Mother's Day Oakland & Berkeley

East Bay Mother’s Day Guide

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12 and there are as many ways to celebrate moms as there are moms in the world. We hope you can find just the right way to say, “Hey mama, thanks for all you put up with while raising me to be a decent human.”

Thanks to Filoli for sponsoring today’s guide to Mother’s Day. May is a peak time to see the most blooms including tulips, peonies, irises, wisteria, roses, and lavender. See what’s blooming now at Filoli.

weeping cherry blossoms and wisteria at filoli
Filoli’s Spring blooms include the courtyard of weeping cherry blossoms and wisteria | Photo: Filoli

The first decision point: Does mom want Alone Time, Family Time, or Some Combination? I asked the {510} Families team what they wanted most for Mother’s Day. Read on to find their responses highlighted in yellow.

“When my children were tiny, all I wanted was to spend time with them while still avoiding the three dreaded Ds of diapers, dishes, and discipline.” ~ Heather, Mom to 3 teens

Mother’s Day Activities for Together Time

Mother’s Day Outing @ Filoli, Woodside

Daily, 10 am to 5 pm. Moms and grandmas will enjoy walking among the flowers while children run “all over the place” in this 16-acre garden. Stop for lunch at the Quail Café, stroll in the Garden bursting with blooms, explore the historic House, adventure into the natural lands, and pick out the perfect gift at the Clock Tower Shop. Adult admission starts at $38 with discounts available for seniors, students, teachers, military, and children under 18. Children 5 years old and younger are free. See Filoli’s website for current admission prices. Reservations strongly recommended >>

3 siblings sitting in the garden together
See the tulips in bloom on Mother’s Day| Photo: Filoli

Pro-tip for family-together time: Dads and older kids, pack the bag for the day so Mama can show up for the outing and enjoy with maximum frolicking (we’re talking about snacks, diapers, wipes, layers, water, sunscreen, etc.).

Do-Together Outings for Mother’s Day Weekend

No Events Found

“All I want for Mother’s Day is to sleep in, take a long run, and get a haircut.” ~ Julie, Mom to 4 kids and a Labradoodle puppy

Mother’s Day Tea Party @ AKOMA Grand Market, Oakland

Sunday, May 5, 11 am – 3 pm. Brought to you by Black Cultural Zone, join a tea party, fashion affair, shopping, healing, and best hat competition. Tickets are $25 to $60. Kids under 16 are free. Register in advance.

Flower Crowns Workshop @ Mannequin Madness, Oakland

Sunday, May 5 or May 19, 2 pm – 3:30 pm. This is a combo gift and outing: Make a floral headdress or another wearable art piece at Mannequin Madness. Moms, grandmas, and children over age 5 are invited to create real flower crowns before a special photoshoot together. $60 for adults $45 for kids 8-16. Register in advance.

Afternoon Tea @ Malaya Tea Room, Alameda.

Saturday, May 11, or Sunday, May 12. Spend a lovely afternoon tea time for mom and the kids at Alameda’s Malaya Tea Room. The adult menu is $48 / Child menu is $38. Reservations are strongly recommended. Or try your best effort at home by assembling mini desserts, tiny sandwiches, and hot beverages on your finest dishes. Make it fancy, dress up a little!

“I wish for a nice quiet morning with a mimosa.” ~ Tiffany, Mom to a 5-year-old and 2-year-old twins

filoli spring cottage garden beds tulips grass
Find a spot among the tulips and cottage gardens for a sweet photo | Photo: Filoli

Mother’s Day Marina Cruise Brunch, Berkeley

Sunday, May 12, 10 am or 2:30 pm boarding. For a big splurge, try a memorable Bay cruise. Bottomless mimosas, plated brunch, and spectacular views of the Bay. $105 for adults (and kids over 12), $85 for children 4+. Reserve Your Spot >

“All I want for Mother’s Day is a whine-free hike with my kids and a margarita on a sunny patio.” ~ Maureen, Mom to 4 and 7-year-old girls

Mother’s Day Tea Party, Alameda

Sunday, May 12, 10 am. Paint a teapot, cups, and saucers at this artistic event. Refreshments will be served. Options start at $78 for 1 adult + 1 child pair. Reserve Your Spot >

Take a Hike Together

Outdoor adventure. Pick your favorite hike or outing and force the kids into a gentle “No whining, it is Mother’s Day” agreement. I find a pocket full of candy helps. Can you rally the kids for a longer hike with pancakes and amazing views? Other pretty places to explore include Tilden Park, Lake Merritt Garden, or the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

Find lots of beautiful, blooming gardens in the East Bay >>

Kayak on the Bay

Paddle and splash. Discover the new location of Sea Trek in Alameda with its family-friendly tours or check out any of the other fun places to kayak and stand-up paddleboard around our part of the Bay. Treat Mom to an outing with willing kids or untethered buddies.

