For all but the most dedicated kids, playing it safe on Mother’s Day is generally the way to go. Even if you have the best mom on the planet – so great that you’ll be telling everyone on Facebook about her – you’re probably not going to go too far out of your way to plan a stellar day for your mom, you ingrate.
That means you’ll book a brunch at the same old spot you went to last year, and that’s just not cool. This year, repay Mom for all those times she bailed you out of jail and the fact that you don’t call her enough by taking her to one of these thoughtful, non-brunch options for a Mother’s Day celebration.
Mother’s Day mani-pedis at Hiatus Spa
5560 W. Lovers Lane, No. 250, Dallas; 6101 Chapel Hill Blvd., No. 102, Plano
You’ll have to take advantage of this ridiculously relaxing experience on Saturday, as they’re not open on Sundays, but it’s still a solid choice. The Mani-Pedi Retreat includes hanging out in a zero-gravity chair while enjoying a hand and foot massage, exfoliation and aromatherapy. When you leave, you’ll have fingers and toes freshly painted with organic, vegan-friendly polish.
Take a thrifting tour
There’s nothing (most) moms love more than shopping, especially if they can score a deal. Skip the perfunctory trip to NorthPark in favor of some of Dallas’ excellent vintage and thrift shops. Introduce Mom to the upscale wonders of Clothes Circuit (6105 Sherry Lane) in Highland Park and the exquisite weirdness of Dolly Python (1916 N. Haskell Ave.) in East Dallas. She’ll be especially impressed when she finds out that she’s thrifting where all the celebs — Karl Lagerfeld, ahem — go.
Picnic in the park
Using our handy-dandy guide, grab some fancy picnic supplies from Scardello (3511 Oak Lawn Ave.) and the Dallas Farmers Market (920 S. Harwood St.), a bottle of wine, and head to one of Dallas’ great green spaces. Klyde Warren Park is an obvious choice, but lunch overlooking White Rock Lake or Vitruvian Park are equally great options. If Mom’s particularly outdoorsy, pack your hiking boots for a walk around the trails.
Spend a day perusing the flowers at Ruibal’s
7219 E Grand Ave.
The Dallas Farmers Market will likely be packed on Mother’s Day, but Ruibal’s East Dallas outpost is a quieter place for Mom to shop. Take note of flowers and plants that she likes, and buy a few for her to take home. You’ll likely end up getting roped into doing some gardening work, but pour a margarita for your Mom and get to it. She deserves it.
Visit the Dallas Museum of Art
1717 N. Harwood St.
It’s an obvious choice, but if you want to show Mom a good time without shelling out too much cash, spend a day browsing the (free) permanent collection at the Dallas Museum of Art. Take a walk through the Nasher Sculpture Center (2001 Flora St.) before catching the Uptown trolley nearby for a visit to West Village for (window!) shopping and lunch.
Take the Swiss Avenue Home Tour
Whether your mom appreciates great architecture or just looking at pretty scenery, the annual Swiss Avenue Mother’s Day Home Tour is an excellent option. Mom can browse six of Dallas’ most gorgeous early 20th century homes, scope out an art fair and vintage car display, and enjoy free horse-drawn carriage rides through the neighborhood. More info here.
Check out the Cottonwood Art Festival
Cottonwood Park, 1301 W. Belt Line Road
Free admission and plenty of great art make this Richardson festival a solid choice for Mother’s Day. Hundreds of artists will showcase museum-quality work in 14 categories, including ceramics, mixed media, fiber, glass and jewelry. In addition to the art, you’ll also find live music, a great place to relax in Lakeside Courtyard, and food and booze for sale. To learn more, click here.
Watch Women of Wonder at Texas Discovery Gardens
3601 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.
Hang out in the beautiful Texas Discovery Gardens while enjoying the sounds of the Women’s Chorus of Dallas. Performances will occur throughout the day, alongside “touching stories” and a gorgeous butterfly release set to music. After the show, take a stroll down the streets of Downtown McKinney for shopping and cocktails.
Yoga at Klyde Warren Park
2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway
If your mom’s really into keeping fit, take her to Klyde Warren Park for a free yoga class from Exhale Dallas at 10 a.m. Don’t worry about bringing yoga mats — they’re provided — and treat yourselves to the food trucks afterward for a casual lunch al fresco.