Sure, Mom knows how special she is to you, but Mother’s Day (May 14 th) is a time when it’s a really good idea to show her how much you care.
Whether she prefers something simple, like having breakfast together or more elaborate, such as a brunch cruise, here are some ways you can help her celebrate her day. A word of caution: many Mother’s Day events sell out in advance; it’s a good idea to reserve early.
For the family
If you don’t want to travel far, the Ties, Tutus & Tea Party offers a mix of children’s activities, art, treats, awards for best ties/tutus and The Ant and the Grasshopper Children’s Boutique Fashion Show & Trunk Sale. Get a photo taken with Mom and have some fun.
When: Saturday, May 13, 2-5 p.m.
Where: West Edge Community Church, 157 Lakeshore Rd W.
Cost: $5 each or $15 for a family
Catch them while you can
The cherry blossoms should be in full bloom in High Park and Trinity Bellwoods Park. They’re only here for a short time and are beautiful to see, making the parks a perfect spot for a picnic (if it’s not too cool) and cherished family photos. It’s a great way for some family time that isn’t hard on your wallet.
Where: High Park, 50 The Queensway; Trinity Bellwoods, 790 Queen St. W.
What a zoo
For a different take on moms and motherhood – and one that’s sure to please the kids – check out all of the special moms at the Toronto Zoo, including the giant panda, Indian rhino, polar bear and gorilla moms and their babies. Interpretive stations in the Indo-Malaya pavilion will help you discover what makes them such great mothers.
When: Saturday, May 13, and Sunday, May 14, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: 2000 Meadowvale Rd.
Cost: admission ranges from $19 to $29, including tax
Info: 416-392-5929; website
The classic brunch
It’s a go-to choice for marking Mom’s day, but that doesn’t mean you should pass it up. Here are a few choices, from close to home to special venues across the city:
What: Mother’s Day Brunch at The Waterside Inn
When: Sunday, May 14; seatings at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Where: 15 Stavebank Rd. S.
Cost: $59.95 (half price for children)
What: Old Mill Toronto traditional brunch buffet in an Old-World heritage building
When: Sunday, May 14, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Where: 21 Old Mill Rd.
Cost: $25.95 (children) or $49.95 (adults)
Info: 416-236-2641; website
What: Casa Loma Mother's Day Brunch, served in the stately elegance of Toronto's famous castle. Afterwards, take the time to explore the castle.
When: Sunday, May 14
Where: 1 Austin Terrace
Cost: $55 (children) or $75 (adults); includes admission
What: Pioneer Creek brunch and tea, with a light-hearted etiquette lesson and tips on talking like a Victorian lady or gentleman.
When: Sunday, May 14, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: 1000 Murray Ross Parkway
Cost: $29.95 (children) or $54.95 (adults); plus $7 parking
Info: website; 416-667-6295
The not-so-classic brunch
Sure, it’s still brunch, but she’ll feel like a queen if you take her on one of these brunch cruises
What: Jubilee Queen. The three-hour cruise will take you on a leisurely tour through the canals and waterways of the Toronto Islands and past the Toronto Island Parklands. Don’t worry if it’s chilly; the cabin is heated.
When: Sunday, May 14, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Marina Quay West, 539 Queens Quay West
Cost: $29.95 (children) or $54.95 (adults)
Info: 416-203-7245; website
What: Northern Spirit. Hop aboard one of the harbour’s largest boats for a two-hour cruise around the Toronto Islands and past the Toronto skyline and harbourfront.
When: Sunday, May 14, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Where: Pier 6, 207 Queens Quay West
Cost: $25.95 (children) or $52.95 (adults)
Info: 416-203-0178; website
If Mom loves chocolate, the Mother’s Day Chocolate Tour is one not to miss. Spend the afternoon visiting six of Toronto’s finest eateries, sampling delicious chocolatey treats and learning all about them. There’s also a chocolate-making demonstration by an award-winning chocolatier. (This is a walking tour.)
When: Saturday, May 13, 1-4 p.m.
Where: 443 King St. W.
Cost: $39 (adults) or $25 (children)
The language of flowers
Join Mom for a floral workshop and discover the timeless language of flowers as you design your own fresh arrangement at Spadina Museum. While there, take a tour of the lavishly decorated 1920s mansion and enjoy sweet treats in the sunroom. (1920s attire optional.)
When: May 14, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 2-4 p.m.
Where: 285 Spadina Rd.
Cost: $30 each
Info: 416-392-6910; website
Another classic when it comes to Mother’s Day is stepping out for high tea. Enjoying finger sandwiches, sweets and, of course, tea, is a treat not often indulged, but this is a great time to do so. Here are a couple options:
What: Mother's Day High Tea at Benares Historic House, with antique and vintage bridal fashions and fashion show of historic hats
When: Saturday, May 13, or Sunday, May 14, 12-2 p.m.
Where: 1507 Clarkson Rd. N.
Info: website; 905-615-4860 x 2110
What: Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea at the Royal Botanical Gardens (Burlington)
When: Saturday, May 13, 4 p.m.
Where: 680 Plains Rd. W.
Info: website; 905-527-1158 (there’s also a brunch on Sunday)
From the heart
And for something a little different, try a day of love, stories, inspiration and gratitude at HerStories: In Service To Our Mothers. Enjoy organic catered food by The Fix & Co. while listening to inspired speakers share heartfelt stories about their mothers, followed by an interactive segment with games, activities and stories from the audience.
When: Saturday, May 13, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Airship37, 37 Parliament St.
Cost: $50 until May 8, $65 afterwards (a portion of sales will go Plan International Canada's Because I'm A Girl campaign to help promote gender equality and girls’ rights worldwide)