I must admit, before becoming a mother I didn’t think much of the annual celebration. The flowers, the brunch specials, it all seemed a little cliché. After all, shouldn’t we celebrate the moms in our lives every day? Well, yes, we absolutely should. But do we? Probably not, which is why Mother’s Day is a great reminder to turn the spotlight on all those who mother. If you’re looking for a little inspiration, we’ve rounded up some traditional and creative ways to celebrate the mom in your life.
Brunch, of course, is the classic Mother’s Day celebration. Here we’ve rounded up some delicious brunch options for dining in, taking out, or even making your own!
Terranea Resort is the perfect place to enjoy a gourmet Mother’s Day brunch from one of their many restaurants, bashi, catalina kitchen, Nelson’s, mar’sel or sea beans, all while taking in beautiful coastal views. They are also offering a special to-go menu, which includes a goddess salad, smoked salmon platter, quiche and rhubarb toast soufflé for those wanting a more private dining experience. Ordering deadline for to-go meals is May 6 at 5 p.m.
Another scenic option is Mother’s Day brunch at Waterman’s Harbor in Dana Point. The seafood restaurant will feature traditional brunch items like stuffed French toast and chicken and waffles, along with special seafood dishes like seafood frittata and seafood breakfast paella. Any mom dining at the restaurant will receive complimentary flowers on their special day.
Pick up breakfast-in-bed essentials from The Original Farmers Market, L.A.’s eclectic collection of gourmet markets and restaurants. Or dine at the historic Du-Pars, offering a special all-day Mother’s Day brunch special, including grilled salmon, pork tenderloin, and fruit pie. Du-pars is running its special May 6 through May 11.
For a different take on brunch, how about making a special meal for mom from scratch? The Institute of Culinary Education in Pasadena is offering a Family Mother’s Day Brunch virtual cooking class where families team up to prepare pancakes, baked egg strata and rainbow fruit skewers with honey-yogurt sauce. Confident in your cooking skills? Create one of the Mother’s Day brunch recipes from local restauranteur and “hospitality hero” Almir Araújo of El Segundo’s Tapizôn restaurant and really impress the mom in your life.
The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories at Santa Monica Place is excited to offer a special Mother’s Day promotion through May 3. Guests who spend $50 in the Gourmandise shop will receive a voucher for a free virtual cooking class of their choice. The Gourmandise School offers a range of live interactive online cooking classes led by a renowned Gourmandise chef who will walk participants through a specialized dish in the comfort of their own kitchen. In addition, The Gourmandise School is also offering a Parent & Child: Mother’s Day Brunch class on Saturday, May 8 at 10 a.m. This class gives moms a chance to spend some quality time with their child in the kitchen, whipping up a delicious meal via Zoom. In this session, guests will learn how to make fresh herbed egg scramble and scrumptious strawberry shortcake from the comfort of their own home. Registration for this online class is available on the school’s online calendar.
The Gourmandise School also offers gift certificates that make a great Mother’s Day gift for moms who love to cook. Gift certificates can be used for any online class or in-person private session with no expiration date and can be purchased online on the school’s website.
After brunch, you can roll right into afternoon tea with a unique Mother’s Day Tea in a Garden experience from Healing Gardens, a marketplace that connects private gardens and farms throughout L.A. with people from the community. Families can enjoy up to two hours of private time in a unique organic garden. The experience includes a complete tea spread with a specially curated tablescape, a planting activity, a take home bouquet by the local garden host and a seasonal harvest picking from select gardens.
If you’re looking for a more traditional tea experience, Tangata Restaurant at The Bowers Museum is hosting Mother’s Day High Tea. Guests can enjoy classic tea service with bite-sized sweet and savory treats. Turn it into an all-day affair with a visit to The Bowers Museum’s special exhibit, “Inside the Walt Disney Archives: 50 Years of Preserving Magic,” where mothers and grandmothers receive free general admission and discounted $10 tickets to the Disney exhibit.
Since L.A. has no shortage of perfect weather, another great way to celebrate Mother’s Day is to enjoy the outdoors. Take in some live performances from local musicians, hop on a coastal cruise, or spend the afternoon strolling downtown’s many shops and cafes.
