Ideas for Celebrating Mother’s Day Around the DC Area (2024)

A lovely Mother’s Day in Annapolis last May


Mother’s Day is an occasion worth making extra special plans for (in my totally unbiased opinion 😉). This round-up, very 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!

Hike & Aprés Hike
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

Go for a nice walk in the woods, then follow it with some good aprés hike fun!  Hit the trail then have a yummy meal, relax with some sips, and maybe even play some outdoor games as you extend mom’s special day at a beautiful, fun place. This round-up suggests six great combos around the DC area to do just that.

An Indoor-Outdoor Art Stroll (& Brunch)
Where: Glenstone | Potomac, MD
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by museum

For moms who love art, the indoor-outdoor art museum in Potomac is a perfect place to spend the day. Glenstone offers a unique art adventure at one of the loveliest museums around. The catch: Kids must be at least 12 to visit.  The bonus: They get guaranteed admission along with an adult. (Of course, mom can go solo if kids are too young.). There is a cafe on the grounds to enjoy a casual bite, or you can go to nearby(ish) restaurant after for a nice meal. Old Anglers Inn and MoCo’s Founding Farmers are both about 15 minutes away.

Celebrate Mom Tour
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: May 10-12
Admission: $52.50

Celebrate mom with a glass of champagne (21+) and chocolates as you explore this wonderfully unique and quirky mansion and search for secret doors. Over 100 rooms (at least 60 of which you are guranteed to see) are filled with all kind of interesting decor. Even better, just about all of it is for sale, so BYO shopping bags — and plan to find some treats for mom! Get a glimpse and read more about the Mansion on O in this KFDC post.

Mother’s Day House & Garden Tour
Where: Around Capitol Hill, DC
When: May 11-12
Admission: $40/advance, $50/weekend of

The Capitol Hill Restoration Society’s annual Mother’s Day event is taking place over two days this year. Tour the insides of nine beautiful homes and three semi-public buildings within the Capitol Hill Historic District. It’s always fun and interesting to get a peek inside the house featured on this tour! A refreshment break with treats from local vendors at the historic Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital is included, plus an architectural tour of the building will also be offered.

Browse & Brunch
Where: Eastern Market | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free (& the cost of your meal)

Enjoy a lovely day out at Eastern Market’s outdoor weekend flea market. It’s a personal neighborhood fave any time of year, but especially pleasant to browse and stroll during the spring — I can vouch that at least one mom loves it. Spend time at the vendor tents to shop art, apparel, jewelry, home goods, food and more. After (or before), enjoy Mother’s Day brunch at one of the many restaurants in the area.

Brunch & Play
Where: Around the DC area
When: ongoing
Admission: Varies by activity

For moms who like to get their game on or enjoy a fun mission, take her to place that offers opportunities to play. From pickleball and roller skating to bowling and bocce to tennis and ping pong to escape rooms and scavenger hunts, this round-up has a bunch of ideas for celebrating with some active indoor fun. Even better, many of the places also serve food to include a meal, too. (If not, just find a restaurant close by!)

Flower Power
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

Instead of bringing flowers to mom, take her to them! 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. Wander around the sprawling Green Spring Gardens. 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.

Bonsai Fest & More Fun
Where: National Arboretum | Northeast DC
When: May 10-12
Admission: Free

The National Arboetum’s annual Bonsai Festival occurs the same weekend as the holiday, perfect for moms who are horticulture enthusiasts. See the tiny trees at one of the prettiest places in the city. Each day also features demonstrations, exhibits, vendors, and the renowned collection of the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. While you’re at the Arboretum, be sure to see the blooming azaleas and the rest of the beautiful plant collections, and maybe even bring a picnic to enjoy amidst it all. Read more about the Arboretum here and here.

A (Crab) Feast Fit for a Queen
Where: Around the DC Area & Eastern Shore
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 creatures 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. We’ve enjoyed Mother’s Day at Kentmorr  (no steamed crabs anymore, but still plenty of crab dishes) as well as The Point in Arnold, MD, and Skipper’s Pier in Deale, MD. Keep it closer to home (but forego the waterfront) at Quarterdeck, Ivy City Smokehouse, and Bethesda Crab House. Wherever you go, make reservations if possible, because special occasion days guarantee crowds.

IlluminAsia | Celebrate Mothers
Where: National Museum of Asian Art | National Mall, DC
When: May 12
Admission: Free

Join the museum its annual IlluminAsia festival in celebration of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This third and final day of the festival will feature Mother’s Day-themed activities for the whole family, including a guided sound bath by Mel Beyond Yoga, paper flower-making, and more fun.

Mother’s Day Brunch with the Eric Byrd Trio
Where: The Hamilton | Downtown DC
When: May 12, 10:30am & 1pm
Admission: $25-55

Enjoy a tasty meal and some live music 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 the Eric Byrd Trio.  Enthusiastic ambassadors of jazz rooted in swing and be-bop, the Trio also embraces gospel and the blues as core elements of their expansive performance style.

Plan a Picnic Hike
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

Similar to the first suggestion, but with a BYO al fresco meal.  Take a hike to see flowers in bloom, enjoy scenic views, explore history, or just enjoy a day of active fun. And bring along a picnic lunch full of mom’s favorite treats. Some lovely places with fun trails and picnic tables:  Riverbend Park (you can hike to Great Falls), Pohick Bay Regional Park, Prince William Forest Park, Harpers Ferry, Patapsco Valley State Park, and Turkey Run Park. 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: 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. Depending on where you go, plan for a picnic or a restaurant meal after your paddle. This post has a round-up of places to navigate local waters. And this post has suggestions for family-friendly places to dine in DC.

Movie & A Meal
Where: The Alamo | Northeast DC & Crystal City, VA
When: Daily
Admission: $13/adult, $11/child, $12/senior
After 4pm – $15/adult, $13/child, $14/senior

Take cinema-loving moms to The Alamo, where she can enjoy a good meal along with a great movie-watching experience.  The theaters are really nice, the seating is comfortable, and the food is tasty. See what’s playing there now.  And, of course, let mom pick the flick.

* Give mom some “me” time with a spa package!
* Jose Andres’ restaurants have special dining experiences for Mother’s Day.
* Enjoy the day at home, and prepare a special meal for mom.
* Or have her favorite faraway treats delivered right to her.
* These DIY kits are sweet, too.
* Gift idea: This tiny photo necklace.


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