Fun Ways to Spend Mother's Day in Long Beach

Long Beach knows moms are special, and there’s no shortage of local attractions where you can celebrate Mom her way. Whether Mom is a shopper, art aficionado, outdoorsy adventurer, animal lover, garden enthusiast, or has wide-ranging tastes, there are many ways to treat all types of mommas in Long Beach.

For Green-Thumbed Moms

A dreamy oasis of Japanese black pines and springtime blooming iris awaits Mom at the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden, a 1.3-acre serene public attraction on the campus of California State University, Long Beach. Explore the Zigzag and Moon bridges, Koi Pond, Tea House and Rock Garden.

The gardens at two of the city’s historic sites and museums also are favorite spots for locals and visitors to learn about California’s history and native plant life. Rancho Los Alamitos, with an adobe structure built in the early 1800s, has more than four acres of extraordinary gardens as well as a barnyard. And, Rancho Los Cerritos, with its adobe dating back to 1844, is known for nearly five-acres of lush landscaping and fragrant purple wisteria.

For Artsy Moms

The first stop on any art-lover’s tour of Long Beach is the Long Beach Museum of Art
– which, perched on the bluff with an ocean-view restaurant and stunning outdoor sculpture garden, is a work of art in itself. The municipal art center in the historic 1911 Elizabeth Milbank Anderson House flaunts a permanent collection of more than 3,200 works, and there’s a secondary LBMA location with dynamic installations at LBMA Downtown.

Beyond LBMA, no art-centric visit to Long Beach would be complete without a trip to the Museum of Latin American Art. MOLAA is the only museum in the United States fully dedicated to modern and contemporary Latin American and Latino art. The distinct space features a sprawling sculpture garden and massive indoor gallery in what was formerly an early-1900s silent film studio and then a longtime roller rink called the Hippodrome. It houses a permanent curated collection of more than 1,300 pieces.

Looking for a day or weekend-long itinerary? Check out our Art + Architecture Long Beach getaway.

For Bargain-Hunting Moms

If Mom is thrilled by finding that perfect new thing she’s been looking for, treat her to a day looking for deals among the eclectic mix of independent shops – and beauty service providers – that call Long Beach home. Belmont Shore’s Second Street or Downtown’s Shoreline Village are picturesque, walk-friendly shopping areas where you can spend the day, with a wide variety of seaside retailers who specialize in specialty wares – from boutique clothing stores to wine and cheese shops. There’s also Fourth Street’s Retro Row, a fun and funky stretch of mom-and-pops and thrift shops that capitalize on nostalgia in the form of vintage wares, from classic records to saddle shoes.

For Purr-fect Moms

Because your mom is the cat’s meow, she might enjoy time with you at the Feline Good Social Club in Long Beach’s East Village. Those giddy for kitties will find that the cat lounge offers cuddles with adoptable pets.

Or, mothers who must love dogs can bring their four-legged friends to dig in the sand and doggy paddle at Rosie’s Dog Beach, an unfenced four-acre stretch of coast where salty dogs as they play catch off-leash.

For “shrimply” the best moms, the Aquarium of the Pacific offers a special Mother’s Day lunch ticket that includes all-day admission to colorful exhibits that explore the diverse parenting habits of marine animals. Because from cuttlefish moms to shark moms – all moms, especially the human variety, deserve a special day!

For Sun-Loving Moms

Moms who enjoy the great outdoors will no doubt enjoy the many activities offered at El Dorado Park. A vast nature center, complete with a gift shop, ponds and two miles of dirt hiking trails, is a sanctuary for bird and plant life. On the east side of the park, an archery range allows Mom to hit the bull’s eye from across a grassy field. On the west side, an 18-hole disc golf course is spread out under the shade of large ash trees. There's even a hidden small amusement park great for young families, El Dorado Frontier. And, connecting it all, a four-mile bike path runs through the 450-acre park and joins up with the San Gabriel River Bike Trail.

If Mom is looking for a classic game of golf, Long Beach has several challenging courses to tee off from, including the rolling hills of Recreation Park 18, which is one of the oldest public golf courses in Southern California.

For Nautical Moms

Moms who enjoy getting on the water might like a day or overnight getaway to Santa Catalina Island on the Catalina Express, which ferries people to and from the docks of Avalon and Long Beach daily.

Those staying closer to home could navigate the canals of Naples with Long Beach Waterbikes. The company rents the human-powered watercraft that can steered from an upright position for day or nighttime “glow” rides. And for a more leisurely ride, try Gondola Getaway, which will transport you through the canals with a serenade.

Or, moms can explore Rainbow Lagoon in a Swan Boat, which is basically a fun-shaped paddle boat available with shaded canopies for day use or glowing LED lights for night rides through Wheel Fun Rentals. Wheel Fun Rentals also has bike and surreys available to rent and use along Long Beach’s Beach Path.

If your mom prefers a leisurely boat ride, check out our list of boat excursions in Long Beach!

Mother's Day Brunches & Dining in Long Beach
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Let someone else do the cooking! Treat Mom to a special meal at one of these Long Beach locations this Mother's Day!

About the Author
Ashleigh Ruhl