10 Things to Do in Mexico City in May

Mexico City offers many things to try and see during the month of May. You will enjoy marathons, food fairs, music festivals and dance performances.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

10 min read

10 Things to Do in Mexico City in May

Xochimilco | ©Roberto Carlos Román Don

May is the warmest month of spring in Mexico City, temperatures range from approximately 12° to 27°. There are many entertaining activities, such as running a marathon during Mother's Day, strolling through the best museums in the city, taking advantage of the dance shows or walking through the Chapultepec Forest in a colorful party where neon is the protagonist.

There are also gastronomic fairs and exhibitions, so I recommend you add them to your itinerary to taste the surprises of Mexican food. If you are a lover of Halloween and horror movies, you should take advantage of all the plans that the month of May has to offer, such as haunted sanatoriums and mansions, extreme parks and the opportunity to solve a murder case.

1. Celebrate International Dance Day

International Dance Day| ©Capoeira Longe do Mar
International Dance Day| ©Capoeira Longe do Mar

International Dance Day is celebrated between the last week of April and the first days of May, in commemoration of which various dance performances are organized in the city's theaters, opera houses, museums, recital halls and academies. For example, the Royal Academy of Ballet prepares classical and modern pieces and offers sample classes for beginners.

CENART also organizes free events such as dance performances, master classes and documentary screenings.

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2. Participate in the Mother's Day Marathon

Marathon in Mexico| ©Christian Ramiro González
Marathon in Mexico| ©Christian Ramiro González

During Mother's Day the streets of Mexico City are filled with fun events and most of them are completely free. For example, you can sign up for a mini-marathon through the canals of Xochimilco, around which there are food stands and hydration points, as well as other sports games.

Throughout the city there are also activities such as mariachi music, live shows and dances. In addition, there are many things you can do in Mexico City to enjoy the rest of the day.

3. Run through Chapultepec Forest with Electric Run

Chapultepec Forest| ©luuzzy :)
Chapultepec Forest| ©luuzzy :)

The Electric Run marathon is the perfect opportunity to get to know the Bosque de Chapultepec in depth. Wear sportswear in neon tones to be in line with the theme and get ready for a one-hour run. The entrance fee is approximately 40 € and includes a makeup kit, a shirt, competitor number, hydration and medal, it is an interactive experience that you should sign up for.

In the different sections you will find surprises such as foam rain, live music, colorful tunnels, DJs and food areas. Also, if you arrive early, they will help you with your makeup in neon tones. You can find more information on the official website.

4. Join the fun at the festivals and fairs in May

Mexican Food| ©Arena Blake
Mexican Food| ©Arena Blake

May is a month full of fun and movement in Mexico City, temperatures are pleasant, so you will find a variety of festivals and great things to do during the night.

Aleph: The Festival of Art and Science

If you are interested in artistic performances or learning about science and medicine, the Art and Science Festival is for you, it is held at the UNAM and its name is inspired by a story by Jorge Luis Borges. Each edition has a different theme, so you will be surprised by the activities and exhibitions. There are acrobatics, conferences, dances and most of them are completely free.

NRMAL Festival

One of the most important music festivals in Mexico City, held during May, there is a variety of bands and independent musicians, food stalls, electronic performances and unexpected surprises. Tickets start at 30 € and it is an event similar to Corona Capital.

Gastronomic Festivals

During the month of May a variety of gastronomic festivals are organized, where you can try enchiladas, quesadillas, chapulines, pulque, local beers, tacos, mezcal, among others. Some of the festivals you can enjoy include:

  • Snow Fair in Tláhuac, it is installed between April and May, the interesting thing is that there are a variety of stalls offering ice cream of different flavors, from traditional to mysterious proposals such as rattlesnake, tequila and pulque, among others. In the surrounding area you will see very interesting cultural shows.
  • Yucatán Expone is located in the Zócalo plaza and admission is free. It offers savory and sweet dishes, such as cochinita pibil, panuchos, poc chuc, alfeñique and coconut candy, based on the roots of Aztec cuisine. You will also find handicraft stands and live music.
  • Feria del Mundo, don't miss the opportunity to travel the world without leaving Mexico City. It is a colorful event completely free that allows you to taste the gastronomy of at least 30 countries, including Spain, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, France, Italy, Bulgaria, Turkey and Tunisia.

