A couple enjoys Chihuly in the Garden 2023.

15 Things to Do in St. Louis This May

Tuesday April 4, 2023

By Rachel Huffman

Spring brings endless activities to St. Louis. If you’re looking for things to do this May, we’ve got awe-inspiring exhibitions, exuberant performances, powerful screenings 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 other events.

May 2 to October 15

There’s something new growing at the Missouri Botanical Garden. In its most ambitious exhibition to date, world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly will “plant” 20 installations throughout the Garden, uniting art, nature and light in an unparalleled experience. Vibrant, bold and captivating, Chihuly’s work features all-consuming suns above outstretched blossoms, boats loaded with brilliant glass forms and massive towers with thousands of intertwined pieces of blown glass. Don’t miss Chihuly in the Garden 2023, which also features Chihuly Nights when visitors will have the opportunity to experience the artist’s masterpieces in an extraordinary way.

May 3 to 21

Season 46 of The St. Louis Black Repertory Company will end on a high note with Eubie! by Eubie Blake, Julianne Boyd, Andy Razaf and Noble Sissle. A musical revue from the 1970s, Eubie! showcases the groundbreaking American musician and composer, who broke down barriers with his 1921 musical Shuffle Along, the first Broadway musical written, directed by and starring Black Americans, which helped shape American musical theater as we know it today.

May 4 to 7

The NMCA/NMRA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing returns to World Wide Technology Raceway from May 4 to 7. Promising awe-inspiring performances on the track, the 2023 Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing is a destination event for fans, participants and vendors of great drag racing action. Past events have attracted more than 475 racing entries and included a car show and large manufacturer midway.

May 4 to 10

QFest St. Louis uses the art of contemporary gay cinema to spotlight the lives of LGBTQ+ people and to celebrate queer culture. The event will excite, entertain and enlighten audiences of all identities. This is your opportunity to see films that, for the most part, wouldn’t otherwise screen in St. Louis. This year’s lineup includes L’Immensità, a multifaceted family drama about a mother and her child – two people bonded by the feeling of being outsiders in their own lives; Monica, an emotionally charged portrait of a transgender woman who returns home after a long absence to help care for her dying mother, which takes her on a path of healing and acceptance; and The Blue Caftan, an intimate, delicate and heartbreaking tale of a woman and her closeted gay husband who run a caftan store in the medina of Salé, Morocco. In total, QFest St. Louis will screen 26 films from nine countries.

May 5 to 7

TRIumphant, COCA’s annual spring repertoire, is created by some of the nation’s leading voices in dance and spotlights the immense talent and versatility of COCA’s three Pre-Professional Division dance companies: Ballet Eclectica, COCAdance and COCA Hip-Hop Crew. The weekend will feature 18 works across three programs. “This is one of my favorite productions for the dancers, as well as audience members,” Kirven Douthit-Boyd, associate director of dance production, says. “You can see classical ballet, contemporary and modern dance, hip-hop dance and students who flow seamlessly from genre to genre. It’s an exciting experience for everyone involved.” TRIumphant is a celebration of a year’s worth of work, and it’s your last chance to witness the artistry of COCA’s graduating seniors.

May 6

¡Vamos de fiesta! On May 6, more than 100 vendors will pack Cherokee Street for the Cinco de Mayo Street Festival. The stalls will offer everything from traditional Mexican street food to margaritas served in real pineapples to eye-catching apparel. The festival footprint, which stretches from South Jefferson to Nebraska avenues, will also feature two stages with all-day entertainment for a variety of interests. Cherokee Street has the largest concentration of Hispanic-owned and -operated bakeries, restaurants, groceries and shops in St. Louis, and their presence maintains the exuberance of the area, making this the best place to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the region.

May 6

The St. Louis Microfest invites festivalgoers to sample local, national and international beers during two different tasting sessions on May 6. This year’s participating brewers include 4 Hands Brewing Co., Boulevard Brewing Co., Old Bakery Beer Co., Public House Brewing Co., Samuel Adams, Schlafly Beer and Switchgrass Spirits, among others. The lively event will also feature music, food and more fun.

May 7

Turn your dream wedding into a reality at the Missouri Bridal & Wedding Expo. Held at America’s Center Convention Complex, you can find the perfect dress, venue, photographer, florist, band, honeymoon destination and more at the massive exhibition. Whether you envision a formal black-tie affair or a casual barefoot ceremony, the carefully curated experts at the expo are ready and willing to help you create timeless memories. The selection of wedding professionals can offer advice on everything from bridal registry to dance lessons, catering to favors and photo booths to videographers. During the event, expect bridal fashion shows, DJ demos, cash prizes and giveaways, as well.

May 9 to 21

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, a new, mesmerizing production of iconic musical phenomenon Jesus Christ Superstar comes to The Fabulous Fox from May 9 to 21. Appealing to both theater audiences and concert fans, the production pays tribute to the historic 1971 Billboard Album of the Year while creating a modern, theatrical world that’s uniquely fresh and inspiring. With lyrics and music by Tony Award winners Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Weber, Jesus Christ Superstar is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks of Jesus Christ’s life as seen through the eyes of Judas. Reflecting the rock roots that defined a generation, the legendary score includes “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” “Gethsemane” and “Superstar.”

May 12 to 14

Held over Mother’s Day weekend, the Laumeier Annual Art Fair is a three-day, outdoor event, where 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. The art fair draws more than 17,000 patrons every year, and it 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. 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.

May 13

Sip, sample and un-wine-d. On May 13, Ballpark Village will host a festival-style wine-tasting event. The St. Louis Wine Walk features wine tastings, food pairings, photo opportunities, live music, games, local vendors and more. If you don’t want to imbibe, sign up for the foodie package, which includes seven food samples and access to nonalcoholic wines.

May 19

Decked Out Divas is the only floating drag show in St. Louis. Join the Riverboats at the Gateway Arch for this adults-only, late-night show, featuring some of our favorite local divas. Hosted by drag queen extraordinaire Jade Sinclair, the cruise promises a night of fabulous, highfalutin fun with drag queens working the stage for your enjoyment. You must be 21 or older to attend, and there will be a cash bar available.

May 19 and 20

Radiating the character and culture of the businesses in the area, Taste of Maplewood boasts food and libations from local establishments such as Asador Del Sur, The Blue Duck, Traveling Tea and vomFASS. As you eat and drink, enjoy live music from No Alternative, one of Chicago’s most entertaining cover bands; Chris Shepherd Band, a blues group from St. Louis; and Power Play, a group that spans genres, including jazz, pop, rock, dance, funk and R&B.

May 27 to 29

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 32nd year, the festival will be held at the World’s Fair Pavilion in Forest Park from May 27 to 29. The multi-day event draws 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 31 to August 2

The Missouri Botanical Garden is an idyllic place to listen to live music. On Wednesday evenings throughout the summer, the garden hosts free, open-air concerts as part of the annual Whitaker Music Festival. To date, more than one million people have participated in the cherished St. Louis tradition, which promotes common heritage, celebrates diversity and encourages vitality within the community. Visitors can bring their own picnics, and food, beer, wine and sno-cones will also be available for purchase.

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.