May Events in Northern Virginia and Festivals Near DC

Updated on May 7, 2024 by Julie McCool

2024 May events in Northern Virginia celebrate spring, strawberries, art, and more plus special holidays including Mother’s Day, Kids to Parks Day, and Memorial Day. There are some great new May events to check out in 2024 as well as several annual favorites returning.

Looking for fun things to do this weekend in Northern VA? Our list of Northern Virginia events includes things to do in Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Alexandria, Arlington, and other area towns. Festivals and events are listed in order of start date, with multi-day events generally listed first.

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Some May events require reservations so plan ahead. Follow the links for further details, and always check for weather cancellations and other updates.

2024 Northern VA May Events and Spring Festivals

Plan a month of spring fun at these great 2024 May events and festivals in Northern Virginia and the DC region. May 2024 starts on a Wednesday, so you'll find prior weekend fun in our guide to April events.

Farmers Markets, Multiple Locations

Some of the best seasonal Farmers Markets in Northern Virginia open in late April and early May. Our complete guide lists more than 40 farmer's markets in the DC area with a market for nearly every day of the year.

Happy May Day!, May 1

Start a May Day tradition with a visit to one of the many beautiful gardens in Virginia and Washington DC. May is one of the best times to see Virginia gardens in bloom. Plus, you can shop for your own native plants at many of the gardens in our area.

Big Truck Days, Public Works Complex, Herndon, May 3

Herndon's annual Big Truck Day lets children and their parents see the town's big trucks and heavy equipment on display. The event is free but attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food donations for the needy. Free, 9:00 – 7:00.

Friday Night Live!, Herndon, May 3

Friday Night Live! kicks off May with another season of weekly concerts in downtown Herndon. See our complete guide to free Outdoor Concerts in Northern Virginia featuring more than 40 concert series offering a whole season of great local music.

Perchfest Spring Edition, The Perch, Tysons May 3 – 4

Head to The Perch, 11 stories high at Capital One Center, for a weekend of retro music and mini-golf. The fun includes live music, food, and family fun. Admission is free but advanced registration is required. Fri 6:00 – 11:00, Sat noon – 11:00.

Revolutionary War Weekend, Mount Vernon, May 4 – 5

George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate hosts one of the largest Revolutionary War encampments of the year when the 12-acre field is transformed into a battleground.  See Continentals, Redcoats, and cannons in action at this family-friendly event, and meet the soldiers and “General Washington.”

Be sure to check out the indoor exhibits, including the interactive Be Washington exhibit and the 4D theater. Activities are included with regular admission; 9:00 – 5:00 daily.

Revolutionary War Weekend photo credit George Washingtons Mount Vernon
Revolutionary War Weekend, photo by: George Washingtons Mount Vernon

Northern Virginia Tea Festival, Reston, May 4

Spend an afternoon of tasty teas and fun at the new Northern Virginia Tea Festival at beautiful Lake Anne in Reston. The festival features more than 50 tea vendors plus crafts, demonstrations, music, and more. Free admission, 12:30 – 5:30

Spring Festival, Reston, May 4

Head to the Walker Nature Center to celebrate spring with live animals, fishing and craft activities, canoe/kayak rentals ($5), and more family fun. Free admission, rain or shine, 1:00 – 5:00

Run the Greenway, Dulles, May 4

Join the annual Run the Greenway 5K, 10K, and Kids Fun Run. This is a rare chance to run on the Dulles Greenway, beginning at the Toll Plaza. Follow the link for race schedules and to register.

Hollin Hills House + Garden Tour, Vienna, May 4

Take a self-guided walking tour of the mid-century modern architecture in Vienna's Hollin Hills neighborhood. Guests will see landscape and interior design and can interact with on-site artists and architects. Tickets start at $55; noon – 6:00.

Spring Farm Day, Frying Pan Farm Park, May 4

Enjoy a day of family fun at Frying Pan Farm with hands-on farm activities like cow and goat milking, crafts, games, puppet shows, and a chance to meet the baby farm animals. Walk-ins are welcome; admission is $14 at the door, $12 in advance, kids under 2 free. 10:00 – 3:00.

