37 Fun Things to Do in Rhode Island This May

From yoga with elephants to the iconic Newport Oyster and Chowder Festival, we've compiled all the activities to add to your to-do list this month.
Gamm Midsummer Print

Angelique M. C’Dina, Erik Robles and Nora Eschenheimer will perform in the Gamm’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream this May. Photography by Jesse Dufault / courtesy of Gamm Theatre.

FEATURED

5/5–29: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

WHAT: Accompany four young lovers during the notable Shakespearean play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as they flee their homes and escape into the woods only to find themselves living in otherworldly turmoil. With direction from Fred Sullivan Jr., the Gamm Theatre presents its first-ever staging of Shakespeare’s most iconic comedy about how swiftly our world can be turned around, and how love, ingenuity and art can solve the dilemma. Visit the website for dates and times. $36–$71. Where: Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre, 1245 Jefferson Blvd., Warwick. more info: 723-4266, gammtheatre.org.

 

5/7: Yoga with the Elephants 

WHAT: Spend an hour of your Saturday morning doing yoga poses alongside the friendly elephants of Roger Williams Park Zoo. Follow along with yoga instructor Tom McGunigal as he performs poses designed to strengthen your body and calm your mind. After class, enjoy all-day zoo admission. Don’t forget your yoga mat and water bottle. 7:30–8:30 a.m.; check-in at 7 a.m. $40. Where: Roger Williams Park Zoo, 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence. more info: 785-3510, rwpzoo.org.

Elephant Yoga1 1

Courtesy of Roger Williams Park Zoo.

 

5/21–22: Newport Oyster and Chowder Festival

WHAT: Pair live music, cocktails and camaraderie with fresh seafood staples at the Newport Oyster and Chowder Festival. Held rain or shine, this shellfish-honoring weekend invites you to dig into shucked oysters, creamy chowder and more from local vendors and growers along the waterfront. Food can be purchased directly from vendors, and onsite cash bars will offer libations as well. 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Free admission. Where: Bowen’s Wharf, Newport. more info: 849-2243, bowenswharf.com.

Oyster Festival

Courtesy of Discover Newport.

 

THEATER

Trinity Rep

THROUGH MAY 8: Directed by Tatyana-Marie Carlo, themes of love, dreams, revenge and forgiveness are found in Sueño, a metaphysical story about an imprisoned Spanish prince later released to live life either on the throne or back in isolation. Run time is two hours and fifteen minutes. Dowling Theater. MAY 19–JUNE 19: Although we plan family celebrations to be perfect, they rarely ever end up that way, especially in Beverly’s case: Her husband is no help, her brother is MIA, her sister won’t put the wine down and her teenage daughter’s secrets might release more chaos. Jackie Sibblies Drury directs Fairview, the family comedy that takes unpredictable turns and confronts perceptions of race and identity. Run time is one hour and forty minutes. Chace Theater. 201 Washington St., Providence, 351-4242, trinityrep.com  

Contemporary Theater

THROUGH MAY 21: Check out creative works such as War Song, The Voice of Gertrude Stein and more, all proposed and produced by local artists, during the Contemporary Theater’s Springboard Season. Support new artists as they emerge and showcase their talent every weekend. Check website for dates and times. $10–$40. 327 Main St., Wakefield, 218-0282, contemporarytheatercompany.com

Greenwich Odeum

MAY 7: Are any of your thoughts safe? Throughout the mind-reading/comedy performance, witness psychic-comedian Peter Antoniou from “America’s Got
Talent” display his unique skills to peer inside the minds (and tickle the funny bones) of the Greenwich Odeum audience. 8 p.m.; doors open at 7 p.m. $27. 59 Main St., East Greenwich, 885-4000, greenwichodeum.com  

Providence Performing Arts Center

MAY 7-8: Step into the Land of the Divine with Shen Yun, a performance infused with fascinating tales dating back 5,000 years of Chinese culture told through classical dance, striking backdrops and a revolutionary orchestra. Sat. 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sun. 2 p.m. $80–$180. MAY 11–15: Sing along to classics including “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “Wouldn’t It Be Lovely” as My Fair Lady tells the story of young Cockney flower seller Eliza Doolittle and linguistics professor Henry Higgins, who’s determined to shape her into his idea of a “proper” lady. Visit the website for times. $20–$89. 220 Weybosset St., Providence, 421-2787, ppacri.org