L.A.’s repurposed historic urban commercial district, ROW DTLA, is offering a weekend-long celebration, including hand-tied flower arrangements from Lenita by Grita Flower Truck Pop-Up and a special outdoor Mother’s Day pottery class from Still Life Ceramics. Other retailers will have special Mother’s Day offerings like free Miso de Leche cookies at Pikunico.
Glassell Park will host local kids’ music school’s MiniBop for “I Love You Mama,” an interactive family-friendly outdoor music event. The sing-along style gathering will feature kid-friendly songs, mini-instruments and individually wrapped pastries from neighboring bakery, Lemon Poppy Kitchen.
If you’re looking for some “grown up” tunes, head over to Dana Point Harbor’s Love Wall for live music, featuring singer-songwriter Lauren Black. Get the full Dana Point experience and set sail with Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching for a two-hour cruise along Laguna Beach’s coastline. Guests receive a “MOMosa” or Champagne and breakfast boxes filled with muffins and fruit.
Quality family time is wonderful, but sometimes all a mom wants is a moment to herself for a little self-care. The free digital fitness platform, FitOn, makes it easy for busy moms to fit in that necessary “me time.” On Mother’s Day they will release a FitOn Like a Mom Challenge, which will include meditations and workouts from fellow moms. These accessible at-home workouts and meditations are the perfect excuse to get outside to move your body and quiet your mind.
And, finally, flowers. As cliché as I thought a Mother’s Day bouquet is, I would be delighted to receive a floral arrangement, especially if it was created by my loved ones. Marisa Scarda and Mario Sandoval, owners of Natural Simplicity and recently named “Hospitality Heroes” by the City of El Segundo, share their tips to create the perfect DIY Mother’s Day floral arrangement.
Tip 1: Pick Mom’s Favorite Flower
Whether it’s sunflowers, daisies, or hydrangeas- select your mom’s favorite flower as the focal point of your arrangement. Larger flowers make a great focal point, and you only need one or two. If you’re unsure of her favorite flower, use a large flower in her favorite color. The purpose of the focal point is to give the arrangement stability and immediately attract attention.
Tip 2: Choose Your Accents & Fillers
After you’ve selected your focal point flower, you should pick your complimentary flowers and fillers. Your accent flowers should compliment the focal point in color and shape and help fill the arrangement. Some great accent flowers you can use are rose spray, heather, baby’s breath and mums. Delphinium and snapdragon are great for adding height to your arrangement. You’ll also want to add fillers (greenery) like sword fern (or other varieties of fern), bells of Ireland, dusty miller, eucalyptus, and Italian ruscus. You can even use some unexpected botanical elements like pomegranates or succulents.
Tip 3: Trim and Prune
Now that you have your focal point flower, accent flowers and filler; it’s time to prepare your stems by trimming to the desired length (based on the height of your vase), making sure to do so at an angle. Trimming the stems at an angle ensures that the stems do not sit flat along the bottom of the vase, which blocks water from absorbing. Add your flowers to water immediately after trimming, and remove any foliage that is on the lower part of your stems, to keep the leaves from sitting in your vase water (which will grow bacteria and result in your florals dying more quickly).
Tip 4: Choose Your Vessel and Arrange
Here’s another opportunity to personalize for mom (and let your creativity shine). You can use a myriad vessels for displaying mom’s arrangement, from an antique teapot or tea cup to mason jars, watering cans, and even pitchers. Almost anything can be turned into a flower vase, so pick something that reflects her unique personality! Always start with a clean vase and don’t just rinse, use soap and water. If you’ve chosen a short vase or one with a wide opening, before you start arranging your flowers and accents, grab some clear tape and create a grid-shaped pattern over the opening of your vase. This gives your arrangement structure and will encourage the flowers to stand up, instead of flopping over to the sides of the vase. Now, you are ready to fill your vase! Start with placing your greenery around the edge of the vase, then place your focal flower and start filling in with your accent flowers.
Tip 5: Check for Balance
After you’ve completed your mom’s arrangement, check for symmetry and balance. This doesn’t mean that each side of your vase should be a direct match, but rather that one side’s color or texture is offset by an equal element on the other side. If one of your flowers looks or feels out of balance, just try placing in another area of mom’s arrangement until you find equal eye attention on both sides of the arrangement.
And, voila! Mom will be so happy with your beautiful floral arrangement.