May is here which means more fun in store! The year is rushing by now it seems as the days grow longer and the nights feel warmer. (Beer garden anyone?) With some many amazing events and activities happening this month, your social calendar is sure to fill up fast. It proves that we were only just getting started in April. So without further ado, here are all the best things to do this May in Birmingham.
1. Get running at the Great Birmingham Race
May starts of with a bang as we get set, ready, go for the Great Birmingham Run 2023. Taking place Early May Bank Holiday weekend (Sunday, May 7), we’ll finally see if all those hard months of training will pay off. Pushing many of us to our very limits as we complete the 13.1 mile, the half marathon run will be the ultimate achievement this May! If that wasn’t enough, the weekend will also host 10k races, junior and mini runs. Here’s everything you need to know about the Great Birmingham Race 2023.
2. Love yourself at Birmingham Pride
It might feel like Pride comes around earlier and earlier every year. But, this time you’d be right. Birmingham Pride 2023 will be back bigger and better than ever at the end of the month. (Last year’s celebration took place in September.) On May 27 & 28, the two-day celebrations will see the likes of B*witched, Atomic Kitten, Boney M, Sugababes, Mae Muller and more perform.
It’s not all about partying though! Birmingham Pride Parade is also back. Tens of thousands of participants will march as a statement for equality and justice, as well as a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community’s contribution to the city. It is expected to be enjoyed by more than 75,000 spectators too.
3. Dine on dumplings and dance to DJs at this Hong Kong-style eatery
You can have try some of the best dumplings in Birmingham at Blow Water. Sabrina Fung’s famous family-recipe has taken Kings Heath by storm since it opened late last year. But the Hong Kong-inspired eatery is more than just serving East Asian delights. It also doubles as one of the coolest hangouts in Birmingham, thanks to performances from some of the best musicians from the UK and beyond. Recent shows include the bizzarro DJ Bus Replacement Service, rising jazz-star Kamaal Williams, and Birmingham’s very own techno legend Surgeon. This dumpling shop knows how to throw a proper party!
4. Sip on a wide selection of gin and rum at this drinks festival just a short drive or train ride away
Whether you’re thirsty for knowledge or you just want to party the night away, this gin and rum festival in Derby on May 13 is for you. Treat yourself and let your hair down with your friends at the themed bars with tasty street food and a buzzing party atmosphere. There will be talks, master classes, free samples, great live entertainment and an award-winning resident DJ that will keep you entertained with music from all genres, so get ready for a Rumbelievable festival! Plus you can take home a complimentary Gin & Rum Festival Copa glass. Book tickets here.
5. Borrow anything from camping gear to BBQs at this coffee shop
The coming of May also means the start of outdoor activities again for many. But whether you want to go camping or throw a big BBQ (especially on of the three May bank holiday weekends), you’re going to need a lot of stuff. And that can come at a cost. But why fork out the cash when you could borrow it instead?
Think of The Borrow Shop as a sort of ‘library of things’. The Jewellery Quarter coffee shop is great for a pot of tea and a slice of cake, but also lets you borrow anything airbeds to pasta makers, sewing machines to step ladders, carpet cleaners and so much more.
6. Head to Birmingham Cathedral for a charming candlelight tribute concert to Taylor Swift
Our Wildest Dreams have come true: a Candlelight tribute to singer/songwriter Taylor Swift is coming to Birmingham. On May 11, the pop star’s iconic tunes will be given a classical twist, as they are performed by a string quarter at Birmingham Cathedral. Expect to hear You Belong With Me, Love Story and Blank Space – to name just a few – in a brand-new way. Some might say, you’ll leave Enchanted by this 60-minute performance. Tickets are available here.
7. Soak up breathtaking views of the city at these rooftop bars
British Summertime is here, therefore a rooftop drink is definitely overdue. From luxurious restaurants to cosy pubs, Birmingham has some of the most incredible rooftop bars (and some are more hidden than others). Check out our guide to the best rooftop bars in Birmingham for you to book and take in insane views of the city with your family or friends this May.
8. Check out The Button Factory’s new ‘secret garden’ venue
Speaking of summertime, beer gardens and outdoor spaces area must among things to do in May. Just in time, The Button Factory will open the 350-capacity outdoor space, The Yard, this month. Expect a series of fantastic live music, DJs and food events throughout the summertime too.
Kicking things off on May 13, Radio 6’s Sam Redmore and his band, The Tropical Soundclash All-Stars, going live at 9pm. Alongside, guest DJs Anthony Duffy & Zuanella will be playing throughout the evening until 11pm. Looking ahead, future events at The Yard also include a Brunch Club, Selextorhood Festival on May 27 and a specially curated programme, called Summer in the City, where each even focuses on a different city from around the world (launching June 3)
9. Take to the skies at this new balloon festival
Worcester Balloon Festival prepares to paint skies with a palette of hot air balloons, of all shapes and sizes, near Birmingham when it launches this May. Taking place at Worcester Racecourse (May 12 & 13), more than 40 balloons are so far signed up to appear. While visitors can also expect fireworks, circus workshops, a funfair, street food and drink stands, and other live entertainment too.
10. Head to this 100% halal food festival
Birmingham has to be one of the most halal-friendly cities in the UK. Which makes the perfect place to host this completely halal food festival. The Halal Food Festival will debut at Birmingham’s NEC on Spring Bank Holiday weekend. This two-day event expects to see over 20,000 attendees across May 27 & 28, sampling halal cuisine – offering tasty treats as diverse as Islam itself.
Showcasing the global breadth of halal food, confirmed street food vendors include: Afrikana, Malaysian Street Food, Myos Japanese Fusion, The Dutch Fishmen, Cleopatra from the Middle East, artisan hot dogs by Malik Butchers and Birmingham’s very own ‘Home of the Smash’, Phat Jo’s. With over 150 exhibitors and outdoor street food vendors, as well as an indoor exhibition with Muslim lifestyle stalls and entertainment, it’s going to be a jam-packed weekend. A must for all Muslims looking for things to do this May in Birmingham.