Sure, you could get that amazing woman in your life flowers. Or a scarf. Or PJs. Yawn. Or, you could tap your creativity and give her an experience to remember. After a cold winter and Covid shut-in life, there’s no better time to treat your mom (or the mother of your children) to something new. Here, we’ve rounded up a dozen of the most interesting and engaging options in the Valley.
Queens native Suzanne Parker, a foodie, author, and restaurant critic, knows a thing or two about cooking. She also knows that it’s hard to find authentic Chinese food in the Hudson Valley. If you’re craving the “real deal,” as she calls it, why not learn how to whip it up yourself? Give Mom a 3-to 4-hour class in Parker’s Woodstock kitchen ($150 for one, $250 for a couple), and you’ll come away ready to make mapo tofu, pepper steak, and shrimp in lobster sauce.
For nature-loving mothers, here’s a great way to spend an outdoorsy day. Schedule a scenic skyride for this summer with a chair lift ride up all 3,200 feet of Hunter Mountain (approximately $15 per person). Take in the jaw-dropping view of New England from the summit and then hike down a trail for a stunning and aerobically energizing outing.
Indulge the Anglophile in your life with High Tea at Caramoor (pinkies up are optional, but reservations required; $45 per person) in Katonah. She’ll enjoy a pot of Earl Grey or other varieties of tea, cucumber and salmon sandwiches, lemon bars, scones, and more. Also included is access to select rooms of the swanky, Mediterranean-style Rosen House and the opportunity to stroll the lush gardens.
Whether she’s your spouse or your mom, she has stories to tell—about life, love, travel—and secrets she’s never shared (or at least not yet). Help her shape those experiences into compelling prose by signing her up for a Zoom memoir-writing course at Hudson Valley Writers’ Center. Susan Hodara, co-author of the collaborative memoir Still Here Thinking of You: A Second Chance With Our Mothers, teaches a 7-week session for $375.
How cool would it be to have someone declutter areas in her home that drive her positively nuts? The organizing service Orderly will do just that. Says founder Eva Goodman, “An organizing session is a gift that keeps on giving. It helps create more spaciousness, no matter where you live or what you own.” Virtual sessions start at $150; in-home visits are $350 and up.
Nothing says “I love you” like 15 minutes flying over the Hudson Valley’s gorgeous landscape in an old-school, open-to-the-great-outdoors bi-plane. For an adventurous, intrepid mom, this is a dream gift. $100/per person at the Rhinebeck Aerodrome.
Maybe she’s glimpsed that gorgeous, crumbling brick castle in the Hudson River while zooming up Route 9 between Cold Spring and Beacon. That’s Bannerman’s Island, and you can visit via a half-hour boat ride. Tour the fairytale setting together to the sound of live music, or go for a summer film night. Tickets are $40 per person and pure magic either way.
People drive for hours to consult with Martha and her cards in Wappingers Falls. “Using angel tarot cards, I ask our spirit guides and guardian angels to work with us. They are solution oriented, empowering, uplifting, and fun!” she says. Readings are available by Zoom, phone, and in person; $75 for 30 minutes and $125 for an hour.
Cold Spring’s Parcel Flower Co. offers amazing floral design workshops (Mom will leave with her handiwork; classes range from $45 to $150). Owner Marcella Broe says the shop is also hosting a spring outdoor market on the weekend of May 18 with vendors and programs to appeal to nature- and garden-lovers.
Why not toast Mom on her special day? Milea Estate Vineyard sits in the splendid rolling hills of Staatsburg. For Mother’s Day, they’re serving a special flight of their sparkling Prosecco (one white, one rosé) and two still rosés (flights are typically $25 each), along with locally sourced tapas.
If Mom loves her Guinness or IPA, how about a half-day learning the art and science of beer-making? Sign up for a summertime session at Clover Brooke Farm in Hyde Park. There’s class time, plus touring the hop field and learning about the history of hops in the Hudson Valley. If time allows, she’ll get to meet the llamas and alpacas that live at the farm. $60 per person, including a growler of beer.
Did you know there are 14 tons of Himalayan salt embedded in a spa cave in Poughkeepsie? You’ll find it at the Hudson Valley Healing Center, bringing a practice called halotherapy to our area. Beyond a stunning setting, Mom will enjoy a medical-grade salt treatment to reduce inflammation and open up breathing passages. $40 for 45 minutes.
Related: How to Elevate Your Hudson Valley Backyard for Summer