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Mothers Day in San Francisco 2016

Top Things to Do + Brunch & Lunch Recommendations

Are you planning on spending Mothers Day in San Francisco this year? Here you will discover some top places for brunch, where to take your mom shopping and other ideas to make the day extra special.

This year, Mother's Day falls on Sunday, May 8, 2016.

Top Brunch Spots

You will find dozens of great places to take your mom to brunch on Mother's Day. Some of my favorites include Mama's in North Beach, Dottie's True Blue Cafe near Union Square and Brenda's French Soul Food in the Tenderloin.

You can also find more elegant options such as the Cliff House or the Palace Hotel.

Find a list of my top recommendations and book your table today!

Mother's Day Cruises

Treat your mom on her special day with one of these Mother's Day cruises.

California Sunset Cruise

  • Head out on this casual 2-hour cruise around the SF Bay
  • Includes a light appetizer buffet with sandwiches, fruit, and cheese
  • One drink is included with your ticket and you can buy more drinks at the bar onboard
  • See top attractions including the Palace of Fine Arts, the Bay Bridge (and its beautiful lights), and Alcatraz
  • Cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Full Price: $64 | Goldstar Price: $32 (+ a small service fee)
  • Buy your tickets today

Mother's Day Brunch on the Belle

  • 2-hour cruise leaving at 12pm
  • Hearty breakfast brunch
  • Free flowing Champagne, bottomless Mimosas, orange juice, soda, coffee, tea
  • Wine, beer, and other cocktails available for purchase
  • Live music in the background during the entire cruise
  • Tickets start at $103.83 per person
  • Book your tickets today

Mother's Day Dinner Cruise

  • 2.5 hour cruise leaves Pier 3 at 7pm
  • Features a four-course seated dinner
  • Includes coffee, tea, soda, and water
  • Beer, wine, and cocktails for sale on the boat
  • Live music throughout the evening
  • Tickets start at $105 + taxes/service fees per person
  • Click here to buy your tickets today

Mother's Day Mimosa Brunch Sailing Cruise

  • 3.5-hour sail on the Derek M Baylis starts at 12pm
  • Unlimited Champagne, Mimosas, white wine, orange juice, water and coffee
  • Beer can be purchased
  • All you can eat buffet - we are known for good food
  • Tickets are $103 - all included
  • Grab your tickets here

Other Events & Activities

Here are some other ideas for Mothers Day in San Francisco.


Head over to the Orpheum Theater on Mother's Day to see Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. This classic performance offers colorful characters and lovely costumes. The show starts at 2pm.

Tickets: On sale now

Learn More: Find additional theater productions on Mother's Day

SF Bay Cruise

Hop aboard a Red & White Fleet ferry for a 60-minute ride around the SF Bay. This cruise offers wonderful view of the San Francisco skyline, Alcatraz Island, and the Palace of Fine Arts. You also ride under the Golden Gate Bridge, twice! It's a fun way to spoil your mom this Mother's Day Weekend. Cruises run all day between 10am and 5pm.

Tickets: On sale at up to 50% off

Segway Tour in Golden Gate Park

Are you looking for something a little different? How about celebrating Mother's Day as you cruise through Golden Gate Park on a Segway. This 2.5 hour tour takes you past many of the key attractions on the eastern side of the park. You'll learn about the park's history, interesting gardens and beautiful museums. You'll also start with a great training session to make sure you are comfortable with your Segway before you get started.

Learn More: Discover what to expect from this tour from my last cruise around Golden Gate Park

SF Ballet: Onegin

Head over to the War Memorial Opera House to catch the San Francisco Ballet Company's final performance of the season: Onegin. This family-friendly performance starts at 2pm and lasts for just over two hours.

Tickets: On sale now

More Info on the Ballet: Tips to Attend a Performance

Free Walking Tours

Every Sunday, the SF Public Library offers a number of free walking tours around the city. They range from a stroll across the Golden Gate Bridge to a look inside the famous Haight Ashbury District. All last around 2 hours and all are given by local experts.

Learn More: Sunday schedule of walking tours

Comedy: Beach Blanket Babylon

You will also find quite a few comedy shows scheduled for Mother's Day. One of the most popular is Beach Blanket Babylon. Every Sunday, there are two shows. Both shows are now family-friendly where no alcohol is served and the routine is cleaned up for kids. They run at 2pm and 5pm.

