37 Fun Things to Do in Rhode Island this May

From frolicking through flower farms to the Misquamicut SpringFest, we've compiled all the activities to add to your May to-do list.

Photo courtesy of Wicked Tulips Flower Farms

Through mid-May: Wicked Tulips Flower Farm

WHAT: Take in a sea of 1.5 million colorful tulips at these sites — that’s a whole lot of tulips! Whether you go to pick some flowers to brighten up the household or to snap photos with an elegant backdrop, don’t miss the tulip season — it goes by quickly. Visit one or all three of the Wicked Tulips Flower Farm locations in Johnston, Exeter and Preston, Connecticut. Daily 10 a.m.–7 p.m. until end of season. Tickets must be purchased online. WHERE: 90 Brown Ave., Johnston; 400 Hog House Hill Rd., Exeter; 382 Route 164, Preston, Conn. MORE INFO: info@wickedtulips.com, wickedtulips.com.


Photo courtesy of Misquamicut Beach

5/12-14: Misquamicut SpringFest 

WHAT: Get a bird’s-eye view of the entire fest from the Ferris wheel and then check out classic cars at the annual car show. With live entertainment and multiple food, craft and commercial vendors, there’s something to see and do in every corner. Visit the website for times and ride pricing. Tickets are $12; children younger than seven free. WHERE: Misquamicut State Beach, 257 Atlantic Ave., Westerly. MORE INFO: 322-1026, misquamicutfestival.org.



Photography by Katie Latimer

5/25-29: Rogue Island Comedy Festival

WHAT: Appreciate a good joke and laugh it up with comedy icons like Mike Cannon, Eagle Witt and others at the semiannual Rogue Island Comedy Festival at four different venues throughout Newport and Portsmouth. Visit the website for times, sites and to purchase tickes. $32–$52.50. WHERE: JPT Film and Event Center, Top of Pelham and Firehouse Theater, Newport; Ragged Island Brewing Co., Portsmouth. MORE INFO: rogueislandcomedyfest.com.



The Wilbury Theatre Group 

THROUGH MAY 7: Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel presents Indecent, a story based on true events recounting the risk that brave actors went through in the name of art. The 1923 Broadway debut of Sholem Asch’s Yiddish drama God of
Vengeance caused controversy as the evocative work of Jewish culture was both criticized and praised for taboo themes of immigration, censorship and antisemitism. The intimate Tony Award-winning play, filled with dance and music, displays the transformative power of art that is timelier than ever. Thurs.–Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Tickets are pay what you can. WaterFire Arts Center, 475 Valley St., Providence, thewilburygroup.org

Gamm Theatre

MAY 1 AND 8: Spend the evening watching a free showing of WALL-E (May 1) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (May 8) on the Gamm Theatre’s 4K resolution screen. Don’t forget your snacks and drinks from the concessions! No tickets necessary.
7 p.m. 1245 Jefferson Blvd., Warwick, 723-4266, gammtheatre.org

Providence Performing Arts Center

MAY 20: The eleventh annual International
Portuguese Music Festival, recognizing outstanding achievement in the music industry by artists of Portuguese ancestry, will feature performances by Marisa Liz, Plutonio, Pedro Abrunhosa, Ruby Anderson and more. Walk the red carpet, celebrate Portuguese culture and see who wins awards from the multiple categories. The two new talent finalists will perform live. 7 p.m. 220 Weybosset St., Providence, 421-2787, ppacri.org, ipmaawards.com

Trinity Rep

MAY 25–JUNE 25: Sweeney Todd tells the story of an exiled barber and his journey to vanquish the corrupt system of justice while avenging the wrongdoings committed against him and his family. The eight-time Tony Award-winning musical features an extraordinary score and wicked humor. Run time is two hours and forty-five minutes with one intermission. Dowling Theater, 201 Washington St., Providence, 351-4242, trinityrep.com 



