No mom is going to refuse a morning of waffles and mimosas, but what she’s really craving is a day filled with something different. How about flower making and mariachis at the Exploratorium? Or bird watching at the National Wildlife Refuge? We’ve rounded up a list of excitingly different ways to spend Mother’s Day.

mom_daughter_exploratoriumPhoto: Exploratorium

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 10
Time: 10 a.m.– 5 p.m.
Cost: Free

Pier 15
San Francisco, Ca 94111

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 fam for a quick 5K run through Marin and Chrissy Field. (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 10
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

East Beach, Crissy Field
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
1199 East Beach
San Francisco,Ca

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 10
Time: 1 p.m.– 4 p.m.
Cost: $115/person

Board at Pier 40

larson_family_wineryPhoto: Larson Family Winery


A Cruise to the Islands: Mother’s Day Sail to The Farallon Islands
Is mom dreaming of the islands? Then this ultimate Mother’s Day experience is for her. Wake her up on the big day then take her out to sea: Your family will board a classic yacht in the Sausalito marina and set sail to the Farallon Islands. Sail out the Golden Gate along the Marin Headlands and out to the wildlife rich National Marine Sanctuary the Farallon Islands. See marine wildlife up close and personal and enjoy a catered breakfast and lunch before returning to shore at 5 p.m. that evening.

Date: Sun., May 10
Time: 9 a.m.—5 p.m.
Cost: $175 per person

Schooner Freda B Slip 907
100 Bay St
Sausalito, Ca

A Wonderful Day in Wine Country: Mother’s Day 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 provided by Basque Cafe, from 9:30 a.m.-noon (brunch served from 10-11 a.m.) or a Maverick’s BBQ lunch event from 1-4:30 p.m. (lunch served from 1:30-3 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 in peace.

Date: Sunday, May 10
Time: 9:30 a.m.–noon; 1–4:30 p.m.
Cost: Adults/$30; Kids 2–12/$20; Cost for Lunch: Adults/$55; kids 2-12/$35

Larson Family Winery
23355 Millerick Rd.
Sonoma, Ca


Photo: USFWS Mountain-Prairie via Flickr creative commons

South Bay

A Fabulous Feté on the Farm: Mother’s Day at Harley Goat Farm
Take a trip to Pescadero’s Harley Farms where you’ll celebrate all things Mom with baby goats and a delicious brunch. First you’ll take a tour of the beautiful, working dairy farm, including a meet-and-greet with baby goats. After the tour, enjoy a buffet lunch of bread, cheese, soup, and Harley Farms pulled pork sandwiches on rosemary rolls, served with lavender lemonade. Mom will be in heaven!

Date: Sunday, May 10
Time: 10 a.m. or noon
Cost: $45/adult; $20/child ages 3-12. Children 2 and under/free

Harley Farms Goat Dairy
205 North St.
Pescadero, Ca

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 10
Time: 10–11:30 a.m.
Cost: Free

1751 Grand Blvd.
Alviso, Ca
408-262-5513 ext. 102

hawaii_festPhoto: Kuma Hula May Day Festival 

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 Stealin’ Chicago, a Chicago 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 St., Alameda Bicycle’s parking lot.

Date: Sat., May 9; Sun. May 10
Time: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Cost: Free

Street Spring Festival
Park St. between Encinal Ave. and Lincoln Ave.

Mother’s Day at the Ruth Bancroft Garden
Forget a dozen roses, this year let mom spend the day among hundreds of blooms. Pack a picnic and spend the afternoon at the  The Ruth Bancroft Garden, where there will be plenty of family activities, docent-led tours, and mom’s will enjoy free admission.

Date: Sun., May 10
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. May 9; Sun., May 10
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

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

—Erin Feher and Gabrielle Cullen