May Bucket List: 40 Not to Miss Activities

May magic is in the air! Flowers are blooming, days are getting longer, and there’s a contagious buzz that summer is just around the corner. Yay! But before you fast-forward to pool parties and beach days, why not slow down and truly savor the unique charm of May? My May bucket list is your springboard to turn those “may-be” plans into must-dos, packing your month with fun, inspiration, and a whole lot of things to do in May.

May Bucket List Pinterest

Fun Things to Do in the Month of May

1. Attend a Baseball Game

Feel the crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, and the satisfying taste of a hot dog – baseball season is in full swing in May! Grab some salted peanuts (and Cracker Jacks, don’t be shy), cheer on your favorite team, and soak up the classic American pastime.


2. Book a Summer Vacation

May is the perfect time to snag some early-bird deals for your summer getaway. Whether it’s a relaxing beach bummin’ session or an adventurous hike through a national park, get your May activities off to a fantastic start by planning an epic escape.

Summer Vacation

3. Pack up a Picnic

With the weather warming up, there’s no better excuse to embrace the great outdoors than with a delightful picnic. Pack a basket full of fresh spring treats, find a scenic spot in the park, and enjoy a charming afternoon basking in the sunshine.


4. Go to a Tulip Festival

May might be the last hurrah for tulips, but their vibrant colors are definitely worth celebrating. Take advantage of their fleeting beauty and capture some Insta-worthy snaps by attending a local tulip festival and wander through fields bursting with these cheerful blooms.

Go to a Tulip Festival

5. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Bust out your maracas and get ready to fiesta! On Cinco de Mayo (May 5th), immerse yourself in Mexican culture with delicious food, traditional music, and a celebration of Mexican heritage. 


6. Go Bird Watching

Spring is prime time for bird migration, making May the perfect time to grab your binoculars (and field guide) and head outdoors. Visit a local nature reserve or park and see how many you can find. With so many feathered friends returning north, you might even spot a rare species!


7. Book a Game of Tennis (or Pickleball)

Channel your inner Serena Williams (or Roger Federer) and dust off your racquet for a game of tennis. Feeling a bit more adventurous? Give pickleball a whirl! It’s a fun paddle sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. Think fast reflexes and volleys galore, but with a smaller court and a slightly larger, perforated ball. I bought my own racquet after my first time playing—that’s how fun it is!


8. Cook a Recipe with May Veggies

Spring brings a bounty of fresh, seasonal veggies. Asparagus, peas, leafy greens, and strawberries are all in season, so unleash your inner chef and whip up a delicious (and healthy!) dish.

Annette eating vegetable

9. Go to the Kentucky Derby

Held on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, the iconic horse race known as the Kentucky Derby is a spectacle not to be missed.

Witness the excitement of the “Run for the Roses,” wear a fancy hat, sip on a mint julep, and soak up the Southern charm.

TIP: Tickets for the Kentucky Derby can get pricey, so plan accordingly! And plan your outfit well in advance, especially the hat.

Go to the Kentucky Derby

10. Find the Perfect Present for Mom

Mother’s Day falls in May, so spoil the amazing woman who brought you into the world with a thoughtful gift. Whether it’s a bouquet of her favorite flowers, a spa day, or something special she’s been wanting, make her day extra special and show Mom just how much you care.

TIP: You can also check out our Mother’s Day bucket list for even more ways to celebrate with Mom!


11. Go to the Cannes Film Festival

If you’re a movie buff, then the Cannes Film Festival might just be your dream come true. Held every year in May, this prestigious event showcases the best of international cinema. Catch a world premiere, get the chance to rub shoulders with celebrities, and experience the glitz and glamor of the film industry.

TIP: While the event itself is exclusive for film industry professionals, non-professionals can still take part through their Cannes Cinéphiles and 3 Days in Cannes programs. Do take note that they have a lengthy and extensive accreditation process, so be sure to prepare well in advance.


12. Create a Sidewalk Mural with Chalk

Who needs an art gallery when you have the sidewalk? Unleash your inner Picasso and grab some colorful chalk. May is a prime time to sprinkle some cheer with a positive message or a whimsical design. You might just paint joy (and a few smiles) for your neighbors and passersby.

