Spring has definitely sprung in Charlottesville & Albemarle County! Trees and flowers are in full bloom, warmer temperatures are here to stay, and the month of May is ready to offer up some major events and fun festivities in the Charlottesville area! This list features 11 of the top events and things to do, but by no means is it totally comprehensive. We invite you to explore and browse our calendar of events for even more ideas when planning your perfect May excursion to Charlottesville & Albemarle County. Let's get started!
1.) Starr Hill IPA JamBEERee - May 6, 2017
Craft beer lovers, do we have an event for you? Especially craft beer lovers who crave the hoppy, citrus-y goodness of an IPA! Look no further than the Starr Hill IPA JamBEERee event, taking place on Saturday, May 6 from 2:00 - 6:00 p.m. in Crozet. This event features more than 25 Virginia brewers, and a mind-boggling 60+ IPAs. Not only will there be an amazing selection of beer, but there will also be plenty of local food, live music, games, and much more. Tickets are $25 and proceeds from the event will help benefit Crozet Park, so you'll be sipping suds for a good cause. Click here for more details about this bubbly event!
(Photo Credit - Starr Hill Brewery)
2.) Mother's Day Events
The Charlottesville area is teeming with events this Mother's Day weekend to make sure that mom is feeling pampered and loved! Enjoy a yummy brunch at Trump Winery, or take part in the Mother's Day Winemaker's Brunch at Veritas Vineyards! Barboursville Vineyards is offering up a five-course feast, perfectly paired with Barboursville wines. After brunch, any mom would surely love to check out the Crozet Arts & Crafts Festival to find the perfect one-of-a-kind trinket, sure to make the trip a special and unforgettable one! For more Mother's Day ideas in the Charlottesville area, be sure to check out our calendar of events to help plan a trip that your mom will be talking about for years to come!
3.) Know Good Beer...and Bourbon Festival - May 13, 2017
Located a few blocks south of the historic Downtown Mall, the IX Art Park will be the site of the Know Good Beer...and Bourbon Festival! Know Good Beer prides itself on being one of the only local small businesses hosting beer tastings while raising money for great causes. Its goal isn't necessarily to be the biggest festival, but to provide high-quality beers made locally, regionally, and nationally - plus bourbon! There will also be local musicians and mobile food vendors available on site. General admission tickets are $50 and this ticket entitles you to unlimited 2-4 ounce samples from dozens of carefully selected craft beers and 1/4-1/2 ounce samples of bourbon. Click here to learn more about the Know Good Beer...and Bourbon festival!
(Photo Credit - Know Good Beer)
4.) Festival of Cultures - May 13, 2017
For those looking to learn more about the wide array of cultural diversity that exists in the Charlottesville & Albemarle County area, be sure to check out the Festival of Cultures in Lee Park on May 13 from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. This event is a day of free, family-friendly fun with entertainment that includes music, dancing, and storytelling. There will be plenty of hands-on cultural craft activities, cultural exhibits, food, and even artisan vendors. There will also be a free photo booth, a mix your own spices station, and video storytelling opportunities. Click here to learn more about this exciting and festive event!
5.) Crozet Arts & Crafts Festival - May 13-14, 2017
The ever-popular Crozet Arts & Crafts Festival returns to Claudius Crozet Park on May 13 & 14! This event will feature more than 120 juried art and craft exhibitors from around the community and the country. In addition to the arts and crafts available for purchase, there will also be plenty of live music, food, and fun for people of all ages. Admission is $7 for adults ($13 for the entire weekend) and children under 12 get in for free. Click here to learn even more about the Crozet Arts & Crafts Festival!
(Crozet Arts & Crafts Festival)
6.) Final Exercises at the University of Virginia - May 19 - 21, 2017
One of THE very biggest events that takes place in the Charlottesville area is Finals Weekend at the University of Virginia. This 3-day series of events is the culmination of many years of hard work for each of the students who will receive their diplomas during Final Exercises. Keynote speakers over the course of the weekend include Juan Manuel Santos (President of Colombia), Deborah E. McDowell (Director of the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies), and Robert C. Pianta, Dean of the Curry School of Education. Nothing is more memorable than cheering on your favorite Hoo on The Lawn at Thomas Jefferson's University of Virginia. To learn more about Finals Weekend, click here!
