Dancers fly through the air during SPRING TO DANCE organized by Dance St. Louis.

15 Things to Do in St. Louis This May

Friday March 22, 2024

By Rachel Huffman

Spring brings endless activities to the Gateway City. If you’re looking for things to do in St. Louis this May, we’ve got awe-inspiring exhibitions, powerful performances, tasty traditions and festivals galore.

St. Louis is also a sports city. If you’re a fan, snag tickets to see one of our professional sports teams play in rip-roaring competitions in between these events.

May 4

Over the years, the Cinco de Mayo Festival on Cherokee Street has evolved into one of the largest and most diverse festivals in the St. Louis region, bringing together more than 30,000 attendees to celebrate the rich, multicultural, spirited and eclectic community within the Cherokee Street neighborhood and surrounding area. Expect six blocks of festivities, including two stages and a lucha libre wrestling ring!

May 4

Declared “impractical” and “impossible,” the Eads Bridge in St. Louis still stands after 150 years. The best part? It’s used daily! Head to Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum for a special two-hour trolley tour about chief engineer James Buchanan Eads, his bridge and other people who made it a reality.

May 4 to 5

If you’re looking for a unique way to explore the Gateway City, this is it. Led by professional outfitter Big Muddy Adventures, the Islands of St. Louis overnight expedition will allow you to paddle the two largest rivers in North America, camping on the white sand beaches of pristine river islands along the way. No paddling experience is required to embark on this epic adventure, which will give you an entirely new perspective of the region.

May 9 to 11

Triumphant unites COCA’s Pre-Professional dance companies as they take their season-ending bows and COCA’s graduating seniors who will grace the stage one last time. The spectacle highlights the versatility of COCA’s young artists as they present 12 dance works across three unique programs. Leading up to Triumphant, the dancers experience creative development residencies with guest artists, including Justin Conte, Tom Gold, My’Kal Stromile and Omari Wiles. Bringing new work to premiere at COCA, each guest artist mounts their piece specifically for COCA dancers and collaborates with COCA’s production team to fully realize the work.

May 10 to 12

For three days in May, you can shop for one-of-a-kind artwork, savor tasty food and drinks, enjoy live music and entertainment and get creative with hands-on activities at one of the most unique attractions in St. Louis. Laumeier Sculpture Park is one of the first and largest dedicated sculpture parks in the U.S. – and the perfect setting for this exciting event. Attracting more than 17,000 patrons annually, the Laumeier Art Fair showcases 150 juried artists from across the country, who exhibit work in 10 media categories: ceramics, fiber/textiles, glass, jewelry, 2D mixed media, painting, photography/digital, printmaking/drawing, sculpture and wood.

May 11

Join your fellow beer lovers at the annual St. Louis Microfest, where you can sip suds from local, national and international breweries. The spring festival also includes tasty food and live music.

May 11

Get your game face on! The St. Louis Scottish Games and Cultural Festival celebrates the best of Scotland, including Highland dance, bagpipes, sheepherding, the caber toss and clan gatherings. The tone will be set by Celtic rock band Mudmen, and the event will also feature Scottish cuisine, Scottish vendors and kids’ activities.

May 15 to June 9

Opulent beyond man’s dreams, travelers died crossing the Sahara Desert in search of Timbuktu! Set against this exotic locale, the St. Louis Black Repertory Company presents the story of the Poet; his beautiful daughter, Marsinah; an evil Wazir of Police; his restless Wife of Wives, Lundanda; and The Mania of Mali, Bobo. While wandering incognito, Bobo meets Marsinah and instantly falls in love. Still, the twisted twine of fate must unravel in many thrilling and exciting ways before the two lovers can finally tie the knot.

May 17 and 18

Taste of Maplewood spotlights the neighborhood’s renowned restaurants, delightful libations, beloved boutiques and specialty stores. In its 16th year, the festival’s vibe is distinct and unmistakable, radiating the culture and character of the local businesses. In addition to food and drinks, visitors can enjoy live entertainment on two stages.

May 19

Bacon lovers, rejoice! Alpha Brewing Co. is hosting a sizzling event on May 19. Tickets to Bacon Fest include all the bacon and beer that you can consume – plus, live music from two bands.

May 24 and 25

Organizing the Midwest region’s most celebrated dance festival, Dance St. Louis draws nationally touring professional companies from coast to coast to bestow their artistry on the Gateway City. SPRING TO DANCE is an unmatched buffet of dance, featuring two days of nonstop movement from a wide array of companies, including powerhouses, breakout stars and up-and-comers. The must-see festival has something for everyone, from ballet to modern and contemporary to flamenco, with a distinct, dynamic program each night.

May 25 to 27

The St. Louis African Arts Festival aims to increase awareness of the global contributions that African people and people of African descent have made through artistic, cultural and educational programs. In its 33rd year, the festival is held at the World’s Fair Pavilion in Forest Park, drawing locals and visitors together to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures of African and African American people. Attendees can enjoy the African marketplace with arts and crafts, clothing and jewelry, alongside cultural demonstrations, traditional foods and African films.

May 25 to June 30

Offering its signature mix of beloved classical operas and bold contemporary works, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis will present its 49th festival season from May 25 to June 30. Through the talents of hundreds of local, national and international artists, audiences will experience the magic of innovative storytelling as they travel between fantasy and reality, comedy and tragedy, love and revenge. The 2024 festival season includes The Barber of Seville (May 25 to June 29), La bohème (June 1 to 30), Julius Caesar (June 9 to 28) and Galileo Galilei (June 15 to 29). All the operas will be sung in English and accompanied by the Grammy Award-winning St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.


May 28 to June 9

The music. The moves. The icon. Now, the unparalleled artistry of the greatest entertainer of all time comes to St. Louis as MJ, the Tony Award-winning new musical centered on the making of the 1992 Dangerous World Tour. Created by Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, MJ goes beyond the singular moves and signature sound of the star, offering a rare look at the creative mind and collaborative spirit that catapulted Michael Jackson to legendary status. MJ is startin’ somethin’ at The Fabulous Fox this month.

May 31

Want to solve a mystery? Discover the secret stories behind certain works at the Saint Louis Art Museum during this celebration of the exhibition Concealed Layers: Uncovering Expressionist Paintings, which runs until Aug. 4. During the event, you can also enjoy music, performances, artmaking and other activities as you test your sleuthing abilities.

We can’t wait for these events, but there are more than 15 things to do in St. Louis this May. For more inspiration, check our events calendar.