Company Logo - Home Link

Things to do in Los Angeles in May

Updated: February 14, 2024
 By Mel

This post covers the best things to do in LA in May and has been updated for 2024.

Our guides, who both live and work in Los Angeles, have listed just some of the activities taking place this month.

They include free, nighttime, and family-friendly events and activities, ones we enjoy ourselves or hope to take part in this year.

Be sure to read our master post on things to do in Los Angeles before you visit.

Here's a great trip to LA!

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.


In this section, we will cover the ten best things to do in Los Angeles this May.

For tips on the most popular activities in LA, check out our posts on top things to do in Los Angeles and bus tours.

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

We offer pay-what-you-like walking tours or you can try our self-guided walking tours. Check out our calendar to book a guided walking tour.

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 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 of the following neighborhoods of LA. 

2. Attend a Concert

Los Angeles is full of concert venues, and there's always a talented artist to be found performing in and around the city.

There are also a few music festivals being held in the LA area this month.

Pop Concerts

Classical and Opera Concerts

Note that we make a stop at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on our pay-what-you-wish Downtown Los Angeles walking tour!

Music Festivals

Find even more concerts happening in LA in May here.

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.


  • Although the season runs from October to June, there are sadly no home games for the Los Angeles Kings this month.


  • To see LA's professional baseball teams in play (their season runs between April and September) check out the Dodgers or the Angels.


  • To catch the most popular sport in the world, you might enjoy a game with the Galaxy or LAFC.

This is a great way to spend your afternoon or evening in the city.

Check here for even more LA area sporting events in May.

For more things to do at night, check the section down below.

4. Run the Orange County Marathon

Calling all runners! For those who love marathons, the OC Marathon and its related activities are fun and scenic events.

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.

Races run from May 4th-5th, 2024.

Check the website for more information and registration.

5. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Celebrate Mexico’s victory over French forces in Puebla, Mexico in 1862 with music, dancing, and food on Cinco de Mayo!  

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. 

Other events in the area include:

6. Laugh at a Comedy Festival

The Netflix is a Joke Comedy festival takes place from May 2nd-12th.

The shows take place at 30 locations around Los Angeles. venues such as the Hollywood Bowl, The Wiltern, and the Kia Forum.

Some of the biggest names in comedy will be there including:

  • Jim Gaffigan
  • Sebastian Maniscalco
  • Sarah Silverman
  • Seth Rogan
  • Nate Bargatze
  • Tom Segura
  • Katt Williams
  • David Letterman
  • Brett Goldstein
  • Ali Wong
  • Kevin Hart
  • Bill Burr
  • Jerry Seinfeld
  • Bert Kreischer
  • Nikki Glaser

These are just some of the names making an appearance.

Check out the full list and purchase tickets here.

7. Attend the Renaissance Faire

The Renfaire returns to Pasadena this spring, allowing you to experience a recreation of Renaissance times.

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.

The Faire runs on Saturdays and Sundays, from April 6th through May 19th.

If you’re looking for more things to do with your family, please read our family-friendly activities section.

8. Attend 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 taking place during May.

You can find even more plays, musicals, and events on the stage in May here.

9. Enjoy Even More Events

While there are some events taking place in Los Angeles proper, there are others less than an hour's drive away.

Muse/Ique Really Big Show | Los Angeles | May 1st, and May 5th

Great Big Family Play Day | Los Angeles | May 4th-5th

Tustin Loberfest | Tustin | May 18th

Garden Grove Strawberry Festival | Garden Grove | May 24th-27th

Scottish Fest | Costa Mesa | May 25th- 26th

Los Angeles International Children's Festival | Los Angeles | May 29th-May 26th

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 pass.

You’ll pay one fee upfront and receive free or highly discounted entry into many of the city’s most popular attractions and activities.

Tourist passes work by bundling multiple tickets into one price, usually between 20%-50% of the retail price.   

Read our post comparing the different LA passes. Several bus tour companies, including hop-on-hop-off buses, also offer discounts and deals.

Or, if you know which pass you'd like to purchase you can buy one here: All-Inclusive - Go City Los Angeles | Explorer - Go City Los Angeles | Flex Pass - Los Angeles Sightseeing | CityPass Southern California

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 May already. Check out even more free activities below.

For even more free activities, see our Guide to Free Things to Do in LA.

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.

Smorgasburg in L.A.

Smorgasburg is the largest open-air weekly food market in America! 

Stop by every Sunday between 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.

The market is free, as is parking, but you will definitely be tempted to spend a few bucks on a meal or two or three.

TIP: Our Guide to Free Things to do in LA lists a number of activities and events that won't cost you a dime!

Beverly Hills Art Show

Between May 18th-19th 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 230 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!

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. They have been doing this for more than 30 years!

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 is available here.

While you’re there, read about the other things to do in Pasadena.

NOTE: The May date for 2024 has not been released yet however it usually falls in the second half of the month.

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 8 am - 5 pm 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.

Public Star Party at Griffith Park Observatory 

One Saturday every month the Observatory hosts a Star Party. This is a night where guests can try amazing telescopes between 2 pm - 9:45 pm 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.

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.

These take place at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, a unique venue designed to produce some of the richest sounds possible.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic will be performed here multiple times throughout the month - including the music from John William's Harry Ptter score (which takes place May 18th and 19th).

This is also the starting location of our Downtown L.A. Tour.

See a Movie at the Historic Egyptian Theatre

The historic Egyptian Theatre built in 1922 is the home of the 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

The Wallis Center in Beverly Hills has amazing performances year-round.

In May 2024, we can look forward to several fantastic events.

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.

Movies at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

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 in advance.

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.


Los Angeles is full of family-friendly things to do in May 2023 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.

Celebrate Mother’s Day

During the weekend of May 12th, show Mom how much you appreciate everything she’s done over the years by celebrating her!

Check to see what Mother’s Day brunch options and special menus LA restaurants are offering, or perhaps take Mom on a special Mother’s Day Cruise or whale-watching excursion.

Reservations for any Mother’s Day weekend activity are strongly encouraged.

Have Fun at Greek Fest

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 at numerous vendor booths filled with souvenirs, paintings, jewelry, and clothing among other items.

Kids will love the “Kidz Zone” with carnival rides, games, and much more!

Senior citizens, Children under 12, Military, Police, and Fire personnel will all receive free admission.

Note that the dates for 2024 haven't been released yet, but the festival tends to take place in the latter half of the month.

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.

The festival is taking place up at Paramount Ranch on May 19th.

Click here for more information.

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.

About The Author


Mel loves to be a tourist in her own city. With a background in performing arts, tourism, and photography, giving tours and being a story-teller comes naturally to her. She loves traveling, food, and theatre. Mel splits her time between Chicago and Los Angeles (#theatrelife) and leads tours and manages both cities!
Updated: February 14th, 2024
Back to Top