Mother's Day Oakland & Berkeley

East Bay Mother’s Day Guide

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 14 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 is: Does mom want Alone Time, Family Time, or Some Combination? 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.

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 $34 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 she can just show up and enjoy with maximum energy for frolicking (snacks, diapers, wipes, layers, water, sunscreen, etc.).

Do something together over Mother Day Weekend (family-friendly happenings)

Saturday, May 13

10:00 am - 1:00 pm Free Kids’ Craft: Paint-A-Pot for Mother's Day at Outdoor Supply Hardware, Berkeley
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Blankets & Blockbusters - A Mother’s Day Celebration at Thrive City
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm Cookies & Cards for Mom 2023 at Fourth Street Shops
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm Mother's Day Hats and High Tea at

Sunday, May 14 – Mother’s Day

10:00 am - 5:00 pm Día de las Madres / Mother's Day 2023 Community Day at Exploratorium
10:00 am - 5:00 pm Free Admission for Moms at Charles M. Schulz Museum
11:00 am - 10:00 pm Free Ice Cream for Moms at Fentons Creamery
11:00 am - 3:00 pm Mother's Day on the Farm at Ardenwood Historic Farm
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm Mother's Day at Bay Street Emeryville at Bay Street
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm Drop-In Craft Workshop: Mother's Day Floral Frame at Michaels, San Leandro

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

Sunday, May 7, 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 $75. Kids under 16 are free. Register in advance.

Flower Crowns Workshop @ Mannequin Madness, Oakland

Sunday, May 7 or May 14, 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 welcome to create real flower crowns before a special photoshoot together. $65 for adults $45 for kids 8-16. Register in advance.

Afternoon Tea @ Malaya Tea Room, Alameda.

Saturday, May 13, or Sunday, May 14. 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!

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 14, 10 am or 2 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 >

Mother’s Day Tea Party, Alameda

Sunday, May 14, 10 am. Paint your own teapot, cups and saucers at this artistic event. Refreshments will be served. Options start at $69 for 1 adult + 1 child. Reserve Your Spot >

Oakland A’s vs. Texas Rangers, Oakland

Sunday, May 14, 1:07 pm. Enjoy an afternoon baseball game in Oakland. On Mother’s Day, the earliest arriving fans get a cute A’s belt bag. There’s also a game on Saturday afternoon. Prices vary. Purchase tickets >

Take a hike

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 >>

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.

Gifts children can make for Mom (with help)

DIY Crafts at Michaels @ many locations

Sunday, May 7, or Sunday, May 14. Kids can make mom an incredibly sweet handmade gift for $0. All supplies provided. No registration is required.

DIY Wishbook and other stuff you can put together at home!

The homemade coupon book is a classic for a reason. Gift mom with things she loves now (foot rub, favorite dinner, sleeping in, desserts, walk 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 >

Kid craft projects. Made with love and their own messy handwriting, adorable craft projects. #1 Mom, and done!

Handmade 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, 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

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.

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.

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

Wellness time. Massage mom’s busy brain with stress-reducing services at the Bay Area Brain Spa on Solano Ave.

Succulent garden. For all the materials and instructions to make a beautiful succulent arrangement just like Andre’s Living Art, visit Broadway Terrace Nursery. Kits are $75 to $85 and include everything you need.

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!

filoli logo


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