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Editor’s Picks: Best Choices for Mother’s Day 2012

Victoria Conservatory of Music Garden (Photo: Maureen Flynn-Burhoe)


Mother’s Day Paint-In
At this arts and crafts fair at Hatley Park National Historic Site, browse the works of local artists, purchase plants and locally made jewellery, food items or beauty products and more. Other diversions include bands, face-painting for kids and tours of the historic Hatley Castle and gardens.
Hatley Park, 2005 Sooke Rd., 250-391-2666; May 13, 10–4; May 12 and 13, 10–4; free.

Mother’s Day Weekend Garden Tour at the Victoria Conservatory of Music
The 30th annual self-guided garden tour may be the hottest Mother’s Day ticket in town. The conservatory fundraiser is a favourite event for local gardeners. Victoria Conservatory of Music, 250-386-5311; May 12 & 13; $30 for two-day ticket.


Tea Time

Urban Tea Merchant, Vancouver (Photo: Mark Ferris/Urban Tea Merchant)

Skip brunch and let Mom sleep in. Take her instead to one of the city’s many afternoon tea services (and be sure to reserve ahead!):


Spa Break
Give Mom the day off with some pampering at Scandinave Spa, where she can de-stress with a hot stone massage or a eucalyptus steam bath. Relaxing in warm outdoor baths with fantastic mountain views won’t hurt, either.


Mother’s Day Sleepover at the Calgary Zoo
Bond with the kids on an overnight with the wildlife at the Calgary Zoo, or have dad take the kids while Mom enjoys a night out or home alone. 403-232-9300; May 12–13, 7 pm–8:30 am; $60.

Modern Brunch vs. Historic Brunch

  • At the historic Heritage Park living history museum, the Selkirk Grille is a beautiful space for a casual, family-friendly brunch of traditional, hearty favourites like smoked-salmon and goat-cheese quiche. Heritage Park Historical Village, 403-268-8607; May 13, 11 am–4 pm.
  • Brunch at the swish NOtaBLE eatery starts with a selection of Canadian and imported cheeses and smoked meats and moves on to inventive mains like eggs Benedict with rosemary back bacon and a cheddar scone. The Bow River Parkway makes for a beautiful post-brunch walk. 4611 Bowness Rd. NW, 403-288-4372; May 13 brunch from 11 am.


The Sound of Music High Tea
Celebrate Mother’s Day with a matinee stage performance of The Sound of Music at the Citadel Theatre, followed by an Austrian-themed high tea at Dauphine Bakery. Reserve now, as tickets are going fast! Citadel Theatre and Dauphine Bakery and Bistro, 780-421-4410; May 12, 1:30 pm; $110 adults, $95 youth.


Palm Lounge at the Fort Garry Hotel, Winnipeg (Photo: courtesy Fort Garry Hotel)

Mother’s Day Plant Sale
Beautiful blooms from peonies to roses to savoury herbs are up for grabs at the 23rd annual Mother’s Day plant sale. Canadian Mennonite University-North Campus, 500 Shaftesbury Blvd., gymnasium, 204-895-4560; May 13, 9 am–4 pm.

Brunch at the Fort Garry Hotel
If a traditional—and elegant—Mother’s Day brunch is Mom’s thing, the table to reserve (preferably today!) is at the Fort Garry Hotel, where brunch takes place in the dramatic, domed Palm Lounge or the multi-chandeliered Broadway Room or Provencher Ballroom. Fort Garry Hotel, May 13 (and every Sun.), 9 am–2 pm.


Afternoon Tea

  • Pamper chocolate-loving moms with a Champagne Afternoon Tea at Moroco Chocolat in Yorkville. Settle into velvet wing-back chairs and sip thick Valrohona hot chocolate and nibble on delectable sweets. There’s also an Evening Tea, if you prefer taking mom out for a night on the town. Moroco Chocolate, 416-961-2202; May 11 & 12 10 am–midnight, May 13 10 am–5 pm.
  • Make Mom queen for a day with Toronto’s ultimate traditional afternoon tea experience at the King Edward hotel, where tea is served on Jasper Conran china and scones come with—what else?—Devonshire cream. Le Méridien King Edward, 416-863-4125; May 11, 12 and 13 2:30–5 pm.

Boiler House Brunch
The all-you-can-eat buffet includes a roasting station, omelet station, waffle station and other hot and cold options. A jazz band accompanies the meal. The Distillery Districts’s pedestrian-only surrounds are great for pre- or post-brunch stroll. The Boiler House, 416-203-212; brunch Sun. 11–3:30.

Moroco Chocolat, Toronto (Photo: jlaceda)


Historic Tea
The Mother’s Day tea at the Billings Estate National Historic Site coincides with the museum’s official season opening. Billings Estate National Historic Site, 613-247-4830, May 13, 10 am–4 pm.

Bloomin’ Brunch
The Herb Garden hosts a popular Mother’s Day brunch in its picturesque garden, and all moms take home a complimentary herb to plant. Herb Garden, Altamonte, May 13, 10 am and 12:30 pm sittings.


Festa Della Mamma Dinner
The Italian Canadian Cultural Association marks Mother’s Day with an Italian dinner and fashion show with live entertainment and prizes. Italian Canadian Cultural Association of Nova Scotia, 902-453-5327; $25–$30 adults, $15 children.

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