In Focus: 20 Creative Ideas for Mother’s Day

It’s time to celebrate Mom!

Mother’s Day is around the corner, and the Orlando magazine team has you covered! We have assembled 20 sensational ideas for Central Florida residents, many of which are completely free. Whether you’re in the mood for a garden stroll, a relaxing spa day, an artistic afternoon, or a home tour rich in local history, we are sure to have an activity to fit every mom! 

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Butterflies and fresh blooms abound at Lukas Nursery’s Butterfly. Encounter. Photo by Roberto Gonzalez

Garden Delights

Harry P. Leu Gardens

Mothers of all ages will delight at the beauty that is Leu Gardens. Enjoy the beautiful 50-acre gardens while you stroll the winding pathways and discover all the various gardens including an amazing butterfly garden! Moms receive free admission on this very special day. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children 4 – 17.

Mead Botanical Garden

Explore the wild, wonderful sights inside Mead Botanical Garden, a 48-acre urban oasis located in the heart of Orange County in beautiful Winter Park. The garden is open every day from dawn until dusk and is free to the public. Mead is a perfect place to picnic, so come prepared!

Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens

Discover the Polasek’s outdoor gardens dating back to 1949! The three-acre sculpture garden is a pastoral oasis within the City of Winter Park and is home to many beautiful native Florida and subtropical species. Polasek did not have any descendants of his own but thought of his sculptures as “his children.” Open on Mother’s Day from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults, $7 for children 5 and older, and $10 for seniors (60 and up).

Bok Tower Gardens 

If mom is up for a drive on Mother’s Day, take her to Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales to visit one of the greatest works of famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. The meandering, historic landscape garden was designed to be a contemplative and informal woodland setting offering a series of romantic recesses and tranquil resting spots, picturesque vistas and breathtaking views of the Singing Tower. Moms get in free on Mother’s Day. Admission is $17 for adults, $5 for children 5 – 12 and $5 for dogs. 

Lukas Nursery & Butterfly Encounter

A walk through Lukas Nursery is like no other; from its creative intersecting “streets” to its seemingly endless variety of plants, there are so many things to see at Lukas Nursery. Their Butterfly Encounter and bird conservatory offers a one-of-a-kind experience, where mom can mingle with butterflies, and even feed them! The last admission is 3:30 p.m. each day, so arrive early. The nursery is free, but the butterfly garden is $7 per person. Children 3 and under are free.

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Get pampered at the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa. Photo courtesy of w Marriott Resort Bonnet Creek

Relax & Rejuvenate

The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort 

Pamper mom on her special day with an excursion to the Four Seasons Resort Orlando and book a unique experience at The Spa. Try the ever-popular Healing Honey Treatment, a relaxing and restorative treatment that offers a full spectrum of wellness benefits. Or cocoon yourself in a Somadome for some personalized (and private) meditation. Make the most of mom’s spa visit and experience The Spa’s serene indoor and outdoor relaxation areas, including a spa tub, steam room, solarium and more.

JW Marriott Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa

The Spa by JW is one of Central Florida’s newest luxury spa experiences, and doesn’t mom deserve the best? They focus on experiences that favor simplicity over complexity, clarity over mystery. The Spa at JW offers express spa treatments as a simple indulgence, or stay a bit longer and nourish mom (and yourself) with cleansing facials, tranquil massages, invigorating body treatments, rejuvenating nail treatments and transformative hair services. Includes complimentary parking.

Waldorf Astoria Spa 

At Waldorf Astoria Spa, luxurious therapies, soothing environments and a unique client-centric approach to well-being is just what mom needs.  The extensive menu of services includes locally sourced ingredients such as their signature ingredient, Tupelo honey, which is infused into unique skin treatments, products, and personalized therapies.

Mandara Spa at Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Hotel

Take mom worlds away without leaving Central Florida. When guests enter Mandara Spa, they retreat into a 10,500-square-foot sanctuary for the senses. Explore the interior gardens: an intimate Tea Garden with a sitting and sipping room; or the Meditation Garden, which features their signature “Meru Temple.” These exotic retreats provide a destination where mind, body and soul meet.  Spa and salon services are as luxurious as they are therapeutic, and as relaxing as they are results-oriented.

Poseidon Spa at Grand Bohemian Orlando

If mom is looking to unwind this Mother’s Day, Poseidon Spa at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in downtown Orlando is just the place! With quiet, refreshing treatment rooms and fully custom massages, their signature treatments are created especially for you and your mom! Explore add-on options like the detoxifying dry brush exfoliation or a hydrating face masque for an even more revitalizing experience.


