The big event this weekend is obviously Mother’s Day, but no matter how much you want to spend the entire weekend having everyone celebrate you, you, you, there are lots of other fun activities on tap, too. Hint: Send Dad and the kids out while you indulge in a boozy brunch with your girlfriends. Let animal-loving kids try their hand at being a junior zookeeper for a day, watch a French kids film, listen to the soothing sounds of Beethoven or check out an amazing parade of giant marine animal puppets. We also found two cool sleepover activities – one at the Bronx Zoo for the whole family and another at the Rubin Museum for kids ages 9 to 12 that could give the older guys the opportunity to take the ladies out to a special pre-Mom’s Day dinner. And if you’re looking for a special way to spend Mother’s Day, see our roundup of events celebrating moms here.


Bronx Zoo Sleepover
You don’t get many opportunities to camp in the city and you get even less of a chance to camp at the Bronx Zoo. A barbecue, performances, animal meet and greet and sing-along are all on tap Saturday night. After sleeping under the stars, you’ll get a hot breakfast, go on a nature walk and enjoy the zoo’s exhibits and attractions throughout the day. Sat. 4:30 pm – Sun. 10:00 am. Bronx. $200/person. Ages 5 and older. Event details.

Listen to Beethoven’s Sonatas
Introduce your children to the music of Beethoven at this family music event featuring the composer’s sonatas written for the cello and piano. You’ll appreciate the fact that they will be played on a Stradivarius cello from 1726 and a fortepiano, the type of piano Beethoven played. Sun., 3:00 pm. Upper East Side. $18. Ages 6 and older. Event details. 


Raining Cats and Frogs Film & Craft
Introduce your kiddos to French culture through this screening of the award-winning Raining Cats and Frogs en Francais with English subtitles. After watching the movie, kids will do an arts and crafts project inspired by the film. Sat., 3:30 pm. Midtown East. $10. Ages 5 and older. Event details. 


Hudson River Earth Pageant
Catch a spectacle of costumes and giant puppets in the form of your child’s favorite marine animals at this parade and art performance. The pageant is meant to bring attention to climate change and showcases the sea life found in the Hudson River estuary. Sat., 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Battery Park. Free. All ages. Event details.

Mother’s Day Brunch Cruise
Celebrate Mom on board a yacht. You’ll sail New York Harbor for two hours with a full brunch buffet (including cocktails for Mom & Dad), a live DJ and unforgettable views and memories. Sun., 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm. West Village. $57.50/person. All ages.Event details.


Be a Junior Zookeeper
An awesome experience for animal lovers – kids will spend the morning at the Prospect Park Zoo as a junior keeper, helping keepers care for the animals. They’ll study the barn animal’s behavior, create enrichment items and learn what the zookeeper’s job entails. Sat., 10:15 am – 11:45 am. Prospect Park. $40. Ages 8-10. Event details.

— Julie Seguss

Image: Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS via Creative Commons