Fun Things to Do in NJ in May: Festivals, Music and More

Looking for different ways to enjoy NJ this May? We've got you covered with a variety of events, from festivals to concerts & more.

Catch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in New Brunswick this May. Photo courtesy of State Theatre New Jersey

Looking for fun this May? Check out these events and activities happening all over New Jersey.

Please note that all schedules are subject to change; please visit the venue’s website or call for more information.


Caroline Monnet and Laura Ortman: From My Home to Yours
May 7-January 1
Indigenous artists Caroline Monnet (Anishinaabe/French) and Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache) create an immersive space to pause and reflect on what home, long-distance connection and the places in between mean. $12-$15. Montclair Art Museum, Montclair (; 973-746-5555).

Black artist Roberto Lugo wants his works to make viewers question whom we choose to celebrate. Photo courtesy of Ken Ek/Grounds for Sculpture

Rina Banerjee: Blemish, In Deep Pink Everyplace Begins
May 15-September 4
Born in Kolkata, India, and based in New York, Rina Banerjee produces eclectic art that reflects her transnational background. Her paintings and drawings take on a mystical tone depicting female figures transforming into hybrid birds and beasts. $5-$7. Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton (; 908-735-8415). 

Triggered: An Exploration of Gun Violence in the U.S.A.
Thru May 21
Through objects and jewelry, Dutch artist Rian de Jong responds to gun violence in America. Open Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 12-5pm. Gallery Loupe, 50 Church Street, Montclair (galleryloupe.com973-744-0061).

Roberto Lugo: Village Potter
May 22-January 8 
Black artist Roberto Lugo depicts contemporary BIPOC cultural figures, from Biggie to Basquiat, on traditional European and Asian luxury ceramic pieces, forcing viewers to question whom we choose to celebrate. Times vary; $10-$20. Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton (; 609-586-0616). 


Julianna Margulies
May 4
The Good Wife actress speaks as part of the Glen Ridge Book Club series about her new memoir, Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life. 6-9 pm; $43, includes book. Glen Ridge Country Club, Glen Ridge (; 973-744-7800). 

ACT 2 Books Flemington Summer Book Fest 
May 27-30
Keep your weekend fully booked. This festival consists of a comic book day, a local authors showcase, and a plethora of presentations to learn more about new books and authors. Times vary. Free admission. 24 Central Avenue, Flemington (; 908-968-3711). 


JR De Guzman
May 5-7
A music teacher and stand-up performer born in the Philippines and raised in California, JR De Guzman infuses both of his crafts into his comedic commentary on culture and current state affairs. Catch his 2018 Netflix special, The Comedy Lineup, to know his style, if you don’t know it already. Showtimes vary; $18-$33. Bananas Comedy Club, Rutherford (; 201-727-1090). 

Kevin James
May 6 & 8 
Get ready for a whole lot of laughs, as comic and TV-film funnyman Kevin James (The King of Queens, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Grown Ups, Home Team) performs. Showtimes vary; $49-$99. Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre, Red Bank (; 732-842-9000). 

Livingston native Chelsea Handler brings her Vaccinated and Horny Tour to her home state this May. Photo courtesy of Wellmont Theater

Chelsea Handler
May 18-19
Livingston native Chelsea Handler stops in Montclair on her Vaccinated and Horny Tour. She promises to follow through with the same mission she had with her recent HBO Max stand-up special, Chelsea Handler: Evolution: To make laughter the best medicine during the pandemic (besides getting vaccinated). Showtimes vary; $39.50-$277. Wellmont Theater, Montclair (; 973-783-9500). 


Mayfest in Historic Smithville
May 14-15 
Plan a day of fun with friends or family at Historic Smithville’s annual Mayfest celebration. Meander among 100 crafters and vendors, an international food court, children’s activities, live entertainment, boating and more. Free shuttle buses run all day from parking at the Smithville Shopping Square to the festival. 10 am-5 pm. 1 North New York Road, Smithville ( 

Glen Ridge Arts & Eco Fair
May 21
The Glen Ridge Arts and Eco Fair is back. Enjoy this all-day street fair and art show. With a rain date set for May 22, this fair features arts, crafts and wellness vendors, as well as fair-trade, organic and eco-smart products for sale, such as native plants. There’s also live entertainment and food concessions throughout the day. 10 am-5 pm. Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge (

