Ideas for Mother’s Day Celebrations Around the DMV

Beach fun (and blue crabs) with my babes last Mother’s Day

Moms’ big day is right around the corner, and it’s an occasion worth making extra special plans for (in my totally unbiased opinion 😉). Whether you prefer to coordinate your own celebration or enjoy made-just-for-the-day events, this round-up has ideas to help make the occasion a great one for all of the honorees. Happy Mother’s Day!

Rosslyn Blooms! Flower Festival
Where: Central Place Plaza | Rosslyn, VA
When: May 11, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Mother’s Day a little early and drop by the region’s premier spring flower market, the Rosslyn Blooms! Flower Festival. Petworth florist Holley Simmons of She Loves Me will bring her unique cut-flower creations and live indoor plants to Central Place Plaza for a day filled with shopping, fun, and activities for all ages. There will be two kids’ workshops for ages 8-12 — free but registration is required — plus coloring and sticker stations for younger children throughout the day.  All other workshops are open to public, and recommended for ages 16+. Although all the workshops are subsidized by the Rosslyn BID, there is a registration fee for the adult workshops. Space is limited, so make sure to sign up soon!

A Day with the (First) First Lady
Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: May 11-12
Admission: $18/adult, $11/ages 6-11, free for 5 and under

Join the Mother of our Country, Martha Washington, for special Mother’s Day activities at Mount Vernon, her digs with George back in the day. Stroll through the magnificent gardens in bloom and enjoy a tour of the mansion grounds. Moms will also receive a lavender sachet from Lady Washington while supplies last. You might also consider dining at the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant, where they’ll have a special Mother’s Day buffet. Note: The above admission prices are online rates; they are slightly more at the door.

Do Some Garden-ing
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

Instead of bringing flowers to mom, take her to them instead! With the bloom season upon us, and landscapes bursting with color, a visit to a garden makes for a lovely outing, especially when there’s often more to do than just look at the plants and flowers. Stroll among the many multi-tiered plats at Dumbarton Oaks. Explore, play, and see the amazing azalea bloom at the National Arboretum. Wander around Green Spring Gardens on a scavenger hunt. Venture out to the gorgeous Meadowlark Botanical Garden. Relish in the peace at the Brookland Monastery. Or stop and smell the roses (and more) at the U.S. Botanic Garden. You can bring along a picnic to many of these places and make it a whole day’s outing.

Open Studio: Celebrate Mothers
Where: Freer|Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: May 11
Admission: Free

Join the museum on Mother’s Day weekend to experience Empresses of China’s Forbidden City, 1644–1912! Take a family-friendly tour and learn about the lives of Qing dynasty empresses (12:30pm and 2:30pm). Drop in anytime to create your own royal portrait and greeting cards inspired by the exhibition. All ages are welcome with adult companions.

Gospel Brunch
Where: The Hamilton | Downtown DC
When: May 12, 10:30am
Admission: $45

Enjoy a tasty meal and a soul-stirring show this Mother’s Day. The Hamilton will present an all-you-can-eat buffet filled with breakfast classics and Southern dishes to warm anyone’s down-home heart along with a performance by the Howard Gospel Choir. Admission also includes a choice of one morning specialty mimosa, bloody mary, or soft drink. Hallelujah to that!

Family Scavenger Hunt Adventure
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: May 12, 2pm
Admission: $19/adult, $17/child

For moms who love some sleuthing (a penchant for Harry Potter helps, too), the next Wizard School Scavenger Hunt by Watson Adventures happens to fall on Mother’s Day. The fun, unique activity for families has you on a mission competing against other teams to find art that echoes characters, places, and enchanted objects in the famed Harry Potter books and movies, with the help of clever Harry Potter-themed clues. Spots are still left in the 11am session. And while the website says it’s for ages 10 and up, kids younger than that definitely can partake, too! This KFDC post has more about this awesome adventure.

Free in the Trees
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring | Sandy Spring, MD
When: May 12
Admission: $12-56, free for Mom

For adventurous moms who love the outdoors, particular being in the trees, an afternoon in the aerial adventure forest of the Adventure Park at Sandy Springs is the perfect way to spend the day — especially when mom’s admission is on them. Buy one ticket and get her ticket free using the promo code MOM19. (FYI: This is one of my very favorite adventures in the area — read more about it here and here.)

