May 2, 2016 - Things to Do

17 (mostly free) things to do with your mom this Mother’s Day

km skyline

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching and I realized that I am quickly running out of time to figure out something to do with my mom that a) I can afford and b) she’ll like to do (hi Mom!).

Trusting that I’m not the only one feeling this way, I put together a list of ideas and am now passing them on to those of you who, like me, are panicking and grasping at straws. And they’re (almost all) free.

Remind her how beautiful North Carolina is

This is easy, free and good for you (three birds with one stone!). Head to Crowders Mountain, Kings Mountain, the Whitewater Center or Lake Norman State Park, just to name a few.

Cost: $0

Hiking View

Let her get some sun

Good for her heart, good for her soul. Head to the public access points on Lake Norman and Wylie and watch her stress melt away.

Cost: $0

[Agenda story: Summer is imminent. Here are the beaches, boat ramps and lakeside restaurants on Lake Norman and Lake Wylie]

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Magical at Christmas, magical at every holiday (even if they’re Hallmark holidays).

Cost: $0 for your mom on Saturday and Sunday. Bonus! The first 250 moms get a free potted plant. 6500 South Newhope Road


Carolina Raptor Center

Because nothing is cooler than watching a bird like Willow come in hot, and moms get in free on Sunday.

Cost: $0 for your mom. 6000 Sample Road, Huntersville

Willow coming in hot at @carolinaraptor

A video posted by Axios Charlotte (@charlotteagenda) on

Mini Golf

What’s a little friendly competition between a mother and her children? Unless it’s Monopoly, not much.

Cost: $0 for moms who are playing with a paying child at Adventure Landing. 10400 Cadillac Street, Pineville

Photo via Facebook
Photo via Facebook

Have a picnic

Grab a blanket and head to Romare Bearden, Freedom Park, Fourth Ward Park or First Ward Park for the best views.

[Agenda story: Lunch al fresco. How to have a spontaneous picnic in one of Charlotte’s many parks.]

Cost: $0


Tour Fourth Ward

It’s charming year-round, not just when it’s ready for Christmas.

Cost: $0. Get the map and information at the Charlotte Visitor Info Center at 501 S. College Street

Photo via Austin Caine

Go on a scavenger hunt

The art in Uptown is interesting, all over the place and makes for a great game.

Cost: $0. Here’s the scavenger hunt. Good luck.


Ride the trolley

When was the last time you did something completely new with your mom?

Cost: $0. Any of the stops Uptown every 15 minutes until 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, midnight on Friday and Saturday and 7 p.m. on Sundays.

Photo via CATS
Photo via CATS

Walk the greenways

The one behind Midtown is especially lovely.


Go to a museum

ImaginOn and the Wells Fargo Museum are free. Got a little bit of cash? Levine Museum of the New South and the Bechtler are $8.

Bechtler Museum

Rocky River Vineyards

Because there’s nothing more your mom loves than wine (and you, of course). Rocky River is 30 minutes from Charlotte and has plenty of spots to picnic.

Cost: $8 to taste eight wines. 11685 Reed Mine Road

Photo via Facebook
Photo via Facebook

Go strawberry picking

The work at Hall Family Farm is hard, the reward is sweet (punny!).

Cost: $0 to get in, but $2.39/lb for the strawberries. 10713 Providence Road West


Watch people create art on the Rail Trail

Or even help. Murals are being painted at 3 different spots on the Rail Trail three different days in May, and on Saturday the 7th, the MLK Boulevard stop (behind the Wells Fargo Building) is being painted from noon to 4 p.m.

Cost: $0. It’s all volunteer-based. 


Hang out at BIKE! Charlotte

There are plenty of rides happening Mother’s Day weekend (see those here), but on Sunday, you and your mom can enjoy a Sunday Slow Riders Mother’s Day Ride. It meets at 1:45 p.m. at Legion and leaves at 2. Details.

Cost: $0


Listen to jazz at the Bechtler

The Ziad Jazz Quartet are in town Friday night and you can see them live at 6 and 8:15 p.m. It promises to be good – the show is called Smoking Saxophones.

Cost: $14 for the public, $8 for members. Buy your tickets here. 420 South Tryon Street



The music festival is back at Romare Bearden Park on Saturday the 7th at 3:30 p.m. It’s known for highlighting local and regional acts.

Cost: $0


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Charlotte.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Charlotte stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Charlotte.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more