Food Truck Friday at Carousel Village

ONGOING: Choose menu items from local food trucks as well as beer and wine from Trinity Brewhouse during the ninth annual Food Truck Friday at Roger Williams Park Zoo and Carousel Village. Enjoy live music from various local artists while picnicking on the lawn. Fri. 5–8:30 p.m. Free admission. 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence, rwpzoo.org/food-truck-friday

Field of Artisans

MAY 4–SEPT. 24: Browse through the work of dozens of makers and entrepreneurs from all over New England at these intimate pop-up events. Visit the website to check out venues, dates and time. Various locations in Providence, Charlestown and South Kingstown, fieldofartisans.com

Spring Festival at Rocky Point Park

MAY 6: Say hello to spring while taking in food truck fare, live demonstrations, crafts, shopping and entertainment galore at the Warwick Police Department’s Spring Festival at Rocky Point Park. A collaboration between the Warwick Police Department, We Be Jammin’ Events and the Ocean State Food Truck Festival, the entire family can enjoy wagon rides, dancing and more. 10 a.m. –3:30 p.m. Free admission. Rocky Point State Park, Warwick, webejamminevents.com

The Providence Rock and Roll Yard Sale x InDowncity

MAY 6: Shop with flair at the Providence Rock and Roll Yard Sale, featuring local brewers, delicacies from the Wiener Wagon, A Mano Pizza and Gelato and Spanglish, more than twenty-five vinyl and vintage vendors, music by Studebaker Hawk and plenty more at this free outdoor event. Noon–6 p.m. Grant’s Block, 260 Westminster St., Providence, indowncity.com

May Day Market

MAY. 6–7: Shop a market featuring locally sourced and handcrafted goods for your home and garden. With more than ninety vendors, there’s sure to be something that suits your style. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Free admission. WaterFire Arts Center, 475 Valley St., Providence, finefurnishingsshows.com

PVD Flea

MAY 7: Obsess over vintage finds and locally sourced products from more than seventy-five vendors including indie makers, bakeshops, clothing vendors and more while shopping at the Providence Flea at the Farm Fresh RI market hall. Sun. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Free. 10 Sims Ave., Providence, 484-7783, providenceflea.com

Mount Hope Farmers Market

MAY 14–DEC. 30: Head over to Mount Hope Farm for your weekly groceries, courtesy of local farmers and artisans. 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

Finback Brewery Whale Watching 

MAY 20: Head over to the banks of the Blackstone River in Pawtucket for Finback Brewery’s second annual Whale Watching Festival. This twenty-one-plus beer fest features an incredible lineup of new beers to sample from more than sixty breweries including Buttonwoods and Narragansett Beer. All-access ticket holders have access to Finback Brewery’s newest releases, magnum pours, rare bottles to share and new merchandise. All-access tickets grant guests early entry at 12:30 p.m. General admission 1:30–5 p.m. $89–$179. Blackstone River, 249 Roosevelt Ave., Pawtucket, finbackbrewery.com 

Newport Oyster & Chowder Festival

MAY. 20–21: Pair live music, cocktails and camaraderie with fresh seafood staples at the Newport Oyster & Chowder Festival. Held rain or shine, this seafood-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 the vendors, and onsite cash bars will offer libations as well. 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Free admission. Bowen’s Wharf, Newport, bowenswharf.com




Photograph courtesy of Providence Warwick CVB.

Gaspee Days Proclamation Ceremony

MAY 20: Kick off the Gaspee Days celebration right at noon during the Proclamation Ceremony alongside neighbors and friends. The announcement sets the anticipation for the long-awaited annual event. Pawtuxet Park, Warwick.

Arts and Crafts Festival

MAY 27–29: Celebrate Memorial Day weekend with this annual event featuring work by more than 100 Rhode Island artisans showcased in quaint Pawtuxet Village. Don’t miss activities for children and performances by local bands. Sat. and Sun.
10 a.m.–5 p.m., Mon. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free. Narragansett Parkway, Warwick.