Another option is the Medieval Barbecue Festival that offers barbecues, live music such as bagpipes and medieval games, such as knightly combat and archery. The Japanese Market in Mexico City also opens its doors during the month of May, has limited spaces and offers traditional Japanese food, clothing and handicraft stores.

If you want to experience a hot air balloon ride in Mexico City, while tasting Mexican dishes, then the International Balloon Festival is ideal for you. Keep in mind that dates tend to vary and sometimes events are rescheduled for other months, so it is important to keep an eye on their website.

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5. Visit the museums of the city

Palace of Fine Arts| ©Ivan Hernández
Palace of Fine Arts| ©Ivan Hernández

May 18 is International Museum Day, so you have the perfect excuse to take a tour of Mexico City's main museums. During this week special events are organized such as the Night of Museums and the Historic Walks through the corners of the city, which are completely free.

At the end of April a variety of exhibitions, art and cultural events are announced and there are open passes to the best art galleries. In addition, there are talks, concerts, photo tours, dance performances and plays. Some of the museums you can't miss in May include:

  • Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, offers permanent and temporary exhibits, history sections and children's areas. Admission is around 4 €.
  • Museo del Pulque y las Pulquerías, pulque is a very popular fermented drink in Mexico that has been prepared since pre-Hispanic times. In the museum area you can learn about the artisanal process, the collection of traditional vessels and the changes that the recipe has undergone, while in the pulqueria you can taste the drink, as well as enchiladas and chapulines. The entrance fee is approximately 2 €.
  • Museo de la Luz, has exhibitions based on light and color, it is ideal for children because there are many learning spaces. Museum nights are priced around€1, while regular admission costs approximately €2.

Traveller Tip

If you want to win special prizes, you can participate in the rallies organized in various museums in the city.

6. Halloween in the middle of May

Halloween| ©Ute
Halloween| ©Ute

Why wait for Halloween, if May is the month of terror in Mexico City? Every year different events are prepared, ideal for lovers of horror and mystery movies. For example, the Carnival by Scream Park, considered the largest horror amusement park in Latin America, arrives to the city and is regularly located in Guadalajara.

If you have a student card you can get special discounts and general admission tickets cost approximately 22 €. You can tour a haunted mansion, get lost in a sanatorium or enjoy a cocktail in the drinking area.

To solve mysteries and murders, head to Murder Mystery, an immersive game that takes place in the 1940s-inspired Casa Rivas Mercado, where you will be left clues to solve a case. The experience lasts approximately two hours, you must comply with the dress code of the era and the entrance fee is around 24 €.

7. Experience Portuguese Film Week in Mexico City

Enjoying the cinema| ©Jake Hills
Enjoying the cinema| ©Jake Hills

In May, the Portuguese Film Week is celebrated at the Cineteca Nacional located in Mexico City. It is an event that broadcasts the best films made by Portuguese talent and throughout the week there are several screenings to cover as many cinematic pieces as possible.

This event is also held in Ecuador, Colombia, Chile and Argentina. Each screening has an approximate cost of 3 €. At the Cineteca you can also view the film archives, explore the video library, enjoy the exhibitions in the museum area, have a beer on the terrace, watch a movie in the open-air forum or taste authentic Mexican dishes in their restaurant.

8. Take a tour of the city's palaces

Chapultepec Castle| ©Lion
Chapultepec Castle| ©Lion

Mexico City is one of the cities with the most palaces in Latin America, in fact it is called the City of Palaces. In its facilities there are history and art exhibits, monuments, relics and period items. Some of the palaces you should visit are:

Chapultepec Castle.

