This post covers the top things to do in Nashville in May including nighttime activities, free things to do, and family-friendly options, all updated for 2022.
Be sure to read our master post on things to do in Nashville for even more ideas.
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.
There's no shortage of things to do in Nashville in May. On the list of best things to do are a few of the city's annual festivals, theater, comedy, and of course... music!
Check out our popular Nashville posts:
- Hop-On Hop-Off Tours
- Tourist Attraction Discount Passes
- Country Music Hall of Fame Discounts
- Madame Tussauds Nashville
- Andrew Jackson's Hermitage Discounts
1) See a Concert
If you’re looking for a concert, Music City is the place to find it. This month Nashville offers a chance to see some unbelievable performers!
We list the highlights below the video. Find even more shows from StubHub's listing of concerts in Nashville in May.
- Jack White | May 1st
- Nine Inch Nails | May 1st
- Van Morrison | May 3rd, 4th
- Shinedown | May 4th
- Melissa Etheridge | May 5th
- Willie Nelson | May 6th
- Megadeth w/ Lamb of God | May 6th
- Deftones | May 7th
- Gojira | May 7th
- Primus | May 9th
- The Hu | May 9th
- LP | May 11th
- Still Woozy | May 11th
- Don McLean | May 12th
- New Kids on the Block | May 13th
- Sting | May 18th
- Kid Rock | May 21st
- Simple Plan w/ Sum 41 | May 22nd
- Halsey | May 24th
- Bonnie Raitt | May 26th, 27th
- Weird Al Yankovic | May 29th
See our post on the Grand Ole Opry to find out about getting tickets to see music at this historic venue.
For more music and concerts, check out StubHub's calendar of concerts in Nashville this month.
2) Go to a Sports Event
Sports are in full swing in May, and Nashville has both baseball and soccer games going this month.
You can get tickets from StubHub for MiLB or college baseball games, as well as professional soccer games.
Check out the other sports events in Nashville this month on StubHub.
3) Enjoy the Theatre
Nashville is much more than concerts and music festivals. This month you can enjoy both classical music and ballet. StubHub is a good place to see what's on in May.
There are two major Off-Broadway musicals to see at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center at Andrew Jackson Hall this month.
The classic musical Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma will be available from May 3rd - 8th, 2022. Tickets are already selling out fast, so we recommend getting yours as soon as possible!
In addition to that option, you'll also be able to see Ain't Too Proud from May 10th - 15th, 2022. There are still plenty of tickets for this show, but that probably won't remain the case for much longer.
Find more theatrical and dance performances here.
4) See Mike Epps Perform Stand-Up Comedy
This famed actor of such films as Next Friday and Resident Evil: Extinction will be in Nashville on May 15 at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium.
This is an excellent opportunity to see one of the most popular comedians of our time live on stage. It's also a good way to spend an evening out in Nashville.
Tickets are likely to sell out fast so we recommend buying your tickets from StubHub in advance.
5) Take a Sightseeing Tour
The weather in May makes it a great time to outside seeing the Nashville sights. You can explore the city on foot, by bus and trolley, by bike, or with self-guided tours.
Hop-on hop-off bus tours allow you to see a lot of the city in a short amount of time.
Walking tours get you close to the local action and let you take in the local vibe. There are walking tours that are offered for free.
If you want to be more physically active take a bicycle tour of Downtown - May is perfect for a bike ride!
6) Hear Free Music at Musician’s Corner
Friday and Saturday nights in May and June mean free local music at Musician’s Corner.
Head to Centennial Park to enjoy the free concert series, food trucks, and a roped-off kids play area.
You can also bring your own food and have a picnic or buy food from vendors selling different cuisines.
If you are looking for more free entertainment, see our post on free things to do in Nashville year-round.
7) Eat Street Food All Month
The Nashville Food Truck Association puts on the most delicious event of the year with Street Food Month.
You can find trucks offering all different cuisines. From Southern hot chicken and waffles to pizza, barbecue, and lobster, there is something for everyone.
All month, food trucks will be out and about even more than usual. Find food truck locations here.
If you prefer being led right to the best Nashville cuisine, consider a food tour. See just below for information.
8) Take a Food Tour
If you want help finding the most delicious dishes and the best restaurants, consider taking the Nashville Secret Food Tour.
This 3 to 3 1/2 hour tour will introduce you to some of the best foods in the authentic area of 12South/Midtown like mouthwatering barbecue, pulled pork tacos, heavenly hot chicken, plus a 'Secret Dish' you'd never find without a guide.
Here are a few other Nashville food tours you might want to consider:
- Taste of Nashville Food & Sightseeing Tour
- Underground Downtown Nashville Donut Tour
- Germantown Food & Sightseeing Tour
- Downtown Nashville Pub Crawl
Read more about food tour options from our post on various types of tours of Nashville.
9) See More with a City Pass
See more of Nashville in May with a tourist attraction discount pass that includes entry to the most popular attractions.
The passes can save you money by providing a get a bulk discount on museums, venues, and historic estates.
Here are some of the attractions included in at least one of Nashville's tourist passes:
- Cheekwood Estates in Bloom
- Ryman Auditorium Backstage
- Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage & Gardens
- Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
- Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Read more about Nashville tourist discount passes.
10) Head to the Sevier Park Fest
This annual festival is a celebration of the artists and imagination of two Nashville neighborhoods: Belmont/Hillsboro and 12South. It takes place on May 7th, 2022.
There will be live music, unique shopping by local craftspeople, lots of yummy food, all in a jovial laid-back atmosphere.
Admission is just $10 per person and it includes one free drink ticket for a craft beer at the festival bars.
If you are traveling with kids, Saturday is the best day to go, as there will be a kids' play area with games, crafts, family activities, and more. Kids under 12 enter for free making this festival is a budget-friendly activity for the family.
Check out our full post on things to do with kids in Nashville for more ideas.
11) Go to the Tennessee Craft Fair
Showcasing the works of 200 crafters and makers from all over Tennessee, this excellent event brings out over 45,000 attendees each year.
Over the 3 days, you can find professional development workshops for artists, demonstrations on crafting with different materials, and exhibits on the “best of” Tennessee’s craft offerings.
There will also be a Kids' Tent with interactive crafts activities. Read more about this free event from the official website.
12) See the Horses at the Iroquois Steeplechase
Kentucky may have the Derby, but Tennessee has the Iroquois Steeplechase on the second Saturday of every May. In 2022, the event is on May 14th.
Over 25,000 people come out, dressed in their finest hats and suits, to watch the famous steeplechase.
The best horse and rider teams compete in his historic race to help support Vanderbilt’s children’s hospital.
If you’re looking for something unique to do, love horses, or love dressing up in large hats, don’t miss out on this steeplechase!
Individual Tickets are $50.00 + small ticket fee.
13) Drink Pink at the Nashville Rosé Festival
It's all about the color pink at the annual Nashville Rosé Festival! You can sip on over 100 Rosé wines, cocktails, spirits, craft beer and Frosé!
Pink is also the color of Breast Cancer Awareness and proceeds from the Rose Festival go to the Tennessee Breast Cancer Coalition.
In 2022, the festival takes place on May 14th from 3 pm to 7 pm.
In addition to pink drinks, there will be pink clothes and housewares for sale. You can even get your nails done in many shades of pink.
Tickets cost $60 per person and include unlimited samples of over 100 Rosé wines, Frosé, cocktails, and craft beer.
Designated driver tickets cost $20 and include non-alcoholic drinks. All attendees must be 21+ to enter. See their website for details.!