 5 and 6. Read more about Belltown Bloom.
11. Go to opening day of SLU Saturday Market
Downtown Seattle’s largest weekend market returns on Saturday, May 6, 2023 for its summer season. Read more about the South Lake Union Saturday Market before you go.
12. Shop for treasure at the Georgetown Flea Market
Although the Georgetown Trailer Park Mall is open every weekend, the Georgetown Flea occurs only once a month on the first Saturday. Don’t miss out on over 75 vendors at this outdoor flea market on Saturday, May 6!
13. Explore a Seattle beach at low tide
Ages 5 and up can join a Seattle Parks and Recreation Environmental Education Naturalist for a guided, educational beach walk at low tide. There will be two low tide explorations in Seattle this month: on Saturday, May 6 at Charles Richey Beach and again on Saturday, May 20 at Carkeek Park. The cost is $10 and you must pre-register on the Seattle Parks and Recreation website.
14. See Shrek 2 in concert
The Seattle Symphony will be performing the soundtrack of Shrek 2 while the movie plays on the big screen on May 11-13, 2023. Tickets are on sale now! Read more about Shrek 2 in concert with the Seattle Symphony.
15. Make a reservation for Mother’s Day brunch
Be sure to make a reservation now so you can celebrate Mom this month! See our picks for Mother’s Day Brunch in Seattle on May 14!
Here are a few on the list:
- Serafina from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- Elliott’s Oyster House from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- STELLA. at Hotel Sorrento from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- Andare Kitchen & Bar at Hyatt Regency Seattle from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. There will also be a Mother’s Day Sip and Pour event there from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with wine and DIY candle pouring.
- Smith Tower from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- Ben Paris at The State Hotel from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
16. See a Mother’s Day improv show
Unexpected Productions (located in Pike Place Market) is putting on a Mother’s Day Improv Show on May 14 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 or only $10 if you’re a mom. Get more info and tickets on the event page.
17. See a new show at Seattle Center
Seattle Center is home to several theaters and performance venues, two of which are performing exciting new shows this May:
- Seattle Children’s Theatre is performing the kid-friendly The Wonderful Wizard of Oz through May 21
- Seattle Rep is performing the musical Lydia and the Troll starting May 5 through June 4
18. See a live performance at the Seattle Cabaret Festival
Treat yourself to some incredible live performances at the annual Seattle Cabaret Festival this May. Opening night is on May 6 at the Triple Door and the festival runs through May 27. Get tickets and more info on the Seattle Cabaret Festival website.
19. Enjoy a few laughs at a Seattle comedy festival
In need of a laugh? There will be three days of live standup in Belltown this May 11-13 at the Upper Left Comedy Festival. Read more about the Upper Left Comedy Festival before you go.
20. Enjoy a day of biking and beer for a good cause
Do you love biking and beer? Join the fundraiser Seattle Bike-n-Brews on May 7. The 38-mile route starts at Two Beers Brewing Co. Registration closes on Thursday, May 4 at 11:59 p.m. You can register and get more info on the Cascade Bicycle Club website.
21. Go to the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF)
The world-famous Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) will have in-person screenings across the city May 11–21, 2023. Tickets are available now; get yours plus additional info on the SIFF website.
22. Attend a free African festival
Seattle Center presents Spirit of Africa on Saturday, May 13 from 2:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Armory Food & Event Hall. This free festival will have music, food, a marketplace, dance workshops, and more.
23. Join a nature tour in Discovery Park
On Saturday, May 13 there will be two guided tours at Seattle’s beautiful Discovery Park:
- Spring Bird Tour at Discovery Park from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. for ages 8 and up. Cost: $5.
- Pond Exploration at Discovery Park from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. for ages 5 and up. Cost: $10.
24. Find a treasure at West Seattle Garage Sale Day
On Saturday, May 13, West Seattle puts on a neighborhood-wide garage sale. You can see a map and more details on the West Seattle Garage Sale website.
25. Shop at the Pike Place Market Flower Festival
The annual Pike Place Market Flower Festival is back on May 13-14, 2023 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. You can shop for Mother’s Day flowers and enjoy live music by buskers.
26. Attend the Peony Festival at the Seattle Chinese Garden
If you live in West Seattle, you may prefer to go to the Peony Festival on Mother’s Day weekend. The Seattle Chinese Garden in West Seattle will be hosting this free festival on May 13-14, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. both days. In addition to a peony sale, kids’ activities, and traditional Chinese music, there will be a Lion Dance at noon on May 13. Donations are welcome but not required for admission.
27. Find a treasure at SODO Flea Market
The SODO Flea Market takes place once a month on the second Saturday at Epic Antique. From 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on May 13 you can shop for vintage and handmade goods. There are also food and coffee trucks at this outdoor market.
28. Eat delicious food at the UW Night Market
The UW Night Market is “an annual celebration of Taiwan’s rich culture through delicious food, activities, and entertainment!” Head to the Red Square at University of Washington on May 13 for this student-run event that has free admission.
29. Celebrate Norwegian Day in Ballard
On May 17, you can head to Ballard to partake in the annual 17th of May celebration. This free event will have a parade, music, kids’s activities, and more.
30. Join the West Seattle Wine Walk
If you love wine, you’ll want to join the West Seattle Wine Walk on May 19 from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. You can enjoy tastings from 25 different wineries, shop for bottles of wine, and take home some swag such as a free tote bag. Get your ticket before the event sells out.
31. Sip on brews at Seattle Beer Week
If beer is more your thing, then don’t miss Seattle Beer Week this May 19-26. This 14th annual celebration of local beer is made up of various events and venues across the city.
