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Spring is finally here in New England.  And while there’s always plenty to do to stay busy around here in the wintertime, spring and summer bring even more activity. Many of this month’s events revolve around spring blossoms, while others are fun shows, festivals, and outdoor artisan markets—’tis the season! You’ll even find a special appearance by Jay Leno. Read on for ten of our top things to do this May on the North Shore.

Celebrate Spring After Hours at the Stevens-Coolidge House

May 3, 10, 12

Stroll through the Stevens-Coolidge House & Gardens in North Andover this spring and see the grounds blooming with tulips, daffodils, and other springtime favorites. And on select late afternoons in May (the 3rd, 10th, and 12th, Mother’s Day), the property stays open from 5 to 7 p.m. so you can stroll through during golden hour. Guests can preorder a charcuterie box from Olive & Fig, too.

Kentucky Derby Viewing Party at the Newbury

May 4

Need an excuse to head into town this spring? You’re in luck, because one of our favorite hotels in Boston is hosting a Kentucky Derby viewing party on May 4 in collaboration with Woodford Reserve bourbon. From 4 to 7 p.m., the party features live music, Derby-inspired hors d’oeuvres, and a bourbon tasting, and $5 from each ticket will go to the Highgate Charitable Foundation. Located at 1 Newbury Street and overlooking the Public Garden, the hotel just finished a lobby-to-roof renovation in 2021. Don’t forget your best hat!

Cape Ann Blossoms (2023) image of Augustus W. Buhler (1853-1920), Shoving Off. C. 1907. Oil on canvas, Gift of Dr. Bernard S. Cohen, 1979. [Accession # 2199]. Floral Arrangement by Joni Pesola of Danvers Garden Club | Photograph by Aram Boghosian

Cape Ann Blossoms in the Galleries

May 4–5

The yearly tradition returns to the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester: On May 4 and 5, the museum hosts stunning floral arrangements in its galleries. Rivaling the art itself, the arrangements are not to be missed, and are included in the price of admission. If you’ve been meaning to head to the museum, this might be the weekend to do it.

Tulip Festival at Cider Hill Farm

May 4–5 & May 11–12

Back for another year, the Tulip Festival at Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury celebrates the farm’s 100,000 tulip bulbs that bloom in early May. The multi-weekend festival features pick-your-own tulips, live music, self-guided walks, food trucks, and the property’s outdoor hard cider bar. While the festival is free and open to the public, advanced ticket purchase is required to pick your own flowers. Tickets are $6 if you just want to enter the field, and $22 if you’re picking your own bouquet. Tip: The farm encourages guests to pick the whole bulb, too, so you can replant it at home!

Artisan Market at the Mills

May 5

The yearly artisan market once again returns to the West and East Mills in North Andover on May 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Featuring exclusively handmade goods, the market hosts makers from all over New England. It’s presented by the Village Studio, a year-round gift shop that sells handmade goods from close to 200 artisans, and also does sewing classes and custom sewing projects.

Jersey Boys at North Shore Music Theatre | Photograph by Paul Lyden

Jersey Boys at North Shore Music Theatre

May 7–11

North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly puts on a 16-show run of Jersey Boys, the jukebox musical that tells the story and features the music of the Four Seasons. The show won the 2006 Tony Award for “Best Musical,” and features hits like “Sherry,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” and “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night).” NSMT will host free post-show discussions with the artists and theatre management after the May 14 show and the 2 p.m. show on May 18. Tickets start at $70, and the show’s run time is about two and a half hours including intermission.

32nd Annual Long Hill Plant Sale

May 10–11

On Saturday, May 11, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., Long Hill in Beverly hosts its annual plant sale. Browse the selection of plants, and remember to bring your own gloves! Coffee and pastries will be available for purchase, and the sale opens at 9 a.m. for members. Friday, May 10, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., the property holds its plant sale preview party and silent auction—attendees can expect cocktails, live jazz, hors d’oeuvres, and early access to all the choice plants.

Deadwick’s Ethereal Faire at Castle Hill

May 10–11

Castle Hill in Ipswich is transformed into a magical faire this May 10 and 11. Deadwick’s Ethereal Faire will bring in more than 50 vendors including artisans, tarot readers, face painters, magicians, circus performers, and costumed characters, along with antique tin-type photography. There will be food from Fezziwig’s Food & Fountain from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The family-friendly event becomes more adventurous during the evening, as ale and mead are available for purchase. The faire runs on Friday from 5 to 10 p.m., and Saturday from 2 to 10 p.m.

The Cabot’s Big Night

May 11

Andover native Jay Leno hosts The Cabot’s Big Night on May 11, the theater’s biggest fundraiser of the year. The evening features both music and comedy performances, and aims to raise funds for the last phase of the theater’s capital improvement project. The night also recognizes Thaddeus S Siemasko and SV Design for their work on the renovation and design of Beverly’s historic theater. Tickets are on sale now for the 8 p.m. show, which will be opened by doo-wop and comedy group the Alley Cats.

Marblehead’s Spring Celebration

May 11

Marblehead’s Spring Celebration returns this year on Saturday, May 11. Local shops, restaurants, artists, organizations, and the Marblehead Museum team up for a day of family-friendly activities and shopping in downtown Marblehead. Eventgoers will find live music, arts and crafts activities, outdoor shopping, and exciting deals at small shops and local restaurants throughout Marblehead’s historic downtown and Atlantic Avenue.