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10 Best Things to Do in Cleveland in May

It’s May in Cleveland, which means that spring is in full swing, and summer is just a few weeks away. Memorial Day, which falls on May 29th this year, marks the unofficial start of summer – and I know everyone’s excited about it!

There’s a lot going on in Cleveland in May, including many outdoor events and festivals.

Here are the best things to do in Cleveland this May!

Weather in Cleveland in May

The weather finally starts to warm up in Cleveland in May. The average high temperature is 68° while the average low is 53°.

May can be a rainy month in Cleveland, though, with 10 days on average seeing rainfall, so be sure to pack an umbrella or rain jacket when you venture out!

Top 10 Things to Do in Cleveland in May

1. Weekly Food Trucks

When: Mondays and Wednesdays from May through September

Where: Downtown Cleveland

During the summer months, you can enjoy weekly food trucks during lunch hours on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays in downtown Cleveland. And all the truck series kick off in May!

Memorial Mondays occur in Huntington Park at Lakeside Avenue and West 3rd Street, Food Truck Tuesdays happen at Public Square, and Walnut Wednesdays take place in Perk Plaza on East 12th Street between Walnut Avenue and Chester Avenue.

These events all happen 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on the relevant days, and are a great way to sample local Cleveland food trucks during your lunch hour.

2. See Bluebells in Bloom

When: Early May

Where: Various locations

Virginia bluebells at Bedford Reservation
Virginia bluebells at Bedford Reservation

While many spring flowers in Cleveland bloom in April, early May is the best time to see Virginia bluebells in bloom.

One of the best places to see bluebells is at Bedford Reservation, part of the Cleveland Metroparks system. This nature reservation includes great trails for hiking, as well as waterfalls and the Tinkers Creek Gorge Overlook. The best bluebells are usually near the Hemlock Creek Picnic area.

Another place to see bluebells is Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Furnace Run Trail and Deer Run Trail are two great places to look.

3. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

When: Friday, May 5, 2023

Where: Various locations

Cinco de Mayo is an annual holiday that commemorates the anniversary of Mexico’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 – but it’s not really a holiday that’s celebrated in Mexico outside of the state of Puebla.

But in the US, Cinco de Mayo is a big holiday. What started during the Civil War years as a way for Mexican-Americans to celebrate their heritage has now morphed into an excuse for everyone to eat lots of tacos and drink lots of tequila.

Here are some local events where you can celebrate the festive spirit of Cinco de Mayo in Cleveland:

Plus, most local Mexican and Latin restaurants will likely have Cinco de Mayo specials!

4. Visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park

When: All month long

Where: 6947 Riverview Road, Peninsula

Cuyahoga Valley National Park guide
May is a great time to visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park

May is a great time to get out in nature in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, just an easy half an hour south of Cleveland.

This national park is home to many great hikes, waterfalls, and beautiful scenery. May is a great time of year to see the national park in bloom, particularly with bluebells and other wildflowers.

Additionally, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad re-starts its train services on May 5, 2023.

5. Celebrate Mother’s Day

When: Sunday, May 14, 2023

Where: Various locations

Luxe brunch
Take mom out for brunch for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day falls on Sunday, May 14 this year. If you’re looking for something special to do, why not treat your mom to a delicious Mother’s Day brunch?

There are so many excellent places for brunch in Cleveland, and many of them offer special Mother’s Day brunch menus. (Just be sure to call/make reservations in advance, as it’s a popular day to take Mom out!)

6. Cleveland Marathon

When: Sunday, May 21, 2023

Where: Various locations

The Cleveland Marathon will be taking place on Sunday, May 21, 2023. It’s a lot of fun to go out and support the runners, even if you don’t personally know anyone who is running the race.

You can find the full marathon route here. Many restaurants and bars along the route have outdoor seating where you can sit and cheer on the runners as they come by.

(And if you’re running the in marathon this year, best of luck!)

7. Cleveland Asian Festival

When: Saturday-Sunday, May 20-21, 2023

Where: AsiaTown, Cleveland

Asian Lantern Festival
(Photo from the Asian Lantern Festival at the Cleveland Zoo)

The Cleveland Asian Festival is an annual cultural festival that takes place in the AsiaTown neighborhood each spring.

The festival features food vendors and food trucks, martial arts demonstrations, dance performances, and other cultural entertainment from Cleveland’s Asian community.

The festival is free to attend and open to everyone, and is always such a fun weekend.

8. Tremont Greek Festival

When: Saturday-Monday, May 27-29, 2023

Where: 2187 West 14th Street, Cleveland

Cleveland skyline from Tremont
The Tremont Greek Festival is held in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood

The Tremont Greek Festival is another cultural festival taking place in Cleveland this month. Hosted over Memorial Day weekend, this free festival will feature Greek cuisine and cultural performances including traditional music and dancing.

You can find out more information on the event Facebook page.

9. Reggae Fest

When: Saturday-Sunday, May 27-28, 2023

Where: 800 E 9th Street Pier, Cleveland

If you’re looking for something to do over Memorial Day weekend, catch some live music at Reggae Fest Cleveland.

The festival will take place in Voinovich Bicentennial Park on the waterfront in Downtown Cleveland. Saturday features rock reggae, while Sunday features roots reggae.

Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door.

10. Berea’s National Rib Cook-Off

When: Friday-Monday, May 26-29, 2023

Where: 19201 E Bagley Rd, Middleburg Heights

Berea’s National Rib Cook-Off is another fun event happening over Memorial Day weekend. This annual rib cook-off takes place at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, and always draws crowds.

It features a hand-picked selection of some of the best barbecue ribs in the Cleveland area, as well as local beers and live entertainment. 12 Rib Teams will be competing for Best Ribs, Best Sauce, and the People’s Choice Awards.

Tickets are $10 for adults and free for children aged 12 and under.

What are you most excited for in Cleveland in May?

This Post Has One Comment

  1. george whitbeck

    Love your suggestions for fun and food in the Cle. area, you are travel guide!!

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