Nassau Film Festival
May 21-June 8 
The seventh annual Nassau Film Festival screens independent short films and music videos from filmmakers all over the world. Attendees can participate in a question-and-answer panel with selected filmmakers. Proceeds go toward the Lisa Goldstein Education Foundation, a nonprofit that provides scholarship money for West Windsor-Plainsboro District students attending college. Showtimes vary; $15-25. Princeton Garden Theatre, Princeton ( 

Flemington Fine Artisans Show
May 29-30
Support local artisans and crafts people, all of whom will have their shops set up in downtown Flemington for patrons to casually stroll through. 10 am- 4 pm. Free admission.  Stangl Factory, Flemington (; 908-809-5464). 


Caitlyn Smith
May 5 
Caitlyn Smith has lent her songwriting skills to the likes of John Legend, Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus. Now, the Nashville-based country-pop musician is bringing her High & Low Tour to Asbury Park. 7 pm; $15. Wonder Bar, Asbury Park (; 732-455-3767). 

Jimmie Allen
May 14 
Jimmie Allen is changing minds about what it means to be a country musician. The southern Delaware native of African American descent released his debut album, Mercury Lane, in 2018, earning him numerous awards. 8 pm; $25. Starland Ballroom, Sayreville (; 732-238-5500). 

Tim McGraw
May 20 & 27 
Country-music icon Tim McGraw will make two stops in New Jersey on his 2022 tour with opening acts Russell Dickerson, Brandon Davis and Alexandra Kay. See McGraw May 20 at Camden’s Waterfront Music Pavillion (7 pm, prices vary;, 856-365-1300) and May 27 at Holmdel’s PNC Bank Arts Center (7 pm, prices vary;, 732-203-2500).  

J Balvin
May 21 
The “Prince of Reggaeton” is coming to Newark. Catch J Balvin, one of the best-selling Latin music artists of all time, on his 27-show Jose Tour. 8 pm; prices vary. Prudential Center, Newark (; 973-757-6000). 

Modest Mouse
May 28
Float on down to the beach to hear Modest Mouse perform. The rock band released its seventh studio album, The Golden Casket, last summer. 6 pm; $42.50-$157.50. Stone Pony Summer Stage, Asbury Park (; 732-502-0600). 


The Addams Family Musical
May 7, 8, 14 & 15
The “creepy and kooky” family will spend two weekends on stage. Showtimes vary; $24-$28. Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal (; 732-531-9106).

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
May 13-15 
You won’t need to use pure imagination to see the iconic tale of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory come to life on stage this month. See your favorite characters sing classic tunes, from “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket” to “Pure Imagination,” and more. Showtimes vary; $40-$98. State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick (; 732-246-7469). 

New Jersey Ballet: Cinderella
May 22
This popular production follows the classic tale of Cinderella, who must find the dancing slipper she lost at a ball where she met her prince charming. Showtimes vary; $15-$25. Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morristown (; 973-539-8008).

The Little Mermaid takes the stage in South Orange this May. Photo courtesy of SOPAC 

The Little Mermaid
May 22
Dive under the sea to see the tale of Ariel, who dreams of life ashore. The show is part of the theater’s Kids ‘N Family series. 1 pm; $20. South Orange Performing Arts Center, South Orange (; 973-313-2787). 

Benefits & Fundraisers 

Fundraiser for the Brian Anderson Memorial Scholarship 
May 7
Celebrate an evening with wine, appetizers and a live piano performance to raise money for the Brian Anderson Memorial Scholarship fund. The organization was founded in honor of Brian, who unexpectedly passed away at 21 years old from an undetected heart arrhythmia in 2005. 4-6 pm; $50-$60. Lyceum Hall Center for the Arts, Burlington (

Happy Hour for Happy Campers 
May 12
This networking event will have an hour of open bar and food at Fireside Grill & Bar to raise funds for low-income youth at Kateri Day Camp for summer 2022. 5:30-7:30 pm; $65. Fireside Grill & Bar, Marlboro (; 732-946-4711). 

2nd Annual Temple Ner Tamid 5K Fundraiser
May 22
This community-wide event includes a 5K run with a special celebratory brunch honoring dedicated staff at Temple Ner Tamid. Proceeds benefit the synagogue. 9:30-11 am; FREE-$50. 60 Huck Road, Bloomfield (; 973-338-1500).

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