“All I want for Mother’s Day is to sleep in, work out, and get a haircut.” ~ Michele, Mom to 6-year-old girl and 7-month-old boy

Explore Angel Island

Take the tram or use your feet. A day trip to Angel Island with kids is like a mini-vacation. Perfect for a weekend adventure or day off from school, the trip has a little something for everyone on your list: a ferry ride, outdoor time, food and drinks, history, beach, AND beautiful scenery. Sound good? Let’s go to Angel Island with the family!

Angel Island Group Photo
Views from Angel Island’s Camp Reynolds cannot be beaten! | Photo: Maureen Burke

Float away at Lake Chabot

Rent a boat, large or small. There are kayaks for active families, pedal boats for tweens, pontoon boats for relaxing plus trails to enjoy the day. Find something perfect for your energy level and budget. Check availability.

“I wish for a new orchid and to not have to cook all day.” ~ Carol, Mom to 2 teen boys

Gifts children can make for Mom (with help)

The homemade coupon book is a classic for a reason. Gift Mom with things she loves now (foot rub, favorite dinner, sleeping in, desserts, walking together, control of remote, alone time, snuggles, breakfast in bed) and less of what she doesn’t (chores help of all kinds, instant Sibs Stop Fighting ticket, wash the car, laundry all day, etc.) with a few ideas for future treats (girls’ night out, a theater visit, a massage!). You design it because you know Mom best. Here’s a template if you’re not creative in that way >

Kids’ adorable craft projects. Made with love and their messy handwriting on a mug, tote bag, or certificate: #1 Mom, and done!

Handmade (temporary) tee shirts. This one is pretty easy: grab some WASHABLE markers and write a message of love on the kids’ clothes or hers: I love Mom, Mom Rules, Mother of Dragons, Queen for a Day, etc.

rose garden two parents and two children at filoli
The roses are in bloom in time for Mother’s Day | Photo: Gino de Grandis for Filoli

“For Mother’s Day, I want to sleep in, wake up to breakfast in bed, and go for a whole day without sibling fights.” ~ Parul, Mom to 2

Gift Ideas to Buy for Mom

Paint some kiddo handprints on a lovely keepsake mug at Brushstrokes in Berkeley or Color Me Mine in Alameda. My family has a few of these and I tell my husband that every year, he only needs to fill it with chocolate (but like really good chocolate!)

Tickets. Find some upcoming performances and tie the tickets up with a ribbon.

Matching pajamas. Why save Family Matching PJs for the wintertime? I’ve been loving my pajamas from Primary >

Book a photography session with a local family photographer. Find a great location and date for a family picture to make Mom smile all year.

Surprise Mom and Grandma with a framed print of a photo they already love. Or a puzzle, memory game, or tote bag from her favorite pictures.

“I want the kids to take initiative on a card or gift (they are old enough to know it’s Mother’s Day!).” ~ Whitney, Mom to 2 teens

Deluxe spa treatment. Treat mom to an unforgettable Mother’s Day with a day of pampering at her favorite spa.

Plant a garden. Do the heavy lifting so Mom can have a little bit of green space. This idea can be small or large depending on your imagination, outdoor space, and resources so scale it up or down as needed. I would like about three bags of soil and some seedlings. Please and thank you. Tips on gardening with kids locally >

Share the love. For the woman who doesn’t need anything, make a donation to one of our favorite local non-profits, Help A Mother Out, raising funds to provide diapers to moms in need.

Special thanks to Filoli for sponsoring today’s guide to Mother’s Day celebrations and treating some of our team to a recent walk through the gorgeous grounds. Give Mom a year’s worth of memories and unique experiences with a Filoli gift membership!

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2 thoughts on “East Bay Mother’s Day Guide”

  1. Second Sundays for Families is a program at SFMOMA featuring art-making and storytelling around a different theme each month. In honor of Mother’s Day, a card-making art project will be inspired by artworks from around the museum paired with “Smoothed Over with Feeling” by Vanessa Hope Schneider & Carissa Potter Carlson, published by People I’ve Loved. Vanessa Hope Schneider will give a brief reading at 1 pm at the Koret Education Center Multipurpose Room.

    “Smoothed Over with Feeling” is a collection of short poems and drawings celebrating new parents’ strength, complex emotions, and ongoing creativity. Using an interdisciplinary approach, Vanessa Hope Schneider and Carissa Potter Carlson take on the impossible task of capturing early parenthood by providing an honest artistic voice.

    What: Second Sunday: Family with poet Vaness Hope Schneider
    When: Sunday, May 12, 10:30 – 3 pm with a short reading at 1 pm
    Where: SFMOMA (Koret Education Center Multipurpose Room) 151 Third St, San Francisco, CA 94103
    Cost: The event is free, to access the museum beyond the Koret Education Center, a ticket is needed: free for 18 and under, $30 for Adults / $25 for Seniors (65 and older)

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