This post covers the best things to do in LA in May and has been updated for 2022, including a top 10 list, nighttime activities, free, as well as family-friendly things to do. Be sure to read our master post on things to do in Los Angeles.
Disclosure: While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.
TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN LOS ANGELES IN MAY
In this section, we will cover the ten best things to do in Los Angeles this May.
Several of the items in the Top 10 are already included for free with the purchase of a tourist discount pass.
1. Go Sightseeing in LA
If you’re looking for a bus tour, we have a great comparison of L.A.’s best. From hop-on-hop-off buses to nonstop our nighttime tours, you’ll find one to suit you.
Another option is to check out a studio tour. See what it is like to be a working Hollywood actor or a gaffer. Or find out what a gaffer does! Check out our post about Studio Tour options.
If you’re looking to save some money, consider taking one of our GPS enabled audio tours or self-guided tours the following neighborhoods of LA.
2. Attend a Concert
Los Angeles tends to attract a lot of great musicians throughout the year. As a result, it’s not too surprising to see that there are a lot of notable artists performing in the area this May. In fact, there are also multiple music festivals being held in the LA area this month, and we'll list the best of them below!
- Echo and the Bunnymen
- Psychedelic Furs
- Violent Femmes
- and more
- The Allman Betts Band
- Stone Temple Pilots
- Smashing Pumpkins
- Steve Miller Band
- Sheryl Crow
- Sugar Ray
- and more
- New Kids on the Block
- Salt N Pepa
- Rick Astley
- En Vogue
- Dashboard Confessional
- The Get Up Kids
- Hot Rod Circuit
- Alkaline Trio
- and more
Although this is certainly a lot of concerts to parse through, there are actually even more musical performances taking place in LA this month. Make sure to check this list of concerts in Los Angeles if you're looking for another type of artist.
3. See a Sporting Event
Join the locals and catch a game while in the City of Angels. Check the information below for game specifics.
If the NHL and NBA teams of Los Angeles are still playing, they will be hosting some of their semifinal games at home.
- Hockey | L.A. Kings (Hockey season: October - June)
- Basketball | Lakers or Clippers (Basketball season: October-June)
- Baseball | Dodgers or Angels (April - September)
- Soccer | Galaxy or LAFC (March-October)
Seeing a big game is a great way to spend your afternoon or evening! For more things to do at night, check the section down below.
NOTE: Although the MLB Lockout still has yet to be resolved as of March 2022, we're hopeful both the Dodgers and Angels will be playing by May!
4. Go to the Theatre
Live theatre is a wonderful thing to enjoy while traveling. And of course, Los Angeles loves to entertain! Here are just a few of the many plays and musicals during May.
- Tootsie | May 1st - 15th
- The Sound of Music | May 1st - 15th
- Hadestown | May 1st - 29th
- Summer: The Donna Summer Musical | May 12th - 15th
- Friends: The Musical Parody | May 13th
- Los Angeles Opera: Aida | May 21st, 29th
For even more opportunities to visit the theater, check this list of theatrical events in Los Angeles during the month of May.
5. Run the Orange County Marathon
Calling all runners! For those who love marathons, the OC Marathon and its related activities from April 30th - May 1st, 2022, are a fun and scenic event. Beginning in Newport and ending at the OC Fair and Event Center, runners will make their way through a number of coastal towns on the route.
Even if you don’t feel like running, this could be an excellent activity to attend if only to cheer on the participants.
Other activities include a half-marathon, 5k, and kids race. Check the website for more information and registration.
6. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Historic Olvera Street
Celebrate Mexico’s victory over French forces in Puebla, Mexico in 1862 with music, dancing, and food!
Olvera Street is considered to be “the birthplace of Los Angeles”. Visit the Mexican Marketplace that recreates “Old Los Angeles” with a block-long narrow, tree-shaded, brick-lined market full of old structures, street vendors, restaurants and shops.
Click here for more information
7. The Drag Convention
RuPaul’s Drag convention is May 13th-15th, 2022. This event will be epic- it is the biggest drag event in the world. Many of the queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race will perform! The cast from season 12 will be there to represent!
