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What to Do on Mother’s Day in Chicago

Mother and daughter lie on the ground

It’s been a tough year for us all and the value of spending time with family at the moment has only been heightened. So this is the perfect excuse to go all out this Mother’s Day and really spoil your mom! There are plenty of activities for you to do on Mother’s Day in Chicago and we will be sure to give you an idea for people of all interests!

Here is the Tours & Boats ultimate guide to Mother’s Day activities in Chicago.

Special Brunch or Lunch

There’s nothing quite like a scrumptious plate of food to tell someone how much they mean to you and Mother’s Day is the perfect excuse to treat your dear mom to a special meal. Whether that means a Mother’s Day brunch Chicago-style as you fuel up before a day of fun around the Windy City, or a hearty lunch after using up all your energy during your morning with your mom. Here are our top recommendations for where to take your mother.

If you’re looking for a stylish, laid-back spot serving a wide range of brunch options, Summer House at Santa Monica is the ideal place for you. Expect dishes such as breakfast tostadas, short-rib hash, fluffy buttermilk pancakes, and crispy chicken biscuit in this West-Coast inspired joint. They are operating at reduced capacity and following strict COVID protocols to ensure you and your mom can safely enjoy your breakfast!

If you’ve planned a day on the move, grab a deli lunch from Tempesta Market. The Italian, family-run hot spot has received glowing reviews from foodies such as the Bon Appetit group, making it a must-try on the where to eat in Chicago list. Treat your mom to one of their killer sandwiches filled with their in-house cured charcuterie or a deli item like the chicken and dumplings.

Go Green

As spring heads into the home straight and leaves are beginning to bloom, we are all craving a little extra plant time. Why not treat your mom to an afternoon in the Garfield Park Conservatory. We are big fans of this tropical paradise and never miss an opportunity to visit. Bear in mind that in these pandemic times, a reservation is required so reserve your spot now!

If you prefer to keep your distance from public places, take a virtual tour of some of the world’s most beautiful gardens. You and your mom can virtually travel over to Europe and see the tulips at  Keukenhof Amsterdam or get inspired at Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny, Normandy. In Giverny, see the waterlily pond that inspired one of his most famous paintings and the abundance of flowers and natural beauty that often make an appearance in his masterpieces.

Take Your Mom Down the River

Enjoy the fresh air in the best way possible and book a place for you and your mom on our Mother’s Day special of the best Chicago architecture boat tour. Imagine you and your mom drifting down the Chicago River, bonding over the beautiful Windy City skyline and pointing out your favorite buildings. If you need further persuading on why we’re the go-to Chicago boat tour operator, contact us today!

Take a Bike Ride

Get your mama out and about on one of the divvy e-bikes. You can go for a spin around the city on one of the many trails, why not head out on the 16-mile North Branch Trail? The end of the trail loops around the Skokie lagoons, which will be in full spring bloom. There’s no excuse for your mom to say no when the divvy bikes have electric pedal assist.

Another of our favorite trails is the Lakefront Trail which is perfect if you want to organize a lakeside picnic lunch for your mom.

Hunt Down Antiques

If your mom loves a bargain or needs some retail therapy with a quirky twist, take her down to the Woolly Mammoth on Mother’s Day. Spend an afternoon perusing the weird and wonderful collections at this eclectic store on West Foster Avenue. Share a laugh over the strange forms of taxidermy and pour over old maps together. The store is open from 12-5 PM on Sundays so you can browse to your heart´s content.

Paint Pottery

After the stressful 12 months we’ve all had, there´s nothing better than spending some chill time with your mom, and painting pottery is the ultimate activity to unwind. What’s more, if you book a painting session over at Glazed Expressions, not only can you paint a special gift for your mom, it’s also BYOB, so you can bring a special bottle of something you both like. Picture the two of you painting away while you share a bottle of red on a beautiful spring afternoon.

Mother’s Day in Chicago is a special day, especially with the arrival of spring. Celebrate getting through the past 12 months of the pandemic with your beloved mom and show her how much she means to you with an extra special mother´s day activity.

As Tours & Boats starts to reopen,  we are looking forward to seeing guests again and showing them parts of Chicago they may have never noticed. Get in touch if you are interested in knowing more about what tours we’ll be offering as the season starts.


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