Philadelphia has strong ties to Mother’s Day — the annual holiday honoring motherhood was originally founded here by Anna Jarvis in 1908. Since gaining federal recognition in 1914, the May holiday has become a day celebrating the most special women in your life.
Each year, the city’s restaurants and cultural institutions embrace Mother’s Day weekend with prix-fixe meals, live music in blooming azalea gardens, interactive workshops with local experts and more.
From brunch at a fancy buffet to a craft fair on Penn’s Landing, here’s what to do this Mother’s Day weekend in Philadelphia.
Reserve your spot to learn how to arrange succulents at this workshop at The Schmidt’s Commons. Everyone gets to take home a handmade ceramic planter, which will delight any mom who loves beautiful greenery.
Where: The Schmidt’s Commons, 1001 N. 2nd Street
Celebrate mom and the arrival of spring at Longwood Gardens this weekend. Visitors enjoy live music, performances by the attraction’s dancing fountains and more than 1,000 acres of manicured gardens, meadows and displays. Note that timed tickets are required for admission.
Where: Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square
Cost: $23, adults; $20, seniors age 62 and older; $12, kids 5-18
Browse everything from flowers and baked goods to clothing and books at the Fitler Square Spring Fair. The excitement runs from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, with entertainment including live music, dance performances and a bounce house for the kids.
Where: 2300 Pine Street
Cost: Pay as you go
More than 100 members of the PA Guild of Craftsman participate in the Rittenhouse Square Fine Craft Fair. The semi-annual event is a fantastic opportunity to find the perfect Mother’s Day gift, as artisans sell works made from glass, metal, wood, leather and other crafty materials.
Where: Rittenhouse Square
Morris Arboretum’s annual plant sale is a treasure trove of flora of all kinds. From annuals to perennials, woody plants to heirloom roses, shoppers can spend time together perusing the vibrant, fragrant merchandise. Aboretum staff are on hand to help guide and educate horticulture novices.
Where: Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, 100 E. Northwestern Avenue
Say “I love you, mom” with flowers — in the form of a handmade corsage courtesy of this fun workshop in Germantown. Students will learn all about the history of corsages, get instruction on how to wire and glue them and leave with two original pieces to give to the important women in their lives.
Where: Wyck Historic House and Garden, 6026 Germantown Avenue
Learn new skills alongside your loved one at the Independence Seaport Museum’s Workshop on the Water. Participants choose whether to build flower boxes or toolboxes, a ready-made gift that any mom is sure to love. New sessions start every hour from 1 to 4 p.m.
Where: Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Boulevard
You’re sure to find the perfect gift at the Art Star Craft Bazaar. More than 100 vendors and artisans pack Penn’s Landing to showcase and sell their unique goods, which range from bath and body products to clothing and jewelry to home goods and fine art.
Where: Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard
The country’s Founding Mother, Martha Washington, will be in attendance at the Museum of the American Revolution this Mother’s Day for a special afternoon tea honoring all moms. The event includes a buffet from Bruleé Catering in the museum’s Liberty Hall, complete with finger sandwiches, sweet bites and beverages.
Where: Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. 3rd Street
Delve into the wonderful world of succulents at The Clay Studio, which hosts a special workshop led by Bucks County Flowers + Things. Participants get to arrange their own succulent gardens in a handmade ceramic planter, which they can take with them to enjoy at home.
Where: The Clay Studio, 139 N. 2nd Street
Nature-loving moms are sure to enjoy the Mother’s Day Bird Walk at Bartram’s Garden. The free event is guided by BirdPhilly’s George Armistead, who will point out warblers, orioles and other flying fowl at the 45-acre attraction.
Where: Bartram's Garden, 5400 Lindbergh Boulevard
Hop aboard the Spirit of Philadelphia for a memorable Mother’s Day cruise on the Delaware River. Three cruises throughout the day — brunch, early dinner and dinner — include plenty of food and entertainment, and moms are greeted with a complimentary flower for the occasion.
Where: Spirit of Philadelphia, 401 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard
Support breast cancer research by taking part in the Susan G. Komen Philadelphia Race for the Cure, a 5K walk/run that starts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Not up for participating in the race? There’s still plenty of fun to enjoy, with entertainment, a sponsors expo and more.
Where: Race starts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Bring your mom to the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden for a workshop on suminagashi, a marbling technique dating back to 12th-century Japan. Participants get to take home their one-of-a-kind silk scarves, a wearable memento of a Mother’s Day well spent.
Where: Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, Lansdowne & Horticultural drives
Every Sunday, Lacroix at The Rittenhouse serves a brunch to end all brunches, with a seemingly endless menu of decadent offerings like smoked fish, carving stations and a seriously awesome raw bar. The restaurant kicks it up a notch for Mother’s Day by adding live jazz music to accompany the feast.