Block Party

MAY 27: Pair great music with delicious drinks at the Gaspee Days Block Party, where those twenty-one and older can continue the neighborhood fun. 6–11 p.m. $5. Pawtuxet Park, Warwick, 781-1772, gaspee.com



Rhode Island Red Food Tours

ONGOING: Explore your favorite Rhody neighborhoods with a food stroll featuring delicious food samplings plus alcohol (and non-alcoholic) pairings at five to six independent restaurants and eateries. Tours take place in downtown Providence and Newport. Reservations are required. Visit website for dates, times and costs. 684-1110, rhodeislandredfoodtours.com

Rail Explorers Tours

ONGOING: Take a bite out of brunch or check out the night sky with Rail Explorers in themed, pedal-powered tours from the Southern Circuit to Bayside Station. See website for tour times and ticket prices. 1 Alexander Rd., Portsmouth, 877-833-8588, railexplorers.net

Mother’s Day Mimosa Tour

MAY 14: Toast mom this Mother’s Day on an open-air cruise along the Providence River. See Providence in a new light while sipping complimentary mimosas with narration from Providence Riverboat Company tour guides. You can also order treats and charcuterie from Easy Entertaining, Thrive Cakery and more during the boat ride. Hats and sunscreen are recommended. Visit the website for time slots. $25–$35. The Landing, 101 Dyer St., Providence, 580-2628, providenceriverboat.com



Studio Playground

THROUGH JUNE 3: Find your voice and grow your theatrical skills with Studio Playground. The six-week long sessions, including Playground Company and Storytelling and Play, offer theater games, performance projects and more to learn clever storytelling and how to engage an audience. Visit the website for session times. Sat. Grades K–9. $225–$300. Rhode Island School for the Deaf, 1 Corliss Park, Providence, studioplayground.org

Dinosaurs Among Us

THROUGH AUG. 13: This walk-through event allows guests to travel sixty-five million years back in time to witness sixty roaring, life-size animatronic dinosaurs. Walk alongside popular species including the stegosaurus, Tyrannosaurus rex, triceratops and more throughout this prehistoric world. For a more immersive experience, check out the walking dinosaur rides, meet and greets with baby dinosaurs, selfie stations with the creatures and hands-on fossil digs. Visit the website for times and ticket prices. Roger Williams Park Zoo, 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence, 785-3510, rwpzoo.org

Flower Moon Sleepover Party

MAY 5–6: Camp overnight at the Norman Bird Sanctuary complete with moonlit hikes, s’mores, stargazing and a tasty breakfast in the morning. Make sure to bring your own mats, pillows, sleeping bags and any other necessities for the night. Visit the website for more details. 4:30 p.m.–9:30 a.m. $15–$45. 583 Third Beach Rd., Middletown, normanbirdsanctuary.org



Rhode Island Philharmonic

MAY 5–6: Conductor Tania Miller is joined by the Providence Singers and artistic director Christine Noel to perform Verdi’s “Requiem.” Open rehearsal Fri. 6:30 p.m.; Taco Classical Sat. 7 p.m. $15–$154. The Vets, 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence, 248-7000, tickets.riphil.org 

Newport Classical

MAY 19: Watch the Kenari Quartet spotlight the saxophone’s versatility with meticulously crafted collections from different periods of classical and contemporary music. 7:30–9:15 p.m. $45–$58. Recital Hall at Emmanuel Church, 42 Dearborn St., Newport, 846-1133, newportclassical.org 

Music on the Hill

MAY 28–JUNE 10: Kick off the fifteenth annual Music on the Hill music festival with the Narragansett Brass Quintet playing sensory-friendly tunes on the Clouds Hill Victorian House Museum’s lawn. Visit the website for venues and times. $25. Various venues in East Greenwich and Cranston, musiconthehillri.org


Festival Ballet Providence

MAY 4: Rhode Island’s premier dance company celebrates its forty-fifth anniversary with a night full of treats, signature cocktails, performances by the resident artists and a big reveal about its next chapter. “Reimagine Ballet” begins with signature cocktails at
6 p.m. $125–$2,500. Roger Williams Park Botanical Center, 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence, 353-1129, festivalballetprovidence.org



