01 May 2023

May 2023 Events Guide

Norfolk has a great lineup of May events to kickstart the warmer months! With festival season kicking off, live outdoor music, Mother’s Day events and baseball games, you will find that there is plenty of fun to be had this May in Norfolk!

National Bike Month

All Month Long

May is National Bike Month, a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling and encourage more individuals to give biking a try. The City of Norfolk will celebrate with 31 days of rides and plenty of opportunities to get the wheels rolling. Check out these Bike Month events happening throughout May!

Tides Baseball GameS

Harbor Park

The perfect family night or a great night out with friends starts with hotdogs, popcorn and baseball. Sit back and enjoy the spring weather as you root for the home team. Special nights to look forward to in May include $2 Tuesdays, Wine Down Wednesdays, a Copa de la Diversion Cinco de Mayo Celebration, ODU night, fireworks, Bark in the Park and more! See the full Tides schedule.

The Great Exhibition: BÉBÉS at the Barry

Barry Art Museum

During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, French dollmakers popularized a new type of bisque doll that would be the first to represent young children: the bébé. Unlike previous dolls (which resembled adults or teenagers), bébés offered children idealized representations of themselves; they transformed the doll industry by engaging the larger world. Appearing at international events like the World’s Fair and advertised everywhere from story books to scientific articles, the bébé’s influence has been expansive and varied, securing a prominent place in doll history.

Perspectives: Modern and Contemporary Glass from the Waitzer Collection

Barry Art Museum

PERSPECTIVES: Modern and Contemporary Glass from the Waitzer Collection debuts selections from the Waitzer family’s extraordinary gift of 165 glass artworks to the Museum.

Leah (1937–2021) and Richard Waitzer (1932–2019) of Norfolk, VA, shared a life-long interest in the arts that blossomed into a passion for collecting modern American painting and international glass sculpture. Naturally curious and thirsty for knowledge, the couple enjoyed decades of personal growth and intellectual enrichment from their active engagement with the field of contemporary glass sculpture and design. The Waitzers were mentors and friends to the Barrys, and their internationally significant contribution includes works that span the history of modern glass, from Louis Comfort Tiffany to Dale Chihuly and Lino Tagliapietra, among so many more.

Farmers Markets

East Beach, Talbot Park and Ghent 

There’s nothing better than seasonal produce from your local farmer’s market. With three different markets in Norfolk, you will never miss all the delicious goods and treats! Find out more about each market along with hours here

Sam Bartlett: Low Stakes, Plywood Cutouts & Everyday Comix

Through May 6
Baron and Ellin Gordon Art GAlleries

Sam Bartlett is an American folk artist, public-art instigator, cartoonist, performer, musician, and composer. As an artist, Sam specializes in painting and cutting sculptures from salvaged wood. He derives inspiration from the naturally low stakes involved in using free materials. Bartlett does virtually no planning or sketching for his artwork, preferring to try to harness the energy of a first take. Common themes in his work include complex physical relationships between people, things on top of other things, things being bitten and eaten, old-time and Irish music communities and mortality. 

Norfolk Bike Expo

May 1, 2023
Slover Library

Get the scoop on all things cycling and bike-related going on Downtown, in the city and in the region. Whether you are still on training wheels or have a garage full of tricked-out bikes, all are welcome for this free and open-to-the-public community event. Pick up brochures, meet other cyclists, ask questions and get the low-down on multi-use trails and paths, riding bikes in the street and protected lanes, regional bike developments, social groups and anything else bike related. Plus, there will be free bike swag and tons of great raffle prizes. 

All Things Equal: The Life and Trials of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

May 2, 2023
Attucks Theatre

Written by Tony Award-winning playwright Rupert Holmes brings the strength, tenacity, sly wit and compassion of the late Supreme Court Justice to life in this 90-minute love letter to “the notorious RBG” – from losing her mother the day before she graduated as valedictorian of her Brooklyn High School to being one of the few women at Harvard Law to fighting for women’s rights before all-male courts to her tenure as a voice of reason and equality amid a splintering Supreme Court.

Cinco de Mayo

Union Taco

May 5, 2023

There’s nothing quite like the pairing of savory, sometimes spicy tacos and a cool margarita. Looking for a place to indulge in irresistible Mexican cuisine during Cinco de Mayo? Check out these taco and margarita spots in Norfolk.

Chicago the Musical in Concert

MAY 6, 2023

The longest-running American musical in the history of Broadway—and still drawing cheering crowds in New York—John Kander and Fred Ebb’s Chicago won six Tony Awards, a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album, and six Oscars including Best Picture for the film version. And for all those years, since 1996, Rob Fisher has served as the music director for the show and its worldwide productions. Who better, then, to bring it to the Virginia Arts Festival in a stunning performance with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and a cast of soloists drawn from the best of Broadway and beyond?

Mermaid Series Run

May 6, 2023
Ocean View Beach Park

Ocean View Sports presents the inaugural Mermaid Series Run, Swim and Mermaid Festival! The series starts Saturday, May 6, 2023 with a 5K and 1-Mile Sand Run/Walk at Ocean View Beach Park!

