Sure, you could celebrate Mother’s Day with brunch at a restaurant — along with a zillion other families — and hope for a freebie carnation from the waiter in between all the clanking plates, chattering people and crying children, and other assorted chaos. Or you could try asking for what you really want for Mother’s Day: Some peace and quiet. Perhaps even some “me” time. If Option B is your preference, then we have some suggested outings for you.
Get to a Garden
Why settle for a single flower when you could immerse yourself in a garden’s worth – no vase or watering can required. Bring a camera, or bring binoculars and check out the birds. There are public gardens throughout the state, including Greenwood Gardens in Short Hills, which will offer music among the flowers on Mother’s Day ; the New Jersey Botanical Gardens in Ringwood, whose lilac garden should be in full bloom; Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown, which offers a koi pond, a meadow walk and a bonsai display; Rutgers Gardens in New Brunswick, which is marking its centennial this year; and Duke Farms in Hillsborough, whose indoor orchid display is viewable year-round.
Play with Pixels
If the most relaxing sound for you is electronic bleeps and bloops, or if you secretly wish your kids would hand you the game controller once in a while, head to an arcade and play your heart out. The Silver Ball Museum in Asbury Park has 182 old and new pinball machines to choose from, and the recently opened Morristown Game Vault offers retro-game classics like Donkey Kong, Ms. Pac-Man and Q-Bert. In both cases, you pay up front for a set amount of time, and you get unlimited free play. So you don’t even need to hoard quarters.
Relax and Read
Finally, you can get through a chapter or two without interruptions. You could sneak away to the library and claim a comfy seat there, or if you’d rather buy your books, shop local and hit up an indie bookstore. Try the Bookworm in Bernardsville, the Book Garden in Frenchtown, Bookends in Ridgewood or Books & Greetings in Northvale.
Overstuffed antique stores can be a dicey place to take children – valuable merchandise just waiting to get accidentally knocked off shelves – but they’re perfect for a solo outing. Marvel at vintage kitchen tools or hunt down pillbox hats. In towns like Andover, Flemington or Cape May, you can just travel from shop to shop. Or check out antique malls, like the Lafayette Mill Antiques Center, Somerville Center Antiques or the Hamburg Antique Center.
DIY Spa Day
You could wait for someone to buy a pricey spa package for you, or you could do it the casual way. Stop by your favorite mani-pedi place and have them throw in a quick massage. Then head to a café for tea and some sinful baked goods. It’s low-fuss, low-cost relaxation.
Hero (Top) Feature Image: © Syda Productions / Adobe Stock
Additional Images (in Order) Courtesy:
Silver Ball Museum
Books and Greetings
Hamburg Antique Center
Avesun / Depositphotos, Inc.