Where to Go on the Day of Mothers Day in New York City
It’s almost the most wonderful day of the year…
Not Christmas, the day of Mothers Day!
Maybe it’s not the best day of the year because Aunt Mildred is a royal pain in the ass, Dad is gluten-free and mom will forever insist on doing “nothing special” and then get totally pissed off when you guys don’t do anything special.
The eternal joy of family holidays and not knowing what to do with mom on Mother’s Day. I feel your pain.
Other than brunch in New York City, which is amazing by the way, what do you do for Mother’s Day in New York City?
That’s what this post is about. We’re gonna look at some mildly unique ways to spend mother’s day in New York City. Hopefully, these suggestions won’t make you die of boredom…as quickly.
Here are ten unusual ways to celebrate mother’s day in New York City. And trust me, no matter who your mom is or what she likes, there is an activity on this list that will tickle her fancy (if not then just stay home and watch Netflix because she seems like an unhappy person. LoL).
1. Mother’s Day at the New York Botanical Gardens (For the Nature Loving Mama)
Flowers are like the most ICONIC mother’s day gift of all time, besides chocolate.
After about a week, they stop smelling nice and get all gnarled and dead looking. Yuck!
So what’s my solution?
Why take mom to the Botanical Gardens of course! Not only are the flowers pretty but they smell lovely all year round and don’t really remind anyone of death
And You’re In Luck:
The New York City Botanical Gardens hosts an annual Mother’s Day Weekend Garden Party (On May 12 – May 13, from 10 am – 6 pm) that includes a band and some maybe not so rockin’ dance performances on the Daffodil Hill main stage.
You Can Even:
Make Mom a homemade watercolor card, enjoy backyard games, watch floral demonstrations, eat brunch picnic-style (just make reservations or you can buy items from various food trucks in the area), or participate in a guided walking tour of the gardens.
Just Keep in Mind:
Tickets for the Garden Party are $30 for adults, $28 for seniors (over 65), and $18 for kids (2 -12).
If you want to attend the Mother’s Day Brunch at the Garden Terrace Room, Sunday, May 13, from 11 am – 4:30 pm, then tickets are $95 for adults and $60 for kids (2 -12). FYI, this ticket includes admission to the Botanical Gardens.
2. Mother’s Day at the Bronx Zoo (For the Animal Loving Momma)
Okay, I know not EVERYONE is a fan of the zoo since there are many concerns about animal welfare at such institutions (not disputing this at all. Just watch Blackfish).
I’m not gonna get into a debate here. All I will say is that if your mother enjoys animals then she will enjoy the Bronx Zoo, one of the top zoos/animal research facilities in the entire world.
The Zoo offers a special light, Mother’s Day breakfast, on May 13 from 9:00 am – 10:30 am (sorry mom, you don’t get to sleep in), that is followed by a tour of the rainforest animals housed within the Jungle World Exhibit.
But There’s More:
The morning will end with a ride on the Wild Asia Monorail which offers patrons a sneak peek at elephants, tigers, and even some Mongolian Przwalski’s horse (no idea what that is but sounds pretty dope. Okay, I’ll stop pretending to be cool).
Purchase tickets at $60 to $65 a person, a price that includes admission for one adult and one child.
***When going to the zoo, always buy tickets online to avoid lines. Plus, general admission is %10 cheaper online so you save some money too. Boom baby, just like a total big shot.
3. Mother’s Day Scavenger Hunt (For the Mom Who is A Kid at Heart)
Okay, so Goldstar offered an Amazing Mother’s Day scavenger hunt last year, and I bet they will do it again this year (meets at Slattery’s Midtown Pub at 2:00 pm and the event lasts three hours).
If they do NOT have it again this year, never fear because there are a ton of fun scavenger hunt options that mom can choose from. And yes, I’ve done this before and it’s a fun, quirky event that anyone between the ages of 9 and 99 can enjoy (Unless you’re in a Hover Round cuz there’s a lot of walking).
The Amazing Underground Scavenger Hunt, the Amazing Metropolitan Museum of Art Scavenger Hunt, the Amazing Ghost Tour Scavenger Hunt, the Amazing Candy Crawl Scavenger Hunt, and the Unauthorized Harry Potter Scavenger Hunt.
Even if there is no mom-specific scavenger hunt, I am sure you can find a scavenger hunt that your mom will enjoy.
