Mom deserves a whole year of “thank yous” so make sure her big day is BIG! Take a break from the typical Mother’s Day brunch (unless the kids are cooking with the Culinary Dude) and check out one of these events where mom can ride the rails, dance in a traditional Native American ritual or relax at a local winery. Your thoughtfulness will definitely be appreciated by Mom!

Karen Wilkinson

Photo courtesy of the Exploratorium 

San Francisco

Free Day at the Exploratorium
Moms and families are invited for a free day of fun at the always enlightening Exploratorium. Take an interactive excursion through total darkness in the Tactile Dome. This is a first come, first served event, so remember to get there early!

Date: Sun., May 8
Time: 10 a.m.– 5 p.m.
Cost: Free

Pier 15
San Francisco, Ca 94111

Mother’s Day Marina Green 5K & Kids Run
Make room for that fabulous brunch with a little lace-up-and-go event at the Little Marina Green. Get together with the whole fam for a quick 5K run through around the marina. (There’s a free, 15-minute kids run that kicks off at 9:45 a.m. as well). Reserve your spot now or sign up on race day between 7:55 and 8:55 a.m.

Date: Sun., May 8
Time: 9 a.m.
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
Yacht Harbor parking lot
San Francisco, Ca

larson_family_wineryPhoto: Larson Family Winery


A Wonderful Day in Wine Country: Mother’s Day Brunch or Lunch at Larson Family Winery
Set out to Sonoma for some sun, delicious eats, lawn games and of course, plenty of wine. Larson Family Winery is hosting a pair of Mother’s Day events that will serve up everything mom could want. You can choose from a brunch buffet from 10 a.m.-noon or a BBQ lunch event from 1-3 p.m. The picture-perfect picnic setting includes a huge lawn for running kiddos, a bounce house, live music and even some sweet farm animals to coo at—meaning the little ones will most likely be so entertained that mom can sit back and sip her free mimosa in peace.

Date: Sun., May 8
Time: brunch: 10 a.m.–noon; lunch: 1–3 p.m.
Cost: Adults/$35; Kids 2–12/$20; Cost for Lunch: Adults/$60; kids 2-12/$35

Larson Family Winery
23355 Millerick Rd.
Sonoma, Ca

Kid Made Mother’s Day Brunch
Join the Culinary Dude and get the kids cooking! The kids will make a breakfast egg casserole, roasted breakfast potatoes and banana chocolate chip bread pudding for mom to enjoy. The kids cook for the first two hours, then mom joins at the last hour to be served. Other guests welcome as well.

Date: Sun., May 8
Time: 10 a.m – noon (kids cook), noon – 1 p.m. (moms eat)
Cost: $75 for one child and mom; $45 for additional class attendees; $25 for additional meal guests

Uchiwa Ramen
821 B Street
San Rafael, Ca

Stanford Powwow

Photo courtesy of Stanford Powwow Committee


Stanford Powwow
This annual Mother’s Day weekend event in its 45th year brings Native American music, dancing and food to the Stanford campus. All three days include social dances (public participation encouraged) and competitions. Saturday morning includes a fun run for the whole family. You can even camp overnight.

Dates: Fri. – Sun., May 6-8
Time: see schedule
Cost: Free, but donations welcome

Stanford Campus Eucalyptus Grove
Galvez and Campus Drives 

Filoli Mother’s Day Flower Show
Celebrate mom at Filoli’s centennial flower show. Enjoy viewing floral interpretations of this year’s theme California Then and Now 1916-2016 created by dozens of professional and amateur designers. This year, see fairy gardens, hanging gardens, wreaths and baskets. Saturday and Sunday will also have live entertainment and food available.

Dates: Fri. – Sun., May 6-8
Time: see website
Cost: $25 members; $30 non–members; $10 children ages 5 through 17; kids under 5 free. (additional $5 charge for adults on Sunday)

86 Cañada Road
Woodside, Ca

Almost Mother’s Day Kids Concert 
Moms with little ones will enjoy this kids’ concert and watching them bounce around in the inflatable playland. Need a last-minute gift for mom? Kids can create a gift for mom in the craft area.

