3. Get Out in Nature
Go hiking with the mom(s) in your life! We have so many favorite hikes to pick from: overall favorites, ones where toddlers can walk along with you, perfect hikes for strollers, hikes where you can catch the last of the wildflowers, waterfall hikes, and even walks where Mom can see some wildlife (that she didn’t give birth to…).
4. Just Add Wine
Book a wine hike, where you hike on the private grounds of the vineyard, explore Chumash Native American cave paintings, and get wine to bring home with you at the end. Tours are for all ages but know that strollers or wagons aren't allowed. Wine is, obviously, only for those 21 & up.
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Hit the beach for an outing that's built for two. Photo courtesy of visitsantamonica.com
5. Get Mom on a Bicycle Built for Two
Hit the beach, rent a bike for two (or one for everyone), and take the wheels up and down The Strand.
6. Take Mom To Brunch
Visit one of these fabulous restaurants for brunch before or after some of these other activities. Our brunch picks include some of the prettiest tables in town, and serve special meals on patios, in dining rooms, or to-go.
7. See the Swallows
Book a tour of the gorgeous San Juan Capistrano Mission, or simply stroll through the gardens and museum.
8. Visit the Pier
Venture to the Santa Monica Pier, where moms and kids can visit Heal the Bay Aquarium, have a lobster roll lunch at The Albright, and take a spin on the Ferris wheel over the ocean. (Sometimes, the Ferris wheel gives a free ride to moms on Mother’s Day. This year that freebie is still TBD, but it can't hurt to ask!)
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Treat Mom like a goddess at the Getty Villa. Photo courtesy of J. Paul Getty Trust
9. Travel to Ancient Rome
Take a scenic drive on the PCH to the Getty Villa. In this recreation of a Roman villa, you can see ancient art, stroll the gardens, and dine at the cafe. Just don’t forget to make reservations for the free museum.
10. See Mamas and Babies
Drive up to Santa Barbara and visit the Santa Barbara Zoo. This is a great zoo for Mother’s Day because it’s beautiful and more manageable than the big LA Zoo, and more of a relaxing outing for moms. There is also a fantastic play space inside the zoo that is right next to a little drink trailer, so mama can sip an iced tea while the kids play their little hearts out.
11. Take a Scenic Horseback Ride
Check this off your bucket list: a ride through the hills via horseback under the Hollywood Sign.
12. Take Mom To the Rose Bowl Flea Market
Let Mom peruse the antiques at the Rose Bowl Flea Market to her heart's content and pick out a Mother's Day gift she really wants!
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The kids will delight in butterflies taking flight. Photo courtesy of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
13. Soar with the Butterflies
Visit the Butterfly Pavilion and Nature Gardens at the Natural History Museum or the tropical butterflies at South Coast Botanic Gardens for a lovely and delicate outing.
14. Get Mom Roses
Take a free trip to the Rose Garden at Exposition Park. You can even hop on the metro to get there! Bring a blanket and a picnic and loll in the splendor of the blooming roses. While you're in Exposition Park, visit the always-free California Science Center.
15. Or a Whole Field of Flowers
Want even more flowers? Visit The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, where the flowers are always blooming. Mom can enjoy yoga, a picnic, and live music. Mother's Day happens to be the last day available to visit for the season in 2023. Make sure to buy your tickets online in advance.
16. Take Mom Out To the Ballgame
Bleed blue at the Padres vs. Dodgers game at Dodger Stadium while cheering on the home team and enjoying a Dodger dog.
17. Whisk Mom Away for a Weekend
A world away, yet just down the coast, is Terranea Resort. Whether you have the time (and money) for a staycation or just a brunch on the cliffs, take advantage of all the luxuries and activities that Terranea offers, like spa visits, pony rides, fishing adventures, archery, nature hikes, tide pooling, paddleboarding, kayaking, and more. Even a free stroll along the cliffs will make Mom feel special.
18. Explore Some Art, Indoors and Out
LACMA has art for all ages, both indoors and out. Kids can run around outside at the streetlamps, and inside they’ll be mesmerized by Metropolis II. Parents can view the Afro-Atlantic Histories exhibit and revel in the Another World exhibit.