(UVA Final Exercises - Photo Credit - UVA Office of Major Events)
7.) Strawberry Picking at Chiles Orchard
Nothing says spring like the fresh, sweet taste of a locally-grown strawberry, that you have plucked directly from the ground! Luckily, there is a place in the Charlottesville area where you can do just that - at Chiles Orchard located a few miles west of Charlottesville in beautiful Crozet. Of course, this event is very dependent upon the weather, so be sure to check ahead before arriving, but May is generally the best time for strawberry picking in Charlottesville & Albemarle County. Before you know it, it'll be time for peaches, which can also be picked at multiple orchards across the Charlottesville area. For more information about picking your own fruit, click here!
(Strawberry Picking - Photo Credit - Robert Radifera)
8.) Fridays After Five
Fridays After Five has been a Charlottesville staple for decades and is now celebrating its 30th year of being one of the region's top free, family-friendly concert series! This event gears up at the Sprint Pavilion on the east end of the Downtown Mall each and every Friday afternoon through the summer months, with music from a local band beginning (as the name suggests) shortly after 5! There's also a selection of local beer & wine to choose from as you listen to some tunes on a beautiful Virginia evening. Pro tip: get there early and you'll be able to claim a spot on the coveted grassy lawn area outside of the Pavilion. Bring a blanket for the ultimate in relaxation and comfort! Click here for more details about the 30th season of Fridays After Five!
(Fridays After Five - Photo Credit - Jeff McCallister)
9.) Thursday Evening Sunset Concert Series at Carter Mountain Orchard
You may know Carter Mountain Orchard for its apples, peaches, and those to-die-for apple cider donuts. If you aren't familiar with the donuts, you should be. ASAP! But in the spring and summer months, Carter Mountain Orchard is also home to a fun concert series taking place each Thursday evening. Not only is there great music, but there's also food, wine, hard cider, hayrides, and the most gorgeous sunset views around. Get there early to snag a picnic table, or bring a blanket and have a picnic dinner as the sun drops behind the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains. Admission to the event is free and this is most certainly a family-friendly event! For more information on the Thursday Evening Sunset Concert Series, click here!
(Thursday Evening Sunset Series at Carter Mountain Orchard - Photo Credit - Bram Reusen)
10.) Tuesday Tunes at James Monroe's Highland - May 23, 2017
More music fun! This year, James Monroe's Highland, in partnership with The Front Porch, will host the 3rd annual "Tuesday Tunes" sunset concert series. The series will take place at Highland, the home of President James Monroe from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Bring out the blanket and chairs and get ready to hear some awesome music at one of our nation's most historic sites. Plus, if Mother Nature decides to throw a showery curve ball, there's shelter at the event pavilion located on site. Click here to learn more information about the "Tuesday Tunes" concert series line up for 2017!
(Tuesday Tunes at James Monroe's Highland - Photo Credit - Gene Runion Photography)
11.) Polo Matches at King Family Vineyards - Beginning Memorial Day Weekend
What could be better than watching magnificent horses gallop across the grounds at a spirited polo match on a warm, Virginia afternoon? You can do just that at King Family Vineyards each and every Sunday beginning on Memorial Day weekend and lasting through the rest of the summer! Vehicles are invited to park "tailgate style" around the polo field or you can watch the polo match from the comfort of the patio located at the winery. Be sure to bring chairs, blankets, and shade - then get ready to enjoy an exciting polo match played with the Blue Ridge Mountains serving as a backdrop. Wine from King Family Vineyards is available for sale by the polo field. For more information about these matches, be sure to click here!
(King Family Vineyards Polo Match - Photo Credit - Anna Quillon)
Again, this list only begins to scratch the surface of all the happenings taking place in Charlottesville & Albemarle County in the month of May. Be sure to browse around on our website for even more ideas regarding attractions, things to do, and places to stay. We look forward to welcoming you to Charlottesville & Albemarle County very soon!