The Chapultepec Castle is located next to the Chapultepec Forest and is a piece of the monarchy that was built in 1785 with a neoclassical and baroque design. During your visit you can take the opportunity to:

  • Visit the Butterfly Garden which in the spring is filled with colorful flowers and shelters at least 50 species.
  • Have a picnic at Chapultepec Lake.
  • Interact with snakes, amphibians and turtles in the Herpetarium.
  • Enjoy the company of animals at the Chapultepec Zoo.

You will find more attractions, such as the fair, the children's park, the botanical garden, the athletics track and more than ten museums.

Postal Palace or the Fifth House of the Post Office

The Postal Palace has a variety of monuments, very important for the history of Mexico. Its library stands out as an attraction for reading lovers, and its architectural design is eye-catching and ideal for taking pictures. The entrance fee is approximately 3 €.

Palace of Fine Arts

A great option to spend the afternoon is the Palacio de Bellas Artes. It is ideal to enjoy performances by dance companies, attend lectures, explore its museum, take a guided tour, listen to the Symphony Orchestra that usually performs during May and learn more about Mexican culture.

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9. Experience a blind dinner

People Dining| ©Elina Sazonova
People Dining| ©Elina Sazonova

Mexico City is multicultural and its experiences are up to par, offering the best attractions for locals and tourists. La Imperial restaurant located in La Reforma, offers a gastronomic challenge for the bravest. It takes place in May, Christmas and other special dates, when you arrive you will be blindfolded to taste and judge the dishes through smell and taste.

Don't worry! There is a menu of meat, fish and other proposals from the sea, for vegans and vegetarians. You can make reservations online.

10. Have fun at the Six Flag theme park.

Six Flag| ©OtroPX
Six Flag| ©OtroPX

If you are looking for a plan to do with children, I recommend you to visit the Six Flag theme park during May. This month has ideal temperatures to enjoy their activities that include:

Fun Nights

They are available between March and June and access is completely free after the park closes. It is a night concept that offers live music, marimba shows, food stands, mariachi and catrinas shows, cocktail areas and more. Please note that parking has an additional cost. In the park's facilities you can stroll through the French Village that offers music and atmosphere of the sixties. Additionally, you don't need to make reservations, but I suggest arriving early.

Heroes and Villains Festival

After enjoying the hero-inspired roller coasters, I suggest you take advantage of one of the best events of the spring. This is the Festival of Heroes and Villains that offers shows for children, parades of dancers, acrobats and cartoon characters, the cost of admission is from 36 €.

Hamburger Challenge

To celebrate Hamburger Day during May, the park organizes a challenge that consists of eating as many hamburgers as possible in fifteen minutes. It lasts five hours and the official rules can be found on the park's website.

Other activities available

Houses of Mexico| ©Dennis Sylvester Hurd
Houses of Mexico| ©Dennis Sylvester Hurd

In the month of May there are many activities organized, so you can continue exploring the city to fall in love with its charm. The best way to get to know every corner of the city is to take a bike tour making stops at the highlights of the city.

Take advantage of Labor Day events

If you arrive in the city on the first day of May, you should take into account that the city celebrates International Workers' Day, which has its advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, it is a day of rest and many Mexicans take advantage of it to get out of the city or walk the streets. There are also free events and shows in the plazas, however some stores, restaurants, monuments and areas are closed, subway lines have limited schedules and banks are not open.

Don't miss Italian Film Week

If Portuguese movies aren't your thing, maybe you can try cinema from Italy. The Italian Film Week is similar and is organized by the Italian Institute of Culture at the Cineteca Nacional to screen the Italian films that have won the most awards at international festivals and prizes. There is a variety of genres such as suspense, horror, drama, comedy, romance, documentary, among others, and there are also talks to learn more about how cinema works in Italy.

Around the Cineteca you will find many places to eat, such as the Diana Restaurant, the Corazón de Maguey and the Chicha Cineteca. It is also close to the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Frida Kahlo Museum, the Zocalo square and the Palace of Fine Arts. It is an event that takes place between April and June in Mexico City and Argentina, in the Cineteca's website you can find all the details.

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