Virginia Gold Cup, The Plains, May 4

The 99th running of the world-famous Virginia Gold Cup returns to the first weekend in May 2024. Head to Great Meadow in The Plains to watch some of the best steeplechase racing, terrier races, shopping, hat contests, tailgate contests, and more. Ticket pricing varies; follow the link for details.

Cinco de Mayo, Multiple Locations, May 5

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a dine-in or takeout order of tasty tacos in Northern Virginia, from your favorite local spot.

Margaritas and tacos on the patio at Taco Bamba Vienna Virginia
Taco Bamba Tacos

Rails to River XC Bike Race, Reston, May 5

Head to Lake Fairfax Park to ride or watch the Rails to River XC Mountain Bike Race. Riders complete 1 to 3 laps on the 7-mile course on some of the best bike trails in Northern VA. The Bike Lane will be pouring tasty craft beer in the post-race beer garden.

Stargaze at the Udvar-Hazy, Chantilly, May 10

Head to our favorite Smithsonian museum, the Air and Space Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, to learn about and view the night sky. Attendees can stargaze through the telescopes of the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club. Museum parking is free after 4:00 and the event is free. 8:30 pm – 1:00 am.

Spring Art Market, Del Ray, May 11

Shop local from Del Ray artisans at the Spring Art Market in Colasanto Park. Media includes ceramics, fiber, jewelry, mixed media, paper, photography, and more. Free admission; 10:00 – 4:00.

Mason Neck Eagle Festival, Lorton, May 11

The 26th annual Eagle Festival returns to Mason Neck State Park in Lorton. Celebrate and learn about eagles with a full day of live animal shows and family-friendly activities plus bird walks, pony rides, food, and more. The event (including park admission) is free. 10:00 – 4:00.

Art in the Burg, Middleburg, May 11

Celebrate the arts when Middleburg displays artwork by local and regional artists throughout town. Festivities include live music, art activities for kids, cooking demonstrations, and more. Free, 10:00 – 6:00.

LoCo Food Truck Festival, Leesburg, May 11

Sample delicious dishes from local food trucks while you enjoy live music and fun activities. This family-friendly festival also features a cornhole tournament ($20/team). Free, 11:00 – 3:00.

Asian American & Pacific Islander Festival, Annandale, May 11

Head to Mason District Park for live performances, lion dances, dragon dances, a parade, and more plus enjoy food, crafts, and games celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander culture. Free, noon – 4:00.

Beer Bourbon & BBQ Festival, Manassas, May 11

Enjoy an afternoon of tasty beer, bourbon, and bbq in a new location at the Manassas County Fairgrounds. You'll get a tasting glass to sample beer and bourbon plus enjoy bbq, bacon, biscuits, and more. Live entertainment and outdoor games add to the party vibe. Tickets start at $45 with VIP tix available. VIP noon – 6:00; general 2:00 – 6:00.

Mother’s Day, May 12

May 12, 2024, is Mother's Day, and we rounded up fun and beautiful places to celebrate Mom this year. Our list of local parks, gardens, and other destinations includes an active option and another choice for folks with limited mobility or families with strollers. Plan a unique and special day with Mom!

Cirque du Soleil Corteo, Fairfax, May 17 – 25

Watch dazzling acrobatics and carnival antics when Cirque du Soleil Corteo offers 8 shows at Eagle Bank Arena in Fairfax. We are big fans of past Cirque du Soleil shows under the Big Top and Corteo promises to deliver those same thrills. Matinee and evening shows are available.

Spring Wine Festival and Sunset Tour, Mount Vernon, May 17 – 19

Get your tickets early for this sell-out event at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. Celebrate the history of wine in Virginia with exclusive evening tours of the Mansion and cellar, appearances by “George and Martha Washington”, and live jazz on the east lawn overlooking the Potomac. Ticket prices start at $54; 6:00 – 9:00.

McLean Day, Lewinsville Park, McLean, May 17 – 18

Celebrate McLean at this annual festival featuring live entertainment, carnival rides, a petting zoo, food trucks, and more family fun. Admission is free; tickets are sold for rides and some activities. Friday 2:00 – 10:00 (carnival only); Saturday 11:00 – 5:00.