Spring Town Point Virginia Wine Festival

Image courtesy of Festevents, Ltd.

May 6–7, 2023
Town Point Park

Grab your friends and head down to Town Point Park for the Spring Town Point Virginia Wine Festival! Wine Enthusiast Magazine has named Virginia as one of the 10 best wine travel destinations in the world! Each May, Virginia wineries gather together to create an event that wine imbibers will love. From the wine connoisseur to the newbies, everyone can find something to suit their taste at this weekend festival!

May Day

May 7, 2023
Hermitage Museum & Gardens

Join the Hermitage Collective to welcome the warm weather and enjoy a day full of traditional, spring-inspired activities!

Enjoy special activities from these partners:
Norfolk Master Gardeners, Lil Truck of Tools, Plant Norfolk, a book swap with Eleanor’s Norfolk, Outside the Lines art studio, Rich Gray Paper Arts, Hunter House Victorian Museum

Also featuring a May pole, tunes by DJ Ryan Thomas, selfie station + bubble station + chalk art station, lawn games, spring themed art activities, garden tours.

Grab a bite to eat at Sour Street Pizza, Hola Snacks, Lolly’s Creamery, and Kona Ice.  Delectable mini-cakes will be available from Pownd Cakes by Jen. Purchase a bloody Mary, craft beer or kid-friendly drinks from the bar.

Celebrate Mother’s Day in Norfolk

May 11–14, 2023
Throughout the city

Norfolk has plenty of events happening to shower all the moms out there with a little extra love. From sailing cruises to brunches galore, you can find a whole list of Mother’s Day events.

From the Silk Roads to the Planets

May 12, 2023
Chrysler Hall

The VSO welcomes two members of the legendary Silk Road Ensemble: the world’s leading virtuoso on the tabla, Sandeep Das, and composer Kayhan Kalhor! Music Director Eric Jacobsen takes us all on a journey from the farthest reaches of our universe to the most joyous human dance imaginable, an accessible emotional bridge to one of the world’s most ancient cultures.

Nauticus After Dark: Spring Fling

MAY 18, 2023

Grab your friends and start your weekend early with Nauticus After Dark, an evening event series exclusively for adults 21+. Nauticus After Dark: Spring Fling will offer after-hours exploration of Nauticus and exclusive look into the new Norfolk In Time exhibition.

Guests will also enjoy:

  • Groovy tunes
  • Tasty cocktails and snacks by Traditions Catering Co.
  • Mocktails by Crunchy Hydration
  • Engaging activities
  • Karaoke and more

Suds & Buds

May 18
Norfolk Botanical Garden

Join Norfolk Botanical Garden for a casual, after-work evening party. This is a rain or shine event for ages 21 and over. Proceeds benefit Norfolk Rotary Charities, Norfolk Botanical Garden and the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD).

Bike to Work Day

Image courtesy of DNC

MAY 19

Work downtown? Want to ride? Participate in National Bike to Work Day! If you commute, do it on two wheels. If you work from home, take an opportunity to bike for some coffee or around the block. However you celebrate, just #bikethere! Look for pit stops around Norfolk along common bikeway routes and trails for bicycle riders and commuters. From 7 to 9 a.m., ride by a pit stop for water, fruit and more giveaways.

Bayou Bon Vivant: Cajun & Music Food Festival 

@iheartfoodvb, Instagram

May 19–21, 2023
Town Point Park

We’re bringing a taste of Louisiana to Norfolk with more than 8,000 pounds of Cajun crawfish at your fingertips! Have you always wanted to visit Cajun country or just simply miss good ole Louisiana cooking? From the po’boys to alligator sausages and all the beignets in between this foodie festival will be sure to satisfy your Cajun craves.

39th Annual Stockley Gardens Spring Arts Festival

May 20–21, 2023
Stockley Gardens

Mark your calendars for great art from over 125 artists from across the U.S. and amazing live musical performances. You don’t want to miss this fun-filled weekend in Norfolk’s historic Ghent neighborhood.

Smokey Robinson

May 21, 2023
Chrysler Hall

This legendary singer-songwriter has penned the anthems of generations, from his early hits with The Miracles like Shop Around and The Tracks of My Tears to his solo sensations Cruisin, Quiet Storm, Being With You and more. The recipient of countless awards including the Grammy® Lifetime Achievement Award, Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of the Arts, he has been inducted into both the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. And on stage, he’s still “remarkable, phenomenal, incredible, amazing…pick any of these adjectives and it still wouldn’t do justice to the performance of Smokey Robinson” (Regina Leader Post).

Patriotic Festival

Patriotic Festival brings JON PARDI to the Scope arena in Norfolk, Virginia on 27 May 2022.photo © Jeff Moore

May 26–28, 2023
Scope Arena

Whisper Concerts and SevenVenues are delighted to announce the 2023 Patriotic Festival Country Weekend featuring performances by country artists Walker Hayes, Corey Kent, Sam Hunt, Jordan Davis, Cody Johnson, and Randy Houser. 

Jesus Christ Superstar

Beginning May 30
Chrysler Hall

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, a new mesmerizing production of the iconic musical phenomenon returns to the stage. With lyrics and music by Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winners Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ 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.”

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