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What To See And Do In Dundee This May

May is here, and there are a lot of exciting things to see and do in Dundee this month! Here are Dundee Culture's picks for the top ten things to see and do in the city throughout the merry merry month of May!

1. Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk at V&A Dundee

When: From 4 May, at V&A Dundee. £7-15. Find out more.

From Scotland’s national fabric to Japan’s national garment, the V&A Dundee hosts Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk which will be the V&A Dundee’s first ever Japanese-themed exhibition. From samurai style and geisha chic, to Jedi knights and rock stars, the V&A Dundee invites you to explore the fascinating story of the significance, appeal and influence of kimono.

2. Walk in the walls of Dundee's oldest building with Dark Dundee

When: 16 & 30 May 2024, at The Old Steeple. £12.50. Find out more.

Dark Dundee is one of the most beloved organisations in the city, and they are back for 2024 with a new event which will allow people to tour The Old Steeple, Dundee's oldest surviving building. The tour allows you to see all rooms within the tower including the clock, and bell room and to walk in the walls of Dundee's oldest surviving buildings is pretty special. Tour starts at 7.30 pm and lasts for approximately 1 hour. Not suitable for those under the age of 8. 

3. Nearly New at the Dundee Museum of Transport

When: Throughout May, at Dundee Museum of Transport. Find out more.

Embark on an adventure at the Dundee Museum of Transport as they unveil their latest attraction: the "Nearly New" exhibition! Showcasing a fascinating array of recent acquisitions, this exhibit promises surprises at every turn. Before delving into the details, indulge in a guessing game with tantalizing clues hinting at the treasures in store. From vehicles with historical significance, such as those once owned by John T. Young Motor Garage, to iconic cars like the 1954 model with a 948 cc engine, and even one of the first vehicles to cross the iconic Tay Bridge in 1966, the excitement is palpable. Visit the museum today to witness these remarkable additions firsthand and see if your guesses hit the mark.

4. DUNDEAD at the Dundee Contemporary Arts

When: 16-19 May 2024, at Dundee Contemporary Arts. Find out more.

Recently reeling from the exciting news that it is a finalist in this year's Art Fund Museum of the Year, visiting the Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) is a must. And with the very much loved DUNDEAD film festival being hosted in May, now is the perfect time to visit. This year's films include Sting, Skinned, Candy Man, Scream and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It will also feature the Scottish premiere of Falling Stars, Booger and Red Room.

5. DEMSFest at Mains Castle

When: 18 May 2024, at Mains Castle; £20-30; 18+ only. Find out more.

Picture: DEMSFest

DEMSFEST is back for its second year, aiming to surpass the £10,000 raised for charity in its debut. Set against the stunning backdrop of Mains Castle, a 16th-century gem nestled in Caird Park, Dundee, this year promises an even more spectacular showcase of local and international talent. Open to all adults, attendees can enjoy a full day of music while supporting brain tumor research and treatment. Every ticket purchased contributes to the cause, as artists generously donate their fees to this noble endeavor.

6. The Big Bus Show at Xplore Dundee Bus Depot

When: 4 May at 11am, at Xplore Dundee Bus Depot. FREE entry.

Learn more about Xplore Dundee, the city's local bus service at the Big Bus Show which will be hosted to raise money for Dundee Bairns, a charity that helps feed vulnerable children in Dundee. The Big Bus Show offers visitors a look at the vintage buses which used to roam the streets of Dundee, and it also has food and drink stalls as well.

7. Explore Wildlife at Dundee Botanic Gardens

When: Throughout May, at Dundee Botanic Gardens. £5 entry.

Nestled in the heart of Dundee, the Botanic Gardens stand as a serene oasis, inviting visitors to explore its lush greenery and vibrant floral displays. With its diverse collection of plants from around the world, meticulously curated gardens, and tranquil ponds, the Gardens offer a rejuvenating escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, a photography buff seeking picturesque landscapes, or simply looking for a peaceful retreat, the Botanic Gardens have something to offer for everyone.

8. Test out new video games at the Abertay Digital Graduate Show 2024

When: 16-18 May 2024, at Abertay University. FREE entry. Find out more.

This year's Abertay Digital Graduate Show will showcase over 140 cutting-edge honors projects, marking it Abertay's largest exhibition yet. The event will span a diverse array of fields, including concept art, character design, animation, applied games, programming and game design, UI/UX, motion capture, 3D modeling, virtual/augmented reality, and emerging technologies. Taking place across two floors of Abertay's National Centre for Excellence in Games Education for the first time, attendees can anticipate an expanded space filled with opportunities to view, engage with, and immerse themselves in the latest innovations.

9. Jute As A Material And Subject at Verdant Works

When: 1-6 May 2024, at Verdant Works. Find out more.

Explore Scottish artist Kim Appleton's captivating exhibition, delving into the rich history of mills and jute through mesmerizing painted works. Closing on Monday 6 May, this showcase unveils Appleton's deep exploration of jute as a profound symbol of Dundee and its people. Inspired by narratives from Verdant Works mill staff and the jute industry, Appleton's paintings vividly depict Dundee landscapes, initially capturing mills and machinery in detail before evolving into abstract interpretations. She questions the symbolic depth of ordinary textiles like jute, inviting viewers to explore its intricate narratives woven into this humble material. Experience Appleton's unique perspective and immerse yourself in the evocative stories behind Dundee's industrial heritage at this thought-provoking exhibition.

10. Remembering Dundee's Music Halls at the Central Library

When: Throughout May, at the Central Library. Find out more.

Dive into Dundee's captivating music hall legacy, spanning iconic venues like Springthorpe's and the Gaiety, brought to life through a curated exhibition showcasing rare posters from the era. Co-curated by Ombeline Picant from the University of St Andrews MLitt Museum and Heritage Studies program, Nicole Entin, a fourth-year undergraduate in the School of Art History's History of Art MA, alongside Dr. Billy Rough and Dr. Erin Farley, this exhibition offers a glimpse into the vibrant entertainment history of the city.

As part of the exhibition a series of events are also scheduled.

The Mysteries of the Printing Press - workshop with Pathfoot Press

2-4.30 pm on Thursday 9th May at Dundee Central Library

Dundee’s Music Hall Walking Tour: Dr Billy Rough

10-12 noon on Saturday 11th May. Meet outside Taza Buffet on Camperdown Street.

The Scottish Varieties: Songs and Stories from Scotland's music halls

2-3pm on Thursday 16th May at the Wighton Heritage Centre, Dundee Central Library


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