Ideas for Celebrating Mother’s Day Around the DC Area (2022)


Mother’s Day is an occasion worth making extra special plans for (in my totally unbiased opinion 😉). This round-up, similar to previous years, but updated for right now, has ideas to help make it a great one for all of the honorees — whether it’s spent as a family, with friends, or even solo. With recommendations that range from fairly mellow to very active, totally free to a total splurge, there’s sure to be something to make every mom’s day. Happy Mother’s Day!


If Mom Hearts Art
Where: Local Museums in DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by museum

See some art that mom will enjoy, perhaps something that’s not on the usual kid museum circuit, and pair it with a family-friendly brunch nearby.  A few suggestions: 1) Head to the Hirshhorn early to try for free day-of passes to Yayoi Kusama’s One with Eternity at the Hirshhorn, or for a no-passes-necessary experience there, check out Laurie Anderson: The Weather. 2) Experience the new Afro-Atlantic Histories at the National Gallery of Art. From any of the museums on the the National Mall, head up to Penn Quarter for brunch at Zaytinya or Jaleo.  2) Go to the Phillips Collection in Dupont Circle then dine at Firefly. 3) See Pixelbloom at ARTECHOUSE (get a glimpse) then go The Wharf for a special meal — you have your pick of dining options (I recommend Hank’s, Lupo Marino, and Officina).


Go chasing waterfalls at Patapsco Valey State Park

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

Take a hike to enjoy the day. 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.
Huntley Meadows – The park in Alexandria has an easy, scenic loop through woods and wetlands.
Riverbend Park to Great Falls – The hike is a particular favorite for a special day, though parking can fill up fast, so go early and have a Plan B just in case.
Patapsco Valley State Park – It’s huge with a great variety of hiking trails, including one to waterfalls, lots of nice picnic spots, and more opportunities for active recreation.
Pohick Bay Regional Park and Fountainhead Regional Park – Both parks in Lorton, VA, have nice hiking trails as well as paddling rentals.
Wye Island NRMA – A couple of years ago, we enjoyed a beautiful Mother’s Day hike at this spot on the Eastern Shore. (KFDC Tip: Pair it with a crab feast while you’re out there.)
Harpers Ferry – The charming historic town and great hiking makes it a perfect day trip destination for a celebration.
This go-to KFDC post has even more suggestions for great hikes with the fam.


Relax at the scenic Barrel Oak Winery after a Sky Meadows hike

Hike & Sip
Where: A couple of DMV locales
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies

Like the suggestion above, but elevated with a post-hike visit to a family-friendly winery or restaurant. Two outings I recommend for this: Hit the trail at Sky Meadows State Park in Delaplane, VA, then go to the nearby Barrel Oak Winery. The Sugarloaf Mountain hike/The Comus Inn combo in Dickerson, MD, also makes for a fab day, or enjoy sips and small bites at Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard right down the road after your walk in the woods.


Fancy hats are among the treasures to be found at Mansion on O

Celebrate Mom Treasure Hunt
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Through May 8
Admission: $50

Spread the love as you search for special heartfelt items found only at O Museum in The Mansion on this heart centered treasure hunt. There are over 100 rooms to explore and 70 secret doors (!!) to find (you’re guaranteed to see at least 60 of the legendary spaces, but the secret doors are much harder to discover). This visit also includes yummy chocolate and a glass of champagne for mom, and other guests can purchases beverages at the cash bar. Read more about the O Museum in this KFDC post and this one.


The Azaleas at the Arboretum are spectacular right now

Do Some Garden-ing
Where: Around the DC area
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 see the plants and flowers. Explore, play, and see the amazing azalea bloom at the National Arboretum. Enjoy one of the prettiest places in the city at Dumbarton Oaks Garden.  Stop and smell the roses (and more) and see the rest of the beautiful grounds at Brookside Gardens. Wander around Green Spring Gardens on a scavenger hunt. Venture out to the gorgeous Meadowlark Botanical Garden. You can bring along a picnic to many of these places and make it a whole day’s outing.



Blue crabs, one of the best treats of the season

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

This is how we like to celebrate.  The start of blue crab season is perfect timing for the special day, and you really can’t beat a feast of the steamed Old Bay-spiced treats 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 tiki bar waiting area if tables aren’t immediately available.  We’ve had a couple of super fun Mother’s Day celebrations at Kentmorr’s restaurant and beach scene. Keep it closer to home (but forego the waterfront) at QuarterdeckIvy City Smokehouse, and Bethesda Crab House. Wherever you go, make reservations, because special occasion days guarantee crowds.  You can also pick up crabs from from The Fish Market at The Wharf and enjoy feast at home — get them already steamed or still alive and DIY. (And, FYI, all of the above recommendations are based on first-hand experience!)


Pontooning on the Patuxent

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 an excellent way we celebrated Mother’s Day with friends awhile back. 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.


Enjoy some bowling after your brunch

Brunch & Bowl
Where: Pinstripes | Georgetown, DC
When: May 8, 10am – 3pm
Admission:  $40/adult, $15 /age 6-12, free/5 & under 

Dine and play on Mother’s Day! Treat mom to a yummy Buffet Brunch that includes a Signature Waffle Station, Carving Station, Sweets Table, and more. Don’t forget about the Bottomless Mimosas and Aperol Spritzes! Plus, each mom will get complimentary flowers on behalf of the Pinstripes team. Stay for some family bowling (or bocce) after — be sure to reserve a lane in advance to ensure you get a game time — and note that it costs extra. Read more about Pinstripes in this KFDC post.


For Soccer Moms
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: May 7, 7:30pm
Admission: Tickets start at

For moms who are DC United fans or just enjoy some good sports action, start the Mother’s Day celebration a little early at a soccer match. The United are hosting Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening, and it’s always exciting to watch our MLS team play. Plan on dinner before or some fun after — there are plenty of places for it in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. For a family meal, I recommend The Salt Line, All Purpose Pizza, El Bebe, Agua 301, and Due South. If you make it an adult outing and go for drinks after, try Dacha Beer Garden or the new Solace Outpost.


Enjoy the views and a fun activity as you paddle the Potomac

Go with the Flow
Where: Around the DC area
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 Cove 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 awhile back 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.

***More Ideas***
* An activity for moms that doesn’t involve the whole gang: Spa day!
* Open Table’s suggestions for 50 DC restaurants for this Mother’s Day.
* Washingtonian has a round-up of fun foodie things to do on Mother’s Day.
* The Mother Of All Mother’s Day Movie Lists…

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