The Best Things to Do in NJ This May

This month's hottest happenings.

The Wildwoods International Kite Festival
The Wildwoods International Kite Festival promises fun for the whole family. Photo: Courtesy of the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority

Looking for fun this May? Check out these events happening all over New Jersey. For a roundup of hot concerts, click here. For hundreds more activities this month and beyond, check out our events calendar.

Please note that all schedules are subject to change; visit each venue’s website for more information.

[RELATED: The Best Food Events in NJ]


Sound Booth

📅: Thru Friday, May 10
: George Segal Gallery at Montclair State University • Montclair
ℹ️: This edition in a series of sound installations features Brian Oakes using circuit boards in light-and-sound sculptures.
💸: Free


📅: Friday, May 17-Sunday, May 19
: Morris Museum • Morristown
ℹ️: Explore the fascinating world of automatons at this convention that brings together enthusiasts and experts.
💸: $30-$110

Ephemeral Encounters

📅: Sunday, May 19-Sunday, Sept 1
: Hunterdon Art Museum • Clinton
ℹ️: New Jersey-based artist Parvathi Kumar creates vivid and meditative street photography.
💸: Free

The Story of Newark Fashion: Atelier to Runway

📅: Thru Sunday, June 2
: Newark Museum of Art • Newark
ℹ️: See the artistry of nine contem- porary designers with Newark connections. They have dressed every- one from former first lady Michelle Obama to music superstar Rihanna.
💸: Free-$10

Century: 100 Years of Black Art at MAM

📅: Thru Sunday, July 7
: Montclair Art Museum • Montclair
ℹ️: Pieces from the Montclair Art Museum’s collection of Black artwork, from 1920s photographs to paintings from the past few years.
💸: Free-$30


Marc Maron

📅: Thursday, May 2 (8 pm)
: Wellmont Theater • Montclair
ℹ️: The comic and host of the hugely popular WTF podcast returns to his native state for a night of stand-up comedy.
💸: $39+

Preacher Lawson

📅: Friday, May 17 (8 pm)
: NJPAC • Newark
ℹ️: The TikTok sensation, comedian and fan favorite from America’s Got Talent heads to Jersey.
💸: $29.50+

Tom Papa

📅: Friday, May 31 (8 pm)
📍: Bergen Performing Arts Center • Englewood
ℹ️: The Jersey-born king of lovable sarcasm is best known for his Netflix specials and his podcast, Breaking Bread With Tom Papa.
💸: $39+


Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson performing

Kelly Clarkson is coming to Atlantic City this month. Photo: Courtesy of NBCUniversal/Weiss Eubanks

📅: Friday, May 10-Saturday, May 11 (8 pm)
📍: Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena • Atlantic City
ℹ️: The original American Idol, multiple Grammy winner and talk show host brings her signature powerhouse pop sound to New Jersey.
💸: $199+

Sum 41: Tour of the Setting Sum

📅: Saturday, May 4 (5:30 pm)
📍: The Stone Pony • Asbury Park
ℹ️: The Grammy-nominated skate punk/rock band is playing its farewell tour.
💸: $86+

Richie Furay

📅: Saturday, May 4 (7:30 pm)
📍: South Orange Performing Arts Center • South Orange
ℹ️: The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and cofounder of Buffalo Springfield bids adieu to touring with a final string of shows in celebration of his 80th birthday.
💸: $75+

Diana Ross

📅: Friday, May 17 (8 pm)
📍: NJPAC • Newark
ℹ️: From lead singer of the Supremes to Oscar nominee and beyond, Diana Ross is a living legend.
💸: $59+

The Rolling Stones

📅: Thursday, May 23-Sunday, May 26 (8 pm)
📍: MetLife Stadium • East Rutherford
ℹ️: One of the most iconic and best-selling bands of all time, the English rock group is bringing their Hackney Diamonds tour to MetLife Stadium.
💸: $99+


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

📅: Friday, May 10-Sunday, May 12 (8 pm & 3 pm)
📍: NJPAC • Newark
ℹ️: Celebrating its 65th anniversary, the beloved dance theater is ending its national tour of 21 cities right here in the Garden State, with new and old productions in store.
💸: $25+

The Sleeping Beauty

📅: Saturday, May 18-Sunday, May 19 (7:30 pm & 2 pm)
📍: Mayo Performing Arts Center • Morristown
ℹ️: The classic tale of a princess in a century-long slumber is reimagined in the New Jersey Ballet’s updated production, modeled after the original 1890 choreography of ballet legend Marius Petipa.
💸: $39+


