New York in May

Visiting New York in


Spring is in full swing in New York City in May. The pastel colors of early spring have turned to brilliant in NYC parks. Since NYC weather in May is at its best, the list of things to do in New York in May includes lots of outdoor activities. The city clears out a little on the weekends as residents take off for surrounding beaches. This is the perfect month to discover the streets and neighborhoods of NYC.

What to expect


  • Average Daytime Temperatures: 70F (22C)
  • Average Overnight Temperatures: 55F (12C)
  • Sunny or partly sunny days: 19
  • Rainy days: 7-9, 3 with significant rainfall

What to wear

  • Dress in layers and include a light jacket you can shed as the day warms
  • Pack a heavier coat for going out in the evenings
  • Sunglasses or umbrella – best to check in the morning on your weather app
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes, closed toe shoes and water resistant, so you can enjoy your walking tours, as well as something a bit more fanciful for the nightlife.

New York Prices in May

Hotel prices are slowly rising with the spring temps, but you can still find some good deals if you book ahead. Don't forget about the major holidays in May when planning a visit. Prices will be much higher at the end of May close to the Memorial Day long weekend.

Book your flights and accommodation in advance for best prices, midtown & times square are the most popular choices, but there are plenty of other options, especially in Brooklyn with convenient transport options to Manhattan attractions.

Planning your trip is a key to a balanced budget, use free online resources like our maps & guide or the itinerary tool, if you are going to visit some iconic attractions, get a sightseeing pass, it will easily save you 50% on regular admission prices – see more

sightseeing pass guidebook

Getting around

New York is easy to navigate, but if you can't walk to your destination there are plenty of options


The quickest way to travel around, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from as low as $2.75 per ride, with stops usually every 8-10 blocks.


If the top taxi number is illuminated it's available, minimum metered fare is $2.50, which increases 50 cents every fifth of a mile or every minute.

Hop on, Hop off Buses

These buses connect major attractions all over the city and provide many photo opportunities, it's also a good way to catch a break or eat your sandwich while still sightseeing.

nyc transport

New York Travel Tips

New York Travel Tips



New York City Subway Map

NYC subway map

New York Tourist Map

Sightseeing Pass leaflet

Things to do in May

Check out the following list of ideas for fun things to do in New York in May:

1. New York City Parks

Visitors new to New York are often surprised to learn that there are over 1,700 green spaces called parks located across the five boroughs. Central Park, the granddaddy of them all is a whopping 843 acres of thousands of trees smack in the middle of Manhattan. May is a good time to spend some time on the shore of the Lake at 72nd Street at the Loeb Boathouse near Bethesda Fountain. Rent a rowboat, take a gondola tour, or head for the outdoor bar for a cocktail.

2. Cinco de Mayo

The best way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo is sitting down to great Mexican food and Margaritas. The Cantina Rooftop in Midtown Manhattan has it covered along with a great view and good prices. Their chef traveled through Mexico for a year collecting all the best recipes. Enjoy dishes like tostadas and empanadas among twinkling city lights. It's really popular, so book in advance.

3. Mother's Day Celebrations

New York City is the site of many traditional Mother's Day brunches. One of the best is the Queens Botanical Garden farm-to-table brunch. Mom and the members of her party will enjoy a fresh menu by local caterers. There are two sessions: one at 10 am and another at 1 pm. Before or after brunch, take a stroll and enjoy this living museum.

The New York Botanical Garden honors Mom with a fabulous Weekend Garden Party. It features food trucks, live music, games, and more. May is perfect for picnicking on the grounds.

One of the most popular Mother's Day brunches is a yacht brunch on the Hudson River. Treat Mom to free-flowing mimosas or sangria, a delicious brunch, and live jazz. It's offered by Hornblower Cruises at their Pier 40 location in West Village.

4. Memorial Day Celebrationss

New York loves to honor those who have served their country in times of war. You will find a spirited parade to attend in all of the five boroughs. The largest is the Little Neck-Douglaston parade in Queens. Brooklyn's Memorial Day Parade is the oldest. It begins at 78th Street and Third Avenue. Manhattan's Inwood has a smaller parade which travels from Dyckman Street and Broadway.

5. Fleet Weeks

Fleet week is a seven-day celebration that coincides with Memorial Day. It honors the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps. The party kicks off with the impressive Parade of Ships, a fleet of tall ships and visiting vessels on the Hudson River. Military demonstrations and more shows plenty of New York patriotism.

NYC Parks 1
Cinco de Mayo 2
Mother's Day 3
Memorial Day 4
Fleet Week 5

Rainy Day Options in New York

Broadway Shows

Taking a Broadway show will chase away any rainy day blues during your visit to New York City. It might not be possible to get last minute tickets to every show, but you can find something a couple of hours before the show starts by visiting the box office of the theatre.

broadway broadway broadway

NYC Museums

Your weather app says it’s going to be raining the whole day? Head over to one of the best NYC Museums. Whether your interest is in art, science or city history, there’s something for everyone in just about every neighbourhood. Pick from MoMA, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, American Museum of Natural History, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of the City of New YorkorEl Museo del Barrio.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
American Museum of Natural History American Museum of Natural History

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