You don’t have to worry about going broke because tickets are between $10 and $20, with a $5 online surcharge.
***If Mom is a total kid at heart and it is a nice day, you could also head over to Coney Island, ALL the way at the end of Brooklyn. Be prepared for a schlepp though because it takes around two hours to get there, from Manhattan, via subway.
4. Burrough’s of the Dead Ghost Tour
Okay, so I may love ghost tours a bit too much, but this tour isn’t your average ghost tour.
No lame ass rehearsed tour given by an underpaid guide who doesn’t actually want to be there and who speaks in a Ben Stein-like monotone.
You’ll get experienced, knowledgeable storytellers who seamlessly recreate the horrors of the past for you.
You can’t even really call them tour guides because the experience is so interactive. Someone, their stories seem to magically transport you back in time, when murderers roamed free and when mayhem reigned supreme (muhahaha).
If momma is fond of the macabre, and all things that go bump in the night, then the Ultimate Greenwich Village Ghost Tour (May 12, from 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm) will be right up her cryptic alley.
But it Gets Better:
The fright fest will begin at St. Mark’s Church (131 East 10th Street) and will end at Washington Square Park. Along the way, you’ll be treated to some absolutely amazing and totally true ghost stories from the East Village and Greenwich Village of New York City.
One of the best ghost tours I’ve ever been on since guides expertly craft tour routes around verified ghost stories in the neighborhood.
Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Last year they did a wicked Mom’s Tour for mother’s day so check out Burroughs of the Dead for other scheduled tours.
5. Spa Day with Mom
The last time I went to a spa, I was in Thailand and got wicked bad sunburn the night before. So you can imagine how well that spa visit went.
As a Result:
You can probably guess that I am not SUPER into spas. Sure, I love a good massage, but anything else and I get bored and annoyed because some stranger is all up in my personal space.
This suggestion isn’t THAT original since kids can be a pain in the ass and therefore, everyone wants to give mom a relaxing day off.
But I’m a Weirdo:
And appear to be in the total minority when it comes to facials, eyebrow waxing, manicures, and pedicures. Yup, I am not a fan of all of the above but many moms like to get their spa grove on.
I’m putting this suggestion on here because contrary to what my brain tells me, it ain’t all about me. So if you have a momma that needs a little pampering, with a dash of “me time”, then make a reservation for her at either Peninsula Spa or Shibui Spat at the Greenwich Hotel (Two of the best spas in the city. And if you don’t believe me then just gasp at the price).
Was your mom featured on an episode of Hoarding: Buried Alive? If yes then this is the activity for you! Just kidding but this flea market is a great place for the bargain hunting, antique-loving Momma in your life (which was not my mom since she thought it was all junk).
But No Really:
This flea market is pretty badass and I don’t even like flea markets.
Not only does Hastings Flea overlook the not so mighty Hudson River, the vendors actually sell pretty cool stuff and not like, gently used underwear (gross).
Vendors offer unique vintage items, antiques, crafts, jewelry, and comics; all for sale at very reasonable prices. But since mom is kind of a big deal, they offer a ton more fun for mother’s day weekend too.
Look Forward to:
A variety of musical performances, tarot readings, a photo booth and even a bounce house and puppet show for anyone who is a kid or who actually wants to be a kid again.
***This flea market is in Hastings on Hudson, New York. So you can either rent a Zipcar and drive to 131 Southside Ave, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706. Or, you can hop on the train and get off at the Hastings on Hudson MTA Commuter lot (About an hour outside the city).
Another great day trip from the city is a stroll through Rockefeller State Preserve, near the Pleasantville train station.
Not only is this an amazing park, with a working farm, but the Blue Hill at Stone Barns, farm to table restaurant is right next door.
Since this restaurant is one of the fifty best restaurants in the world, you’ll need a small trust fund to dine here.
I’d park at the state park (way cheaper) and then walk over to Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and have a nice lunch at their little cafe, which is delicious and reasonably priced.
7. Women’s Only Burlesque Show
Just think Magic Mike only not as good because obviously, Channing Tatum won’t be there, And, uh, if he is, can you give me a call so I can get there at warp speed. No way am I missing a scantily clothed Channing Tatum.
But I Digress:
Hold on, gotta wipe the drool from my keyboard. Okay, back now.
