Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be about breakfast in bed and lounging around the house. What better way to spend time with the mom on your list than with a road trip? Well, OK, breakfast in bed and then a road trip. This collection of local sites and attractions will help you plan the perfect Mother’s Day sojourn.
Do yourself a favor and spend the day tiring these kids out. Kids and moms alike will love local zoos and aquariums like Roger Williams Park Zoo (Providence, R.I.), York’s Wild Kingdom (York, Maine), Mystic Aquarium (Mystic, Conn.), the Bronx Zoo, Franklin Park Zoo (Boston, Mass.), Beardsley Zoo (Bridgeport, Conn.) and more.
The kids will love seeing how the animals are celebrating Mother’s Day with their mamas, from the possums with babies on their backs to little elephants clinging onto their moms’ tails.
If the zoo isn’t for you, head to a children’s museum instead. One of the best children’s museums in the Northeast is the Rochester National Museum of Play, the only collections-based museum in the world devoted solely to the study of play. It’s also the second-largest children’s museum in the country.
Kids might also enjoy the Museum of Firefighting in Hudson, New York. You may need them to rescue you from a burning building one day, and they need all the training they can get. Also, kids like firetrucks.
If that macaroni card isn’t cutting it for you, put the kids to work in the Herkimer Diamond Mines instead in Herkimer, N.Y. Herkimer diamonds are actually double-terminated quartz crystals, some of which are millions of years old. Visitors can explore the mines and find crystals. Make sure to bring safety goggles and chisels of your own, though!
Peel your teen off the couch this Mother’s Day for their own road trip with mom. Not even teenagers are too cool for the Northeast’s many natural wonders, like Niagara Falls, Howe Caverns (Howes Cave, N.Y.), Letchworth State Park (Castile, N.Y.) and Mount Washington (New Hampshire).
At Niagara Falls, you can take the Cave of the Winds Tour, enjoy spring and summertime fireworks and get up close and personal with nature on the Maid of the Mist boat tour. Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeast with breathtaking panoramic views. If your teens would rather die than go on a hike, you can take the Mount Washington Cog Railway instead.
More adventurous teens will like Sky High Adventure Park, which features an aerial park, a climbing forest and a mountain coaster. And afterward, you can all go to Sky High Adventure Park’s Oasis Spa to unwind. A little something for them, and a little something for you – everybody wins. Teens might also enjoy the Newport Cliff Walk, a 3.5-mile scenic path that follows the Newport, R.I., shoreline. While most of the trail is easily walkable, there are a few sections that will test your limits (and your fear of heights).
Some teenagers prefer the strange and unusual to the adventurous – and they deserve a road trip with Mom too! Goth and quirky teens will love places like the Batsto Village Ghost Town in New Jersey, an abandoned company town in the middle of the Wharton State Forest pine barrens. Batsto is spooky, but it’s also incredibly preserved, and makes for a fascinating history tour.
Another quirky Northeast landmark is the Museum of Everyday Life, a “self-service museum” in a dilapidated white barn on the side of the road in Glover, Vt. The museum is really an ongoing art piece celebrating the mundanities of everyday life, complete with interactive exhibits on things like dust, pencils, matches, safety pins and toothbrushes.
You might be a mother looking for something to do with your grown children, or an adult child looking for something to do with your mother. Either way, these destinations make for a great road trip. One easy way to celebrate Mother’s Day is by going to a local city, like New York or Boston. Even smaller cities like Portland, Maine, will have fun Mother’s Day things to do. Go to brunch, see a show and take a look at the local museums. If you’re feeling lucky, you could even head down to Atlantic City.
Rather than heading to the city, you might want to go to a charming small town together. Mystic, Conn., is a picturesque seaside town complete with museums, B&Bs, restaurants and lots of adorable boutiques and shops. Down in Pennsylvania is Lancaster County, the home of Amish Country. You’ll be able to tour wineries, breweries and charming covered bridges. You can learn about the Amish way of life and even purchase one of their hand crafted or hand grown goods.
If you like to shop ‘til you drop, check out one of the many outlet centers we have in the Northeast! You can get your fix at Tanger Outlets, VF Factory Outlets and Manchester Designer Outlets for starters. If you’re headed to Tanger Outlets, don’t forget that AAA members receive a free coupon book at Tanger.
Another great way to spend Mother’s Day is out east in Long Island’s wine country. Check out the Long Island Wine Trail for a selection of wineries and vineyards to visit. You could also go from one vineyard to another by bike on tours like East End Bike Tours and Pour & Pedal. It’s a great way to spend Mother’s Day for wine moms everywhere.
What are you doing for your road trip with mom (or with kids)? Let us know in the comments below!