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16 creative (and mostly free) things to do on Mother’s Day!

It’s the time of year when every flower in New England looks like it’s bursting in bloom. In and around Wellesley, Weston, Needham and Newton it’s the perfect time to do something special for Mother’s Day!

There’s something here for everyone. The best part – It doesn’t have to be expensive. Check out these suggestions, from a stroll around the lake to a delicious lunch at one of Greater Boston’s best haunts.

Soak up the Sunshine

Lake Waban, Wellesley

Photo: Ivylucia Blogspot

Spacious, clean and a serene escape right in our backyard, Lake Waban is a treasure for residents of Wellesley. This three-mile lightly trafficked trail, located on the Wellesley College campus, is the perfect distance even for little ones.

Just remember, that is it private property so you’ll need to stick to the main loop. Bicycles are not allowed.

Parking at 727 Washington Street. Free admission.

The Gardens at Elm Bank, Wellesley

Photo: Pinterest

Probably most famous for hosting dreamy weddings, The Gardens at Elm Bank are also the ideal place to soak up a beautiful spring day. With over 36 acres of open fields and meadows, formal gardens and streams, The Gardens at Elm Bank are expertly designed to educate visitors on the importance of horticulture while also dazzling with its expert landscaping.

Visiting with little ones in tow? Be sure to explore Weezie’s Children’s Garden. This whimsical garden is designed as a series of small spiraling gardens, each with its own theme and unique way of engaging senses.

900 Washington Street. $10 admission. Free admission for members.

Charles River Peninsula, Needham


Ready to take your Mother’s Day adventure offshore? Make the most of the day by kayaking or canoeing at the Charles River Peninsula. This unique geographic gem plays an important role in protecting the beauty and environmental value of the upper Charles River corridor.

Whether you opt to kayak or explore the winding trails, you’re never far from the stunning, pastoral scenery.

Fisher Street. Free admission

Volante Farms, Needham

Photo: Tripadvisor

Owned and operated by the fourth generation of the Volante family, has been a place for all seasons for over a century. Just minutes from downtown Boston, their thirty acres grow a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and local produce.

As spring continues to blossom, venture into Volante’s state-of-the-art greenhouse offering an almost endless variety for home gardeners. If digging your hands into the dirt isn’t her idea of a perfect Sunday, treat her to a delicious lunch at the Deli.

292 Forest St. Prices vary.

Echo Bridge, Newton and Needham

Photo: Wikipedia

Spanning the Charles River between Needham to Newton Upper Falls, at the time of its construction this bridge was the second longest masonry arch in the country. Today, people still flock to the bridge due to the novelty of its amazing echo.

Venture down to the bottom set of stairs that lead underneath the bridge. You’ll experience an impressive echo that returns up to 15 reverberations of the human voice. Not sure how crisp that sound is? Make sure to experience it for yourself!

Cat Rock Park, Weston


Photo: Pinterest

Why not include everyone in the Mother’s Day celebrations? Take your mom and your four-legged family member out for an off leash day of adventure at Cat Rock Park. This dog-friendly park has everything that both pups and their owners will love, including winding trails and plenty of ponds.

Pamper Her

Bella Santé, Wellesley

Photo: Pinterest

If pampering is more to your Mom’s liking, a treatment at Bella Santé is the ideal option. Voted as one of the best spas in the Greater Boston area, Bella Santé believes every mom deserves some more “me time.”

Not sure what spa services to surprise her with? Whether she prefers a spring awakening facial or a deep tissue massage, Bella Santé’s staff can help you create a full-day that is completely centered around her.

190 Linden St. Prices vary.

Experience the Arts

The Davis Museum or a spring concert at Wellesley College

Photo: Pinterest

One of the highlights of living close to a prestigious institution like Wellesley College is the amazing art and music exhibits offered year-round. As one of the oldest academic museums in the U.S., the Davis Museum has over 11,000 objects, from paintings, sculpture, photography and more.

You can also enjoy one of the many world-class performances offered at the Jewels Art Center. Ranging from classical to jazz, early music to electronic, their concert series brings a world of music right to the heart of Wellesley. While there are no shows currently planned for Mother’s Day, it’s a great occasion to surprise her with tickets to an upcoming show.

106 Central Street. Free unless otherwise noted.

Superluxe, Chestnut Hill

Photo: Website

When you decide to check out a movie at Superluxe, don’t expect your typical movie theater experience. This theater takes ‘sit back and relax’ to the next level. Mom will love kicking back in the super plush leather seats and picking something delicious off the full in-theatre dining menu. If you really want to make her feel special, upgrade to the Superluxe Seating option and have your food and drinks delivered to your seat!

55 Boylston St. Prices vary depending on your seating section.

Little Free Library Boxes, Wellesley, Needham, Newton

Photo: Pinterest

When you drop off a book at the Little Free Library boxes, you can make your celebration more than just gifts and flowers. You’ve probably seen these birdhouse-looking book-stops pop up around your neighborhood. They are the perfect way to share a great read with your neighbors and maybe find you and your mom a great page-turner!

Locations vary. Free

Grab a Bite to Eat

Give your mom a break from shopping-cooking-dishes-carpool routine by treating her to a Mother’s Day brunch.

Alta Strada, Wellesley

Photo: Trip Advisor

Opened in 2007 as the “dream restaurant” that chef/owner Michael Schlow spent years planning, Alta Strada’s standard brunch menu is raved about for its reasonable prices and delicious options. Soft scrambled eggs, chopped antipasti salad, fettuccine … there’s something for everyone. Don’t forget to save room for the famous whipped ricotta vanilla bean cheesecake.

Café Mangal, Wellesley

Photo: Website

If you’re looking for a lighter option, check out the Mediterranean American fusion at Café Mangal. For almost two decades, the Ozargun family has been serving up the area’s best Turkish inspired dishes. Whether your mom prefers an arugula salad with poached figs & prosciutto di Parma or a homemade Turkish borek, their choices are superb.

Cook, Needham or Newton

Photo: Pinterest

For a mom who appreciates the art of comfort food, make a Mother’s Day reservation at Cook. This warm, new American eatery offers a people-pleasing selection of creative snacks and comfort food. The menu spans from simple to complex, and it’s always delicious!

Little Big Diner, Newton

Photo: Website

Consider Mom a foodie? Then she needs to try the soulful classics and different Eastern Asia inspired eats at Little Big Diner. Whether it’s the ‘Hawaiian style burger’ or the ultra ramen, the chefs at Little Big Diner make adventurous eating taste good.

Dairy Joy, Weston

Photo: Facebook

Nothing says spring is here quite like the seasonal opening of Dairy Joy. Say goodbye to the sprinkles of snow with a handful of jimmies on their delicious soft serve. Along with their famous ice cream, you can treat Mom to their full list of lunch menu options.

Wasik’s Cheese Shop, Wellesley

Photo: Instagram

If your mom’s idea of a perfect Mother’s Day is spent gathered around the table enjoying good food, wine and family Wasik’s Cheese Shop is a must-visit. This cozy shop has nothing but the best cheese, charcuterie, wine and gourmet products that Greater Wellesley has to offer. Stuck on what to buy? Make sure to seek out one of their specialists for recommendations, and bring home plenty!