Wilbury Theatre Group

MAY 19–JUNE 19: Based on Leo Tolstoy’s novel War and Peace, award-winning composer Dave Malloy presents Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, an electropop opera that amplifies the possibilities for the genre with its vivid storytelling and striking score. Thurs.–Sun. Visit the website for times. $15–$55 or make a pay-what-you-can donation. WaterFire Arts Center, 475 Valley St., Providence, 400-7100, thewilburygroup.org

 

FAIRS AND FESTIVALS

Food Truck Friday at Roger Williams Park Carousel Village

ONGOING: Select from more than fifteen local food trucks as well as beer from Trinity Brewhouse during the eighth annual Food Truck Friday at Roger Williams Park’s Carousel Village. Enjoy live music from Sidy Maiga Music, Catnip Junkies, Pat Lowell Acoustic and more while picnicking on the lawn. Play in the Hasbro Boundless Playground for free, or hop on the carousel ride or train for a fee. Fri. 5–8:30 p.m. Free admission. 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence, foodtrucksin.com/food-truck-events

Mount Hope Farmers Market

ONGOING: Head over to Mount Hope Farm for your weekly groceries, courtesy of local farmers and artisans like Edible Homescapes, Roots Farm, Delicious Deli, Buns Bakery and Two Gals Cocktails. Inside the barn, browse through unique gifts, enjoy live entertainment and more. Sat. 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Free admission. Mount Hope Farm, 250 Metacom Ave., Bristol, 254-1745, mounthopefarm.org

Providence Flea
Winter-Spring Markets

THROUGH MAY 29: Obsess over vintage finds and locally sourced products while shopping at the Providence Flea, now at the Farm Fresh RI market hall. Sun. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Free. 10 Sims Ave., Providence, 484-7783, providenceflea.com

Newport Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival

MAY 14–15: Dine from food trucks like Little B’s BBQ, Trolley Dogs and Poppin Minis RI, and sip on regional and national craft beers from dozens of different breweries. During your meal, check out various onsite vendors and artisans. Noon–5 p.m. $5–$22; children twelve and younger free. Fort Adams State Park, 90 Fort Adams Dr., Newport, foodtruckfestivalsofamerica.com

May Day Market

MAY 21–22: Browse through handcrafted and locally sourced products for your home and garden. Stocked with books, jewelry, wearables, lotions, puzzles and more, you’re bound to find that perfect gift to treat yourself. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Free admission. WaterFire Arts Center, 475 Valley St., Providence, waterfire.org 

Food Trucks and Concert at Chase Farm

MAY 30: Post-parade celebrations call for food truck fare and drinks. After the Lincoln Memorial Day Parade, enjoy a variety of locally owned food trucks and beer from Trinity Brewhouse while vibing out to live music. Bring a blanket or chair to sit on the lawn. 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Free admission. Chase Farm, 669 Great Rd., Lincoln, foodtrucksin.com/food-truck-events

 

TRIPS AND TOURS

Newport Foodies Stroll

ONGOING: Rediscover Thames Street with the help of great meals during this 1.75-mile walking food tour. Wander the historic streets of the City by the Sea with tour guides Thomas and Susan Maxwell in between three-course meals and wine pairings at notable restaurants and pubs — taste the delicious cuisine from places like the Reef and Cold Fusion Gelato. Reserve your spot online. Wed., Fri. and Sat. 11:30 a.m. and noon. Adults $88; children twelve and younger $37. Meet in front of wave statue, 337 Thames St., Newport, 619-3019, newportfoodiesstroll.com

Rhode Island Red Food Tours

ONGOING: Explore your favorite Rhody neighborhoods in the Creative Capital and the City by the Sea with a food tour. Walking tours include delicious food samplings paired with or without alcohol at six local restaurants. Reservations are required. Thurs.–Sun. at noon. $74–$89. Various locations in Providence and Newport, rhodeislandredfoodtours.com

Spring Lighthouse Cruises

MAY 1–JUNE 24: On a ninety-minute narrated lighthouse cruise ride, admire the sights of scenic Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay, including the Rose Island Lighthouse, Goat Island Lighthouse, Castle Hill Lighthouse and others. Choose to depart from Bowen’s Wharf or Jamestown Village. Sat. and Sun; sailings at 12:15 p.m., 2:05 p.m. and 3:55 p.m. $20–$35. 1 E. Ferry Wharf, Jamestown; 5 Bowen’s Landing, Bowen’s Wharf, Newport, 423-9900, coastalqueencruises.com