For some tips and tricks on how to kickstart your sidewalk chalk art adventure, dive into these awesome videos below:

Create a Sidewalk Mural with Chalk

13. Do a May Walk for National Walking Month

Lace up your walking shoes and join the celebration of National Walking Month in May! Walking is a simple, free, and effective way to improve your health and explore your surroundings. Plus, it’s the perfect excuse to catch up with a friend or loved one on a scenic stroll through your neighborhood or park.

Annette walking

14. Get a Spring Pedicure

Those winter boots may be on their way out, but your feet deserve some TLC before they hit the sandals. Pamper yourself with a vibrant spring pedicure in a color that complements the season’s cheerful mood. 


15. Have a Ladies Brunch on a Patio

Gather your girl gang and soak up the sunshine with a ladies’ brunch on a charming restaurant patio. Share some yummy food and drink bottomless mimosas while catching up on life. 


16. Attend the Monaco Grand Prix

Feel the need for speed? Witness the spectacle of the Monaco Grand Prix, a legendary Formula One race held on the streets of Monte Carlo in Monaco. Whether you’re a gearhead or a casual F1 enjoyer, it’s definitely an experience for the bucket list (and for those with slightly fancier budgets).


17. Complete a First-aid Course

Taking a first-aid course equips you with the knowledge and confidence to handle minor emergencies. From treating scrapes and stings to knowing how to perform CPR, these valuable skills could come in handy during a hike, a backyard barbecue, or even just at home.


18. Go to NYC Fleet Week

For my East Coast peeps, May brings NYC Fleet Week, a spectacular celebration honoring the U.S. Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. This maritime extravaganza brings together active military ships, sailors, and the public for a week of festivities honoring the sea services. Expect ship tours, military demonstrations, and a whole lot of patriotic pride!


19. Enjoy a May Fruit Sorbet

Beat the heat with a homemade or store-bought May fruit sorbet. Try a strawberry, mango, or a delightful mix – the choice is yours!


20. Create Your Summer Cocktail

May is the official gateway to summer, and what better way to celebrate than by crafting your own signature summer cocktail? Think beyond the margarita (although, there’s always room for a classic!). Hit the farmers market for seasonal fruits and herbs, or get inspired by online recipes (like the ones on my Classic Cocktail Bucket List!).


21. Make a Bucket List

Every month, including May, is a fantastic time to create your own personal bucket list. After all, that’s what we’re all about – to get you excited about living your bucket list! So grab a pen, let your imagination run wild, and dream up all the incredible things to do in May and beyond.

Need some help getting started? Check out my articles below for tips on creating the ultimate bucket list!


22. Go Bowling

Get ready to roll a strike (or at least aim not to roll a gutter ball) with a night of bowling with friends or family. It’s a classic for a reason – affordable, fun for all ages, and guaranteed to provide endless amusement (trash talk optional, but highly encouraged).

Go Bowling

23. Make a Seasonal Charcuterie Board

Pull out your wooden board and pile on asparagus, goat cheese, meats and thinly sliced radishes for a pop of color. Don’t forget some crusty bread and maybe even a drizzle of honey. 

Charcuterie

24. Go to the Lotus Lantern Festival in Seoul

If you’re looking for some truly unforgettable May activities, consider a trip to Seoul, South Korea, during the Lotus Lantern Festival (Yeon Deung Hoe). Witness the city illuminated with thousands of glowing lotus lanterns in celebration of Buddha’s birthday.


25. Buy Yourself Flowers

May is all about blooms, so why not treat yourself to a beautiful bouquet? Flowers have a well-known way of brightening your day, and hey, you’re worth it! 

TIP: You can pick some up locally or I have had good luck with delivery from ProFlowers

Buy Flowers for Yourself

26. Sample Some Meat at the World Championship BBQ Contest

Calling all carnivores! If you find yourself in Houston, Texas, don’t miss the mother of all barbecues – the World Championship BBQ Contest.  Just beware, the competition is fierce, so come hungry (and with a plan for major meat sweats).


27. Make Something Yummy With the Last of the Lemons

Before those summer fruits take over completely, take advantage of the last of the spring lemon bounty. Whip up some refreshing lemonade, a tangy lemon pie, or get fancy with a batch of homemade limoncello. 

