Photo by Paul g. Wiegman.

6. May Market at Phipps Conservancy & Botanical Garden: May 12 & 13

Whether you want to plant a Victory Garden with your family, design a succulent terrarium for your loft, or plan a creative Mother’s Day weekend outing, don’t miss this epic horticultural happening. For its 81st annual edition, the perennially popular market will be teeming with expert horticulturists, gardeners, farmers and vendors. Make that thumb a lot greener as you stock up on unique plants, gardening accessories, nature-themed jewelry and more. The uber-green sale boasts everything from organic herbs and soil, vegetable seedlings and tropical plants to low-maintenance shrubs and seasonal favorites. Eco-friendly selections from Phipps’ Top 10 list of sustainable native and rain garden plants will also be in abundance. In addition to supplying all your landscaping needs, the market will showcase botanical art and natural body care products. Phipps staff and Master Gardeners will be on hand sharing tips, and attendees will be treated to tasty hand-dipped fondant strawberries. As part of National Public Gardens Day, admission to Phipps will be half-off during market hours (May 12, 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.; May 13, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.).

Chris Rock

Chris Rock.

7. Chris Rock at the Benedum Center: May 16, 17 & 18, 8 p.m.

Hurry up and buy tickets now—a third show was added due to demand—to see Chris Rock when he blasts onto the Benedum stage as part of his continent-hopping Total Blackout Tour. Fans will rejoice to see the gifted comedian back in the stand-up limelight and embarking on his first tour in nine years. Rock is expected to apply his sharp wit to both political and personal subjects such as Donald Trump, divorce, racism and more. With a career spanning 30 years, Rock is equally at home in front of and behind the microphone and the camera—working on highly acclaimed projects as a standup comedian, television and film actor, writer, producer, and director. After working on Saturday Night Live from 1989 to 1993, Rock went on to win four Emmys, pen a New York Times bestselling book, and host the 88th Annual Academy Awards. Buy tickets.

Cat Crawl

Courtesy Animal Friends.

8. Cat Crawl in Lawrenceville: May 20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Pittsburgh just landed it first cat cafe, has hosted a sold-out Internet Cat Video Festival and according to Nielsen, is the city with the third highest number of cat ladies in the nation. Thanks to the very dedicated and creative crew at Animal Friends, our favorite fuzzy feline companions will be the star of their very own cat crawl. That’s right: not a pub crawl, not a gallery crawl, a cat crawl. Ailurophiles can crawl their way through one of Pittsburgh’s most eclectic nabes—all while cuddling your next new best friend and supporting the local nonprofit. From Franktuary to City Grows, a caboodle of adorable and adoptable kittens from Animal Friends will be spending the day at the unique boutiques and eateries lining Butler Street. Stop by the PNC Bank parking lot located at 4101 Butler to buy a cat crawl Shopping Pass, which gets you a swag bag and access to special deals at all participating businesses. Sounds like the purrfect way to spend a Saturday in Pittsburgh. Register here.

Cirque du Soleil

Courtesy Cirque du Soleil.

9. Cirque Du Soleil’s OVO at Petersen Events Center: May 24-28

The season of renewal and rebirth is an ideal time for Cirque Du Soleil to unveil its hypnotic 25th show, OVO, in Pittsburgh. A talented team of 100 artists from 21 countries will transform the Pete into a fantastical ecosystem where insects work, eat, flutter, fight—and even search for love. Featuring 10 eye-popping acts unlike any circus you’ve seen, OVO—which means “egg” in Portuguese—will leave you squirming on the edge of your seat. What will transpire when an enigmatic egg appears sparking an unexpected love affair among bugs? Your jaw will drop as contortionists bend in half, acrobats are thrown 20 feet through the air, and gymnasts defy the laws of gravity using trampolines, aerial straps and slackwires. Get a bug’s-eye view as crickets, ants, dragonflies and spiders cross paths with one very cheeky ladybug—and even a lovable cockroach—to discover the wondrous cycle of life. For tickets and showtimes go here.


Photo by Tom Souzer.

10. OpenStreetsPGH: May 28, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

We’ve all heard the cliché : Pittsburghers don’t like to cross bridges and tunnels. Think again. Thanks to OpenStreetsPGH, you can do both without a car—on foot, skates, unicycles—you name it. For four carefree—and car-free—hours, the streets will be your very own playground. Kicking off its third season, OpenStreets will unveil its new “Tunnels to Town” route, temporarily closing the streets to vehicle traffic. Residents of all ages can walk, run, bike, dance, play, shop, eat, and more—from Market Square to Uptown, over the scenic Birmingham Bridge, along bustling Carson Street, across the Tenth St. Bridge, and through the Armstrong Tunnel. Test your skills at The Wheel Mill bike rodeo, take a YMCA fitness class, and stop for brunch at eclectic eateries. Attend the Uptown Small Business Fair, grab grub from food trucks and make some noise inside a historic tunnel. Along the way, you’ll explore authentic neighborhoods, see fantastic public art and landmark architecture, and be a part of the city’s top people-watching destination. The event will also feature three program hubs and 12 mobile fitness stations.

Check out more terrific events coming up in May, and every week, in NEXTpittsburgh!

Looking for more events? Check out Top 10 family events in Pittsburgh this May and Your ultimate guide to Pittsburgh concerts this spring.