Mother’s Day is a day to relax, have fun, and relish the joy that our children embody. Do you have any fun plans for our designated special day on May 8 this year? If you’re going to be in and around Boston on Mother’s Day and are looking for something to do outside of the house, here are a few ideas the whole family will enjoy.


Duckling Day Parade on the Boston Common

My family and I attended this event — a Boston tradition — on Mother’s Day last year. It was one of the first very warm (80+ degrees), beautiful days of spring, and we had so much fun. Set upon the Boston Common, there are areas for games, music, face painting, and plenty of outdoor play. At noon, the duckling parade — to honor the famous “Make Way For Ducklings” book by Robert McCloskey — takes place around the Public Garden, and crowds of families march around the perimeter of what is essentially the middle of Boston. Whether you and your kids arrive in your duck attire or not, you’re sure to have some true Boston fun in a picturesque setting. (Event begins at 10 a.m., with the parade starting at noon. Registration is $35 per family before May 6, and $40 per family on the day of the event. Fee includes goodie bags for the kids.)


Lilac Sunday

I can almost smell the scent of the lovely lilac as I write this; this flower symbolizes so much about mothers and May to me, and I can’t wait until they are in full bloom! Another storied Boston tradition, the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University devotes an entire day to showcasing its lilac collection, one of the premier collections in North America, on Mother’s Day. In addition to having the opportunity to tour the lilacs and other special flower collections, family activities such as designing Mother’s Day cards, origami, lilac memory card games, and a horticulture truck display will be taking place for all to enjoy from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Refreshments will be available, and food trucks will be on hand!

Play tourist for a day

Pack up the stroller and/or baby carrier, and pick a few neighborhoods to explore. Beacon Hill, Back Bay, the North and South Ends, Charlestown, and South Boston are all so welcoming to families with the gems they each offer: unique play spaces, great history, delicious dining options, an aquatic landscape. Discover playgrounds, cute restaurants, cobblestone streets, and maybe even a pop-up concert or food truck along your way.

Beach/trail walks

Get everyone excited for summer by walking along one of the many beautiful beaches or trails by the ocean, ponds, and lakes in the greater Boston area. You can imagine that very soon, you will all be splashing in the water and playing in the sand. Unfortunately, this Mother’s Day isn’t shaping up to be quite like last year’s, which was the perfect day to go for the first swim of the season!


Root for the home team

Even though the Sox will be away playing the Yankees on May 8, Mother’s Day is a great opportunity to explore the Fenway Park area with strollers and while holding little hands — without worrying about the stampede of fans. Then as you traverse home, you can get excited for the game later that night (at 8:05 p.m.).

However you spend Mother’s Day, we wish you all a truly lovely day!


Kate Cotter
Kate came to New England for college a decade and a half ago, and fell in love with all things Boston. She is the mom of two beautiful baby boys, ages 2.5 & 10 months, and loves watching them explore this lovely area of the country, experiencing Boston through their eyes. Heart-filling: spending time with my family, spontaneous hugs, kisses and “I love you Mommy” from my boys, reading great books, fall in New England, the Adirondacks, golden retriever puppies (don’t have any yet!), coffee, champagne, and serendipity. Can do without: Boston traffic, inconsiderateness, never-ending winters and stir-craziness.


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