Discover Providence Tour

MAY 2–OCT. 31: Fall deeper in love with the Creative Capital during the Discover Providence tour, where you’ll hear stories about the city’s exciting neighborhoods and the people in it. Explore and take photos of locations including College Hill, Federal Hill and the State House. Mon.–Sat.; tours at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. $35. Meet at the Rhode Island Convention Center, 1 Sabin St., Providence, 886-0733, experienceri.com 

 

KIDS’ STUFF

Asian Lantern Spectacular

ONGOING: Head to Roger Williams Park Zoo after dark to witness a wonderland of illuminated, larger-than-life lanterns inspired by the wild. Stroll through the interactive displays while indulging in Asian-inspired cuisine and drinks with your family. Tickets sold online only. Wed.–Sun. 6–10:30 p.m. Adults $25; children $23; babies one and younger free. Roger Williams Park Zoo, 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence, 785-3510, rwpzoo.org

Audubon Society

MAY 14: Observe the fascinating resident purple martins with Audubon and learn about the unique creatures throughout the short walk to the field as they roost on their gourd-shaped homes. Dress for the weather and don’t forget to bring binoculars. For ages twelve and older. 2–4 p.m. Adult members $10, child members $5; nonmember adults $14, nonmember child $7. Caratunk Wildlife Refuge, 301 Brown Ave., Seekonk, Mass., 949-5454, asri.org 

 

MUSIC

Newport Classical

MAY 13: Harpist Bridget Kibbey and violinist Alexi Kenney combine the sounds of two melodic string instruments. The two invite guests to enjoy an evening of intimate and refined performances, including musical adaptations of scores by Bach, Dowland and more. 7:30–9 p.m. $45–$58. Recital Hall at Emmanuel Church, 42 Dearborn St., Newport, 846-1133, newportclassical.org

Rhode Island Philharmonic

MAY 21: Support the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School during the annual fundraising gala concert, featuring conductor Bramwell Tovey and violinist Rey Chen and including works by Copland, Mendelssohn and others. 5 p.m. $35-$154. The Vets, 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence, 248-7000, riphil.org

Music on the Hill

MAY 29: Start off the Music on the Hill music festival with the Narragansett Brass Quintet. In a casual setting on the Clouds Hill Victorian House Museum lawn, listen to an hour of sensory-friendly tunes next to friends and family. 3 p.m. $20. Clouds Hill Victorian House Museum, 4157 Post Rd., Warwick, musiconthehillri.org

 

DANCE

Island Moving Company

MAY 6–7: Resonant Visions features brand new work by notable choreographers such as Colin Connor and Tristian Griffin, and repertory works by IMC artistic and associate artistic directors Miki Ohlsen and Danielle Genest. 7:30 p.m. $20–$58. Keats Theatre, St. Andrew’s School, 63 Federal Rd., Barrington, 847-4470, islandmovingco.org

 

SPORTS

WWE Wrestlemania Backlash

MAY 8: Witness all the iconic WWE superstars together again for the premium live event, the WWE WrestleMania Backlash. 7:30 p.m. $25–$600. Dunkin’ Donuts Center, 1 LaSalle Sq., Providence, 331-0700, dunkindonutscenter.com

 

BENEFITS

Martinis for Melanoma

MAY 4: Raise a martini glass to raise awareness about melanoma. Snack, sip, socialize and rock out to live music by singer-songwriter Roberta Lamb at the virtual event that helps fund Impact Melanoma’s prevention and education programs. 7 p.m. $20–$5,000. Virtual, 800-557-6352, impactmelanoma.org

MAE Organization

MAY 7: The first “Taking the Reins” on Homelessness fundraiser features hors d’oeuvres, a pasta chef station and the chance to enter the fashion show for best Kentucky Derby-style hat and tie. Participate in the silent auction, take photos with thoroughbred “Chance” and more. 5–8 p.m. $75–$1,000. Wyndham Newport Hotel, 240 Aquidneck Ave., Middletown. MAY 14: Feast on pasta while raising funds for the organization, with entertainment by MJR to keep you on your feet and a photo booth for after-dinner fun. 6:30–10:30 p.m. $25–$200. St. Mary Feast Society, 15 Phenix Ave., Cranston, 206-1451, maeorg.org

 

MUSEUMS

Newport Art Museum

THROUGH MAY 8: Explore one of the Newport Art Museum’s most popular exhibitions, “Call and Response,” featuring three contemporary regional artists including Emily Belz, Diane Barcelo and On-Kyeong Seong. Tues.–Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. noon–5 p.m. Ilgenfritz Gallery, Newport Art Museum, 76 Bellevue Ave., Newport, 848-8200, newportartmuseum.org 

