It’s almost time to celebrate Mom! While we love nothing more than a great Mother's Day brunch (in fact, there are a lots of kid-friendly area restaurants to try), there’s something to be said about honoring her a little differently this year.
So whether you’re trying to avoid a mid-meal meltdown courtesy of your toddler or just looking to get outside and enjoy the beautiful spring weather, we rounded up 35 things to do this Mother’s Day that don’t require restaurant reservations. Some take place on Saturday—because, let’s face it, we deserve more than a day!
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1. Head to the Hudson Valley Fair at Dutchess Stadium for a day filled with rides, games and shows.
2. Keep things calm on a tranquil nature hike at any of six participating centers—all free.
3. Learn how to bring butterflies to your backyard—so Mom can have flowers and fluttering beauties well past Mother’s Day!
Meet some other types of moms at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. Photo by the author.
4. Spend the day at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, where you can learn about how the farm operates.
5. Romp through Alice’s Wonderland at this immersive, limited-time experience.
6. Treat Mom to a live dance performance by Felipe Galganni, Nélida Tirado, and Gaspard & Dancers.
7. Don your aprons and learn to prepare Spanish cuisine with the whole family.
8. Hang with the animals and watch the annual sheep shearing. Time your visit to shop at the Farmer’s Market while there.
9. Stroll the grounds and view the exhibits at the Hammond Museum & Japanese Stroll Garden.
10. Splurge on an elegant agenda of a musical performance, house tour and high tea (book now!).
11. Check out the zoo, merry-go-round and hiking trails at Bear Mountain State Park.
12. Gather up your own wolf pack and head to Throw Mama to the Wolves at the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, where you'll meet and find out more about these amazing animals.
13. …or howl at the crazy feats of a talented group of stunt dogs.
Nothing says family bonding like flying down a mountain with your heart in your throat. Photo credit: Tara D of Mommy Poppins
14. For adventurous families with older kids, why not try your hand at zip lining on one of the three courses at Hunter Mountain?
15. Browse the Hastings Flea, where kids’ entertainment is often offered for free.
16. Pair up for a mother-daughter sip-and-paint event—sipping on lemonade, of course.
17. Spend the day exploring a quaint Hudson Valley town, such as Beacon, Cold Spring or Rhinebeck.
18. Try family yoga, replete with partner poses and games to enhance all-age bonding and fun.
19. Sign up for a 5K or 2-mile walk at this female-only race that also offers kids’ attractions.
Some 140,000 tulips will be on view, but many more attractions are in store at the Tulip Festival. Photo courtesy of Yuliya Peshkova Photography.
20. Take a ride to Albany for the annual Tulip Festival—now in its 70th year!—whose attractions include not only vast quantities of Dutch bulbs, but a kids’ zone and the coronation of this year’s Tulip Queen.
21. Enjoy an afternoon walk along the Scenic Hudson RiverWalk Park at Tarrytown, before stopping at Lighthouse Ice Cream or heading to Pierson Park for some playground time.
22. For even more nature-inspired fun, head to the Mommy's Lil' Sprouts event for story reading, seed planting and more.
23. Tour one of the many historic mansions in our area, such as Kykuit, the Rockefeller estate.
24. …or take a behind-the-scenes tour of this gothic mansion for a servant’s perspective à la “Downton Abbey.”
25. Dragon Coaster anyone? Playland opens on Mother’s Day weekend, and on Sunday, moms get to enjoy all the rides they want—for free (others save some money, too).
26. Check out the cool outdoor sculptures at Storm King Art Center and stay for a sun-print workshop.
27. Rock out at a family jam session while supporting a charitable cause.
28. Pick up lunch or pack some homemade sandwiches (bonus points if Mom's not the one making them!) and visit one of these great local parks for a family-style picnic and fun.
29. Grab your wheels and helmets and go for a bike ride down the (closed) Bronx River Parkway, now that Bicycle Sundays are back for the season.
30. Try the new craze of rolled ice cream.
31. Take a sightseeing cruise along the Hudson River.
32. Spend the day at Mohonk Mountain House.
Savor spring with the beauty of trees in bloom at cherry-blossom exhibits. Photo courtesy of Boscobel.
33. Savor cherry-blossom season without traveling to Washington, D.C.
34. Visit an antique car show and a historic village.
35. Head to the Bronx for Mother’s Day activities at the Botanical Garden or Wave Hill.
This originally posted in 2017 and has been updated for 2018.
Top photo credit: Lars Plougmann via Flickr