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Artistic Sights 

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

This picturesque setting is hard to beat for Mother’s Day! The Morse Museum, located on Park Avenue, houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933), including the artist and designer’s jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded-glass lamps and windows; and perhaps most awe-inspiring, his chapel interior from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The Museum’s holdings also include American art pottery, late 19th- and early 20th-century American paintings, graphics, and decorative art.

Orlando Museum of Art

If mom’s interests sway toward contemporary art, perhaps a visit to the Orlando Museum of Art is on the agenda. Founded in 1924, the Orlando Museum of Art presents 10-12 exhibitions on-site and 13 exhibitions off-site annually. Peruse The Outwin, an American Portraiture Today, on exhibition until October 8th. Now in its sixth edition, The Outwin: American Portraiture Today, presents 42 works selected from over 2,700 entries, that foreground the vibrancy and relevance of portraiture today. Open 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 14. Admission is $20 for adults, $8 for children 6 – 17, and $8 for seniors (60 and up).

Mennello Museum

The Mennello Museum of American Art offers several experiences for mom! Join a docent-led tour of the galleries (their permanent collection of paintings by Earl Cunningham are particularly special) or make some art of your own. The museum hosts a Free Family Funday every second Sunday of the month. For the month of May, the focus is on watercolors! Art projects are available to make or take home with you between 12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. The museum galleries also stay open until 4:30 p.m. for all guests.

Maitland Art & History Museum 

Celebrate Mother’s Day with your loved ones by learning how to block print on fabric with a local artist! During this workshop on Sunday, May 14 from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., your instructor will teach you the fundamentals of block printing with linoleum on silk fabric. All tools and materials needed to complete the project will be provided. This is a beginner class and is open to all experience levels. Register in advance.

Rollins Museum of Art 

Open noon – 5:00 p.m. on Mother’s Day, the Rollins Museum of Art’s collection numbers more than 5,600 works spanning many centuries, from examples of ancient art and artifacts to contemporary art.  The bulk of the collection consists of two-dimensional art (over 700 paintings from the 14th through the 21st centuries, and over 2,000 works on paper – prints, drawings, and photographs), as well as three-dimensional objects (sculpture, decorative, and archaeological artifacts).

Historic Tours

Wonder House

The Wonder House was built by Conrad Schuck, a visionary inventor and builder originally from Pennsylvania. The house stands four stories tall, with an additional two stories underground. The house featured many time saving devices like delayed light switches, a laundry chute and inventions including air conditioning in the 1920s! Historic tours of the Wonder House are available only by booking a reservation online. The tour lasts approximately 1.5 hours and covers three floors of the house. Adults are $25 and children (12 and under) are $10. Cash only.

Showcase of Citrus

Take mom somewhere nostalgic this year, and head out to Clermont to experience a classic Florida attraction. The Showcase of Citrus, Florida’s Fresh Air Attraction®, is a family owned and operated 2,500-acre estate cultivating over 50 varieties of citrus that began in 1989. From U-pick citrus and Old Time Country Store, to gem mining in a real sluice box or simply having a relaxing picnic, there is something for everyone at Showcase of Citrus. Harvest season typically runs from November through May, depending on the weather.

Fort Christmas Historical Park

For the history-loving moms, there is Fort Christmas Historical Park. The park includes a replica fort built in 1837 during the Second Seminole Indian War; a traditional Florida “Cracker” house and eight pioneer homes; a schoolhouse and lunchroom; a sugar cane mill and other historical farming equipment. The historic homes, school and fort are open 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Mother’s Day. This experience is free!

Waterhouse Residence

For those looking for a shorter excursion, tour items from the Waterhouse Residence in Maitland at Maitland History Museum’s exhibition, Maitland’s Attic. Built in 1884 by pioneer settler and builder William H. Waterhouse as a home for his family, this house is beautifully restored to represent the lifestyle enjoyed by a middle-class family during the late Victorian period. This exhibition takes you back to a time when heart-of-pine was turned by hand to form an Eastlake staircase, luxurious furnishings were stuffed with horsehair and wood-wool, and decorous visitors arrived with calling cards in hand.

Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum

Although not available on Mother’s Day itself, a tour of Casa Feliz would certainly make any mother beam with happiness. Casa Feliz, or “Happy House,” is the signature work of noted architect James Gamble Rogers II. The Andalusian-style masonry farmhouse has significantly influenced the architectural and cultural aspects of the community and served as a gathering spot for cultural discussion and education. Docent-led tours of the home and grounds are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays only.

Categories: Arts and Events, Community, Events