Bike to Work Day, May 17

Celebrate bicycling as a clean, fun, and healthy way to get to work. The DC region's annual Bike to Work Day celebration features 100 pit stops in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. The first 16,000 people to register and bike to a pit stop get a free T-shirt.

Find area bike trails with our guides to 12 Northern Virginia Paved and Mountain Biking Trails and 8 Epic Virginia Trails to Hike and Bike.

Tephra ICA Festival, Reston, May 18 – 19

One of the most popular festivals in Northern Virginia, the Tephra ICA Festival (formerly the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival) lines the streets of Reston Town Center with art-filled booths. Shop quirky, unique, and beautiful art and enjoy kid's activities, food trucks, and live entertainment. Sat 11:00 – 7:00, Sun 11:00 – 5:00

Loudoun County Farm Tour, May 18 – 19

We had a great time on this self-guided tour of farms in the Loudoun County countryside. Choose your stops to meet local farmers and check out their farms and products. Try a scenic drive on the Unpaved Roads of Loudoun County to add more fun to your day. 10:00 to 4:00 daily.

Tractor Mailbox on Downey Mill Rd part of the Unpaved Roads Scenic Drive in Loudoun County VA
Unpaved Roads Loudoun County VA

Strawberry Jubilee, Great Country Farms, May 18,19,25,26, Jun 1,2

Head to Great Country Farms for fun strawberry picking in Virginia at the longest-running strawberry festival in Loudoun County. Enjoy live music, farm contests (like a daily Diaper Derby), and tasty treats in beautiful Bluemont. Timed entry tickets are $12/14 child/adult. 9:00 – 5:00.

Strawberry Festival, Lincoln, May 18 – 19

The first Lincoln Strawberry Festival, hosted by Wegmeyer Farms, features strawberry picking, live entertainment, contests, and family fun. Tickets are $15 for admission May 18 or 19 (additional fee for optional pancake breakfast). 10:30 – 5:00.

National Kids to Parks Day, Multiple Locations, May 18

National Kids to Parks Day is a celebration of outdoor play in our beautiful public lands. There are special in-person events in 2024 and everyone can celebrate with a family-friendly visit to local, state, and national parks in the Northern Virginia area.

Download the free ParksPassport mobile app to plan your trip, earn badges, and even open Junior Ranger Booklets from your phone. Plan your own Kids to Parks Day outing with our big guide to 21 Fun Family-Friendly Parks in Northern Virginia or plan a Shenandoah National Park Day Trip.

BrewWorks, Workhouse Arts, Lorton, May 18

Sample local beer, wine, and spirits at the Workhouse Arts Center. Enjoy live music, food, and lawn games plus browse the galleries and visit the Lucy Burns Museum. General admission tickets are $50 with other options available. Noon – 5:00 pm.

Virginia Wine & Craft Festival, Front Royal, May 18

The 36th annual Virginia Wine & Craft Festival fills the streets of downtown Front Royal with crafters, wine-makers, and fun for all ages. Enjoy local wine, cider, and mead plus tasty food and live entertainment. Wine-tasting tickets $30, 11:00 – 6:00

Quarterfest Crawl, Ballston, May 18

Visit and support Ballston businesses with a restaurant crawl featuring local artists, games, outdoor seating, and a neighborhood-wide scavenger hunt. Plan your own route and head out from noon – 7:00.

Spring Garden Day, Alexandria, May 18

Head to beautiful Green Spring Gardens to shop the Big Plant Sale, art and crafts, a bake sale, and food vendors. Free admission, 9:00 – 3:00.

Taste of Nova, Fort Belvois, May 19

Sample the best of Northern Virginia food, wine, and beer plus live music at the annual Taste of Nova. The 2024 festival will be at the National Museum of the US Army and general admission tickets are $165. 1:00 – 4:00.

Asian Festival on Main, Fairfax, May 19

Old Town Fairfax hosts this one-day festival highlighting Asian heritage with family-friendly arts and crafts, live performances, food, and more. Free, noon – 6:00.

Healthy Together Fairfax, May 19

Enjoy free health screenings, fitness classes, workshops, and hands-on activities at the 2nd Healthy Together Fairfax festival. Free, noon – 3:00.