Where: The Rittenhouse Hotel, 210 W. Rittenhouse Square
Urban Farmer celebrates Mother’s Day with an elaborate array of brunch dishes just for the occasion. The menu is sure to satisfy everyone at the table, with options ranging from house-made scrapple and deviled eggs to a crowd-pleasing cheese and charcuterie spread to desserts like bon bon truffles and mascarpone panna cotta.
Where: Urban Farmer Philadelphia, 1850 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost: $65, adults; $15, kids 12 and under
The charming M Restaurant at the Morris House Hotel hosts a Mother’s Day brunch complete with mouthwatering fare like corned beef hash, croque monsieur, chicken and waffles, jumbo lump crab cakes and more. Reservations are recommended.
Where: M Restaurant, 231 S. 8th Street
Cost: a la carte
Aqimero upgrades its brunch offerings in honor of Mother’s Day, with a la carte entrees as well as a buffet spread spanning everything from salad to seafood to sweets. To kick off the celebration, adults are greeted with a bloody mary, bellini or mimosa. Reservations are recommended.
Where: Aquimero, The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia, 10 Avenue Of The Arts
Cost: A la carte
Feast on a two-course, prix-fixe brunch at Fork, where the special holiday menu includes elegant dishes like asparagus gazpacho, mushroom polenta, maple French toast and sweet amalia oysters. Afterwards, take a stroll around Old City to see some of Philly’s most historic attractions.
Where: Fork, 306 Market Street
Treat your mom to a meal at Moshulu. The historic tall-ship-turned-restaurant — permanently docked at Penn’s Landing — offers a special Mother’s Day menu with options ranging from Belgian waffles to spinach ravioli to herb-crusted angus beef ribeye, and of course, sweet treats for dessert.
Where: Moshulu, 401 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard
Cost: $70, adults; $30, kids 2-12
Panorama at the Penn’s View Hotel welcomes moms and their families all day long, with prix-fixe brunch and an a-la-carte dinner menu. Brunch runs from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and dinner is served from 5-9 p.m. And with more than 150 wines available by the glass, there’s a vintage to complement any dish.
Where: Panorama, 14 N. Front Street
Cost: Brunch: $45, adults; $20, kids 12 and under; Dinner: a la carte
Taking your mom to one of Philly’s stellar Parkway museums? Top off your outing with brunch at London Grill, located just steps from spots like the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation. The three-course, prix-fixe menu includes options to satisfy both kids and adults.
Where: London Grill, 2301 Fairmount Avenue
Take your mom out to an unforgettable Italian meal at Davio’s. Brunch specials include treats like cannoli pancakes and Maine lobster frittatas, while the dinner menu — which is served all day — features sumptuous dishes like petite filet mignon and lemon sole with jumbo lump crab.
Where: Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse, 111 S. 17th Street
Savor an all-you-can-eat Mother’s Day brunch at the Philadelphia Zoo’s Peacock Pavilion while getting up close and personal with moms from across the animal kingdom. Purchase tickets in advance for the event’s three seatings: 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Where: Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 W. Girard Avenue
Head to Logan Square Cafe in Sister Cities Park for a bite alongside storytelling, activities and more. The weekend brunch menu includes classic fare like eggs, French toast sticks, bagels, muffins and more. Reservations are required.
Where: Sister Cities Park, 210 N. 18th Street
Cost: $18.95, adults; $10.95, kids 12 and under
Mother’s Day brunch gets the homestyle Italian treatment at Little Nonna’s, where the three-course, prix-fixe holiday menu includes delizioso options like lemon ricotta French toast, Japanese eggplant parmesan and tiramisu. If you can’t make it for brunch, the Midtown Village spot is open for regular dinner service starting at 5 p.m.
Where: Little Nonna's, 1234 Locust Street
Treat your mom to a mouthwatering three-course brunch at Barbuzzo this year, when the kitchen churns out irresistible dishes like brioche French toast, huevos rancheros, spring vegetable shakshuka and the restaurant’s famous salted caramel budino for dessert.
Where: Barbuzzo, 110 S. 13th Street
Morris Arboretum treats moms to a delicious brunch, prepared by chef Josh Hunter, this Mother’s Day. Afterwards, a stroll around the delightful Northwest Philly green space is in order.
Where: Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, 100 E. Northwestern Avenue
Cost: $34, member adults; $18, member children (3-17); $46, non-member adults; $23, non-member children (3-17)
Book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package for stays through September 3, 2018 and get FREE hotel parking as well as free tickets to the Museum of the American Revolution, free tickets for a ride on the Ferris wheel and roller skating at Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, a $25 CHeU Noodle restaurants gift card, free mini-golf and a carousel ride at Franklin Square, free passes to ride the PHLASH Downtown Loop and a $10 Lyft credit.
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