Mother’s Day 2024 in Boston and beyond

Mother’s Day is a great “excuse” to spend some quality time with the favorite mother figures in your life.   How about having not one but several celebrations throughout the month of May to celebrate the season indoors and outdoors.

Here are my favorite ways to celebrate Mother’s Day (with my loved ones) updated for May of 2024

 Spring Experiences at Boston Ballet

My girlfriends and I started the weekend celebration early by attending  the Opening Night of Boston Ballet’s Spring Experience (May 9–19 at the Boston Opera House).  It is a MIND BLOWING all-modern program of three ballets, featuring The Space Between (World Premiere) by Ken Ossola, William Forsythe’s Blake Works III (The Barre Project), and Jiří Kylián’s Bella Figura.

Seo Hye Han and Haley Schwan in Jiří Kylián’s Bella Figura, photo by Liza Voll; courtesy of Boston Ballet

The program “with works by the world’s most in-demand choreographers today,” will close Boston Ballet’s 60th season,  said Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen.  All three choreographers have extensive dancing and choreographing experience with leading ballet companies in Europe.  These works are well suited to bring out the best in diverse talents of Boston Ballet (whose dancers come from dance schools from all over the world).

Ossola’s premier opens the night with its “evolutionary” symbiosis of sound, music, and dance inspired by Michelangelo’s “non-finito” sculptures Prisoners; Ossola interprets it  “as a perpetual feeling of incompleteness and emergence, … open door to the imagination…”   It starts with orchestral music by Mischa Santora (Boston Ballet’s music director) and features live electronics performed  by jazz musician Michael Cain.  “The audience can expect a reimagined orchestral experience, where the things they know and love about orchestral music are reframed ….[and] becomes inspiration for the choreography and dancers to find new forms of expression and meaning in their movements,” said Cain.

Kylián’s mesmerizing Bella Figura by Kylian is one of my favorite pieces by  Boston Ballet – I simply cannot take my eyes away from  the stage, the movements and music become one and take me in completely – and leave me wanting more!  The piece is set to a selection of Baroque music by Lukas Foss, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Alessandro Marcello, Antonio Vivaldi, and Giuseppe Torelli).  Boston Ballet  was the first American Company to perform this ballet (in 2011).  Here is what I wrote after I saw it in 2022: …it celebrates the expressions of the human body- through the “poetry of movement”, regardless of gender.  Possibly to support this idea- the dancers- both female and male – are dressed in identical red skirts and are nude from waist up.

Blake Works III is an installment in William Forsythe’s continuously evolving work The Barre Project inspired by the rigorously structured songs of composer James Blake. The  series began in 2021 during the pandemic as a filmed dance that was streamed to a global audience; the live stage version for Boston Ballet features newly choreographed sections.  The stage setting is sophisticated with interesting lighting and a barre seemingly hanging from the ceiling… And the dancers yet again move in the ways we did not expect or thought possible.

For tickets and casting information, visit Boston Ballet’s site. Use code BBTIX40 for $40 tickets.

Another May experience at Boston Ballet is Boston Ballet School’s Next Generation , a one-night-only performance that showcases  talented young dancers at Citizens Opera House on Wednesday, May 15 (use code BBSFriends for $40 tickets; side orchestra tickets start at $25). Featuring dancers of Boston Ballet II, Graduate Program dancers, and students of Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, the program includes George Balanchine’s Serenade and an excerpt from The Four Temperaments, Marius Petipa’s Satanella and Le Talisman, a pas de deux from Christopher Wheeldon’s This Bitter Earth, Sonia Kim’s Pièce Classique, and Andrea Schermoly’s premiere, The Second.  The young dancers will be accompanied by the Next Generation Orchestra, led by the creative power of Boston Ballet Assistant Conductor Alyssa Wang.

Queen and the Pops

My husband and are celebrated by attending the Pops concert “Mark Martel and One Version of Queen” (May 15 -16 at Boston Symphony, with Keith Lockhart, Pops’ conductor).  (Marc is the voice of Freddie Mercury from Oscar-winning Bohemian Rhapsody).

This evening was full of surprises! First, in the first part of the program we were treated to the 3-works Gershwin program with the interesting Three Preludes arrangement by Sebesky (originally made by Gershwin for the piano) followed by mesmerizing Rhapsody in Blue (with pianist Charlie Albright) to honor 100th anniversary of this piece. In second part of the evening the Pops literally ROCKED us playing with Marc and his group. I could not imagine the versatility of the Pops’ talent! And Keith Lockhart is not only their great conductor, he is also a very talented and personable presenter!

Check out more of the Pops Season here.

The Shining Sea

I will celebrate with my daughter by biking my favorite bike path on Cape Cod (The Shining Sea bike path) that will take us (along the sea) to Woods Hole. The trail is almost 11 miles (from Woods Hole to Northern Falmouth), but my favorite part runs for  about 5 miles starting from Woods Hole.  There are several parking lots along the way, so you can choose your comfortable distance to bike (and then have lunch in one of the seafront eateries at Woods Hole- that’s my plan!).  Here is the reel I made this Mother’s Day about biking the Shining Sea Path.

Viv and I on Shining Sea biking path near Woods Hole

Mother Play

We celebrated with the whole family early this year by attending  Mother Play on Broadway in New York City (with Jessica Lange, Jim Parsons, & Celia Keenan-Bolger; through June 16 at the Hayes Theater).  The Mother character in the play hasn’t exactly won “mother of the year award” but acting and staging is superb.  Tickets Tip: $30 tickets are available to people age 30 and under with promo code 30UNDER30 on Hayes Theater website via link above.

Day Trips

When I have a chance to celebrate with my Mom, it will probably be a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket.  Although Martha Vineyard is our favorite (after many many day trips there), we decided to give Nantucket “another chance” this year.

Mom, daughter and I are day tripping on Martha’s Vineyard

Day Pass to Wellness

Mom and I might also enjoy a day pass at one of the spas in the Berkshires.   Kripalu, Miraval and Canyon Ranch spa/health centers in Lenox offer day passes (where you could spend the day by picking from several offered seminars and experiences), and while Kripalu is priced more economically, Miraval and Canyon Ranch passes include massages and pool-hot tubs (on our visits we typically stay at Yankee Inn in Lenox within 10 minute driving distance from the spa centers).

Canyon Ranch historic spa in Lenox, MA

Inspiring Gardens

Other May ideas from our past celebrations include outings to Blithewold Estate in Bristol, RI to admire their blooming ocean front gardens (their Mother’s Day tea is sold out but there may be availability on other days in May) and picnics on the lawn of Crane Estate on Castle Hill in Ipswich.

Blithewold gardens in Bristol, RI

Or you could enjoy a walk at the Boston Common Park with tea at nearby Boston Public Library (be sure to stop by at its Italy-inspired courtyard).

Italian Courtyard at the Boston Public Library
Kids and I on a May outing at Boston Common Park

Check out more Mother’s Day ideas for the month of May in our blogposts from the past years.

More Entertainment Gift Ideas

Cape Playhouse in Dennis, MA offers 15% off all tickets to Waitress with code MOM15!

Check out more Boston theater discounts at Bostix.org

Or take her to New York city where there are 27 new productions this spring.

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