32. Browse the PhinneyWood Garage Sale Day
In case the West Seattle garage sale day wasn’t enough for you, there is another one this month in PhinneyWood on May 20 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Get a mobile map and more info on the Phinney Center website.
33. Get dressed up for a Venetian Masquerade Ball
Do you love having a chance to dress up? You can dust off your best finery for the 2023 Venice is Sinking Masquerade Ball on May 20 in Georgetown. Get tickets and more info on the event page. Note that this event is for ages 21 and up only.
34. Attend a free Seattle honeybee festival
The West Seattle Bee Festival is a free and family-friendly event on May 20. It starts with a run at 9:30 a.m. after which there is a community cleanup and kid-friendly activities, ending around 3:00 p.m. Get more details on the West Seattle Bee Garden website.
35. Have a blast at the U District Street Fair
The annual U District Street Fair is back May 20-21, 2023 for its 52nd year. This free two-day fair at University Way will have arts and craft vendors, live music, kids’ zones, a beer garden, and over 40 food trucks and booths. You can take the link light rail directly to the fair.
36. Ride your bike on Lake Washington Boulevard
For two weekends this month, May 20-21 and May 27-28, Lake Washington Boulevard will be closed to cars from 10:00 a.m. on Saturday to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. Pedestrians and bikers are invited to enjoy the car-free road between the Seward Park entrance and Mount Baker Park’s beach during those hours. You can read more about the 2023 Bicycle Weekends schedule on the Seattle Parkways website.
37. Try over 100 whiskeys from around the globe
If you are a whisky connoisseur, you’ll want to check out 2023 World Whisky Day PNW on May 20 at Fremont Studios. There will be over 60 distilleries there between 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. Get your tickets before May 19th at 1:00 p.m.
38. Celebrate “Women in Beer” at a tasting experience
Women in Beer 2023 is taking place on May 22 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Pike Brewing Co. in downtown Seattle. This event will be “an interactive, multi-level tasting experience” with food and drinks. The funds raised will go towards the inaugural Rose Ann Finkel Diversity in Brewing Scholarship. Get tickets on the event page before they sell out.
39. See Olympic skaters perform in Seattle
Tickets are on sale now for Stars on Ice. This thrilling ice skating event featuring Nathan Chen and other figure skating superstars takes place on May 23 at 7:00 p.m. at Climate Pledge Arena.
40. Enjoy outdoor concerts at a winery
The Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery near Seattle is kicking off their annual summer concerts series on May 25. You can see the 2023 Chateau Ste. Michelle Summer Concerts lineup here.
41. Attend the Annual Northwest Folklife Festival
The annual Northwest Folklife Festival takes place this year May 26-29, 2023 at Seattle Center. This by-donation festival will have music, food, dancing, and more. See more info on the NW Folklife website.
42. Run with your dog for donuts
On May 27, you can take your furry friend on a 5k run along the Burke-Gilman Trail for Dogs and Doughnuts Dash. Afterwards there will be donuts at Brooks Trailhead. You can reserve your spot for free on the event page.
43. Go to a Mariners game
On May 25 you can take your furry friend to Bark at the Park.
44. Cheer at a Sounders match
There are several Sounders matches taking place in Lumen Field this May. See the full schedule and buy tickets on the Sounders website.
45. Support the Seattle Storm
The Seattle Storm will be playing several home games at Climate Pledge Arena this May. See the schedule and get tickets on the Storm website.
46. Be immersed in a new exhibition at the Nordic Museum
This new immersive exhibition in Ballard will transport you to the ocean. Read more about the FLÓÐ exhibition at the Nordic Museum.
47. Enjoy live music and $2 books at Freeway Park
From noon to 2:00 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday in May, you can buy books for just $2-$3 in Freeway Park. At that same time, there will be live music provided by buskers. See more on the Freeway Park events page.
48. Shop and eat at Seattle’s weekend markets
Every weekend, there are several markets for you to enjoy throughout Seattle. Read our guide to Seattle’s weekend markets that gets updated every week, as well as our guide to shopping at Seattle farmers markets.
49. Share your writing with other Seattleites
Want to connect with other writers? There is a free open mic at Hugo House on the third Monday of every month at 7:00 p.m. You can arrive early at 5:00 p.m. on May 15 to sign up to read your work in progress, or simply come at 7:00 to listen to other readers and enjoy the house bar.
If reading your work in front of a crowd doesn’t appeal to you, another option is the Drop-In Writing Circles that take place every month. The next writing circles are on May 9 at the Seattle Library’s Fremont Branch and May 17 at the Seattle Library’s Douglass-Truth Branch. They’re free and you don’t have to register ahead of time.
50. Dine al fresco
51. Warm up in these steamy spas and saunas
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.
52. Go for a scenic spring hike
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. Or check out our roundup of the best waterfall hikes near Seattle.
53. Bike the Burke-Gilman trail
Take advantage of spring weather this May by biking the Burke-Gilman Trail. It’s a great way to explore Seattle.
54. Get drinks on a rooftop bar
It’s finally rooftop season in Seattle! See our roundup of the best rooftop bars in Seattle.
55. Stroll through scenic Seattle parks
This May, all of Seattle’s parks will be full of people picnicking among the scent of blooming flowers. Check out our guide to the most stunning city parks in Seattle.
56. Embark on a weekend getaway
Seattleites are lucky that they live near so many scenic islands that are just a ferry ride away. We just wrote a handy guide for visiting Vashon Island this spring. You can also check out our guide to epic destinations near Seattle that make for easy day or weekend trips.
57. Go whale-watching
May is the start of whale-watching season in the PNW! See our comprehensive guide to spotting whales and orcas in Seattle.