Check out DC’s national parks, Smithsonian museums, beautiful parks, restaurants and much more.
While mothers should be celebrated every day, Mother’s Day only comes once per year. We’re here to help you honor the occasion and plan out an unforgettable holiday experience in the nation’s capital.
Lavish her with high tea service
Does mom love a hot cup of tea, small pastries and quality time with her son or daughter? Take her to Art and Soul for a modern twist on the high tea experience. Chef Danny Chavez presents bite-sized treats paired with an array of regular blends and CBD teas. You can also spice up tea time with a tea-infused cocktail, a glass of bubbly or locally sourced sweets. Tea time happens Friday through Sunday every week from 3-5 p.m. Check out our events calendar for other tea services like Afternoon Tea at The Watergate Hotel.
Explore the U.S. National Arboretum
Stroll around at the National Arboretum, a 446-acre property that aims to increase landscape and ornamental plants' aesthetic, environmental and economic importance. The Arboretum presents a stunning collection of plants, with each given its own display. One of the most popular is the Gotelli Conifer Collection, which features conifers that hail from a range of climates, including the Arctic and subtropical regions.
Visit a museum
Mothers have a tendency to be extremely busy, so why not help yours slow down by experiencing a museum? The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is a great place to learn and appreciate the contributions of women, including The First Ladies, an exhibit featuring legendary gowns worn by a range of first ladies. The National Museum of Women in the Arts is also a must-visit destination for art-loving moms that reopens on Oct. 21, 2023 after an extensive renovation.
Pack a picnic and head to the Tidal Basin
The Tidal Basin, one of the most beautiful areas in the city, serves as a great picnic spot during the spring and summer. You can enjoy the view of nature and the water, then take a paddle boat ride or simply relax on the grass and enjoy the day. Check out Colada Shop for their Mama's Picnic Box, which includes two Cubans, two guava pollo sandwiches, six empanadas, six croquetas, plantain chips with black bean dip, three dulce de leche brownies and three oatmeal guava cookies.
Order a bottle at District Winery
As you step into the modern industrial space, the pleasant aroma of fermented grapes greets your nose. The elegant ambiance and the picturesque views of the waterfront make it the perfect spot for a Mother's Day celebration. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, helping you select the perfect wine to pair with the delectable food offerings. From light and fruity rosés to full-bodied reds, there's something for every palate … even if mom is a little picky.
Venture through historic and charming Georgetown
First, tour the gorgeous Tudor Place. The historic landmark has been a fixture in DC since 1816, serving as a home to descendants of Martha Washington for six generations. Discover furnishings, household items, and fascinating Washington-related artifacts inside the elegant house. The five-plus acres worth of gardens on the estate make for a wondrous and scenic outdoor experience. Then, check out Georgetown's historic charm by taking mom on a shopping excursion, then head to Washington Harbour to dine at Sequoia, Tony and Joe’s Seafood Place or Farmers Fishers Bakers.
Let your jaw drop gazing at breathtaking art
Visit the National Gallery of Art, a world-class art museum with an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures and in-depth exhibits that showcase an array of essential women artists, from Georgia O’Keeffe and Faith Ringgold to Mary Cassatt and Judith Leyster.
Experience the United States Botanic Garden
The beautiful indoor garden offers a wide variety of plants from around the world and is free to visit. The oldest continually operating botanic garden in the United States allows you and mom to see rare and endangered plants while escaping the hustle and bustle of the city to enjoy the peace and tranquility of nature.
Spoil her with a Spa Day
Feast on brunch
To some, Mother’s Day isn’t complete without brunch. Fairmont’s Mother Day Brunch is authentically local and offers a bountiful buffet, live music and flowers and chocolates for all mothers. Enjoy a French-style meal at Opaline, Japanese-French fusion at Cure Bar & Bistro or take to the Potomac River and enjoy an afternoon on a boat with City Cruises. There are many other can't-miss brunch locations in DC, so make sure to check out our in-depth guide.
Take her shopping Downtown
Splurge with mom at CityCenterDC, which features 10 acres of shops, cafes, restaurants and public space. Globally respected retailers like Paul Stuart, Dior, Kate Spade, Hermès, Longchamp, Burberry, Zadig & Voltaire and BOSS have sprouted since CityCenterDC opened in 2014. Read our full guide to shopping in the District to continue spoiling mom.