Mission: Grand Opening
Where: International Spy Museum | L’Enfant Plaza, DC
When: May 12
Admission: FREE for moms (see below for rest)

The International Spy Museum is officially opening its doors to the public at its new L’Enfant Plaza location! With interactive exhibitions and installations, the foremost collection of spy artifacts in the world, and first-person accounts from top intelligence officers and experts, the new Museum places visitors in the shoes of the spies. Admission is $24.95/adult, $13.95/age 7-12, free/6 & under. In celebration of Mother’s day, all moms will receive free admission on Sunday. To access a free ticket in advance, call the Call Center at 202.393.7798. Moms can also obtain tickets onsite that day only. Note that same-day tickets are subject to availability. Read more about the Spy Museum (at its former location) here.

Paint with Mom
Where: Art Jamz | Dupont Circle, DC
When: May 12
Admission: $30

Get artsy with mom and paint a beautiful nighttime scene with a Mom and Baby owl perched on a Cherry Blossom branch. You and mom will use two canvases to create one scene, while Mom sips on a complimentary craft cocktail. ArtJamz Instructors will take you through the steps and Mom will leave with a whimsical scene to take home and treasure forever.

A (Crab) Feast Fit for a Queen
Where: Eastern Shore, MD
When: Ongoing
Admission: Depends on how much you order!

Take advantage of the start of blue crab season to celebrate! And you really can’t beat a feast of the steamed Old Bay-spiced creature at a waterfront crab house on a nice day. Cantler’s in Annapolis is an institution, and Mike’s Crab House in Riva is also popular with delicious crabs, gorgeous scenery, and a great outdoor waiting area if tables aren’t immediately available. Last year, we had a super Mother’s Day at Kentmorr’s restaurant and beach scene. Keep it closer to home (but forego the waterfront) at Quarterdeck, Ivy City Smokehouse, and Bethesda Crab House. Wherever you go, make reservations, because special occasion days guarantee crowds.

Walk in the Woods
Where: Around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

Take a hike as you celebrate. See flowers in bloom, tramp in places with scenic views, walk and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. Bring along a picnic for lunch al fresco, too. A particular favorite for a special day is the hike from Riverbend Park to Great Falls. The wetlands at Huntley Meadows offer a nice hike and great views. Pohick Bay Regional Park and Prince William Forest Park are both great places to walk in the woods, too. A day trip to Harpers Ferry also makes a great outing. And this go-to KFDC post has even more recommendations for good places for the whole family to hit the trail.

Mother’s Day on the Patuxent
Where: Solomons Island, MD
When: Mother’s Day weekend (or anytime)
Admission: Rates vary by boat & time

This was a really great way we celebrated Mother’s Day with friends a few years ago. A pontoon boat outing on the Patuxent River was a super fun and relaxing time for all. Pack a cooler, don the swimsuits, slather on sunscreen, and get ready for a fantastic day on the water. Afterwards, treat yourselves to ice cream on Solomon’s Island or even stay for dinner at one of the many waterside restaurants there.

Go with the Flow
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

For other Mother’s Day adventures on the water, a bunch of places around the area rent kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and stand up paddleboards. Fletcher’s Boathouse is a popular place to go and has a great riverside area to hang out and picnic when you’re off the water. We spent a wonderful Mother’s Day a few years ago at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis — with lots of options for outdoor recreation along with paddling, it’s particularly awesome. This post has a round-up of even more places to navigate the local waterways.

Mother’s Love Treasure Hunt
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Throughout May
Admission: $35

Think with your heart and feel with your mind as you search through themed rooms and behind secret doors. The folks at O Mansion will never ruin the surprise of finding a secret door by giving you a map, so be sure to keep your eyes open. If you find two secret doors you are an above average sleuth! There are easy clues and hard clues on this treasure hunt — but everyone is sure to have fun. You can also enjoy a special brunch on Mother’s Day, May 12 ($85/person). Get a glimpse and read more about the Mansion on O in this KFDC post.

Kick It
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: May 12, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

If mom is a soccer fan, take her to the DC United game against Sporting Kansas City. You can make an afternoon and evening of it — plan for an early dinner in the The Yards area, then walk over to the Audi Field for the match. Some restaurant recs: The Salt Line, Due South, Osteria Morini, All Purpose Pizza, and Chloe.

Up in the Air
Where: Preakness Balloon Festival | West Friendship, MD
When: May 10-12
Admission: Free, but parking is $20/vehicle

If you really want to splurge and do something extra cool, book mom on a hot air balloon ride at the annual Preakness Balloon Festival. You can also just go and enjoy the view of them floating above along with fun festivities on ground. With many hot air balloons, rides & games, helicopter tours, a ferris wheel, hot dog eating contest, skydiving show, balloon glow after dusk, and live music, mom is practically guaranteed an awesome day. Free Flight balloon rides start at $250 and there are fees for most activities.

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