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Volunteer Park Conservatory.
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15 Seattle places to take your mom this Mother’s Day

There are a lot of things to do besides dinner

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Volunteer Park Conservatory.
| Shutterstock

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 12—and in Seattle, it’s really hit-or-miss about whether it’s going to rain. Usually the weather outside is not that big of a worry for taking your mom to brunch, but what are you doing for quality time afterwards? If you want to bond with your mom but don’t want to get rained on, we have some suggestions—including some that still get some rain-free outside time in.

Museums are a great choice, and Seattle is full of them, from the Frye Art Museum to the Museum of History and Industry. For moms who are into the movies, some local theaters provide an extra-special experience. For sporty moms, try bouldering or roller skating.

Need a brunch or dinner spot nearby? Hit up our sibling site Eater Seattle for restaurant recommendations.

Are the gardens on this list not quite your thing? Here are 16 Seattle-area gardens to explore.

Want to jump in a tandem kayak? Here are 13 places to rent a boat in Seattle.

Have a hiker mom? We have so many hiking guides to mine for ideas.

Destinations are ordered north to south.

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1. Q Sauna & Spa

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17420 Hwy 99
Lynnwood, WA 98037
(425) 361-7547
Visit Website

Spas seem like a clear choice for Mother’s Day: It’s a treat for her, and depending on who you are, they could present a chance to spend some quality time too. Korean spa Q has multiple saunas and spas, plus massage services—even a quick cafe to grab a quick bite before or after. It’s not limited to just women, either (there are locker rooms and areas designated for women and men).

2. Volunteer Park Conservatory

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1402 E Galer St
Seattle, WA
(206) 322-4112
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Even if it’s raining, nature-loving moms can enjoy plant life indoors at the Volunteer Park Conservatory. The ornate Victorian conservatory is host to five display houses of plants from around the world.

If you’re celebrating a day early, it’s hosting its spring plant sale on Saturday—a unique way to buy your mom some flowers.

A post shared by Rebecca White (@beccaj0) on

3. Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI)

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860 Terry Ave N
Seattle, WA
(206) 324-1126
Visit Website

MOHAI is celebrating Mother’s Day with a pop-up shop the Friday before—perhaps an opportunity to grab a last-minute gift? But for the history-buff mom, a visit to the museum the day-of will give a glimpse of the region’s past and treasured artifacts.

A post shared by Mario Sotil (@mario.sotil) on

4. Seattle Ferry Service Ice Cream Tours

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860 Terry Ave N
Seattle, WA

Seattle Ferry Tours operate this 45-to-50-minute tour of Lake Union every day, rain or shine—so it’s good they have some heated areas inside and covered areas outside. The tour covers some old Seattle history, the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat, and spy ships, and leaves from South Lake Union Park right next to MOHAI twice a day.

Like it says on the label, it has ice cream.

A post shared by Alex Curry (@accurry) on

5. Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)

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325 5th Ave N
Seattle, WA
(206) 770-2700
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MoPOP’s scope has expanded so greatly in the last decade or so that they likely have an exhibit of interest to most moms. In one, pet a dragon designed by the Seattle Opera; in another, explore props from Star Wars. Also an option: a mother-offspring jam session in the Sound Lab.

6. Rock Box

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1603 Nagle Pl
Seattle, WA
(206) 302-7625
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For the mom that sings along to every song, gather your siblings and reserve a private karaoke room at Rock Box. It opens at 3 p.m., so you can plan your performance for after brunch or before dinner.

A post shared by Rock Box (@rockboxseattle) on

7. Century Ballroom

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915 E Pine St
Seattle, WA

Is your mom a dancer? On Sunday nights at 9:30, Century Ballroom hosts a swing dancing night—and if you and mom aren’t quite up to speed, Century hosts lessons at 9 p.m. before the party gets started.

8. Hothouse Spa & Sauna

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1019 E Pike St
Seattle, WA
(206) 568-3240
Visit Website

Hothouse is a small, straightforward, and incredibly relaxing spa, with just a hot tub, a steam room, a sauna, and a relaxation area. Take your mom here (or drop her off) for some peace and quiet—and check to see if they have any massage appointments available.