Learn More: Show overview & FAQs

SF Giants

The day before the holiday treat your mom to a San Francisco Giants baseball game. Thursday - Sunday, the Giants take on the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park.

Tickets: Find tickets to the mother's day game

Learn More: Full Schedule & Tips to Attend a Game

Best Places to Go Shopping

Shopping on Mother's Day is always a hit in my family and the city has several shopping options. You can either head down to Fisherman's Wharf for shopping or find bargains in Chinatown. The picture below shows the boardwalk on Pier 39 (from above) where you will find dozens of fun places to buy goodies.

pier 39

Here are some of my favorite places to go shopping in San Francisco with my mom:

  • Chinatown: I love heading over to Chinatown to go shopping. You can find a number of bargains here from luggage to clothing.

  • Pier 39: This is one of the most popular shopping spots for visitors. The pier is right along the water, making it a beautiful and fun place to hang out. You can do a little shopping, stop for some wine tasting or even grab some lunch.

  • Ghirardelli Square: This is another popular shopping area. It's smaller than Pier 39, but offers at least a dozen specialty shops from gifts to Kara's cupcakes.

  • Union Square: The Union Square area has a number of high end shops including Louis Vuitton, Tiffany's and Saks Fifth Avenue. You will also find other shops including a five story Macy's, Victoria's Secret and Nike.

SF Attractions Your Mother Will Enjoy

Mother's Day is a popular day for visitors in San Francisco. Many of the largest attractions, such as the California Academy of Sciences, are busy and crowded.

This image showcases one of the beautiful buildings inside the Japanese Tea Gardens in SF's Golden Gate Park.

japanese tea garden

If you don't want to battle the crowds, here are a few recommendations I think you will enjoy. They are popular, but are more spread out so don't seem to get as crowded as other San Francisco attractions.

  • Japanese Tea Garden: The Japanese Tea Garden is a gorgeous traditional garden. It's serene and also has a number of beautiful structures.

  • Botanical Gardens: Spring is my favorite time to visit the Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park. You will find thousands of plants from around the world and it's very colorful this time of year.

  • Mission Murals: Strolling the Mission Murals is another way to spend Mothers Day in San Francisco away from the crowds. All of them are free and you can walk around at your leisure. You can also grab a sack lunch and hang out in Dolores Park either before or after you visit the murals.

  • Legion of Honor: The Legion of Honor is one of my favorite SF Museums. It's a little further out, so usually doesn't get as crowded as some of the other museums. If you walk toward the water, you can also get some amazing views of the SF Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Their cafe is expensive, but has amazing food.

  • Alamo Square & the Painted Ladies: Another idea for Mothers Day in San Francisco is to grab a picnic lunch and head to Alamo Square. It's a gorgeous park with views of "Postcard Row" and downtown San Francisco. After lunch, spend some time walking around the neighborhood enjoying the Painted Ladies - the official name for the colorfully painted Victorians throughout the neighborhood.

Savings Tip: Are you looking for additional activities for Mother's Day Weekend? The best place to search is on where they offer tickets to top SF events at up to half-off the full retail price. Tickets range from theater performances to SF bay cruises. Click here for their current selection of discounted tickets.

Top Places to Stay

Are you looking at spending the weekend in SF with your mom? If so, I recommend staying either in Fisherman's Wharf or the Union Square areas. Both are near the action and the one you select will depend on what you have planned during your stay.

Fisherman's Wharf is perfect for those planning on spending a lot of time down by the water. If you want to shop along Pier 39, visit the great museums in this district or go on an Alcatraz tour, then Fisherman's Wharf is right for you. Click here for details on my favorite hotels in this district.

If your trip is more focused on activities in other parts of the city, the I recommend Union Square. This is perfect for those visiting a variety of districts as it is centrally located and it will take you less time to get from place to place. Click here for my favorite places to stay in Union Square.

Are you looking for the best hotel deals this weekend? If so, then check out all the hotels deals on TripAdvisor. Specials at hotels this weekend include free parking, free WiFi or even a percent off your room for a specific night or your entire stay. Click here for a current list of deals on

Other Pages You Might Enjoy

fishermans wharf hotels
union square sf
sf restaurants
Fisherman's Wharf
All Union Square
Top Fine Dining

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