By Patricia Hall, FairfaxFamilyFun.com
Calling all moms, grandmas, and all other wonderful mothers! Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 8, 2016! How will you celebrate? Relaxing at home? Spa day? Eating out? Or are you looking for something fun and different to do? If so, here are some idea for Mother’s Day weekend! Since there are way too many restaurants offering Mother’s Day brunches and other meals to list them here (and most require reservations in advance, anyway), we present other ideas for family fun in Northern Virginia on Mother’s Day weekend. Please remember to call the venues to confirm event details, as these can sometimes change. Happy Mother’s Day! Scroll below to see our ideas for fun on the farm, events at historic sites, and free and cheap family fun!
FUN ON THE FARM
Food, fun, and family at local farms hosting special events for moms
Cox Farms craft: Cox Farms in Chantilly is having a special craft for kids — see the Free and Cheap Family Fun section at the end of this post for details.
Asparagus Weekend: A unique option is the Asparagus Mother’s Day Weekend at Great Country Farms, May 7-8. This farm in Bluemont boasts five acres with playgrounds and tot areas, hayrides, tunnels and slides, a jumping pillow, mini-golf, petting zoo, and more. You can get mom a unique bouquet of fresh asparagus, which will be at its peak, from the farm market. Moms also get a free chocolate-dipped strawberry. Admission is $8 per child, $10 per adult. After your farm visit, I highly recommend visiting Bluemont Vineyard across the street: it has good wines and food, nice grounds for the kids to explore, and the friendliest winery cats ever! And I personally love the fantastic views from high up on the hill! On Mother’s Day weekend there will be food specials.
Great Country Farms and beyond as seen from Bluemont Vineyard; photo (c) Patricia Hall
HISTORIC SITE TOURS
Historic homes in our area host special events (and some also offer free admission!)
Mount Vernon: George Washington’s home, estate, and gardens south of Alexandria, celebrates Mother’s Day on Saturday and Sunday. Guests can visit with Martha Washington, “the Mother of our country,” who will give lavender sachets to all moms. It will be a nice time to visit with the gardens in bloom. Regular admission fees apply ($20 adults, $10 kids).
Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum: On Mother’s Day, all moms get free tours of the Apothecary Museum in Alexandria, which features a unique collection of medicinal herbs and botanicals and apothecary bottles and equipment. Admission for other guests is just $5 for adults and $3 for kids ages 5-12.
Friendship Firehouse Museum: This historic firehouse in Alexandria invites families to visit on this to explore antique equipment and firehats and enjoy complimentary portraits by the firehouse photographer on Mother’s Day Sunday. Admission is free!
(scroll down for more ideas)
Riverbend Park in Great Falls; photo (c) Patricia Hall
FREE OR CHEAP FAMILY FUN
Simple fun that won’t break the bank
Cox Farms kids’ craft: Cox Farms in Chantilly is having a special craft for kids on Saturday, May 7, 11 am to 1 pm. Kids will be able to decorate a small pot for Mom, then pick out a small potted plant to put inside it and add their own custom card. This activity is free, and a great way to have a hand-picked, hand-made present for mom the next day!
Fun festivals: Enjoy spring with mom and the family at one of these fun festivals taking place on Mother’s Day weekend: a kite festival at Gunston Hall, SpringFest in Fair Lakes, the Kentucky Derby and BBQ fest DerbyQ in the City of Fairfax, the Downtown Fest at One Loudouna Spring Festival at the Walker Nature Center, and the Pet Fiesta at the Reston Town Center. All these events take place on Saturday, May 7.
Animal babies: Take mom to see animal moms and their babies! You can see baby animals born this spring at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon (check out their detailed list with dates born!). Great Country Farms, Cox Farms, and Ticonderoga Farms. Also, while the public can’t yet see the red-ruffed lemurs born last month National Zoo, there are other animal babies (or “toddlers!”) to visit, including giant panda Bei Bei, now eight months old! Admission to the zoo is always free.
Picnic in the park: Enjoy a spring day with mom at her favorite park or garden. You may even want to pack a picnic for an enjoyable al-fresco brunch! (Please check each park’s policies beforehand). Some fun parks to check out are Burke Lake Park (which also has a miniature train, carousel, and ice cream shop), Riverbend Park in Great Falls (with great trails and river views), Great Falls National Park (with trails along the waterfalls), Mason Neck State Park (guided tours and eagle-spotting), Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (beautiful flora, the Korean Bell Garden, and more) and Huntley Meadows Park (with an easy half-mile-long boardwalk that is the only ADA-accessible wetland boardwalk in our area). See our list of parks!
Not your average brunch: Brunch may be the same ol’ same ol’ but Mom still has to eat, right? If you’re looking to have a meal outside the home, but want something different, consider lunch, brunch, or an afternoon snack at one of our many local wineries. We have dozens in Northern Virginia, many of which host special events for Mother’s Day.