Mom does a lot for the you, so showing her a good time on Mother’s Day is a must. Go a step beyond buying flowers and making a reservation at her favorite eatery this year. Southern California is full of activities and hot spots that will make mom smile.

Try one or more of these Mother’s Day activities for your 2019 plans. SoCal moms will be thrilled at your thoughtfulness.

1. Teatime at the Huntington

Nestled in the beautiful city of San Marino, the Huntington Library and Gardens offers a lovely day for SoCal moms. Make a reservation for tea and snacks at their eatery. This light meal comes with admission to the property where moms can gaze at works of art or nature within the gardens.

Wear comfortable shoes to walk around the gardens after the tasty teatime. The gardens are typically blooming this time of year with colorful plants from every part of the world. Discover the cacti in the Desert Garden, orchids in the conservatory and unique bonsai in the Japanese gardens.

Take a reprieve from the sunny day by venturing inside to see historic pieces of art. Mom would approve of this outing.

2. Explore the Queen Mary

The Queen Mary is docked in Long Beach, CA, and it’s a sight that cannot be missed by SoCal moms. They offer a champagne brunch within this historic ship. The beauty of this adventure is that there’s much more than just a dining opportunity.

Explore the ship with its many tours offered every day of the week. Venture down into the ship’s lower sections as you learn about its colorful history. Some sections are thought to be haunted too! Adventurous moms will get a kick out of these ghost stories.

Make a weekend out of your stay at the Queen Mary. The ship also doubles as a hotel. Stay in a stateroom that takes you back in time. This Mother’s Day activity is a memorable one.

3. Head Over to Catalina

Surprise mom with a trip outside of Los Angeles. Hop aboard the Catalina Express to an island retreat. Catalina resides more than 20 miles offshore from Southern California, and its tiny town of Avalon is a world apart from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Dip your toes in the water at the shoreline, taste fish and chips at the local eateries and sip on a drink along the main street. Mom might like a golf-cart adventure or a horseback-riding surprise too. You can always sit at the shore and gaze out on the water if that’s what mom likes. It’s her day in Catalina. Let her be herself.

4. Discover Local Theme Parks

Thrill mom, dad and the kids with a trip to one of the many theme parks around Southern California. Disneyland is known to give out flowers and other mementos as moms walk into the park, for example. Universal, Knott’s Berry Farm and other parks have similar celebrations.

Depending on the park, make a reservation for one of the sit-down restaurants. Many of these dining options have exciting themes, such as pirates in New Orleans, that will give mom a treat during the meal. (Related: Insta Worthy Exhibits Worth Exploring)

Stay into the evening to see the lights and possible fireworks on display for the park-goers. This particular outing is designed for an entire day of fun.

5. Take a Spa Trip to Palm Springs

Palm Springs, CA, is known for its desert reprieve from the big city. Take time out for mom with a spa trip in this area. Several resorts offer celebratory outings for moms. Consider a facial, massage or package deal over this special holiday. Mom would appreciate the pampering.

On the way out to Palm Springs, enjoy a few stops along the way. Huge turbines producing wind energy are a marvel to see. Don’t forget the dinosaurs perched alongside the freeway about halfway to Palm Springs too. This desert trip is just as fun during the journey as when you arrive in town. Be sure to make a reservation beforehand so that there are no delays at the spa resort.

6. Try the Mom’s Day Run in Ventura

For those competitive moms, try a fun run in Ventura, CA. This outing can be for walking or jogging. Bring mom along for a good time as you sweat out a few miles. The event raises money for cancer, so you’re also doing a good deed for the world at the same time.

This fun run is also a perfect choice for loved ones who’ve said goodbye to their mothers. Gather together to celebrate mom in a thoughtful way. There are treats and music at the finish line. Encourage everyone to get in shape with this walk or run on your bucket list.

7. Bike Along the L.A. River

Southern California residents know that there are some unusual outings in the area based on geography. A bike lane that follows the L.A. River is a perfect excursion for active moms. It’s possible to bike up to the foothills and down to the industrial ports.

Mom doesn’t have to complete the entire pathway’s length either. Pick out a certain section where there are parks and relaxing areas for the day. A picnic with children and even grandchildren is a loving way to say thank you for everything mom does in this world.

Consider renting tandem bikes or other contraptions too. Everyone seems to follow their own leader on the L.A. River bike path.

8. Dine on the Pier

Both Los Angeles and San Diego have several piers where diners can find tasty eateries. Think about mom’s favorite foods and locations. Find a pier with the perfect restaurant. You may even look into Orange County’s piers too.

The most obvious restaurants will serve seafood. You can still find other cuisines, including the traditional hamburger, at various locations. The pier outing can either be a lunchtime affair with a view of the water or a nighttime visit with the city lights in the background.

