Moms deserve to be celebrated every day, but if there’s one day that demands it- it’s Mother’s Day. With the big day fast approaching, the pressure is on to make the perfect plan. New York City is a vast playground, so we’ve narrowed down a few of the best options that go beyond the standard brunch.
- Go where the wild things are. The Central Park Zoo is hosting a family-friendly party for mothers and children ages 2-10 on May 14th. Meet zoo animal moms and babies, enjoy tasty treats, make Mom a special gift, and go on a scavenger hunt.
- Set sail. Sail out of Port 40 on a relaxing two-hour Hudson River cruise that includes a brunch buffet and dessert station, coffee, tea, “free-flowing” Mimosas and Sangria, and a live jazz band. Along the way, you’ll enjoy views of Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, Governors Island, and the Manhattan skyline.
- Explore the city on a scavenger hunt. If “relax” isn’t really in your family’s vocabulary, you may love a Mother’s Day Scavenger Hunt. This three-hour event starts at Slattery’s Midtown Pub (8 East 36th Street) and leads you around the city with the ScanQuest app. It’s a fun, interactive journey that will challenge your party mentally and physically. Winners receive a NYC gift package.
- Create a work of art. Mother’s Day is the perfect excuse to visit the Children’s Museum of the Arts in SoHo. Moms enjoy free admission to watch their young artists create upcycled picture frames, painted portraits, spiky sculptures, tie-dye tissue paper composites, clay farm animals, dot marker cards, and more.
- Get your fill of thrills at Coney Island. Though the beach is closed, everything else is open – the restored B&B carousel and rides at Luna Park, Deno’s Wonder Wheel, the New York Aquarium, and the Coney Island Circus Sideshow (which offers kid-friendly attractions during the day). Grab a hotdogs at Nathan’s and ice cream at Coney’s Cones to enjoy the simple pleasures in life with the ones you love most.
- Have a picnic in Central Park. Picnics can be easy with pre-made picnic boxes by Perfect Picnic NYC, Picnic in the Park, or Chelsea Market. Park your clan anywhere in Sheep Meadow, Strawberry Fields, or the Pond and enjoy one of Manhattan’s most iconic landmarks.
- Enjoy nature at Wave Hill. The brunch always sells out quickly, but you can always bring a picnic lunch or reserve a basket from The Café. Wave Hill offers bird watching, open-air yoga classes, crafts at the Family Art Project, jewelry shopping, and a Family Nature Walk.
- Stop and smell the lilacs. This year, the New York Botanical Garden’s Mother’s Day Garden Party will show off the newly reopened Lilac Collection. You can watch dancers perform on the Daffodil Hill stage, play a game of Giant Chess, putt a few rounds of croquet on the green, take a guided walking tour, get professional photographs taken, and take the kids to the craft room to make homemade watercolor cards. Picnic brunch is also available by reservation.
- Roadtrip! Less than two hours from NYC is kid-favorite, Rocking Horse Ranch, an all-inclusive Hudson Valley resort that offers an indoor waterpark and an abundance of organized family activities. Other activities include horseback riding, miniature golf, bowling, ping-pong, archery, rock climbing, and more! Ask about their Mother’s Day weekend promotion where kids are 50% off.
- Spice things up with a private cooking class. Freshmade NYC teaches knife skills, kitchen safety, and how to prepare delicious, easy recipes. Book a private one-on-one cooking session with a chef or create your own cooking class if you have at least four children in your group. Recipes cover a wide range of different flavors, with items like: sweet and savory crepes, mini sweet potato and kale lasagnas, BBQ chicken-apple pizzas, wild salmon burgers, and baked falafel, to name a few. Family cooking classes are suitable for kids ages 2 to teen.
By Jenn Fusion for Shine