Audrain Auto Museum

THROUGH MAY 30: Compare the iconic motors of the 1980s and ’90s to today’s hybrid super cars during the “What’s the Super in Supercars?” exhibit. See how our everyday technology has advanced while also cherishing the cars of yesterday. Daily 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Members free; adults $18; seniors, military and students with ID $10; children six through seventeen $8. 222 Bellevue Ave., Newport, 856-4420, audrainautomuseum.org 

RISD Museum

ONGOING: Plan your in-person visit in
advance online and check out exhibitions on view including “Striking Chords,” “Trading Earth” and “Variance.” Wed., Sat., Sun. 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thurs. and Fri. noon–7 p.m. Adults $17; seniors $12; youth $8; children five and younger free. Free admission Thurs. and Fri. after 5 p.m. and all-day Sun. 20 North Main St., Providence, 454-6500, risdmuseum.org

 

GALLERIES

Jamestown Art Center

THROUGH MAY 7: The exhibition named “Reassessment and Wonder,” or “RAW,” encourages a reflection of the past, as well as a new perspective on today and the wish to shift forward. The installment, curated by Danielle Ogden, implores visitors to search within themselves and explore their environmental, physical and psychological states. Wed., Fri. and Sat. 11 a.m.–3 p.m., Thurs. 11 a.m.–7 p.m. or by appointment. 18 Valley St., Jamestown, 560-0979, jamestownartcenter.org

Wickford Art Association

THROUGH MAY 8: Stroll through “Botanical Inspiration,” an exhibit featuring art pieces inspired by herbs, vegetation or plants valued for their therapeutic or medicinal properties, scents and/or flavors. Wed.–Sat. noon–4 p.m., Sun. noon–3 p.m. 36 Beach St., North Kingstown, 294-6840, wickfordart.org

IMAGO Gallery

THROUGH MAY 29: Discuss topics of climate change during the “Rising Seas: Envisioning the Future Ocean State” exhibit with featured IFA artist Linda Megathlin and guest artist Mark Holmes, with additional artworks selected from a juried call to Rhode Island artists. Thurs. 3–6 p.m., Fri. and Sat. noon–6 p.m., Sun. noon–4 p.m. 36 Market St., Warren, 245-3348, imagofoundation4art.org

‘Beyond Van Gogh’

MAY 17–JULY 8: Become one with the art of Vincent van Gogh, whose masterpieces have become a three-dimensional immersive experience. Step into works like “Starry Night” and “Café Terrace at Night” as they calm the mind and inspire your artistic eye. Sun.–Thurs. 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 10 a.m.–10 p.m. $33.99–$83.99; free for children four and younger. Rhode Island Convention Center, Exhibit Hall C, 1 Sabin St., Providence, 800-441-0819, vangoghprovidence.com

 

ETCETERA

The Bit Players

ONGOING: Witness improvisation at its best from this award-winning comedy troupe as they present side-splitting musical numbers, games and amazing characters made up on the spot. Every show is unique in this BYOB facility. Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. $18. Firehouse Theater, 4 Equality Park Pl., Newport, 849-3473, bitplayers.net

Weekapaug Inn

MAY 7: Giddy up for the Kentucky Derby viewing party at the Meeting House of Weekapaug Inn. Sport your Southern best and grab a Derby-themed cocktail or two to couple with food and quaint views of Quonnie Pond. 6–8 p.m. $65. Weekapaug Inn, 25 Spray Rock Rd., 888-565-5023, Westerly, weekapauginn.com

Under the Crimson Moon

MAY 16: Witness the total lunar eclipse from the Frosty Drew Observatory alongside family and friends. Bring the essentials like snacks, a lawn chair and blankets to watch as the moon passes into the Earth’s shadow. 9 p.m.–3 a.m. Adults $5, kids four and younger free. 61 Park Ln., Ninigret Park, Charlestown, 859-1450, frostydrew.org

 

LOOKING AHEAD

Ongoing: Afternoon Tea, Stoneacre Brasserie, Newport, stoneacrebrasserie.com

JUNE 2–OCTOBER 29: Roller Disco, BankNewport City Center, Providence, theprovidencerink.com

JUNE 4–SEPT. 24: Newport International Polo Series, Portsmouth, nptpolo.com

JUNE 4: Sand Bar and Bites, Weekapaug Inn, Westerly, weekapauginn.com 

JUNE 10–12: PVDFest, Providence, pvdfest.com