Several piers also have games or rides near the restaurants. Your entire outing can be on the pier as a perfect setting for mom’s big day.

9. Check out the Nightlife

Mom may want a night out on the town so don’t disappoint her! Buy her tickets to a play or comedy show in Los Angeles, CA. There are plenty of venues with unique talent just waiting to be discovered. (Related: Experience Los Angeles’ New Downtown)

Buy your tickets early to pick the best seating. Some of the most popular shows sell out quickly. You might try a comedy show with up-and-coming talent, for example. The tickets tend to be reasonably priced, and you might see a talent who’s about to blossom into the big time.

Take mom out to dinner beforehand, however. These shows may have drinks for sale, but they don’t usually serve full meals.

10. Sip on Wine

Mom may not want to venture all the way to Northern California for some good wine. Give her a treat with wine cultivated right in Southern California. Malibu is a prime area for wine tours.

Make your reservation so that you can explore the many wineries in the area. These tours are often near celebrity homes in the area, so keep a weather eye out for anyone that mom enjoys on the big screen.

You can drive mom on your own or take one of those chauffeured trips into the wineries. Pick the outing that works best for mom. It’s true that L.A. wineries have a different vibe than up north.

11. Head to the Zoo

One of the best outings in San Diego is exploring the world-famous zoo. In 2019, the zoo offers a brunch for all moms to enjoy. Bring the entire family down to the zoo with brunch eaten about halfway through the day. This outing is a mixture of discovery, close time with family and plenty of areas to relax. (Related: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles: A Guide for Visitors)

Sit down near the giraffe enclosure, and watch these amazing animals in action. Pick out mom’s favorite animals so that you’re sure to see them all. Take advantage of the sky ride across the property, which allows you to crisscross the area with a view of the city.

12. Brunch at the Hotel del Coronado

If you’ve lived in SoCal for only a few years, visiting the Hotel del Coronado may still be on your to-do list. Treat mom to a day at a historic monument that doubles as a movie set at times. Located on Coronado Island, this hotel dates back several generations. For this year’s celebration, mom can dine at the hotel, stay there for the weekend or even stroll along the walkways outside.

Almost nothing can beat the view off of the coastline that lines the hotel’s perimeter. The property is known for its Hollywood roots and unusual, haunting myths. Most moms will love this outing with the entire family in tow. Make it a daytime or weekend excursion this year.

13. Cruise Around the Bay

Whether you’re in Los Angeles or San Diego, a cruise around either bay is an exciting gift for mom. See dolphins, landmarks and enjoy the salty air on these trips. Depending on the provider, there might be snacks or a full meal too. (Related: Romantic Tours of San Diego)

There are many different cruises within the bays. Research each one so that the points of interest are part of your mom’s desires. Pointing out historical landmarks, remarking on sea life and other subjects are possible.

Select a tour with a relatively large vessel as well. They can withstand the swells with remarkable ease, which reduces the chances of any queasiness in the stomach.

14. Shop at the Outlets

Give mom a shopping spree at either the Camarillo or Cabazon outlets. These shopping malls are a bit different than the average experiences. The properties are full of stores with the latest designer clothing. They’re simply at much lower prices than usual.

Walk around to each store to see what dazzles mom’s mind. There might be a pretty purse, gorgeous pair of shoes or outfit that she loves. The clothing is typically items that haven’t sold at their premium rates at other properties. The outlets bring the quality to the masses in a relaxing environment.

Share an ice cream at one of the eateries dotting the property as well. Mom will love a little retail therapy.

15. Gaze at the Flowers

A classic outing in San Diego involves a trip to Carlsbad. This community offers a distinct event in the spring: tons of blossoms. The flower fields are hard to miss from a freeway view. Take mom out on a walking tour of the fields. It’s easy to immerse yourself in the color found there.

The flower fields are particularly exciting this year because of the ample rain over the winter. The blossoms are numerous, large and incredibly colorful. For a nominal fee, visitors can stay for the entire day at the fields. Bring along an umbrella and snacks to make everyone comfortable during the visit.

16. Hike up to the Observatory

For those active moms, take her on a hike to the observatory at Griffith Park. This Los Angeles landmark has been in several Hollywood films over the years. The hike takes you through trails that end up at the summit. Sit out along the benches at the observatory as a breather before admiring the science exhibits inside the building.

The planetarium offers documentaries on the stars for a nominal fee. Buy your tickets early on so that mom can enjoy some relaxing time before the show. Local scientists will often narrate the shows, which adds to the excitement. Bring a picnic for mom or treat her to the food at the observatory. This experience is perfect for moms who’re always reaching for the stars.

Don’t forget that your outing doesn’t have to be only on Mother’s Day. Stretch out the fun for the entire weekend! Your mom deserves a good time as she enjoys some leisure activities this May.