Celebrating mom: Activities for Mother’s Day

Natalie Plumb, special to wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Mother’s Day is May 12, and if you’re not sure what to plan for mom, don’t worry.

D.C., Maryland and Virginia offer plenty of options to entertain mom and thank her for all that she does. Here are just a few ideas:

The U.S. National Arboretum in D.C.

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.

‘Music in the Yard’ at Eastern Market on Capitol Hill

Where: 7th and C Streets S.E.

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.

Mother’s Day tours at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum in Old Town Alexandria

Where: 134 N. Royal St. Alexandria, Va.

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.

Explore the C&O Canal along the Potomac River

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.

Torpedo Factory’s annual Spring Open House in Alexandria

Where: 105 N. Union St. Alexandria, Va.

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.

Bethesda’s outdoor Fine Arts Festival

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.

Capitol Hill Restoration Society’s Mother’s Day House and Garden Tour

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.

D.C. Residential Design House Showcase for Charity

Where: 2507 Foxhall Road NW

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.

GI Film Festival

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.

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