There will be shows, activities, and even a Kid Zone with a bouncy house. Be sure to get your tickets before they sell out.
8. Go to a Stand-up Comedy Show
If you're looking for a good opportunity to laugh, this is the perfect month to visit the City of Angels! There will be several well-known comedians performing stand-up in Los Angeles this May. Most of these shows will be tied to the Netflix is a Joke Festival taking place from May 1st - 8th.
Here are some of the more notable comedians you can see in LA this month:
- Aziz Ansari | May 1st
- Larry David | May 2nd
- Nate Bargatze | May 3rd
- John Mulaney | May 3rd
- Mike Myers | May 4th
- Colin Quinn | May 4th
- Ellen Degeneres | May 4th
- Mike Birbiglia | May 4th
- Russell Howard | May 4th
- Craig Robinson | May 4th
- Bert Kreischer | May 5th
- Chelsea Handler | May 5th
- Pauly Shore | May 5th
- Jimmy Carr | May 5th
- Bill Burr | May 5th
- Kevin Hart | May 6th
- Iliza Shlesinger | May 6th
- Taylor Tomlinson | May 6th
- Margaret Cho | May 6th, 7th
- Amy Schumer | May 6th, 7th
- Tina Fey/Amy Poehler | May 7th
- Gabriel Iglesias | May 7th
- Fortune Feimster | May 7th
- Kathleen Madigan | May 7th
- Sandra Bernhard | May 7th
- Patton Oswalt | May 7th
- Ben Schwartz | May 7th
- Eddie Izzard | May 7th
- Tig Notaro | May 7th
- Brian Regan | May 8th
- Jeffrey Ross | May 13th, 14th
- Bobby Lee | May 27th - 29th
Check this list of stand-up comedy shows in Los Angeles to see everyone else that will be performing during the month of May.
9. Attend the Renaissance Faire
The Renfaire will be coming to Pasadena this spring, giving you the opportunity to experience a recreation of renaissance times.
The Faire starts in April and runs through May on Saturdays and Sundays. This means you'll have three weekends in May to attend.
With all kinds of games, food, live performances, rides, and even a marketplace to shop at, this is an excellent event for families and children.
The only catch is that you’ll probably want to dress in period-appropriate attire. While some people don’t follow this rule, it is one of the most common requirements for Renaissance faires around the world.
If you’re looking for more things to do with your family, please read our family-friendly activities section.
10. Save Money with a Tourist Attraction Discount Pass
To make the most out of your time in LA, and save a lot of money while seeing the sights, consider purchasing a tourist attraction discount pass.
You’ll pay one fee up front and receive free or highly discounted entry into many of the city’s most popular attractions and activities.
Tourist discount passes work by bundling multiple tickets into one price, usually between 20%-50% the retail price.
Read our post comparing the different LA tourist discount passes. Several bus tour companies, including hop-on-hop-off buses, also offer discounts and deals.
For more ideas for any time of year, be sure to read our master post on Things to do in LA.
Free things to do aren’t terribly hard to come by in Los Angeles if you plan accordingly.
We’ve mentioned some free things to do in LA in the month of May already! Check out some ideas for free activities below. For even more free activities, see our Guide to Free Things to Do in LA.
UNCONFIRMED: Annual Los Angeles High School Choir Festival
The Walt Disney Concert Hall will be open, free-of-charge for its annual Los Angeles Master Chorale High School Choir Festival. This is one of the largest high school choir festivals in the nation.
You’ll get to hear remarkable vocal talents of more than 900 high school students from twenty-five Los Angeles schools in a massive choir conducted by Grant Gershon.
Click here for more details about the event.
NOTE: This event has yet to be confirmed for May 2022.
Dance at the Wallis on May 10
Head to the Wallis for Dance Sunday with Debbie Allen and Friends! It is a free & family-friendly dance class! May 8th, 2022 will be VOGUE.
The Downtown LA Art Walk
This is a monthly self-guided tour of the art exhibition venues in Downtown Los Angeles. You’ll see commercial art galleries, public museums, nonprofit spaces, and even grassroots arts venues.
