Mother's Day: the ultimate guilt trip. You've got to do something for the woman who brought you into this world, but the traditional brunch will be twice as crowded as usual, and you know you can't get as drunk with your mom as you can with your pals. And if you're a mom yourself, waiting impatiently for a table while you try to keep your kids from running roughshod over the entire restaurant doesn't sound that great, either. So here are ten better ways to spend time with your mom on Mother's Day weekend — some of which you might even enjoy yourself.
Audubon Center at Chatfield Bird Banding Breakfast
Sunday, May 13, 7:30 to 11:30 a.m.
11280 Waterton Road, Littleton
Even if your mom's not an empty-nester, she'll probably enjoy this unusual Mother's Day morning. Meet at the Audubon Center for a Continental breakfast, then head out for a spring hike (wear your boots; it'll be muddy) to the Chatfield Bird Banding Station to watch warblers, sparrows, woodpeckers, thrushes and other songbirds be trapped, weighed, banded and released. Moms will be admitted free (though space is limited); kids pay $8 and other adults $16 for this unique outdoor activity. See denveraudubon.org for more info, and call 303-973-9530 to reserve your spot.
Hotel Boulderado Mother's Day Brunch
Sunday, May 13, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
2115 13th Street, Boulder
We couldn't resist including just one traditional Mom's Day brunch on this list — so sue us. This one, in the elegant, century-old Hotel Boulderado, actually sounds enticing: pink peppercorn prime rib; Rocky Mountain trout with pineapple-coriander salsa; truffle mashed potatoes; blueberry pie with Chantilly cream; chocolate-Kahlua toffee cake; and three different kinds of chocolate fondue are on the menu. And given that it's being served practically all day, you shouldn't have a problem getting a reservation, even if you've waited until the last minute. Make your reservation ($65 for adults, $25 for little ones under eleven, free glass of champagne for Mom) and see the entire menu at boulderado.com.
City Park Mother's Day 5K and Brunch
Sunday, May 13, 9:30 to 11 a.m.
17th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard
Mothers have to work for their meal at this family-friendly run-then-brunch event. As befitting a Mother's Day event, strollers are welcome on the race course, but child care is also available during the adults' 5K (especially appealing if this is the only time all weekend you'll be rid of your kid; we wouldn't judge if you decided to walk the course to maximize your me time). Brunch after the race (al fresco, of course) is included in the cost, and a children's run is also on the agenda. Register, $36.25 and up, at active.com.
Re:Vision Garden Bazaar
Saturday, May 12, and Sunday, May 13, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
3800 Morrison Road
Picking out garden plants on Mother's Day isn't anything new, but Re:Vision's weekend festival is a much better proposition than fighting the crowds at Home Depot. First of all, the event runs both Saturday, May 12, and Sunday, May 13, so mom can sleep in on Sunday and end up with some seedlings. There will also be free family yoga classes and cooking demos of Venezuelan arepas, food trucks, mimosas and kids' activities from Museo de las Americas (to keep the kids occupied while mom two-fists mimosas, of course). The affair supports the Westwood Food Co-op and Re:Vision's community development; learn more on Facebook.
Solutions Lounge and Restaurant
Mother's Day Brunch and Escape Room
Sunday, May 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
2220 California Street
There are many things you and your mother can try to escape from together: Mutual dysfunction, tears and recriminations, extravagant expectations and crippling guilt are just a few. But if your relationship is healthier — or you're just in denial — try getting out of an escape room with your mom this Mother's Day. We guarantee it will be simpler than trying to escape from her unwavering disapproval. Visit the Solutions Lounge Facebook page for details and a code for 20 percent off the room fee (usually $34 per person).
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Mrs. Doubtfire Brunch
Sunday, May 13, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
4255 West Colfax Avenue
Settling into comfy recliners with your mom for the 1993 ode to divorce and drag is the perfect way to spend Mother's Day, especially when brunch is included in the screening. For just $20, you can treat your mom to a cinnamon roll, Scottish breakfast and icebox cake while you bust a gut at Robin Williams's ridiculous antics. Book your seat at Alamo's website.
Bookcliff Vineyards Winery Wine and Cupcake Pairing
Sunday, May 13, 1 to 3 p.m.
1501 Lee Hill Road, Boulder
Perhaps your mom prefers malbec to mimosas and sweets to scrambled eggs. Lucky you! Skip the interminable wait for a table at brunch and take her to Bookcliff instead. Good Sugar Baking will provide a trio of cupcakes to pair with three of Bookcliff's wines for an afternoon that will have you pleasantly buzzed on both sugar and booze. Reservations aren't required; just show up at the tasting room. And the $16 price point is one even the most frugal of moms (and kids) can appreciate. It's especially fitting if your mother is sweet as pie...er, cake.
Resolute Brewing Company Mother's Day Crawfish Boil
Sunday, May 13, seatings at 1 and 3 p.m.
7286 South Yosemite Street, Centennial
If your mom doesn't mind getting a little sloppy — with her drink, her food or her personal life — get her down to Resolute, where she'll be able to drink a lot of beer (moms get a buck off full pours all day) and suck some heads. Doors open at 11 a.m., and the crawfish start coming out of the pot at 1 p.m. Buy food tickets in advance at eventbrite.com to guarantee you get the goods; a pound of mudbugs with the fixings is $13, or just $10 if you skip the sides.
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RiNo Made Store
Heirloom Tomato Plant Sale and Demo
Sunday, May 13, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Zeppelin Station, 3501 Wazee Street
On Sunday, Zeppelin Station's RiNo Made Store is the one-stop shop for Mom's needs: Mrs. Maxwell's Big Italian, Black Krim, Super Bush, Brandy Fred, Matt's Wild Cherry, Mr. Stripey, Big Jim. No, these vaguely suggestive names don't refer to anything you'd be embarrassed buying with your mom; they're all tomato and pepper varieties. Farmer Tracy Weil will present a free workshop on organic heirloom plants while offering seedlings for sale. Visit Facebook for info about the pop-up, then go to heirloomtomatofarms.com for an extensive list of varieties as well as details about sales throughout the season.
Bang Up to the Elephant
Dog Mom Appreciation Day
Sunday, May 13, 5 to 8 p.m.
1310 Pearl Street
There's no doubt about it: Motherhood is hard. You clean up poop; you make sure your kid gets fed on schedule; you make sure he gets his vaccinations; you arrange for him to be taken care of while you're at work. And for someone to tell you all that work doesn't count just because he has four legs and a tail? It's heartbreaking. But this Mother's Day, Denver's newest Caribbean restaurant has your back and is offering a free mimosa to dog moms, cat moms, chinchilla moms and all other ladies who take care of non-human kiddos. Visit the eatery's Facebook page for details and requirements.