With spring in full bloom, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate May in Northern Michigan! From Mother’s Day brunches to mushroom festivals, here are 30 events to put on your calendar this May 2024.

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May 3 & 4 | East Jordan Rotary Variety Show | Traverse City

This year’s Variety Show features the East Jordan Rotary Chorus and other fun acts that will keep you laughing all evening.

May 3 | Dave Boutette & Kristi Lynn Davis | Curtis

One-time garage rock troubadour Dave Boutette and former Radio City Rockette Kristi Lynn Davis make a unique pairing, but together they put on vibrant performances you won’t soon forget. See them live at Erickson Center for the Arts.

May 4 | A Night of Latin Dancing | Suttons Bay

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Black Star Farms with great wine and a dancing lesson, led by professional instructors Ramon Gaitan and Naitvidad Kolb.

May 4 | The Earthwork Artist Tour | Traverse City

The Earthwork Tour at The Alluvion is stacked this year with amazing talent. Seth Bernard, Mark Lavengood, Ben Traverse, Elisabeth Pixley-Fink and more.

people toasting red wine glasses

Photo by Kelsey Knight

May 9 | Mother’s Day at Rove | Traverse City

Have a fun evening out with your mom or gal pals with this painting workshop hosted by Rove Estate and Hang Workshop.

May 10 | Dried + Pressed Paper Mache Floral Lanterns | Petoskey

Perfect for a Mother’s Day weekend outing, join Flora Bae for this fun workshop where you will learn the art of creating a beautiful floral lantern.

May 10 | Comedy with Connie Ettinger | Traverse City 

A self-styled “recovering lawyer,” Connie Ettinger delivers sardonic observations with an engaging, animated style. Catch her at Traverse City Comedy Club.

May 10 – 12 | Mesick Mushroom Festival | Mesick

Michigan sure loves its mushrooms! Each spring mushrooms pop up in our fields and woods, beckoning foragers and foodies alike to get their hands on a bundle. If you want the full experience, stop by the Mesick Mushroom Festival. Concerts, food, activities for kids, a parade, markets and more. 

Kayaking under the Mackinac Bridge

Photo by Allison Jarrell

May 10-12 | Jeep the Mac | St. Ignace

The bridge is calling! Whether you just want to watch the Jeeps cross The Mighty Mac or you’re planning to participate in the event, Jeep the Mac is a staple in St. Ignace. Make a weekend out of it and explore the downtown area or go on a scenic drive. 

May 11 | Interlochen Pianist Hyemin Kim | Curtis

The Music House Museum welcomes Interlochen pianist Hyemin Kim for a spectacular show, featuring music by Joseph Haydn, Robert Nathaniel Dett, Claude Debussy and Robert Schumann.

May 11 | The Greg Wahl Quintet & Julia Minkin | Traverse City 

Chicago-based artists Greg Wahl and Julia Minkin will play at The Alluvion. Greg’s atmospheric original compositions paired with Julia’s poignant lyrics make this band a mesmerizing experience.

May 12 | Mother’s Day Brunch at Aerie Restaurant & Lounge | Traverse City

Treat mom to a Mother’s Day brunch at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. Paired with panoramic views of Grand Traverse Bay, this is sure to be a day mom won’t forget.

May 16 | Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company: Tempest Tossed | Curtis

The Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company will perform Tempest Tossed, an hour-long adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, following the powerful magician Prospero. He has been exiled on a mysterious island for 12 years. When a ship encounters a storm and washes up on the island, new arrivals have comedic encounters with the island’s inhabitants.

plate full of morels

Photo by Todd Zawistowski

May 16 – 19 | National Morel Mushroom Festival | Boyne City 

For those lucky enough, morels are a rare treasure in Northern Michigan’s woods. Celebrate this tasty little mushroom in Boyne City with tastings, a competitive hunt, seminars, an arts and crafts show, concerts, a carnival, and more.

May 17 | Comedy with Jerry Donovan | Traverse City 

JD is an audience favorite with his quick wit and uncanny observations. He’ll be performing at Traverse City Comedy Club. 

