Updated May 6th, 2024

7 ways to celebrate Mother’s Day outdoors this weekend

Show your mother figures in your life some love this Sunday, Mother’s Day, by sharing your time with them. Gifts are great, but time spent with loved ones is priceless and we have just the place: the great outdoors. Here are a few easy ways to surprise your favorite mom, grandma, fur mom or bonus mom this Sunday:

Keep it local: Visit the 2nd Street Market for a Mother’s Day brunch and shopping at the outdoor farmers market. Grab all the fresh produce, meat and desserts you need to make your mom’s favorite meal. Vendors also will offer flowers, artisan wares, plants and other items that make great gifts. Learn more.

Family pictures: Trees are budding and flowers are blooming, making your MetroParks the perfect backdrop for frame-worthy photos. Get your family dressed up and head to your favorite park for some candid shots.

If you need some ideas, consider heading to Wegerzyn Gardens, Cox Arboretum and Aullwood Garden MetroParks for backdrops with flowers and plants. Find rustic barn backdrops at Carriage Hill and Possum Creek MetroParks. For sweeping views, head to RiverScape MetroPark or High View at Twin Creek MetroPark.

Note: Professional photographers are required to have a permit.

Family camp out: Camping is a great way to retreat for some quality family time. You can pitch a tent in your back yard or make a reservation a site at one of MetroParks’ sites in Possum Creek, Englewood, Germantown or Twin Creek MetroParks.

No equipment? No problem! MetroParks offers weekend equipment rentals, including tents for up to six, sleeping bags and more. Reserve equipment  and/or book a campsite.

Start a garden: The frost date has moved in our region, which means gardening can start a little earlier! Prep a small space for gardening in your back yard or use buckets for veggies or colorful blooms to brighten up your yard. Be sure to mix in some native plants to help attract pollinators and wildlife to your back yard.

Grab plants from local growers at the 2nd Street Market’s outdoor farmers market and during the Native Plant Sale on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12.

Take to the trails: A walk in the park is a great family activity, and MetroParks is home to natural surface trails for all skill levels. Those who want to travel shorter, more even terrain can visit one of MetroParks’ Heart Healthy Trails. These trails help you get your steps in, your heart pumping and make it easy for you to track your pace.

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Another great way to experience the region’s many trails as a family is to sign up for the 2024 MetroParks Trails Challenge. Hike, walk, bike, run, jog, paddle and even horseback ride the region’s trails for your chance to win fun prizes.

New to the trails? No worries! Because the 2024 MetroParks Trails Challenge can be completed safely on your own time and at your own pace, it’s easy to start with shorter, easier trails and then build your skills and stamina to tackle longer trails throughout the summer into fall. Learn more and register for the MetroParks Trails Challenge.

Plan a picnic: Make mom’s favorite foods, pack a blanket and head out to your favorite MetroPark for a picnic. Remember, MetroParks follows Leave No Trace principles in its parks, so it’s important to discard of waste appropriately in trash or recycling receptacles and pack out what you carry into the park.

Some suggestions for the perfect picnic are Island, Wegerzyn Gardens, Cox Arboretum, Englewood, Sunrise and Possum Creek MetroParks. If a shelter is unoccupied, you can sit in the shade and enjoy your meal.

Bike & Brunch: May is all about cycling, and MetroParks is offering fun ways to get you on your bike. Take a family ride and treat yourself with a treat along the way by planning a trip using the Great Miami Riverway map.

If you want to make a day of it, start at Eastwood MetroPark and take the Mad River Trail to the Great Miami River Trail in downtown Dayton. Stop for bunch at the 2nd Street Market, then bike to the Oregon District to do some shopping.

If none of these options “wow” your favorite mom, consider visiting metroparks.org to find more park destinations, activities and tips on how to connect with nature.


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