The Best Events Happening in May

This month brings a variety of events, from art exhibitions to drive-in concerts to festivals
Dsc 7057

Bedrock Gardens in Lee opens to the public on May 12. Photo by Morgan Karanasios

Seacoast Art Association Theme Show: Reflections, Exeter, May 2-28

If you look carefully at the world around you, you’ll see beauty reflected in the simplest unturned stone along our path. This has been a year of profound change and uncertainty, and yet in our days we still find wonder in our reflections. Share your reflections in this show to help everyone around you see what you see, or stop by and see how others have been viewing the world around us this last year.

Virtual Event: Universal Perspectives, Online, May 7

Join Roger Kalia as he leads a string ensemble in this fun program with music from around the world. Guest artist Jeffrey Zeigler on cello will solo on Arvo Part’s “Fratres” after Gershwin’s “Lullaby” and Grant-Still’s “Danzas de Panama” and “Mother and Child.” The evening will conclude with a beautiful arrangement of “Amazing Grace” by O’Loughlin.

New Hampshire Day, Holderness, May 8

Ready to get out and connect with nature and some wild animals? New Hampshire residents may visit the live animal exhibit trail at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center for only a $5 admission for New Hampshire Day. Note: New Hampshire Day tickets must be purchased in advance at

Mother’s Day Tours, Portsmouth, May 9

Join Strawbery Banke for a special Mother’s Day tour celebrating Puddle Dock families and their matriarchs. During a 60-minute guided tour, explore three historic houses, meet a costumed roleplayer, and learn the meaning of family throughout history. Discover the welcoming 19th-century household of Mary Rider, a savvy businesswoman, immerse in the Victorian lifestyle of Sarah Goodwin, and explore the home of Sarah Shapiro, an early 20th-century Ukrainian immigrant.

Bedrock Gardens Opening Day, Lee, May 12

Head to this 37-acre public oasis of art, horticulture and inspiration as they celebrate their opening day of the season. The garden includes many structural elements such as paths, an espaliered fence, architecturally interesting rocks, pergolas, fountains, water features, a Japanese teahouse, whimsical garden art and two miles of woodland trails. The beds also have a range of plant varieties and unusual specimens of perennials, trees and shrubs designed to immerse you into the relaxation benefits of being in nature. Self-guided tours will be available.

Read more about Bedrock Gardens here.

Canterbury Shaker Village Cross Country 5K Race, Canterbury, May 15

In partnership with the Capital Area Race Series (CARS) and Millennium Running, Canterbury Shaker Village will be hosting its annual 5K Cross Country Race on Saturday, May 15 at 10 a.m. Run or walk the unpaved course, which is a beautiful run through the fields and woods and around the ponds and pastures of the Village. This will be a safe and socially distanced event, using the guidelines set forth by Millennium Running and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Masks will be required when checking in, getting ready for the race and after, but not during. Each runner will start at a specific time and distance, ensuring that the participants remain safely spread out for the entirety of the race.

Flying Gravity Circus in the Woods, Hollis, May 16

The “Circus in the Woods” is a site-specific, outdoor, COVID-friendly, family-oriented show, performed by highly trained teenage circus performers under the direction of professional circus coaches.

Read more about the troupers and their showstopping shows here

The Tupelo Drive-In Experience: The Dave Matthews Tribute Band, Derry, May 22

The Tupelo Drive-In Experience returns! If you are looking for a fun, unique outdoor event, head to the Tupelo Drive-In Music Hall, where you can sit in your car and listen to the show broadcast through the Derry FM station for a socially distanced concert. Since every other parking spot will be empty, you can also bring a lawn chair and sit in the empty spot next to the driver’s side and listen to the band or artist who will be playing on the riser. Concertgoers can also enjoy food delivered to their car by golf cart if it is ordered ahead of time, or they can hang out at the outdoor dining tent. This weekend, enjoy music from the Dave Matthews Tribute Band. Make sure you check out their website for other shows happening throughout the month.

Full Moon Hike, Laconia, May 26

Set out at dusk to explore Prescott Farm at night. Inspired by the weather and the dynamic calendar of the natural world, topics discussed on our moonlit walk will vary but may include: identifying constellations, discussing the habits of nocturnal animals and practicing your own night vision abilities.

Memorial Day Weekend Craft Fair, North Conway, May 29-30

This free fair features over 40 exhibitors displaying their fine jewelry, primitive crafts, country and contemporary décor, functional and decorative pottery, gourmet foods, glass art, fine art, textile arts, quilts, wood turned crafts, furniture and more. There will also be live music to enjoy while you are walking around.

Wildquack Duck Race & Music Festival, Jackson, May 30

Watch more than 3,500 rubber yellow ducks race down the Wildcat River to the finish line during this wild event. Along with the famous duck race, there will be delicious food, music, games, face painting, traveling train rides and a parade. Bring your dancing shoes, blankets, chairs and your fastest rubber duck for a fun-filled day in the park. (603) 383-9356;

Solar Gazing, Moultonborough, May 31 

Disobey your mother and look at the sun … through a hydrogen-alpha telescope. Marc Stowbridge of the NH Astronomical Society will set up his telescope in the field by Shannon Pond at Castle in the Clouds. Stop by, have a look and learn about what you’ve never really seen.


Categories: Family-friendly things to do, Seasonal Guides – Spring, Things to Do