May 17 | Joel Fluent Greene, Peace Bell, and Evening Star | Traverse City 

Three talented Detroit artists return to The Alluvion for a night of poetry, music and improvised collaborative performances.

May 18 | Luke Winslow King | Traverse City 

Playing at The Alluvion, Luke Winslow-King is a Northern Michigan-born, New Orleans-based guitarist, singer, producer and songwriter. His work is an eclectic mix combining Mississippi delta blues, folk music, traditional jazz, and roots rock and roll.

May 24 | Expressions in Music and Words | Traverse City

Don’t miss this unique event by October Journey Productions, which features an extraordinary evening of art. Writers include Jeanne Sirotkin Haynes, Kevin Summers, Mari Hagen von Walthausen, Susan Odgers and Tom Emmott. The featured inger and guitarist is Steve Clark; and abstract art by Johnny Camacho.

May 24 | The McCartney Years | Mackinac Island

The Next British invasion has arrived on Mackinac Island! Get ready to experience the world’s premiere Paul McCartney concert experience, The McCartney Years. Performing all summer at Mission Point Resort. 

Garden at Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island

Photo by Mission Point Resort

May 24 | Local Mushrooms Dinner | Suttons Bay

Black Star Farms is hosting a wine-paired dinner inspired by the best local, seasonal ingredients sourced from Northern Michigan’s finest farms. This dinner will focus on mushrooms, featuring a visit by local expert Matt Hall of Midnight Harvest.

May 24 | Tip O The Mitt Songwriters Night | Traverse City

Taking The Alluvion stage, Tip O The Mitt Songwriters (or TOMS) will host a special in-the-round concert featuring local singer-songwriters.

May 24 – 26 | Cherry Capital Comic Con 2024 | Acme

Get ready for a fun Memorial Day Weekend! Grand Traverse Resort and Spa is hosting this year’s Cherry Capital Comic Con.

May 24 – 25 | Ride the Keweenaw | Copper Harbor

This Memorial Day Weekend, enjoy three days of mountain bike riding in one of the most beautiful places in Michigan.

May 25 | Our Inheritance | Traverse City

Higher Art Gallery presents “Our Inheritance”: A visual and live storytelling exploration of what gets passed down through the generations.

May 25 | Manton Memorial Day Annual Car Show | Manton

What better way to spend your weekend than a fun outing with family? Plus, you’ll even get to see some awesome classic cars.

May 25 | Native American Festival | St. Ignace

Save the date: The annual Native American Festival is set to take place at the Museum of Ojibwa Culture, celebrating the rich culture and contributions of the Anishinaabe people from the area.

beer in a glass

Photo by Crystal Mountain

May 25 | Michigan Beer and Brat Festival | Thompsonville

A perfect pair, the Beer and Brat Festival is a local favorite. Rock out to The Drew Hale Band and The Rock Show while sampling a wide selection of Michigan’s finest microbrews, meads, hard ciders, wine and gourmet brats at Crytal Mountain.

May 25 | Petoskey Stone Festival | Torch Lake Township

If you’re a rock hunter, this one’s for you! The Antrim County Petoskey Stone Festival is coming up Memorial Day Weekend, held at Antrim County’s Barnes Park. Enjoy all things Petoskey stones and more amazing natural resources of the mitten state. 

May 29-30 | Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre | Curtis

You are invited to a cocktail party at Shaftsbury Manor by Lord Lionel Foxworthy. At this party, you’ll be enlisted to figure out who committed the murder, inspired by the game Clue.

May 29 – June 2 | Aldo Leopold Festival | Les Cheneaux Islands

Each year, Les Cheneaux honors the legacy of Aldo Leopold—one of America’s most influential naturalists. Expect paddling excursions, orchid and wildflower tours, birding trips, presentations, and more nature-based activities.

Kayaking in Lake Huron

Photo by Allison Jarrell

Photo(s) by Taylor Brown