The event gives you an insight into the ever-evolving Downtown Los Angeles. Click here for more information about the event.
RESCHEDULED: Long Beach Pride Parade
Venture down to Long Beach for the 2022 pride parade and festival on July 8th - 10th. The parade is on Sunday and is free! Some of the events have a ticket- so be sure to plan ahead.
Beverly Hills Art Show
Between May 21st - 22nd, you can browse various pieces of sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, ceramics, and jewelry among other items at this spring’s Beverly Hills Art Show.
In addition to the nearly 250 artists who will be featured at the show, there will be a number of food trucks available and a beer garden for visitors.
The art show will be held each day from 10 am – 6 pm; check the website for more information!
UNCONFIRMED: Museums of the Arroyo Day
For one day a year, six different museums in LA and Pasadena open their doors to the public for free.
Take the family to explore what places like The Gamble House, The LA Police Museum, and Autry’s Historic Southwest Museum have to offer.
Expect crowds that are larger than normal; more information available here.
NOTE: Dates for May of 2022 have yet to be confirmed, but this event did take place in 2021, so it's likely it will happen once again this year.
Public Star Party at Griffith Park Observatory
One Saturday every month the Observatory hosts a night where guests can try amazing telescopes between 2pm-9:45pm on the lawn. You can also check out the free museum while you are there!
Or bring your flashlight for an evening hike! Be sure to stay safe and stay on the wide paths, of course.
Perform in Hollywood
Let yourself be heard at VOX Hollywood. It is an open mic night held every Thursday at 6pm at the Frances Howard Goldwyn - Hollywood Regional Library
Smorgasburg in L.A.
Smorgasburg is the largest open-air weekly food market in America! Stop by every Sunday between 10am-4pm. The market is free but you will definitely be tempted to spend a few bucks on a meal or two or three.
Smorgasbord L.A. Vendor Wanderlust Creamery- How perfect for the travel-lovers!
Attend a Live Taping
There is nothing more Hollywood than attending a live taping and it is free!
Many T.V. shows and game shows tape in LA, of course. Including, The Jimmy Kimmel Show, The Kelly Clarkson Show, and the Price is Right!
Looking for tips and tricks to getting free tickets? Check out our live taping blog here.
Go for a Hike in L.A.
For a popular hiking option, check out Runyon Canyon Park where you’ll have 360-degree views of downtown L.A., the Hollywood Sign & Griffith Observatory, and even the ocean on clear days. It’s free to hike in the park!
Tip: Check out our post on Things to do in Griffith Park for even more hiking options!
See Los Angeles from Above
Catch the (free!) views from above on the observation deck at LA’s City Hall downtown. The observation deck is open on weekdays from 8am-5pm and provides spectacular views of the city.
If you plan to see the view for yourself note that you’ll enter the building through the doors on Main Street. You’ll be passing through a metal detector upon entering the building and you’ll need a valid photo ID card with you.
After that, all that separates you from the view is a couple of elevator rides and one set of stairs up to the 27th floor!
Below is just a short sampling of the many things to do at night in May.
We’ve also covered several additional ideas in our other sections. Make sure to look around this post for evening attractions such as Shark Lagoon Night at the Aquarium, going to the theatre, seeing a sporting event, attending a concert and more.
For suggestions on other nighttime activities, see our post Things to do at Night in LA.
Celebrate Star Wars Day at Scum and Villainy Cantina
May the 4th be with you! On May 4th, head to LA’s friendly neighborhood geek bar. You’ll have a great time hanging out with fellow Star Wars fans and are sure to spot a Wookie or two.
Click here to learn more about the cantina
See a Performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall
The Los Angeles Philharmonic will be performing several shows throughout the month of May at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. This unique venue was designed to produce some of the richest sound possible, ensuring a great experience for every audience member.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic will be performing here multiple times throughout the month. If you are a musical theatre lover, experiencing music in the Walt Disney Concert Hall will be incredible! This is also the starting location of our Downtown L.A. Tour.
For many more ideas, be sure to take a look at our post about things to do at night in LA.
