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Mother’s Day History and Fun Things to Do in New York City

May 12, 2017
Mother’s Day, traditionally celebrated on the second Sunday in May, is typically marked with flowers, cards and other gifts for Mom.
Motherhood celebrations can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of the Mother Goddesses Rhea and Cybele.
In 1908, Anna Jarvis created Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children.  Six years later it became an official U.S. holiday.  Jarvis later denounced the holiday’s commercialization and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar.
Some fun ways to celebrate with Mom or your student tour group in New York City include:
(1) Spend the day at the Queens Botanical Garden admiring fresh and colorful blooms.  Tour the 39 acres of living museum and its display of lush greenery and gorgeous plants.  Gardens include the Rose, Bee, Herb, and Perennial Gardens.
(2)  Take mom to Wave Hill where you can enjoy blooming flowers and trees.  The 28-acre estate in the Hudson Hill section of Riverdale, Bronx, also hosts a special brunch celebration.
(3)  A family party to celebrate moms, both animal and human, will be had at The Central Park Zoo.  Meet zoo moms and their babies on a scavenger hunt, make treats, and create Mother’s Day-themed arts and crafts.
(4)  Meander through the newly reopened Lilac Collection at the New York Botanical Garden while bands and dancers perform on the Daffodil Hill main stage.  Other activities include putting on the green, croquet, guided walking tours through the gardens, and the just-opened Chihuly outdoor glass art installation featuring more than 20 glimmering pieces by artist Dale Chihuly.
(5)  Take the seven-minute ferry ride to Governors Island, a 172-acre oasis once home to the U.S. Army and Coast Guard.  Fun activities such as the Children’s Museum of the Arts Free Art Island Outpost, mini golf, an adventure playground, and a new zip line, will make you want to return on Father’s Day!

Student Tours, Educational Tours, or Group Tours, Colonial Capital Tours ( will customize your New York City student tour for you and your New York City school trip!

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