Where: 3501 New York Ave. N.E. or 24th and R Streets N.E.
What: Free and floral? You got it. This harbor of natural beauty is open daily to visitors who enjoy everything from azaleas to caterpillars of an exceptional breed. Visitors can take hikes or bike rides, explore exhibits, enjoy a picnic, or simply take-in the fresh air.
What: Take mom to Eastern Market for a day of shopping, eating and live music. The Flea Market at Eastern Market holds its “Music in the Yard” concert series on Sunday, May 12 from noon until 3 p.m. Not interested in music? The larger market on Sundays (from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) has something for everyone, from antiques and collectibles to arts and crafts.
What: All visiting mothers get in free for the tour on Mother’s Day. This Old Town tavern is open May 12 from noon until 5 p.m. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams all frequented this historic gem. Museum tours are $4 for non-mother adults and $2 for children ages 11-17.
Where: The C&O Canal stretches 184.5 miles along the north bank of the Potomac River, starting in Georgetown and ending in Cumberland, Maryland.
What: The C&O Canal offers a variety of activities, from hiking, biking, kayaking, jogging, horseback riding, boating, fishing and more. Adventurous mothers will enjoy a calming day in nature. Pack a picnic to surprise mom with some treats.
What: A spring open house with live music, exhibits, demonstrations, food and wine — there’s bound to be something any mom will love. Guests can indulge in cupcakes provided by Occasionally Cake while taking-in the artwork on display.
Where: Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle, along Norfolk, Auburn and Del Ray Avenues
What: Rain or shine, Mother’s Day and the day after, Bethesda is hosting 140 contemporary artists from nearly 25 states and Canada. Fine art displays include photography, painting, drawing, ceramics, jewelry and furniture, with live music and children’s activities throughout the two-day event. Sunshine Artist Magazine ranked the fine art show No. 78 in 2008. The event offers free parking in the parking garage on Auburn Avenue.
Where: Pennsylvania Avenue to Garfield Park, between First and Fourth Streets SE
What: For Mother’s Day weekend, the Capitol Hill Restoration Society takes guests through 14 19th century homes in the oldest residential area of Capitol Hill. The 56th annual tour — titled “In the Shadow of the Capitol: Old Traditions, New Beginnings” — covers 1.2 miles, circling a Capitol Hill neighborhood that developed in the mid-to-late 19th century. The House and Garden Tour is the longest continuously running tour in Washington.
What: This annual project showcases a residential house transformed by the hands of the best Washington-based interior designers, testing today’s most popular home renovation and design tactics. The tour — the last of which is on Mother’s Day this year — benefits the Children’s National Medical Center.
Where: Shirlington Village in Arlington, Va. and surrounding venues
What: A film festival honoring the American Armed Forces, both in classic film and new releases, includes more than 50 films from the Civil War period through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The festival starts May 6 and runs through Mother’s Day this year.