Header image courtesy of The Pedaler Cycling Tours & Rentals.
If you ever feel like you don't spend enough time with your mom, Mother's Day is your chance to make up for it. We've put together a selection of things you can do together in Victoria to make her feel extra special.
1. Take Her for Brunch, Of Course!
Victoria was recently named the Brunch Capital of Canada by The Food Network, and for good reason. There are many fantastic brunch spots around town, like John's Place and the Hawk and Hen. Both offer classic brunch options in casual and friendly settings.
If you're going all out, get dressed up and enjoy a special Mother's Day Brunch at the Fairmont Empress in downtown Victoria, or at The Marina Restaurant which overlooks the picturesque Oak Bay Marina.
Images: The Marina Restaurant
2. Explore the City on Two Wheels
Spring in Victoria is a wonderful time to get outside, so why not explore the city by bike? Don't worry if you're not a pro; there are several tour companies in town that offer easy-paced bike tours for cyclists of all ages and ability levels. Try The Discovery Tour from Bike Tours Victoria, where you'll experience mountain views, beautiful parks, a catered ocean picnic lunch from Nourish Kitchen & Cafe, local food tastings (including a stop at Silk Road Tea), and lots of stops for stories along the way.
Image: Bike Tours Victoria
3. Treat Her to Some "Me Time"
Nothing says relaxation like an oceanside spa appointment. Treat your mom to a mani/pedi or a massage at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa, the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, the Spa Magnolia at the Magnolia Hotel, or choose from one of Victoria's other great spas around town.
If you're looking for an oasis just outside of the city, take a short drive up the Saanich Peninsula to Brentwood Bay, where you can grab lunch and enjoy a spa treatment at the Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa.
Image: Oak Bay Beach Hotel pool and hot tubs
Experiencing Victoria's many incredible gardens is a classic Mother's Day activity. Take your mom on a trip to The Butchart Gardens and the breathtaking beauty of nature as you meander through several themed gardens, each immaculately kept and stunningly colourful. Even if your mom doesn't like gardening, we can pretty much guarantee that she'll enjoy visiting this one.
Tip: Make sure to stop and cool down with a scoop of gelato when you get to the Italian Garden.
Image: The Butchart Gardens Top Walk tulip display
On your way back into town, make a quick stop at Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse and pick up a bottle of fresh apple or pear cider as a gift for your #1 lady.
If you want to get out on the water, opt for a fun and relaxing 3-Hour Sail. All you'll have to do is sit back and enjoy a private sailing tour of Victoria's coastline.
Tip: You're allowed to bring your own picnic and wine on the boat!
4. Explore Downtown Shopping, Galleries and Great Food
Make sure to pack your walking shoes; you'll want them for exploring Victoria's downtown core. Take a stroll up Government Street from the Inner Harbour and check out lots of souvenir and gift shops, then make your way to Lower Johnson (about a ten-minute walk) to find some of the city's best boutique shopping. Make sure to stop in at Rogers' Chocolates and pick up a sweet treat for your mom.
If your mom likes art, you're in luck. Victoria is home to several art galleries. Start downtown with stops at Madrona Gallery, Legacy Art Gallery, West End Gallery and Out of the Mist Gallery, or spend an afternoon at The Robert Bateman Centre. Once you're ready for a pick-me-up, grab a snack at Chorizo and Co. or stop in for a luxurious cup of tea at Terrior Tea Salon. Both shops are located nearby on Fort Street.
Image: Terroir Tea's Steampunk tea brewers
If your mom gets excited about trying new foods, you can also take her on a walking tasting tour with Off The Eaten Track. They will be offering a special Mother's Day Tour on Saturday, May 7, which includes a chocolate tasting at Terroir Tea Salon with chocolates from Sirene Chocolates. On Sunday, May 8, they'll also be offering a Craft Beer and Culinary Tour with an added stop at Pure Loving Chocolate.
5. Celebrate With a Toast to Mom...
Say "Cheers!" to mom with a handcrafted cocktail at one of Victoria's incredible lounges or wine bars. Take her to Clive's Classic Lounge or Veneto Tapa Lounge which is a stylish and sophisticated urban lounge in the heart of downtown.
Another local favourite is Little Jumbo, a west coast cocktail lounge that serves up new-school drink creations with old-school style. The bartenders at Little Jumbo utilize lots of locally-sourced spirits, juices and tonics in their libations and make many of their unique infusions in-house.
Little Jumbo head bartender Nate Caudle will be serving up Saskatoon Juleps this Mother's Day, as a little something that reminds him of home.
"Growing up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, homemade Saskatoon berry pies were always a favourite treat from my mom," he says. "This is a lower proof version of a Kentucky Classic, with a Canadian spin, and perfect for May weather. It's a nice refreshing sipper for any hard-working mother."
Images: Little Jumbo cocktails, the Saskatoon Julep pictured on the right
...or a cup of tea!
Those who prefer tea to cocktails can opt instead for afternoon or high tea at one of Victoria's many tea rooms. The Fairmont Empress offers a renowned and regal Afternoon Tea experience, as does The Butchart Gardens, The Teahouse at Abkhazi Garden and the James Bay Tea Room.
For a more contemporary experience, try Venus Sophia, or The London Tube. You can also enjoy afternoon tea at the Hotel Grand Pacific, who offers a west coast-inspired menu alongside a large selection of teas from around the world.
Image: Venus Sophia Tea
For an out-of-the-box Mother's Day, try the Mother'Z Day experience at Hotel Zed.
Here you'll skip the brunch line and Sunday best, instead taking part in fun family activities like splashing around in the pool and hot tub, playing a game of ping pong or Wii, listening to vinyl records at the listening station, or taking a ride down the famous pink Zedinator waterslide. Make sure to request a ride on the coolest shuttle in town; the Zed Bus.
There you have it; six great ideas for quality time with mom that will surely get you "favourite child" status. Still looking for more ideas? Check out our things to do page.