Party With a Purpose

MAY 16: Raise a martini glass to raise awareness about melanoma while snacking, sipping and socializing to help fund Impact Melanoma’s prevention and education programs. 5:30 p.m. $45–$5,000. Circe Restaurant and Bar, 1646 Division St., East Greenwich, 800-557-6352, impactmelanoma.org

Rare and Unusual Plant Sale

MAY 20–21: Southside Community Land Trust’s annual plant sale is filled with thousands of herb, vegetable and fruit plants grown from seed within its greenhouse, along with hundreds of perennials grown and donated by SCLT friends. Search for plants to take home as a lineup of local musicians plays tunes throughout the event. Proceeds from the plant sale support urban and rural farmers and community gardeners. Sat.–Sun. 10 a.m.–2 p.m. City Farm, 168 West Clifford St., Providence, 273-9419, southsideclt.org



RISD Museum

ONGOING: Check out exhibitions on view including “Being and Believing in the Natural World,” which runs through May 7, “Past Made Present” and “Art and Design from 1900 to Now.” Tues., Wed., Sat., Sun. 10 a.m.­–5 p.m.; Thurs. and Fri. noon–7 p.m. Adults $17; seniors $12; youth eighteen 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

Newport Art Museum

ONGOING: View exquisite and thought-provoking works within exhibits such as “Conflict and Remembrance,” which closes May 21, and “Social Fabric: Textiles and Contemporary Issues.” Tues.–Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. noon–5 p.m. Adults $15; seniors $10; college students and military $8; museum members and children seventeen and younger free. 76 Bellevue Ave., Newport, 848-8200, newportartmuseum.org



Goat Hikes at Simmons Farm

ongoing: Indulge in a breath of fresh air on this hike with a twist. Stroll through the rustic pastures of Simmons Farm with a goat on a leash and enjoy views of Narragansett Bay, babbling brooks and other barnyard animals. While hiking with your goat, farmer Karla will give you a personal look into the lifestyle of farming in New England. After the tour, cool down with a cup of lemonade. Sat. and Sun. Visit the website for times. $10–$50. Simmons Farm, 1942 West Main Rd., Middletown, 848-9910, simmonsfarmri.com

Champagne and Oysters 

MAY 20: Champagne and oysters: a match made in New England. Join the Weekapaug Inn and its expert naturalists and sommeliers by the firepit as they dish out and discuss a local variety of oysters and their perfect wine pairings. Savor the delicacies while learning about oyster farming and the flavor profiles of wine and, as an extra bonus, guests may try their hand at shucking. Reservations required. 5–6:30 p.m. $85. Weekapaug Inn, 25 Spray Rock Rd., Westerly, 888-565-5023, oceanhouseevents.com

Al Fresco on the Hill 

MAY 27–SEPT. 2: Make the most of the beautiful summer weather during the Al Fresco on the Hill extravaganza on Federal Hill. Stop at one or more of the twenty-five restaurants for a unique outdoor dining experience. Whether you want to sip vino facing the sunset or kick back with a slice of pizza under a twinkling patio, make sure to secure your dinner with a view. Every Saturday. Federal Hill, Providence, federalhillprov.com 

Kite Fly-Inn at the Weekapaug Inn

MAY 29: Bring a kite or make your own on the grounds of Weekapaug Inn on Memorial Day weekend. Try your hand at a kite decorating workshop and lawn games while digging into a classic American cookout with live music. 1–3 p.m. $35. Weekapaug Inn, 25 Spray Rock Rd., Westerly, 888-565-5023, oceanhouseevents.com



JUNE 3: Bike Newport’s Full Moon Ride, Newport, bikenewportri.org

JUNE 3–SEPT. 30: Newport International Polo Series, Newport, nptpolo.com

JUNE 7–11: Ocean State Improv Festival, South Kingstown, contemporarytheatercompany.com

JUNE 10: Annual Gaspee Days, Warwick, gaspee.com 

JUNE 16–18: Juneteenth Rhode Island Festival Weekend, Providence, juneteenthri.com