Wine trails, music festivals, exquisite gardens and more are certain to make mom’s day memorable.
1. Sip tea
When in doubt, pinky out! Who says London is the only tea lover’s paradise? Spend Mother’s Day sipping tea at one of New Jersey’s tempting tea houses. From fancy-schmancy Victorian tea houses to cozy downtown corner cafés, find a spot near you to enjoy a warm cup with mom. Be sure to check if tickets or reservations are necessary, as tea houses are a popular Mother’s Day locale.
2. Enjoy brunch at a local coffee house
Is coffee mom’s caffeine of choice? Pop in to one of New Jersey’s best coffeehouses for a cuppa joe and some brunch fare. Northern favorites include &Grain (Garwood), Bluestone Coffee Company (Montclair) and Rockn’ Joe (with 5 North Jersey locations). In Central Jersey, popular spots like Coffee Corral (Red Bank), which offers a gluten-free breakfast menu, and Hidden Grounds (New Brunswick) will certainly feed mom’s fancy (and her belly). And in South Jersey, breakfast at Casciano Coffee (Hammonton) comes with a drink of your choice, or choose between a breakfast or lunch menu at Philadelphia-based Saxby’s Coffee (Haddonfield).
3. Hop along New Jersey’s wine trails
They say coffee keeps you busy until it’s time to drink wine. Take mom on a mini getaway and travel through New Jersey’s wine country on any of the state’s five wine trails, which boast 35 wineries in total. Wine not, right? On May 9th and 10th, The Garden State Growers Association will be hosting the Mother’s Day Wine Trail. Old York Cellars (Ringoes), Valenzano Winery (Shamong), Sharrott Winery (Hammonton) and Bellview Winery (Landisville) are among the 34 wineries participating. Unionville Vineyards, just down the road from Old York Cellars, will also be hosting its Annual Spring Wine Festival from 12-6 PM. For the active bunch, book a Pour and Pedal tour to explore Jersey’s wineries and get a healthy bike ride.
4. Visit a public garden or arboretum
Don’t just give mom a bouquet this year. Instead, take her straight to the source. Sayen Botanical Gardens in Hamilton Township is hosting its annual Azalea Festival from 10 AM to 4 PM. Spend the day strolling through the beautifully landscaped Mercer County park, which features more than 250,000 blooming bulbs. Or, prance through peonies and wander among wildflowers at one of New Jersey Monthly‘s favorite flowery locations. For a full list of New Jersey’s public gardens, be sure to check out Garden State Gardens.
5. Have a screaming time at an amusement park
Jenkinson’s Amusement Park and Aquarium (Point Pleasant) and Morey’s Piers (Wildwood) are both honoring moms with their annual Mother’s Ride Free events. At Jenkinson’s, mom will get free admission to the aquarium, funhouse, mini golf and amusement park rides with a paying child. From 1 to 4 PM, kids can also participate in a ‘make and take’ craft event. And, at Morey’s Mariner and Surfside Piers, moms can pick up their complimentary wristbands from 12 to 5 PM. Complimentary tea and cookies will also be offered near the Tea Cups attraction from 12 to 2 PM, where kids can decorate a cookie for mom at the decoration station.
6. Swim with the fishes
Well, maybe not. But this Mother’s Day Weekend, Adventure Aquarium in Camden invites you to its Penguin Weekend. All activities are free with the price of admission. Visitors can look forward to meeting Penguin Island’s more than 20 residents. The aquarium also promises appearances from its junior penguin Goblin and his penguin mama, Diane. Check out this list for more egg-ceptionally egg-centric things to do in NJ.
7. Attend a music festival at Boardwalk Hall
Okay, so this is actually happening on May 9th, but shouldn’t we celebrate mom all weekend? Don’t miss performances by The Isley Brothers, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Fantasia and Eric Benet in the 7th Annual Mother’s Day Music Festival. The event will take place at the famed Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. This is a ticketed event so be sure to buy in advance.
8. Enjoy a performance at a local theater
Take mom on a journey to the past. Pat Benatar (whose hits include “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “Love is a Battlefield”) and husband, Neil Giraldo, share the stage for their 35th Anniversary tour. The duo will perform at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown at 8 PM. Or, join Carol Burnett of The Carol Burnett Show for a nostalgic evening at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood at 7 PM. Tickets for both are available in advance.
9. Get cultured at the Grounds for Sculpture
Spend Mother’s Day at Hamilton Township’s Grounds for Sculpture, a 42-acre park and museum at the former New Jersey State Fairgrounds. Wander through the park’s picturesque grounds, reminiscent of a Monet painting, to see contemporary sculptures in two sessions: 10 AM to 2 PM & 2 PM to 6 PM. Because it’s one of the most popular days to visit, Grounds for Sculpture requires visitors to buy tickets ($20 each) in advance on its website.
10. Take a hike
The miles of New Jersey trails are seemingly endless. Find a nearby path and get out there already! Here are just a view suggestions. For breathtaking views, hike up Mount Tammany to gaze down at the Delaware River. Or climb the steep Stairway to Heaven section of the Appalachian Trail for a sprawling view of Vernon. If solitude is what you’re seeking, take a ‘walk on the wild side’ in the Pinelands. For New York City skyline views, spend the day hiking the cliffs at Palisades Interstate Park. And, for even more outdoor adventure ideas, check out our list of national park systems in New Jersey.
What are your favorite Mother’s Day activities? Share in the comments!Click here to leave a comment