Date: Sat., May 7
Time: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Cost: Free

Courthouse Square
2200 Broadway Street
Redwood City, Ca

jen-bennett-petersonPhoto: Jen Bennett Peterson

South Bay

Mama Birds in the Marsh Festival
The eggs have hatched so head over to the Environmental Education Center for some Mother’s Day fun of the winged variety. There will be guided bird walks, a live bird show, crafts for mom and games.  Learn about animal conservation and see refuge animals in their natural habitats.

Date: Sat., May 7
Time: 12-3 p.m.
Cost: Free

Environmental Education Center
1751 Grand Blvd.
Alviso, Ca

Mother’s Day Walk: Women of Big Basin
Take mom out in the redwoods and learn some history of Big Basin with this guided walk. Living history reenactments bring you back in time where you will meet pioneer homemaker Alice Maddock; Josephine McCrackin, the “Savior of the Redwoods” and Harriet “Petey” Weaver, the first female Ranger.

Date: Sun., May 8
Time: 1 p.m.
Cost: Free, day-use parking $10

Big Basin Redwoods State Park
21600 Big Basin Way
Boulder Creek, Ca

Mother’s Day Trifecta
There are three different opportunities to celebrate mom at the Santa Clara Library Northside Branch this May. Start off with the Mother-Daughter Tea Under the Sea where mom can enjoy some sweet treats in a beautiful aquatic setting. Next, make a mini turtle at the Mommy and Me Craft. Make mom the belle of the ball at the Mom Prom for mothers and sons. All events are ages 4+ and will close when capacity is reached or 15 minutes after program begins.

Date/Time: Mother-Daughter Tea Under the Sea – Sat., May 7 at 2 p.m.
Mommy and Me Craft – Mon., May 16 at 3:30 p.m.
Mom Prom (for mothers and sons) – Sat., May 7 at 4:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Northside Branch Library
695 Moreland Way
Santa Clara, Ca

niles canyon railway

Photo courtesy of Niles Canyon Railway

East Bay

Mother’s Day Tea on the Rails
Take mom out in style on a Southern Pacific 1927 Dining Car. Tickets include excursion on the Niles Canyon Railway and tea event featuring tea, sandwiches and dessert. All aboard!
Date: Sun., May 8
Time: 11:20 a.m. and 1:20 p.m.
Cost: $40

Niles Station
37029 Mission Blvd
Fremont, Ca<

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. Entertainment includes four rad tribute bands: Zebop! (tribute to Santana), Life in the Fast Lane (Eagles tribute), Long Train Running (Doobie Brothers tribute) and Joyride (The Cars tribute). 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 for folks who’ll pedal into town. Be sure to check out all the local Alameda business as there are many discounts to be found. 

Date: Sat. – Sun. May 7 & 8
Time: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Cost: Free

Street Spring Festival
Park St. between Encinal Ave. and Lincoln Ave.
Alameda, Ca

Mother’s Day at the Ruth Bancroft Garden
If you have a mom that loves flowers, pack up the picnic lunch and spend the day at the Ruth Bancroft Garden. Join a docent-led tour at 11 a.m.12:30 p.m. or 2 p.m. There will be hands-on garden activities for the whole family and even last-minute gifts available for mom.

Date: Sun., May 8
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: free for moms, members, and kids under 12; $10/adults; $8/students

1552 Bancroft Rd.
Walnut Creek, Ca

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. – Sun., May 7-8
Time: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Cost: $10/person; $8/seniors;  free for kids 5 and under

Alameda County Fairgrounds
4501 Pleasanton Ave.
Pleasanton, Ca

Where are you celebrating mom this year? Let us know in the comments below!

—Kate Loweth, Erin Feher and Gabrielle Cullen