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14 Things to do with Mom

Mother's Day is just around the corner. As May 14 approaches, here are 14 local events and activities that should make for a memorable day, whether it's on Mother's Day or leading up to the celebration.

1. Take a Cruise to Mount Vernon

Potomac River Boat Company

205 The Strand

703-548-9000

Admission: $32 per person, which includes admission to Mount Vernon

It’s amazing how many people live near Mount Vernon but have never taken the time to go. What? Your Mom has never been? Take her on an unforgettable cruse down the Potomac River and visit Mount Vernon as Washington’s friends did — coming and going by boat. A knowledgeable captain will point out spots of interest along the way. The boat ride and plantation visit is a great way to spend time with Mom while enjoying nature paths, wonderful gardens and one of America’s historic treasures.

2. Enjoy a Picnic

George Washington Memorial Parkway

703-289-2500

Admission: free

The landscaped parkway was built in 1932 to commemorate the 200 anniversary of Washington’s birth. It connects Mount Vernon to the nation’s capital, eventually leading to the Great Falls of the Potomac. The parkway offers many picnic areas where you and Mom can enjoy majestic views of the river.

3. Adopt a Cat

King Street Cats

213 King Street

703-836-6686

Sunday hours: 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Admission: free

Does Mom love cats? Is she lonely? Adopt a homeless cat from King Street Cats. The shelter offers an ever-changing and wide variety of new friends to warm your heart. Every Sunday night is an open house at the shelter, which is located in the 200 block of King Street. It can be found above “The Unique Store.”

4. See a Musical

MetroStage

1201 North Royal St.

703-548-9044

Mother’s Day matinee performance: 2 p.m.

Admission: mothers can see the matinee for $30; others are $38

Have brunch at Café Marianna (703-519-3776) and then see a matinee performance of “Becoming George” at the MetroStage. Written by Patti McKenny and Doug Frew, the musical explores the life of French novelist George Sand. It takes place in 1870, as France enters the Franco-Prussian War.

5. Have Brunch

Beltway Babies Mother’s Day Weekend Brunch

Embassy Suites

1900 Diagonal Road

703-217-8733

Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Admission: $20 for each adult; $10 for children

Are you a new or expecting mother? This Mother’s Day Brunch is especially for you and your Beltway Baby. It includes classes, seminars, activities, vendors and raffles. Registration is required.

6. See a Concert Band

Rachel M. Schlesinger Center

3001 N. Beauregard St.

202-433-5714

Time: 2 p.m.

Admission: free

Does Mom enjoy concert music. Is she smitten with John Phillips Souza? Then take her to a free Mother’s Day concert at the Schlesinger Center. Selections include songs from Souza, Felix Mendelson, Ingolf Dahl and others. They’ll be performed by the Untied States Marine Band, colloquially known as “The Presidents Own,” which is America’s oldest professional musical organization.

7. Take an Art Class

Art League

105 North Union St.

703-683-2323

Registration: $165 to $300

Taking an art class is a great way to bond with Mom, and summer workshops at the Art League begin in June. Topics include drawing, oil painting, watercolor painting, printmaking, sculpture, bookmaking and photography. Get the kids involved and take “Art in the Family,” which allows adults and children to work together in a variety of materials.

8. Take Tea

Two local historic homes are offering special tea times for Mother’s Day. Tea and a tour at Woodlawn Plantation (703-780-4000) costs $25 per person. In Old Town, the Lee-Fendall House (703-548-1789) is offering tea with a special program about Victorian Mother’s Day traditions for $25. Enjoy a spot of tea with Mom and spend a quiet afternoon at one of the area’s historic attractions.

9. Dine Outdoors

Now that the city has outdoor dining, take Mom to have lunch or dinner on lower King Street. You’ll be able to eat as you watch the crowds go by. Enjoy the balcony view at the Fish Market or the refined elegance of 100 King. Perhaps you prefer pasta at Landini Brothers or seafood at Chart House. Whatever Mom wants to eat, she’ll be able to enjoy it outdoors (if the weather holds) on lower King Street.

10. Explore Mom’s Family

Haven’t you been meaning to write a family history? Trace Mom’s family tree by visiting the special collections room of the Barrett Branch Library on Queen Street or go online to access one of the many genealogy sites where you can explore the past. A family tree or history would make a Mother’s Day present that she won’t soon forget.

11. Build a Scrapbook

These days, scrapbooking is an art and a science. A cottage industry has emerged to sell specialized goods. But even if you build a scrapbook from some old construction paper and a little love, this is one activity you can do with Mom to remember the good old days. When you are done, you’ll have a memento that you can pass down to future generations.

12. Visit the Fair

The 26th Annual Old Town Fine Arts & Crafts Fair will be held on May 13-14 from 1-6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. There is art by more than 70 artists; live music, and food are featured at this fair, sponsored by the Alexandria Volunteers Bureau. The fair is scheduled for Market Square, 301 King St.

13. Build a Time Capsule

With Mom’s help, you can put together a special capsule that will represent 2006. Items can include photos, mementos, notes, letters or newspaper clippings (perhaps this one). Bury it in the backyard with a marker, so you’ll know where to dig it up later. Be sure to waterproof the capsule so that it doesn’t get too soggy.

14. Take a Walk

Sometimes a simple stroll will make for great memories. Few places in the Washington area are as wonderful as Old Town. Walk up and down the historic streets, making sure to take time to literally stop and smell the flowers. With spring in full bloom, Old Town is bursting with color. Mom will love the meticulously groomed gardens and the colorful storefronts on King Street.