10 Fun Ways to Spend Time With Mom on Mother’s Day

From cooking classes to glammy photos, chocolate tours to a designer showhouse, we've got ideas for spending time with mom covered.

  1. A Mansion fit for a mom
    The Mansion in May, an interior design showhouse put on by the Women’s Association of Morristown Medical Center, is a must-see of old-world architecture with gorgeously revamped designer  interiors. This year’s feat is at Alnwick Hall in Morristown. Tour the astounding grounds and rooms, nosh at Canfield Cafe (a pop-up eatery catered by David Ellis Events) and shop the slew of boutiques to top off a lovely afternoon. Tickets are $50 at mansioninmay.org.

    Image courtesy of WAMMC

  2. See what’s in bloom
    It’s May and the Garden State is flowering magnificently; the perfect time to partake in a garden walk. One of our perennial faves, Presby Memorial Iris Gardens in Montclair, is offering a gourmet box lunch on Mother’s Day from noon until 2 pm. There will be live jazz, Lisa Palombo, a contemporary American impressionist, will be exhibiting paintings in the Walther house and the Bloom Room gift shop will be open. presbyirisgardens.org/wordpress/?p=2645

    Presby Iris Gardens

    Or take mom for a stroll through the blossoms at Peony’s Envy a 7-acre flower farm in Bernardsville. More than 500 varieties of peonies are on display through June. Garden access is $5 per person and the nursery offers potted blooms and cut flowers. http://www.peonysenvy.com/


    Peony’s Envy


  3. Roll the dice on a day in Atlantic City
    Zip down to AC for the day. Hit the slots or be a big roller at the table games. Go on May 13 (the day before Mother’s Day) and check out the annual Mother’s Day concert at Boardwalk Hall. This year’s lineup includes Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Gladys Knight and more. Tickets are $25. http://www.boardwalkhall.com/events/detail/annual-mothers-day-music-festival-1

    Atlantic City


  4. Play dress up
    Make mom feel like a star with a glamorous photo shoot at Monica Hahn Studio in Bernardsville. This day of fun includes a beauty makeover and fully guided photo shoot. Bring wardrobe changes or raid the prop closet at the studio. The photo shoot includes a framed 14″ x 18″ portrait for a special rate of $250 (Use promo code NJMonthly) Join in the fun with your mom for an additional $125 (including hair and makeup).  For more information, and to check out the before and afters, visit monicahahnphotography.com.

    Monica Hahn Photography Studio


  5. Shop, Stroll and Sip  your way through Lambertville
    This quaint little river town is chock-full of antique shops (People’s Store, Golden Nugget Antique Flea Market) home goods stores (Blue Raccoon and Zinc Home and Garden) and clothing shops for men and women (Greene Street). Lunch on healthy gourmet eats at Lilly’s on the Canal, or try out the polished, farm-to-table menu at Hamilton’s Grill Room. Finish the day with a walk along the Delaware River.

    Downtown Lambertville


  6. Just add Chocolate
    Everyone’s favorite confection has a museum in its honor at Michel Cluizel Chocolatrium in West Berlin. You’ll have to book in advance for a weekend, but this tasty tour is a sweet deal. One-to-two hour tours at the Chocolatrium will walk you through the evolution of chocolate through the ages. Bring a bottle of your favorite wine along and your guide will help you pair it. Visit on a weekday to stock up on bon-bons, macarons and chocolate bars to take home from the retail shop. cluizel.us

    Take a chocolate tour at Michel Cluizel Chocolatrium in West Berlin.

  7. Show Off
    Visit one of NJ’s many playhouses for a show. This year through June 4th, the McCarter Theater in Princeton is presenting Intimate Apparel, a show from Pulitzer-Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage. The take follows the life of an African-American seamstress who sews beautiful trousseaus for wealthy clients while dreaming of a day that she will have a love of her own.
    Hitting theaters just in time for Mother’s Day, Snatched is a laugh-a-minute comedy about a fictional mother/daughter duo (Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn) who have a hilarious escapade when they are kidnapped abroad.
  8. Take A  Staycation
    Relax with a massage, facial or mani/pedi at a near by day spa. At the Eforea at the Hilton Short Hills, it’s easy to make a day of it. Book a treatment (or two!). Spa guests have full access to the grand indoor pool, so you can spend the afternoon lounging there, nosh on treats from the spa menu and enjoy a glass of champagne. http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/new-jersey/hilton-short-hills-EWRSHHH/spa/spa.html.

    The Eforea Spa at the Hilton Short Hills


  9. Get Cooking
    Gourmet cooking classes are a terrific way to expand your culinary skills, have fun spending time with mom—and you get to eat the fruits of your labor! At Heirloom Kitchen in Old Bridge, Mother’s Day’s Mom & Me cooking class with cookbook author Melina Hammer, starts at 11 am for ages 8 and over. ($90 per person)
    At The Farm Cooking School in Titusville, chef Shelley Wiseman and guests will be preparing fresh ravioli with seasonal produce. Yum! ($95 per person)

    The Farm Cooking School in Titusville

  10. Wine, wine, wine
    Alba Vineyard in Milford is hosting a special Mother’s Day afternoon with live music, wine tours, craft vendors, children’s activities, and food for purchase (wood-fired pizza by Osteria Morini, ice cream from Coldstone Creamery and goodies from House of Cupcakes). Bring the entire family and make a day of it. Adults $15 (wine tastings are an additional $10); ages 13-20, $5; children under 12 are free. No reservations; lawn chairs, beach umbrellas and blankets are welcome.

    Alba Vineyards in Milford


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