10 Mother’s Day Celebrations That Don’t Involve Brunch

Think outside the box this year for Mother’s Day and enjoy an outing beyond a spa day and morning brunch. We’ve picked out some of our favorite Bay Area activities, family events and even a family festival to celebrate Mom this year. Happy Mother’s Day!

San Francisco

Free Day at the Exploratorium
Moms and families are invited for a free day of fun at the always enlightening Exploratorium. This time around SF’s favorite museum has got a special Latin American twist — as you explore the exhibits with your tot, enjoy mariachi music, make flores de papel and learn about Mother Earth. This is a first come, first served basis, so remember to get there early!

Date: Sun. May 11
Time: 10am – 5pm
Cost: Free

Pier 15
San Francisco, Ca 94111
Online: exploratorium.edu/mothers-day-free-day


Photo: davitydave via Flickr creative commons

Mother’s Day 5K Run
Make room for that fabulous brunch with a little lace-up and go event at Crissy Fields. Get together with the whole from for a quick 5K run through Marin and Chrissy Field. Hold your spot now or sign up on race day at 9:00 am. FYI: Fun runs are free, self-timed, non-sanctioned and have no specific course.

Date: Sun., May 11
Time: 9 am
Cost: $5/adults non-members; $3/adult members and participants ages 13-17 years old; free for kids ages 12 and under

Little Marina Green
Marina Blvd
San Francisco, Ca
Online:  dserunners.com

Sail Around the Bay
Enjoy a relaxing 3 hour trip on the seas as the waves lull you towards a perfect Mother’s Day treat. Sail on this 65-foot yacht to see the best of the Bay from the Golden Gate Bridge to Angel Island… all while enjoying your complimentary flower, champagne and perfect photo op.

Date: Sun. May 11
Time: 1pm – 4pm
Cost: $110/person

Board at Pier 40
Online: wyliecharters.com/mothers-day-sail-around-the-bay-2014/


Photo: Bill Ward via Flickr creative commons


Sail & Sea
Test out the waters with Sailing Education Adventures at the Marin Yacht Club. Curious moms and kids who are eager to learn about sailing are going to love this open house event with SEA. There’ll even be a delish BBQ!

Date: Sun. May 11
Time: 12 – 3pm
Cost: Sailing is free; $5-10/BBQ

24 Summit Ave.
San Rafael, Ca 94901
Online: sfsailing.org/sailing-news-sausalito-sf/sail-camp-open-house-may-11

Mother’s Day Picnic at Audubon Canyon Ranch
Come see a secluded part of the wildlife sanctuary that is rarely open to the public. What an extra special treat for Mom! Nosh on a yummies like BBQ chicken or vegetarian quiche, beans, breads and dessert. Kids won’t have a second to get bored, there are ponds and hiking trails to explore and craft activities at the ready for busy little bees. Hop on this one quickly, RSVPs are required by May 5th. And please bring your own non throwaway utensils and plates.

Date: Sun. May 11
Time: 11 am – 3 pm
Cost: $28/adult; $12/children under 12

4800 Shoreline Hwy 1
Stinson Beach, Ca 94970
Online: www.marinaudubon.org


Photo credit: vastateparkstaff via Flickr creative commons

South Bay

Mother’s Day Walk Against Cancer
Non-profit Latinas Contra Cancer is hosting their yearly walk against cancer so strap on those sneakers and head for San Jose City Plaza. The whole family can participate in this event, from shakin’ hips at the Zumba warm-up, followed by a walk to the Mexican Heritage Plaza, and rounding up the day great tunes by the TC Smith Band and raffle prizes to boot!
Cool Bonus: Every registration comes with a free t-shirt, brunch and raffle ticket!

Date: Sun. May 11
Time: 9 am – 12:30 pm
Cost: $25/ages 18 and up; $15/ages 6-17 and seniors

San Jose City Plaza
Fourth and Santa Clara Streets
San Jose, Ca
Online: latinascontracancer.org/events/

Mother’s Day Bird Watching
Want to give mom a chance to scout some local feathers? This beginning birding event at the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge is perfect chance to get to know your flying friends. All ages and levels are welcome to join in on the fun and there will be some binoculars available on loan. Be sure to call and reserve a spot for the whole family.

Date: Sun., May 11
Time: 9:30 – 11 am
Cost: Free 1751

Grand Blvd.
Alviso, CA 95002
408-262-5513 ext. 102
Online: fws.gov/mothersday


Photo: USFWS Mountain-Prairie via Flickr creative commons

Blossom Birth and Family Fair 2014 
Reward yourself at a mom-centric family fair in Palo Alto! There’ll be an array of resources, parent-friendly treats, a crafting area for kids and a Pre-Mother’s Day Pampering Spa Area. Treat yourself and the kids in one day? Yes, please!

Date: Sat. May 10
Time: 10am – 4pm
Cost: Free for all ages

Episcopal Church
555 Waverley St.
Palo Alto, Ca
Online: redtri.com/san-francisco/birth-and-family-fair-and-mothers-day-pampering/

East Bay

Park Street Spring Festival
Head for the historic Park Street District in Alameda for mimosas, live music, a kid zone and tons of super cool wares like jewelry, clothing, ceramics, and more. Sunday entertainment includes bluegrass band Savannah Blue, and Aja Vu, a Steely Dan tribute band. Moms can treat themselves to snacks such as gyros, tamales and funnel cake. Got a bike? The festival is offering free, super safe bike parking on 1422 Park St. for folks who’ll pedal into  town.

Good to Know: Bike Parking is located at 1522 Park Street, Alameda Bicycle’s parking lot.

Date(s): Sat. May 10; Sun. May 11
Time: 10 am – 6 pm
Cost: FreePark

Street Spring Festival
Park St. between Encinal Ave. and Lincoln Ave.
Online: shopparkstreet.com/springfestival

Photo: Shop Park Street via Photobucket

Kuma Hula May Day Festival
Aloha! Grab your leis and shake out your hips, May Day is Lei Day! Introduce Mom and the whole family to a new cultural experience this Mother’s Day and head for the Alameda Fairgrounds for some Hula, music, which might include a Ukulele or two, and tasty Hawaiian cuisine.

Mother’s Day Special: The festival is offering a 50 percent off coupon for moms on their big day!

Dates: Sat. May 10; Sun. May 11
Time: 9 am – 6 pm
Cost: $10/person; $5/seniors;  free for kids 5 and under

Alameda County Fairgrounds
4501 Pleasanton Avenue
Pleasanton, Ca
Online: hawaiimaydayfestival.com

Are you going to do something special for Mother’s Day this year? Let us know in the Comments below!

—Gabrielle Cullen