The Ultimate 2017 To Do List: May

The top activities, shows, celebrations, and events throughout the month to help you enjoy the best of Minnesota

2017 to do list, things to do, calendar, events, festival of nations, may 2017
Festival of Nations

Photo courtesy of Explore minnesota


May 4-7: Circumnavigate the globe without a passport by attending the Festival of Nations in the Saint Paul RiverCentre. It’s the longest running multicultural fest in the Midwest, highlighting more than 100 diverse groups. Shop the Bazaar, catch a performance, and sample worldly cuisine (Palestinian fare is the newest addition).

May 6: We don’t necessarily recommend entering the jalapeño-eating contest, as the low-rider cars, mariachi bands, tacos, and El Grito (expressions of joy) contest make the Cinco de Mayo Festival in St. Paul plenty hot.

May 7: Stop waiting for a basket to show up at your front door. Get out to the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre’s annual MayDay Parade, which embraces the start of spring in extravagant counterculture fashion: tall bikes, giant marionettes, drum lines, canoe rides, the occasional kale bikini, and the awakening Tree of Life Ceremony.

May 13-14: Get growing at the Auxiliary Spring Plant Sale at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum—the largest in the state, and the most popular for its hard-to-find varieties and University of Minnesota introductions such as the Silver Brocade sun perennial and a selection of grape vines.

May 13-14: Meat and beer—it’s a beautiful combination. At the Minnesota Monthly GrillFest, sample local brews and bites, and learn how to get that perfect smoky flavor from a “Grillologist.”

2017 to do list, things to do, calendar, events, art-a-whirl, may 2017
Art-a-Whirl

Photo by Jayme Halbritter


May 18-19: Two Saturday Night Live alums reunite on stage at the Orpheum Theatre in Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life. Their lightning wit and admirable roasts mingle with their best personal show biz tales. Plus: Steve Martin plays banjo.

May 19-21: Located in Northeast Minneapolis, Art-a-Whirl is the largest open art studio tour in the country—more than 600 artists display their work throughout studios, art galleries, homes, and businesses. Many local clothing and product brands also host pop-ups. Download the Art-a-Whirl app to navigate the sea of creations, and when you purchase a piece of original art, be sure to wear the “I Bought Art” sticker to display your support. Plus, you’ll get special discounts at some of the surrounding businesses.

Seasonal: If you haven’t yet experienced “City by Nature” (the Minneapolis tagline), rent a kayak or canoe at Lake Calhoun (Bde Maka Ska), or try out the new Paddle Share program along the Mississippi River.

All monthMinnesota Museums Month brings discounts and special events to some 500 museums statewide.


View events throughout the entire year on the full 2017 Ultimate To Do List

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