9. Central Cinema

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1411 21st Ave
Seattle, WA
(206) 686-6684
Visit Website

Central Cinema is a fun way to take your mom to the movies—and for Mother’s Day, the theater is hosting two singalong viewings of Mama Mia!, plus regularly-scheduled showings of Kiki’s Delivery Service and Alien. Since there’s food and drink service, you can buy your mom dinner, or just a nice glass of wine, here too.

If your mom is more into blockbusters, AMC Seattle 10 in the University District or Regal Cinemas’s Cinebarre in Mountlake Terrace or Issaquah are also fine choices with expanded food and beverage options to make it a little extra special.

A post shared by Central Cinema (@centralcinema) on

10. Seattle Aquarium

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1483 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA
(206) 386-4300
Visit Website

The Seattle Aquarium is hands-on and educational, making it a fun, active, mostly-indoor destination for most occasions. But it’s holding some special activities for Mother’s Day, including special presentations on protective mothers, multi-generational moms, and strong ocean mothers. Bring your mom and see if she can relate to any of them.

If driving is a must for getting your mom around, many waterfront establishments, including the aquarium, the Great Wheel, the Curiosity Shoppe, and Elliott’s, are participating in a Mother’s Day-only voucher program for four hours of free parking.

A post shared by Drew Young (@dy011713) on

11. Seattle Art Museum

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1300 1st Ave
Seattle, WA
(206) 625-8900
Visit Website

Walking through Seattle Art Museum gives you a great opportunity for some quality time, and the exhibits provide endless conversation starters. Mother’s Day is the last day of Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer, which, according to SAM, “reflects varied influences, including fashion and design, abstract painting, queer identity, popular music, and the materials and aesthetics of Native American cultures.” British ceramicist Claire Partington also has a site-specific work called Taking Tea, which adds another dimension to the permanent collection in SAM’s porcelain room.

12. Frye Art Museum

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704 Terry Ave
Seattle, WA
(206) 622-9250
Visit Website

The Frye Art Museum in First Hill is always free, but not at any detriment to programming. The museum is currently showing the work of Seattle-based artist Gretchen Frances Bennett, who explores personal photos and popular media in pencil drawings, plus selections from the Frye’s founding collection.

13. Seattle Bouldering Project

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900 Poplar Pl S
Seattle, WA
(206) 299-2300
Visit Website

If your mom likes to get active, the Seattle Bouldering Project is a great way to get moving while staying inside—and you can buy her a coffee or a beer at the West Wall Bar below afterwards.

14. Seattle Chinese Garden

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6000 16th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98106
(206) 934-5219
Visit Website

This Sichuan-style garden on the northern edge of the of South Seattle College campus combines symbolic use of water, plants, architecture, and stone.

15. Southgate Roller Rink

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9646 17th Ave SW
Seattle, WA
(206) 707-6949
Visit Website

On Sundays, Southgate Roller Rink in White Center hosts a learn-to-skate class at noon, followed by a family skate at 1 p.m. Perfect timing for doing some laps with your mom.

1. Q Sauna & Spa

17420 Hwy 99, Lynnwood, WA 98037

Spas seem like a clear choice for Mother’s Day: It’s a treat for her, and depending on who you are, they could present a chance to spend some quality time too. Korean spa Q has multiple saunas and spas, plus massage services—even a quick cafe to grab a quick bite before or after. It’s not limited to just women, either (there are locker rooms and areas designated for women and men).

17420 Hwy 99
Lynnwood, WA 98037

2. Volunteer Park Conservatory

1402 E Galer St, Seattle, WA

Even if it’s raining, nature-loving moms can enjoy plant life indoors at the Volunteer Park Conservatory. The ornate Victorian conservatory is host to five display houses of plants from around the world.

If you’re celebrating a day early, it’s hosting its spring plant sale on Saturday—a unique way to buy your mom some flowers.

1402 E Galer St
Seattle, WA

3. Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI)

860 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA

MOHAI is celebrating Mother’s Day with a pop-up shop the Friday before—perhaps an opportunity to grab a last-minute gift? But for the history-buff mom, a visit to the museum the day-of will give a glimpse of the region’s past and treasured artifacts.

860 Terry Ave N
Seattle, WA

4. Seattle Ferry Service Ice Cream Tours

860 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA

Seattle Ferry Tours operate this 45-to-50-minute tour of Lake Union every day, rain or shine—so it’s good they have some heated areas inside and covered areas outside. The tour covers some old Seattle history, the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat, and spy ships, and leaves from South Lake Union Park right next to MOHAI twice a day.

