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Things to do in May in Ohio

Tonya Prater, Owner

May is a great month to plan things to do in Ohio. By now most of the cold, rainy weather is over and outdoor activities and festivals are starting to kick off.

We have some really fun ongoing activities to remind you of and even more things to do in May in Ohio that are kicking off.

Ongoing Ohio Events Throughout the Month of May

  • Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens hosts Blooms and Butterflies through the end of May in the Pacific Island Water Garden. This is a fun opportunity to observe hundreds of butterflies as they float through the tropical plants.
  • The Ohio State Reformatory will host ghost walks and ghost hunts this month.
    • The ghost walk, scheduled for Friday, May 5, is a two-hour guided night tour of the facility.
    • The ghost hunt, scheduled for Saturday, May 6, and Saturday, May 27, is a public paranormal investigation for adults 18 and older only! 
  • The Biggest Week in American Birding kicks off on May 5 at the Black Swamp Bird Observatory. See why Oak Harbor is called the warbler capital of the world at this week-long event. There is a wide variety of activities planned for all ages. 

May 4 through May 7

  • Ever wanted to experience COSI without kids? COSI After Dark is the perfect opportunity. This month’s event on May 4 is, naturally, a Star Wars-themed event: May the 4th Be With You. Costumes are encouraged, and Jedi-themed cocktails will be served. 
  • Vinton County kicks off summer with its annual Wild Turkey Festival, which runs from May 4 through May 7. This long-standing event includes amusement rides, car and motorcycle shows, beauty pageants, and live music.
  • Dillon State Park near Zanesville hosts The Park After Dark on several dates throughout the spring. Friday, May 6 features a Full Moon Hike starting at 9:00 pm. 
  • The Buckeye Imagination Museum in Mansfield celebrates First Friday on May 5; the museum has extended evening hours with special programs and classes. Regular admission fees apply.
  • May 5 is the third concert in the First Friday Concert Series in downtown Middletown. Head to Governor’s Square for live music starting at 6:00; local restaurants will be offering specials as well.
  • The Artist Colony of Zanesville presents the First Friday Art Walk, a great opportunity to stroll through local galleries and meet the artists. Enjoy live music, food, and drink specials, and of course, art!
  • There’s a First Friday in Dayton, too! This free art hop features exhibit openings, street performances, live music, roaming entertainers, plus dining and shopping specials. 
  • Gardeners and outdoor enthusiasts won’t want to miss the 5th Annual Spring Fest at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds on May 5 and 6. Visitors will have the opportunity to purchase plants, gardening tools, and crafts, as well as get advice from gardening experts. 
  • Breitenbach Vineyards in Dover will host the 30th Annual Dandelion Festival on May 5 and 6. Enjoy dandelion wine, live entertainment, cellar tours, and many vendors offering dandelion products. 
  • A World A’Fair finally returns to the Dayton area after a 3-year hiatus. In a new location at the Greene County Expo Center in Xenia, the event features food, music, and cultural experiences from over 30 countries around the world. No passport is required!
  • Akron offers the opportunity to experience a powwow at the Springfield Baptist Church baseball field on May 6 and 7. The Ohio Celebration of Native and Veteran Heritage will feature drums, dancing, food, vendors, and educational activities. 
     
  • The Richland County Fairgrounds in Mansfield will hold the Ohio Civil War and Artillery Show on May 6 and 7. Buy, sell, trade, or just peruse thousands of items from the Civil War through WWII.
  • Celebrate Cinco de Mayo all weekend at Cincinatti’s Fountain Square on May 6 and 7. Cincy-Cinco is hosted by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Cincinnati and features dozens of local restaurants, plus a parade, live performances, and more!
  • The Columbus Folk Music Society will host the 26th Annual Central Ohio Folk Festival at Highbanks Metro Park in Lewis Center. Enjoy two days of acoustic music, jam tents, music workshops, kids’ programming, and crafts.
  • History lover’s will love learning about Richland County during RichHistory Weekend. Pick up a passport at participating locations to receive free and discounted admission to Oak Hill Cottage, Kingwood Center Gardens (for Kingwood Hall tour), and the Ohio State Reformatory, to name a few.
  • Secret City offers participants a chance to take a glimpse inside properties in Mansfield not normally open to the public. Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased the day of the event.

May 12 through May 14

little girl with a goat
  • The 52nd Annual Appalachian Festival is held this weekend at Coney Island in Cincinnati. Three stages feature mountain music, along with local storytellers, dance troupes, Native American dancing, and dozens of demonstrations. 
  • The Aullwood Audubon Farm near Dayton hosts Farm Babies Fest on May 13 and 14. This popular weekend offers the opportunity to meet baby farm animals of all types, and several 45-minute shows each day featuring raptors in free flight. You can also meet and interact with performers from the Cincinnati Circus. Several food vendors will also be on site!

May 19 through May 21

  • Hale Farm and Village will hold the annual Citizens of Hale Plant Sale on May 18 through May 20. In addition to many plants for sale, they will have craft projects, workshops, and animal encounters.
     
  • Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Mansfield will host the Annual Greek Festival on May 19 and 20. Enjoy yummy Greek food, plus music and activities.  
  • In Highland Heights near Cleveland, St. Paschal Baylon will hold it’s annual Spring Fling Festival from May 18 through May 21. Enjoy food, games, rides, and live music while helping to raise funds for the parish. 
  • Dayton Sideshow proudly presents two days of art and music on May 19 and May 20 at Yellow Cab Tavern. The festival is run entirely by volunteers and is free to attend. 
  • Head to the Hamler Community Park this weekend for a two-day country music festival. Hamler Country Fest is scheduled for May 19 and 20 and will feature two nights of great music, plus food and beverage concessions. Onsite camping is also available. 
  • Auglaize Village in Defiance will offer the opportunity to step back in time at the Settler’s Encampment held May 19 through May 21. The weekend includes demonstrators showing how daily activities such as cooking was done from 1750-1812. 
  • Nelson Ledges Quarry Park is home to the Sunny Days with Tropidelic Festival from May 19 through May 20. Enjoy good vibes, great music, and camping at this outdoor music festival near Warren. 
  • Miamisburg’s Spring Fest in the Burg kicks off Friday night, followed by the city’s largest parade on Saturday morning. The three-day event features local vendors, carnival rides and games, chalk artists, a food court, and more!
  • Lancaster will be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Lancaster Community Days Festival at the Fairfield County Fairgrounds. From May 19 through May 21, $5 admission gives you live music and entertainment that includes an outdoor laser light show. 
  • Genoa Park in Columbus will again host the 5th Annual Columbus Taco Fest on Saturday and Sunday this weekend. Enjoy tons of taco vendors, beer tents, a puppy costume contest, and more!
  • Downtown Delaware will host the Delaware Arts Festival on May 20 and May 21. Dozens of artists will have their work on sale; from jewelry, pottery, painting, and photography. They will also have food trucks on-site. 
  • The Elk + Elk Rib Burn Off in downtown Willoughby is one of the best events in the Cleveland area, with food, drink, music, and a wide variety of entertainment that includes a video gaming bus, axe throwing, and mechanical bull rides. 
  • Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit at the Cleveland Asian Festival on May 20 and 21. Two stages will feature performances such as the Asian Pop Cover Dance Competition. This is a great opportunity to learn about Asian culture and traditions and enjoy amazing Asian cuisine. 
  • Kirtland’s Farmpark presents HorseFest, with tons of demonstrations on how horses have contributed to our history, from the past to the present. Pony rides and children’s activities will also be available. 

May 26 through May 28

headlight chopper motorcycle close up
  • Rock music fans won’t want to miss the Sonic Temple Art and Music Festival in Columbus from May 25 through May 28. Headliners include Tool, Foo Fighters, and Kiss at this four-day festival. 
  • May 25 marks the first day of the 42nd annual Port Clinton Walleye Festival.  Head to Waterworks Park for free concerts, carnival rides, and food vendors, plus a parade and a kid’s fishing derby.
     
  • Ohio’s Bike Week kicks off in Sandusky on May 26th. The event includes ten days of riding along the shores of Lake Erie, all from the hub location in Sandusky. In addition to music and other fun entertainment, there’s also a daily ride on Kelley’s Island. 
  • The 51st Annual Annunciation Greek Orthodox Greek Festival in Tremont is scheduled for Friday through Monday of Memorial Day weekend. Enjoy music, dancing, and of course, delicious Greek food!
  • Chagrin Falls throws a fantastic festival every Memorial Day. The Blossom Time Festival is held at Chagrin River Park and offers a full carnival with rides, games, and food, as well as a 5.25-mile race, parade, and hot air balloons. 
  • This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Feast of the Flowering Moon. From May 26 through May 28, the festival offers Native American dancing and live music throughout the weekend.
  • The Trumbull County Fairgrounds will host Mitch & Cindy’s Bluegrass Jamboree from May 26 through May 28. In addition to three days of live music, the festival also has food vendors, kids’ activities, music workshops, karaoke, and a Sunday gospel show.  
  • At the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, there will be dozens of contenders at Berea’s National Rib Cook-Off & Beer Fest. From May 26 through the 29th, enjoy award-winning ribs, entertainment, face painting, rock climbing, and a craft beer garden sponsored by Yuengling.
  • The Columbus Asian Festival is scheduled for May 27th and May 28th at Franklin Park Conservatory. Experience Asian art, culture, and cuisine through events like dragon boat races and a ping pong tournament. 
  • The Century Village Museum in Burton will hold a Civil War Encampment on May 27 and 28. There will be civilian reenactors, living history reenactors, and cavalry reenactors of all ages. 
  • Taste of Cincinnati started in 1979, making it the country’s longest-running culinary arts festival. From May 27 through the 29th, sample more than 65 food vendors, beer tents, and several stages with live entertainment. 
  • While the Ohio Renaissance Festival occurs later in the year, the Medieval Fantasy Market Faire will take place in Pleasant City from May 27 through May 29. Enjoy family entertainment, games, food, and vendors with unique items for sale. 

Is your favorite activity on this list? If not, please leave us a comment and tell us all about it so we can check it out too.

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