Mother’s Day Ideas In and around Boston

Mother’s Day (on May 12 this year) is a great excuse to spend time with Mom.  Go against the crowds this year and celebrate just before or shortly after the official calendar holiday;  better yet – plan several celebrations throughout the month of May!

My Mom and I plan to have one of our May celebrations at the Ballet this year.  Boston Ballet will have two productions running at the Boston Opera House by mid-May: classic full-length fairytale Cinderella (May 10-June 3) and contemporary Rhapsody (May 16-June 9), a mixed repertoire program featuring works by Balanchine, Leonid Yakobson, and Boston Ballet’s own Paulo Arrais.

Misa Kuranaga and Jeoffrey Cirio in Sir Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella; Photo Gene Schiavone Courtesy by Boston Ballet
Isaac Akiba and Brittany Stone n Yakobson’s Rodin; Photo by Igor Burlak’s Photography; Courtesy of Boston Ballet.
Isaac Akiba and Brittany Stone n Yakobson’s Rodin; Photo by Igor Burlak’s Photography; Courtesy of Boston Ballet.

Boston Theater Marathon (in its 21st year) is on Sunday, May 19th this year.  This is where “bad girls” take their adventurous theater moms – as 50 selected New England playwrights put on their 10-minute plays from noon to 10pm (you can come and go as you please with your day ticket; at the Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts).  (Word of caution: the plays are not suited for young kids; follow this link for tickets)

I plan to have another celebration with Mom (and family) – on a day trip to Newport, Rhode Island.  We might visit one of the historic mansions, but we might also just do the Cliff Walk (considered one of the most beautiful walks in the country).  You could visit a winery nearby, or – to feel like a true tourist for a day- take a trolley tour all the way to Castle Inn.  For more Newport activities, check the town’s official destination website.

UPDATE: CHANGE OF PLANS! We are having an afternoon tea at the historic Blithewold estate in Bristol Rhode Island with views over Narraganset Bay (we will be able to tour the property and, hopefully, the gardens -if it does not rain- before the Tea).  Here is our report from touring and tea party! (It did rain, so we now MUST come back!)

Tea at Blithewold
Afternoon Tea at Blithewold Estate

You could also plan a day trip to Cape Cod.  Walk on one of the National Seashore’s beaches in Eastham or visit Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich (with its largest public garden in Southern New England).  Mothers receive free admission on May 12.

What to do on Cape Cod in the fall
Historic cars collection at the Heritage Museums and Gardens

HOUSE MUSEUMS have a special place in my heart (and on my weekends’ agenda).

The Mount, writer Edith Wharton’s house museum in Lennox in the Berkshires opens its doors for the season on May 11 (with house and garden tours).


Mark Twain’s house museum in Hartford, Connecticut is open for tours all-year long (I suggest to book tickets in advance, as they do sell out on weekends).  I took this photo on our visit in March but I can guarantee there is no snow on the ground now!

Mark Twain’s House Museums in Hartford, CT

Or – take Mom to tour one of The Trustees’ of preservation historic Massachusetts properties, such as Castle on the Hill (Crane Estate in Ipswich) and Naumkeag Estate in Stockbridge, or a closer (and more affordable) Bradley Estate in Canton.

Crane Estate, Ipswich

Historical houses are part of the unique collection of Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA with every major  American architectural style on display (houses and neighborhoods are located nearby within the city of Salem- check the link above for more information).

Day trips to the islands of Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket (from the docks in Hyannis or Falmouth) require a little bit of planning, but could certainly be enjoyed.

Family vacationers visit Martha Vineyard on a day trip from Hyannis, Cape Cod
View from the observation deck, Aquinnah Cliffs, Martha

If you’d rather stay in Boston, The Arnold Arboretum will celebrate its annual Lilac Sunday with the country’s premier lilac collection on May 12 this year (picnicking is allowed on the grounds but parking will be limited).

Things to Do in Boston on Mother's Day Weekend
Photo Courtesy: Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

My favorite Boston walk is  Rose Kennedy Greenway – a 1.5 mile park along the Atlantic avenue in Boston- with outdoor markets, art, seven water fountains and its own carousel (open for the season!). There is currently a new “hyper realistic” mural on display (by artist Super A).  Check out their website for full list of events.

On Boston’s Greenway

It is very likely that Mom and I will have our third celebration in May- this time at the Boston’s Museum of Fine ArtFrida Kahlo and Art Popular are still on display (through June 19) as is Gender Bending Fashion (through August 25), but we will be there to explore Toulous-Latrec and the Stars of Paris (through August 4).You may want to take your Mom to see Botticelli Exhibit (closes on May 19) at the Isabella Gardner’s Museum, or (depending on her artistic preferences) to the Museum Highlights Tour at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston’s waterfront (followed by the Harbor Walk).

On Boston’s Harbor Walk


we are linking with #CulturedKids Round-Up



6 thoughts on “Mother’s Day Ideas In and around Boston”

  1. Thank you, Victoria! Very useful information. Now is a challenge what to choose. We would love to check all places 🙂 Thanks again

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