Braddock Bark, Springfield, May 19

Bring your furry friend to Lake Accotink Park for the 3rd annual Braddock Bark. Enjoy a day of pet activities, food vendors, pet and adoption businesses, and more. Free; 1:00 – 4:00.

Memorial Day Weekend Events, May 25 – 27

2024 Memorial Day events kick off the unofficial start of summer. Plan your long weekend with our complete guide to Memorial Day Weekend events in Northern Virginia. A few popular events are highlighted below.

Viva! Vienna! Festival, Vienna, May 25 – 27

ViVa! Vienna! celebrates Memorial Day and the Vienna Community with carnival rides, food, crafts, vendors, and entertainment. 100% of proceeds go to charitable, community, and humanitarian organizations. The popular festival is open Sat and Sun 10:00 – 10:00, Mon 10:00 – 6:00.

Art in the Garden Festival, Chantilly, May 25 – 27

Enjoy a day at the National Botanic Garden in Chantilly featuring art, wine, and chocolate. The 3rd annual Art in the Garden Festival is a great time to see Hobbit Town, the Castle, unique plant collections, and more. Tickets start at $35. Noon – 5:00 daily.

Memorial Day Festival and Parade, Falls Church, May 27

The Annual Memorial Day Parade and Festival includes a 3K Fun Run, Memorial Day Ceremony and Parade, inflatables, arts and crafts, food, pony rides, and live entertainment. Free admission; 9:00 – 5:00.

Sandlot Cars and Coffee, The Boro Tysons, May 26

Check our cool cars and sip tasty coffee at The Boro Tysons, one of the great urban parks in Northern VA. The event is free, no registration needed. 11:00 – 1:00.

Wolf Trap Summer Blast-off!, May 31

“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band launches Wolf Trap National Park’s summer season with a program of concert band favorites, followed by a fireworks display. The event is free but arrive early to guarantee a spot; the park will close at capacity. 

Gates open at 6:30 pm for Lawn seating. Concert begins at 8:00. Fireworks viewing area opens following the performance, at approximately 9:30 pm and fireworks begin at approximately 9:45 pm. Free.

More May in Northern Virginia Activities

Here are more ways to have fun during May in Northern VA.

Strawberry picking in Virginia at u-pick farms near Washington DC
Strawberry Picking in Virginia

Strawberry Picking in Northern VA

May is strawberry season in Virginia. Head to the field for family-friendly fun with our complete guide to Strawberry Picking in Virginia and U-Pick Farms Near DC.

Enjoy Local Campgrounds and Cabins

Warm weather returns and that means camping time is here. Find the perfect place overnight in nature with our guide to 15 Great Northern Virginia Campgrounds for Camping Near DC.

Burke Lake Train and Carousel, Burke

Head to Burke Lake Park for a ride on the one-third-scale replica C. P. Huntington steam train. The train and carousel are open weekends through May, then daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Visitors can also play mini-golf, and walk or bike the 5-mile trail around Burke Lake, rated one of the 10 best urban fitness trails in the nation by the American Hiking Society.

Take a Scenic Drive

In May, trees are green and gardens are blooming. It's the perfect time for a scenic drive to small towns, pretty parks, and historic sites. Plan your outing with our guide to 8 Great Northern Virginia Scenic Drives Near Washington DC.

Plan a whole month of fun spring outings with these related articles:

Plan a Spring Getaway in and Near Northern Virginia

Ready for a weekend getaway or weekday escape? Find beautiful and unique places to stay in and near Northern Virginia with our guides:

Brambleton Brew Fest, Brambleton, TBA

The annual Brew Fest features local beer from Northern Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia, from breweries within an hour's drive of Brambleton. Food trucks, live music, and beer-related activities add to the fun. $45/50 online/at the gate; 1:00 – 6:00.

Clifton Homes Tour, Clifton, TBA

The Annual Clifton Homes Tour offers guided tours of four elegant homes and two historic churches. This is a wonderful opportunity to explore the charming town of Clifton and visit Fairfax County's first winery.

There are 2024 May events for every age and interest to celebrate this beautiful month in Virginia. Check back for our updated guide to June Events in Northern VA. 

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May events and things to do in Northern Virginia, Washington DC. Celebrate history, art, strawberries, Mom, nature, and more. Close out the month at Memorial Day events that honor America's fallen heroes.