Make Something Yummy With the Last of the Lemons

28. Send a Soldier a Care Package on Memorial Day

As May transitions into June, take a moment to honor those who have served our country. Sending a care package to a soldier is a small gesture with a big impact. Fill it with snacks, toiletries, and words of encouragement to let them know they’re appreciated.


29. Enjoy the Sunshine

May kicks off with sunshine that’s juuuuust right – warm enough for fun, but not so hot you melt into a puddle.  Head to the park, have a picnic, or simply bask in the golden rays (don’t forget the sunscreen!). 

Enjoy the Sunshine

30. Go for a Bike Ride

Dust off your trusty two-wheeler and hit the pavement! The gentle spring weather makes cycling a dream, whether you’re cruising along a beach boardwalk or exploring a winding nature trail. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to get some exercise and enjoy the fresh air.


31. Find Some Fun Shapes in the Clouds

Who says May activities have to be elaborate? I think you can agree with me that even the simplest things are sometimes the most enjoyable. Lie on your back in a park, gaze at the sky, and see what fun shapes you can find in the clouds. Is that a dragon? A pirate ship? Let your imagination run wild.

Find Some Fun Shapes in the Clouds

32. Have a Movie Marathon

Let’s face it, sometimes the best way to spend a May day is curled up on the couch with popcorn in hand. Why not make it a themed marathon? Celebrate “May the 4th Be With You” with a Star Wars extravaganza, or revisit some classic spring romcoms (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, anyone?) to get you in the mood for warmer weather.


33. Make a Motivational May Playlist

Feeling a little sluggish? Need a little pep in your step? Whip up a playlist filled with upbeat tunes guaranteed to get you moving. Research shows that listening to motivational music can actually boost your mood and exercise performance, so crank up the volume and let the good vibes flow!


34. Thank a Teacher

Remember that one teacher who made a positive impact on your life? The one whose class sparked a lifelong passion or helped you or your child navigate a tough time? Send a heartfelt email, drop off a card, or even invite them for a cup of coffee – it’ll make their day!


35. Take an Outdoor Exercise Class

Why sweat indoors when you can break a sweat under the open sky? Join an outdoor exercise class and let nature be your gym. From yoga to boot camp, May’s sunny days provide the perfect backdrop for a refreshing workout that energizes both body and mind.


36. Pick Some Wild Flowers

May boasts a dazzling display of wildflowers. Take a walk in nature, admire the beauty, and maybe even pick a few blooms to brighten your home (be sure to check local regulations first!). Feeling inspired? Plant some wildflower seeds in your own garden to attract pollinators and create a mini-meadow.


37. Shop for the Perfect Swimsuit

Summer’s just around the corner, and with it comes pool parties, beach trips, and maybe even a spontaneous sprinkler showdown. Treat yourself to a new swimsuit that makes you feel confident and ready to conquer the summer heat.

Perfect Swimsuit

38. Sleep Under the Stars

As the days get longer, seize the opportunity for a night under the stars. Pitch a tent in your backyard, head to a campsite, or find a rooftop with a view – there’s nothing quite as magical as gazing up at a million twinkling diamonds. 


39. Check in With Your 2024 Goals

With a third of the year already behind us, now is the perfect time to check in with those New Year’s resolutions and goals you set for yourself. Are you on track? Need a little course correction? Take some time to reflect on your goals, celebrate your wins, and make any necessary tweaks to ensure you crush your resolutions this year.


40. Update Your Summer Wardrobe

With warmer weather approaching, it’s time to shed those winter layers and infuse your summer wardrobe with breezy dresses and flowy shorts (or whatever outfit floats your boat.) Go on a shopping adventure, check out online sales, and discover pieces that scream “summer fun.”


So there you have it! This May bucket list is filled with ideas to make this month truly memorable. Whether you’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo, making a Spring-inspired charcuterie board, or just enjoying a dose of good of’ Vitamin D, there are plenty of things to do in May that will have you saying “May-be I should do that more often!”


More Things to do in Spring

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Annette White the Owner of Bucket List Journey
Hey Bucket Listers!
I'm Annette.

I’m a goal obsessed mid-lifer, traveler, experience collector, fear crusher, digital marketer and author with big bucket list dreams. Let's Connect!

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