Like it says on the label, it has ice cream.

860 Terry Ave N
Seattle, WA

5. Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)

325 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA

MoPOP’s scope has expanded so greatly in the last decade or so that they likely have an exhibit of interest to most moms. In one, pet a dragon designed by the Seattle Opera; in another, explore props from Star Wars. Also an option: a mother-offspring jam session in the Sound Lab.

325 5th Ave N
Seattle, WA

6. Rock Box

1603 Nagle Pl, Seattle, WA

For the mom that sings along to every song, gather your siblings and reserve a private karaoke room at Rock Box. It opens at 3 p.m., so you can plan your performance for after brunch or before dinner.

1603 Nagle Pl
Seattle, WA

7. Century Ballroom

915 E Pine St, Seattle, WA

Is your mom a dancer? On Sunday nights at 9:30, Century Ballroom hosts a swing dancing night—and if you and mom aren’t quite up to speed, Century hosts lessons at 9 p.m. before the party gets started.

915 E Pine St
Seattle, WA

8. Hothouse Spa & Sauna

1019 E Pike St, Seattle, WA

Hothouse is a small, straightforward, and incredibly relaxing spa, with just a hot tub, a steam room, a sauna, and a relaxation area. Take your mom here (or drop her off) for some peace and quiet—and check to see if they have any massage appointments available.

1019 E Pike St
Seattle, WA

9. Central Cinema

1411 21st Ave, Seattle, WA

Central Cinema is a fun way to take your mom to the movies—and for Mother’s Day, the theater is hosting two singalong viewings of Mama Mia!, plus regularly-scheduled showings of Kiki’s Delivery Service and Alien. Since there’s food and drink service, you can buy your mom dinner, or just a nice glass of wine, here too.

If your mom is more into blockbusters, AMC Seattle 10 in the University District or Regal Cinemas’s Cinebarre in Mountlake Terrace or Issaquah are also fine choices with expanded food and beverage options to make it a little extra special.

1411 21st Ave
Seattle, WA

10. Seattle Aquarium

1483 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA

The Seattle Aquarium is hands-on and educational, making it a fun, active, mostly-indoor destination for most occasions. But it’s holding some special activities for Mother’s Day, including special presentations on protective mothers, multi-generational moms, and strong ocean mothers. Bring your mom and see if she can relate to any of them.

If driving is a must for getting your mom around, many waterfront establishments, including the aquarium, the Great Wheel, the Curiosity Shoppe, and Elliott’s, are participating in a Mother’s Day-only voucher program for four hours of free parking.

1483 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA

11. Seattle Art Museum

1300 1st Ave, Seattle, WA

Walking through Seattle Art Museum gives you a great opportunity for some quality time, and the exhibits provide endless conversation starters. Mother’s Day is the last day of Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer, which, according to SAM, “reflects varied influences, including fashion and design, abstract painting, queer identity, popular music, and the materials and aesthetics of Native American cultures.” British ceramicist Claire Partington also has a site-specific work called Taking Tea, which adds another dimension to the permanent collection in SAM’s porcelain room.

1300 1st Ave
Seattle, WA

12. Frye Art Museum

704 Terry Ave, Seattle, WA

The Frye Art Museum in First Hill is always free, but not at any detriment to programming. The museum is currently showing the work of Seattle-based artist Gretchen Frances Bennett, who explores personal photos and popular media in pencil drawings, plus selections from the Frye’s founding collection.

704 Terry Ave
Seattle, WA

13. Seattle Bouldering Project

900 Poplar Pl S, Seattle, WA

If your mom likes to get active, the Seattle Bouldering Project is a great way to get moving while staying inside—and you can buy her a coffee or a beer at the West Wall Bar below afterwards.

900 Poplar Pl S
Seattle, WA

14. Seattle Chinese Garden

6000 16th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98106

This Sichuan-style garden on the northern edge of the of South Seattle College campus combines symbolic use of water, plants, architecture, and stone.

6000 16th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98106

15. Southgate Roller Rink

9646 17th Ave SW, Seattle, WA

On Sundays, Southgate Roller Rink in White Center hosts a learn-to-skate class at noon, followed by a family skate at 1 p.m. Perfect timing for doing some laps with your mom.

9646 17th Ave SW
Seattle, WA