UNCONFIRMED: The 626 Night Market
If you love fun food and buying local goods- check out the 626 Night Market. Imagine a cotton candy/ice cream taco or a burger with a ramen noodle bun!
The Night Market happens on various dates and locations throughout the summer.
NOTE: Dates for May 2022 and the summer have yet to be confirmed.
See a movie at the historic Egyptian Theatre
The historic Egyptian Theatre built in 1922 is the home American Cinematheque! It is a great place to see a screening and catch a flick, while also appreciating the incredible architecture. Join our Hollywood Tour for more fun facts about this theatre!
Head to the Wallis Center
Attend an Outdoor Movie Screening
Could anything be more LA than spending time in front of the silver screen? It’s even better when you can watch them outside on a nice summer night! Dates in April are all TBD.
The resting place of the most famous Hollywood stars hosts outdoor movies in the summer. You can pay tribute to Judy Garland and then catch a flick!
Tickets must be purchased. You can do so here.
Street Food Cinema is a series of summer movies that partner with food trucks! Each date is at a different location in Los Angeles. Be sure to buy your tickets in advance!
For more outdoor movie screenings, see our Los Angeles Summer Guide.
NOTE: Although these events have yet to be confirmed for 2022, there is a strong likelihood that at least one of them will take place this year.
Los Angeles is full of family-friendly things to do in May 2022 and many that will be sure to appeal to everyone's interests!
There are also some activities we’ve mentioned in other sections like the Renaissance Faire, sporting events, or outdoor movies that are family-friendly.
During the weekend of May 8th, show Mom how much you appreciate everything she’s done over the years by celebrating her this weekend!
Reservations for any Mother’s Day weekend activity are strongly encouraged.
NOTE: Don’t forget about the Mother’s Day Love Jam featuring artists like Keith Sweat, Bell Biv DeVoe, and Ginuwine.
Have Fun at Greek Fest
From May 13th - 15th, 2022, celebrate Greek culture with a weekend of food, music, and dancing! Indulge in a variety of authentic Greek fare and homemade pastries including souvlaki, moussaka, spanakopita, and baklava at Greek Fest.
Also enjoy shopping numerous vendor booths filled with souvenirs, paintings, jewelry, and clothing among other items.
Kids will love the “Kidz Zone” with carnival ride, games, and much more!
Although general admission isn’t technically free, it’s only $3 at most and $2 with their flyer. Senior citizens, Children under 12, Military, Police and Fire personnel will all receive free admission.
Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest and Folk Festivals
This festival will feature four stages and over 100 instrumental and singing contestants from singing and playing on outdoor Western movie sets. The event will also include folk arts booths, National Parks booths, food, and children's activities.
Located up at Paramount Ranch on May 15th, 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Click here for more information about the festival
See a movie at the el Capitan Theatre
There is nothing for L.A. than watching movies! The el Capitan Theatre is a gorgeous movie palace in the heart of Hollywood. The architecture is breathtaking!
If you are a Disney-lover, this is a great theatre to visit because it is owned by Disney and only plays Disney movies! The best part is that there is often a pre-show event or performance on stage. Check their website for the updated movie schedule.
Visit the California Science Center!
A science museum for all ages, the California Science Center has many interactive and hands-on exhibits that explore innovations, human inventions, and more.
The center is also home to the Space Shuttle Endeavor (tickets required) and rotating special exhibits.
The museum is open daily from 10 am - 5 pm and entrance to the permanent exhibits is free!
TIP: Tickets to the California Science Center IMAX Theater are included with the Go Los Angeles Card.
Enjoy the Aquarium of the Pacific
Take the family for a fun day under the sea! Spend a day among the marine life at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.
Sea life on display includes sea otters, turtles, jellyfish, numerous tropical fish, and a shark lagoon among other exhibits.
The aquarium is open daily from 9 am - 6 pm. Admission prices vary.
TIP: Don’t forget that the Shark Lagoon Nights at the Aquarium of the Pacific are entirely free to attend every Friday.
For more ideas of things to do with kids in LA, see our post Things to do in LA with Kids.