19. Recreate Venice
Can’t hop on a flight to Italy? No problem. Transport yourself with a gondola ride through the canals of Long Beach or Oxnard. You can also stroll the canals of Venice Beach, though no gondola services are operating in the area at this time.
20. How About a Private Beach Cabana?
Reserve private chaise lounge chairs, or a whole private area, at Paradise Cove Beach. If that’s a bit too pricey, make a reservation for brunch, lunch, or dinner, and then stroll this private beach before or after dining.
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The Ventura Botanical Gardens provide a stunning view. Photo by Meghan Rose
21. See Spectacular Gardens
Forget cut flowers that Mom needs to put in water and tend. Take her to one of the many gorgeous LA botanic gardens where she can casually peruse plants and admire the flora. Spring in Los Angeles means that the hills are carpeted in wildflowers, and roses are in full bloom at beloved gardens like The Huntington.
22. Go on an Adventure with Mom
Moms that are outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate a day spent in a National Park. Joshua Tree and the Channel Islands, the closest two National Parks to Los Angeles, can both be done in a day. With May being peak Blue Whale season and peak wildflower season, it's the perfect time of year for the Channel Islands. Likewise, for Joshua Tree, before it gets too hot for the desert.
23. Make Mom's Heart Pound
Daredevil moms might like a trip to Magic Mountain because motherhood is one heck of a thrilling ride!
24. Get a Little MOMentum
Theatricum Botanicum's annual Mother's Day celebration, MOMentum Place, creates a fantastical world of aerial and circus performers, dancers, and musicians in a fun performance that captivates kids, as well as adults.
25. Travel Back to the Renaissance Period
Mom's the Queen, so treat her to an experience like no other. Get into character by slipping into Medieval costumes and heading to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire for live jousting tournaments, swashbuckling, music, magic, and giant turkey legs.
26. Take a Trip Around the Harbor
Take advantage of the beautiful weather in Los Angeles and spend the day by the water in Marina del Rey. Start with brunch on the waterfront while you enjoy the spectacular views of the Marina, then have some good ol' kayaking fun. Enjoy the beautiful views of the sunset or splurge on a dining cruise and enjoy the scenic views of the Harbor.
27. Watch a Movie from a Boat
Keeping with the watery theme: Head to Castaic Lake for the ultimate cinematic experience. Rent a small boat, or seat on the beach, to enjoy a magical moment movie watching under the stars. Overboard is screening on Mother's Day weekend.
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See the bison and take in splendid Catalina Island views. Photo courtesy of Gina Ragland
28. Ferry to an Island
Luckily for Angelenos, you can travel back and forth to Catalina Island in a day. With a never-ending coastline and scenic shores, Mom will feel like she's been whisked away to a tropical vacation.
29. Take Mom to the Fair!
Deep-fried Oreos, anyone? Just like last year, the LA County Fair will be lighting up Pomona May with games, petting zoos, games, shopping, and lots of good ole fashioned fair fun.
30. Shop 'til You Drop
LA's best mall for kids is also one of the best malls for moms. Westfield Century City is sure to have some of Mom's favorite stores, such as Anthropologie, Free People. Madewell, Oak + Fort, Tiffany & Co. (ahem, yes, please), and more. While there, dine at Eataly or pick up some ready-made entrees. Mom can even customize her lipstick at the brand-new Lip Lab.
31. Let Mom Soak in the Nostalgia
World of Barbie is a brand-new experience in Santa Monica that reimagines the Barbie dream house, camper van, and all those other hot pink accessories that Mom had to have when she was a little girl. This immersive experience involves touring several rooms, taking selfies, and going full flashback to Mom's "Barbie days."
32. Take Mom to a Show
This Mother's Day, Hairspray is at the Dolby, Six is at the Pantages, and there's a performance of Gershwin's Rhapsody at the Segerstrom. If mom is into musical theater, one of these musicals will draw applause from her.
33. Sip a Glass While the Kids Play at a Kid-Friendly Winery or Brewery
Mom can relax with a glass of rosé at an amazing winery in or near LA. Some of our favorites include Stonehaus at the Westlake Village Inn, Golden Road Brewing Company in Atwater Village, and Agua Dulce Winery. Want to get out of the city for some vineyard expeditions? Take a day trip to one of the wineries in Temecula, Ojai, or Paso Robles.
Additional reporting by Ana Belibasis + Kylie Williams