I have not been to this exact show but true story, I did see the Thunder from Down Under with my mom. It was hilarious but not as good as I expected.
I hope this show is way better. And it should be since it a burlesque show, specifically created for all the heterosexual women in the audience. But I’ve heard amazing things about the show since the show choreographer has worked with no names like Usher, Jennifer Lopez, Brittany Spears, etc.
Even if this show at Duane Park totally blows, at the end of the day you’ll get a laugh, some quality time with mom, and you’ll see some insanely fit man gyrating all over the place. So yeah, I’d say it’s a win all around.
***Shows include dinner, with two shows performed on Saturday nights. The first dinner starts at 6 pm, with the show at 7:45 pm ($99 a person).
***The second dinner starts at 9.30 pm with the show starting at 10.30pm ($115 a person). Groupon sells tickets for this show as well. FYI.
8. Broadway Show
If my mom was around, this is exactly what I would do with her. We used to love Broadway and with apps like Today Tix and Broadway Roulette, there’s no need to pay full price.
Not a Fan of Technology?
No worries! You can also score half-price Broadway Tickets at the TKTS booth in Times Square.
But what about the rest of the day?
You could check out Moma (Museum of Modern Art) or head over to the New York Public Library (FYI Doesn’t open til 1:00 pm on Sundays and is closed Sundays during the summer).
Bryant Park is right next to the library and an absolutely amazing place to people watch, ride the carousel, play ping pong, read some magazines, or grab a snack and eat outside.
Looking for Some Fancier Food Options?
Head on Over to Restaurant Row either before or after the show; a block of restaurants, located on West 46th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues, that offer some great pre-fixe, three-course meals for $30.
***Obviously the restaurant prices vary but they usually have a menu on display outside. So just check the menu first before sitting.
9. Yankees Game – 1:05 pm vs Athletics
Okay, so I know that baseball is typically more of a father’s day activity, but moms can like baseball too. Oh, and I’m a Yankees fan so there will be no mention of the Mets in this post.
You can totally take your sport loving momma to a Yankee Game on May 13 at 1:05 pm.
But You’re Broke:
That’s Okay. For cheaper tickets, buy them from StubHub either the day of the game or the night before, when prices decline because sellers want to get rid of all their unsold tickets.
If you wanna treat momma but are broke like a joke then don’t buy food or alcohol at the stadium, or Yankee swag for that matter. It’s all ridiculously expensive. Therefore, the only acceptable food item that you can purchase at the game is the garlic cheese fries. Nom.
DO NOT TAKE YOUR CAR! Parking is insanely expensive. You can either take the 6 train from Woodlawn, in the Bronx, or you can take the Metronorth train to Yankee Stadium from Harlem 125 street.
10. Billy Joel Concert
So this one is more like a post-Mother’s Day present but whatever, Billy Joel is worth the wait. I mean really, is there anything more New York than Billy Joel.
His shows are so bangin’ that his run at Madison Square will only end when people stop buying tickets. But that won’t happen anytime soon so bring your rocker mom to his show on Wednesday, May 23 at 8:00 pm.
Tickets are insanely expensive and go for $85 a piece for nosebleed seats. But honestly, it’s Billy Joel. He’s an icon so I think it’s worth it. And let’s be honest, how many times are you gonna see him in your life? Yup, exactly my point.
***You can also try StubHub but these tickets usually don’t go down that much.
Insert Cheesy, Sentimental Garbage Here About Mother’s Day NYC 2018
Warning, I am about to say some totally trite, sickeningly sweet sentences, so break out the Kodak camera and be prepared.
Here Goes Nothing:
Look, at the end of the day, most Moms really don’t care what you buy them or what Mother’s Day events you take them to (I say most because you could get some moms a private island and they’d be like, “But where’s my yacht?”)
All moms really want is to spend quality time with their children on mother’s day 2018. So while you can come up with some ultra expensive and totally crazy things to do on mother’s day.
As long as mom feels loved and appreciated, then that’s all that really matters. And trust me, while finding things to do with mom in NYC can be super challenging, you’ll miss it when she’s gone.
You shouldn’t stress out. Go with the flow and show mom how much you love her and how much you appreciate everything that she has done for you.
So to all the Moms Out There, Happy Mother’s Day! You Ladies Rock!
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