What to Do for Mother's Day in Seattle and Tacoma

Mother’s Day comes each year in May, and it always comes with a question of what to do for Mom to make sure she feels special and appreciated.

While flowers and a card might be standard, Seattle and Tacoma have so much more to offer! Take your mom (or the whole family) out on the town, head to one of the area’s best restaurants for an amazing brunch, set sail to Blake Island, or shop locally for unique gift ideas.

  • 01 of 07

    Take a Cruise

    cruise ship sailing into pier 55 in seattle at sunset with a backdrop of the ferris wheel and city
    ••• Argosy Cruises 

    Seattle cruise companies come out in force for Mother's Day, most offering special Mother's Day cruises with a brunch or lunch buffet, live music and other happenings on board. Argosy offers a brunch cruise to Blake Island in honor of moms everywhere. Blake Island cruises do not have a buffet on the ship, but instead cruisers are treated to a baked salmon buffet and gifts for all mothers once they reach the island. After the meal, visitors watch the regular Tillicum Village show about native cultures.

    The only thing better than eating brunch is eating brunch on the water. Waterways Cruises offers brunch and dinner cruises for Mother's Day. While Argosy ships sail around Elliott Bay, Waterways sticks to Seattle's lakes and canals.

  • 02 of 07
    a meal of a waffle topped with chicken, and a side of strawberries
    ••• Macrina Bakery & Cafe 

    Breakfast and brunch are the quintessential ways to celebrate Mother’s Day, and there is no shortage of options in Seattle. Whether you want something homey and cheap, or the brunch of a lifetime, Seattle’s many restaurants are here to help you dazzle your mom.

    Check out the Macrina Bakery, which serves brunch every weekend. With a constantly changing menu at Macrina, you’ll never have the same experience twice. Or try The Fat Hen for traditional brunch favorites done with a touch of style in a casual atmosphere. Or if your mother prefers her food organic and sustainable, don't miss Portage Bay Cafe.

    If you enjoy a more upscale experience, Seattle has several options that serve brunch every weekend. Star chef Maria Hines’s restaurant Tilth is a perfect example of an establishment with amazing, organic cuisine, and yet a warm and cozy atmosphere set in a house. Or try out Lola, a restaurant by another popular Seattle chef, Tom Douglas. Serving up Greek dishes alongside traditional...MORE breakfast favorites, Lola offers a unique twist on Mother’s Day brunch. Of course, just about any Tom Douglas restaurant is sure to please as far as brunch goes.

  • 03 of 07
    a bowl of mixed seafood and glasses of mimosas
    ••• Lobster Shop  

    While Tacoma doesn’t have nearly as many brunch options as Seattle, there are several good choices in T-town that are much more convenient than a drive to Seattle if you live in south King County or Pierce County.

    The Lobster Shop is the best brunch in town any time of year, with a full lineup of fresh seafood on its buffet. If you're out to impress mom in the South Sound, book a reservation to this brunch buffet and you'll do just that.

    Other great restaurants with regular brunch and breakfast menus include C.I. Shenanigans on the Waterfront, Original Pancake House, and Dirty Oscar's Annex. But 6th Avenue and the Stadium District both have several brunch and breakfast options.

    For something more upscale, Pacific Grill in downtown Tacoma usually has a special Mother’s Day brunch buffet, too.

  • 04 of 07

    Find Free Things to Do for Mother’s Day

    a room full of green plants at Volunteer Park Conservatory
    ••• Greg Vaughn/Getty Images

    Maybe you want to do something for your mom, but you don't have a big budget to work with. No worries. Many of the top free things to do in Seattle and Tacoma are also great starting points to get out on the town.

    Stroll the Volunteer Park Conservatory if your mom enjoys plants and flowers. If you think she might like getting out on the water, sign up for a free sail at the Center for Wooden Boats. Or if she enjoys artwork, try a picnic at the Olympic Sculpture Garden.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Have a Picnic

    People on sandy trail, Discovery Park, Seattle, Washington
    •••   Karl Weatherly/Getty Images 

    If the weather is nice, Seattle’s green spaces and many waterfronts may just be more appealing than anything indoors. Go on a hike with the family through Discovery Park or picnic at Gas Works. Enjoy the view from Kerry Park. Or choose a park closest to you and bring along a meal to enjoy in the great outdoors.

  • 06 of 07

    Shop for a Gift

    an aerial shot of books and wooden staircase at Elliott Bay Book Company
    ••• Elliott Bay Book Company. Joel Rogers / Contributor/ Getty Images

    Shopping local means more unique gifts that aren't necessarily more expensive.

    There are literally hundreds of small gift shops in the Puget Sound area, but if you aren't sure where to start, look to Fireworks, which sells a variety of artsy and clever, yet practical gifts you won't find anywhere else. Does mom like a good book? Try Elliott Bay Book CompanyArchie McPhee is another unique place to shop for gifts, but only if your mom has a sense of humor.

  • 07 of 07

    Buy Flowers for Her

    a stand with bouquets of colorful flowers at Pike Place Market Flowers
    ••• Pike Place Market Flowers. Danita Delimont/Getty Images

    Just like with gifts, you can easily find flowers at the nearest grocery store, or you can go local and get something more unique while supporting a local business. There are many florists around town, but Young Flowers and Buckets both offer something unique. Of course, Pike Place Market is also an amazing place to go for fresh bouquets flowers of all kinds and colors.