Django A Gogo Music Festival

📅: Wednesday, May 1-Saturday, May 4 (8 pm)
📍: The Woodland • Maplewood
ℹ️: Named in tribute to jazz-guitar icon Django Reinhardt, this festival showcases music and even offers some learning opportunities.
💸: $40

The Monmouth Moms Springtime Festival

📅: Saturday, May 4 (11 am-3 pm)
📍: Bell Works • Holmdel
ℹ️: Enjoy a day of activities for adults and kids, ranging from spa treatments to a touch-a-truck outdoor zone.
💸: Free

Camp Jam in the Pines

📅: Thursday, May 9-Sunday, May 12 (Times Vary by Day)
📍: Salem County Fairgrounds • Woodstown
ℹ️: This annual festival in the woods of Salem County brings a wide assortment of bluegrass, ska, funk, reggae and country artists for a three-day jam.
💸: $60+

Jersey Fest

📅: Saturday, May 18 (7 pm)
📍: White Eagle Hall • Jersey City
ℹ️: The Greetings From the Garden State podcast presents this celebration of all things Jersey, with a local musical lineup including Natalie Farrell and Surfing For Daisy, plus drinks from Garden State breweries and distilleries.
💸: $25+

Wildwoods International Kites Festival

📅: Friday, May 24-Monday, May 27 (Times Vary)
📍: On the beach at Rio Grande Avenue • Wildwood
ℹ️: Head to the beach for this unique and high-flying festival featuring an illuminated night kite fly, sport-kite demonstrations, games and more.
💸: Free-$10

Renaissance Faire

📅: Saturday, May 18-Sunday, June 9 (10 am-6 pm)
📍: Burlington County Fairgrounds • Columbus
ℹ️: Don period garb and enjoy nonstop outdoor entertainment with jousting, sword fighting, aerial acrobatics, music and more. Rain or shine.
💸: $25+


The Science Behind Pixar

📅: Thru Tuesday, May 7
📍: Liberty Science Center • Jersey City
ℹ️: An interactive exhibit takes visitors behind the scenes of Pixar’s unique filmmaking process and some of its most popular movies, like Toy Story and Monsters University.
💸: $10 (plus admission)


Opening Day at the Races

Horse at racetrack

Photo: Shutterstock/D Snyder

📅: Saturday, May 11 (noon-5 pm)
📍: Monmouth Park Racetrack • Oceanport
ℹ️: Celebrate the start of the season at Monmouth Park Racetrack with horse races, family-friendly events like face-painting and pony rides, and refreshments.
💸: Free



📅: Wednesday, May 8-Sunday, June 2
📍: McCarter Theatre Center • Princeton
ℹ️: Journalist Zipporah Zunder is forced to reckon with her past upon getting the story of a lifetime in this play about the right to choose.
💸: $25-$55

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

📅: Wednesday, May 15-Sunday, June 9
📍: Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey • Madison
ℹ️: This Tony-winning black comedy follows an enterprising young man as he gives detailed instructions on the proper way to ascend the social ladder, one murder at a time.
💸: $20-$85

Something Rotten!

📅: Saturday, May 17-Sunday, June 2
📍: The Barn Theatre • Montville
ℹ️: A rollicking musical that tells the fictional story of Elizabethean playwright Nick Bottom as he and his brother try to outdo Shakespeare by writing the world’s first musical.
💸: $30


An Evening with Richard Dreyfuss and a Screening of Jaws

📅: Saturday, May 4 (7 pm)
📍: Bergen Performing Arts Center • Englewood
ℹ️: See the classic film Jaws and hear from star Richard Dreyfuss about his 40-year career in showbiz.
💸: $55+


Morristown Historic District House Tour

📅: Sunday, May 19 (11 am-5 pm)
📍: Macculloch Hall Historical Museum • Morristown
ℹ️: Get the rare opportunity to step inside some of Morristown’s most beautiful private homes on and around historic Macculloch Avenue. Start at the Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, then take a self-guided walking tour of the homes.
💸: $60

Guided House Tour: The Roots of Historic Preservation

📅: Sunday, May 19 (Noon-3 pm)
📍: Crane House • Montclair
ℹ️: Learn about the journey to preserve the Crane House, the first property owned by a formerly enslaved person in New Jersey, during this historical walking tour.
💸: Free-$12


Special Olympics Lincoln Tunnel 5k

📅: Sunday, May 5 (6-10:30 am)
📍: Lincoln Tunnel
ℹ️: Ever wanted to speed through the Lincoln Tunnel without a car? Do just that with this unique 5K, which benefits New Jersey Special Olympics and thousands of athletes.
💸: $40-50

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