Mother's Day always feels like so much pressure. Where will you brunch? Will the kids like it? Will you ever be able to pay off the credit card bill? With Mother's Day fast approaching on Sunday, May 12, it's time for you (or your partner) to start planning (although what's the old adage? If you want something done right...).
Our NYC Kid-Friendly Restaurant Guide is filled with fantastic family restaurant recommendations in all five boroughs, including eateries with family entertainment. We even have two posts dedicated to traditional Mother's Day brunch options, both swanky spots and reader favorites. But if you're looking for a unique Mother's Day brunch experience, one that comes with more than just a meal, we have five offbeat ideas that include arts and culture, a cool waterfront foodie tour and fun at an iconic racetrack.
Mother's Day at the New York Botanical Gardens – the Bronx
2900 Southern Boulevard
Sunday, May 12 10am-6pm
All-Garden Pass is $25 for adults, $10 for children ages 3-12. Food costs extra.
Why sit in a stuffy restaurant when you can eat and play outdoors in the beautiful NYBG? The Garden's jam-packed Mother's Day lineup includes a guided tour of the brand-new Native Plant Garden, bird and butterfly walks, home gardening demos, live music, lawn games, watercolor painting stations and a professional photographer snapping family portraits. Brunch is on Daffodil Hill, where visitors can choose from a wide variety of visiting food trucks such as Gorilla Cheese, Taco Bite, Red Hook Lobster Pound and Coolhaus treats for dessert.
Mother's Day at the Museum of Modern Art – Midtown West
11 West 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
Sunday May 12 at 9am
$70 per person
Before MoMA opens to the general public, enjoy a special breakfast reception at the Terrace 5 café, which has a stunning view of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. Afterward, an art historian leads families through the museum's Painting and Sculpture Galleries. At the end of the day, mom walks away with a gift-wrapped copy of A Modern Garden: The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden at the Museum of Modern Art as a keepsake.
Urban Oyster Neighborhood Eats Tour: New York Waterfront – South Street Seaport
Tour begins at 89 South Street by the East River
Sunday, May 12 11am-2:30pm
$85 per person
Looking for a Mother's Day cruise but not too keen on the buffet brunch? This foodie tour is a great alternative. Hop on a water taxi and visit some of the best riverside restaurants and treat spots while learning about the history of food along the NYC waterfront. Voyagers get to sample eats at artisan markets, chocolate factories, iconic eateries and cool new food shops. Since many of these businesses suffered damage during Hurricane Sandy, a donation toward recovery efforts is included in the ticket price. Recommended for children ages 8 and up. Can't go on Mother's Day? The tour takes place every Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 11am.
Brunch and Tour at Brooklyn Museum – Crown Heights
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington Avenue
Sunday, May 12 11am-1:30pm
$55 per person
Following a special hour-long brunch in the museum's glorious Beaux-Arts Court, families can choose from five guided tours, including Mummy Dearest: Mummies and More from Ancient Egypt, Extraordinary Women: Celebrating Mothers and Motherhood in Art through the Ages, and Dressed Up: Fashionable Women. Afterward, spend the afternoon exploring nearby Prospect Park.
Family Fun Days on Sundays at Belmont Park – Long Island
2150 Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow
Sunday, May 12 call for reservation
$35 per person
How about a holiday day trip? Belmont's prix-fixe Mother's Day brunch at the Garden Terrace Dining Room offers prime racetrack viewing and a backyard area for kids featuring a playground and duck pond, face painting, an inflatable obstacle course, and giant snakes and ladders.
Find more Mother's Day brunch inspiration in our NYC Kid-Friendly Restaurant Guide and check our Event Calendar for cool things to do on Sunday, May 12.