Updated April 2008

Big and small celebrations for every type of mother

When it comes to celebrating Mother's Day, there are two types of mamas, and you know which one you are. The first wants to spend to spend the morning lounging alone in bed, door closed, The New York Times and a cup of the best cup of coffee money can buy on the nightstand. Or playing Queen for a Day at a spa. Having time on her own is the main event, so she can recharge from a schedule that makes training for a triathlon seem like a day at the beach.

The second type wants nothing more than to spend the day with her family, no matter what's on the agenda. Since family togetherness means having kids in tow, finding an activity that everyone can enjoy is task one. Whatever your ideal version of The Day, we offer you gift and activity suggestions that you can start hinting about right away.

The Big Gesture

Moms who enjoy being pampered would love a gift certificate to a local spa.
Trust us. We can't possibly mention them all, but if you (or the mom in your life) have a taste for adventure as well as luxury, try these unusual options. 

Korean-style Olympus Spa in Lakewood offers saunas, spa pools and heated rooms to an all-female clientele. Initiates swear by its lounge-all-day policy ($35 for all-day use of the herbal hydrotherapy pools, steam room, sauna and "earth energy" heated rooms), relaxed vibe and relatively inexpensive services, although big spenders can buy a year's membership for $1830. Oh, and patrons bathe in the nude. There's also a location in Lynnwood.

Banya 5
in downtown Seattle is a traditional Russian bathhouse, complete with dry sauna, cold bath and optional birch bundles, or venik, for skin stimulation. $35 gets you in the door; other services such as facials and massages are extra. Sundays are Family Day -- between 10 a.m.-4 p.m., kids under 16 are $10 when they come in with a parent .

Women with more traditional tastes might enjoy the $375 "Day at the Spa" (which includes hydrotherapy tub and body wrap, mani/pedi, facial and lunch) at the plush Woodmark Spa in Kirkland.

Argosy Cruises offers a daylong Mother's Day outing to Kiana Lodge, a 1930s-era clubhouse located on six acres of gardens on Agate Passage in Poulsbo. Arrive just in time for lunch, after a 11/2-hour cruise, and enjoy a buffet that includes salmon, oven-roasted potatoes and dessert. You'll have time to stroll the grounds before returning to Seattle. Departs from Pier 56, Seattle. Tickets are $65 for adults, $45 for kids ages 5-12, and free for ages 4 and under. 

And if one day just isn't enough of a celebration, make a weekend out of it at Mother's Day Family Camp, an annual event the YMCA's Camp Orkila, 280 forested acres with a private beach on northwest Orcas Island. Families can visit the camp farm, practice archery, bike, boat, sit around the campfire and more; mothers can indulge in a massage for a small fee and receive a special surprise. Accommodations range from rustic cabins to cabins with full kitchen, bathrooms and linen, and meals are provided buffet-style, and rates run from $93-$161 per person.

Sweet and Cheap

A visit to the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island takes you through a variety of artful "altered landscapes," from a moss garden to a formal reflecting pool, juxtaposed against lush second-growth forest. It's well worth the trip over for a peaceful walk through some seriously beautiful grounds. Reservations are required to tour the 150-acre former Bloedel family estate, and picnicking and pets are not allowed. Call 206-842-7631 for reservations and to inquire about accommodations for people with disabilities.

On Mother's Day weekend, moms ride the Snoqualmie Valley Railroad free with a paying child of any age. (Attention, grandmas.) Take a vintage train from the restored turn-of-the-19th-century Snoqualmie Depot through the Upper Snoqualmie Valley to North Bend. Poke around in North Bend for a while, and then catch a train back. Trains aren't fully accessible to people with disabilities because of narrow doorways and steep stairwells; call if you have concerns about accessibility.

An outstanding local garden hosts a free Mother's Day event every year. Bellevue Botanical Garden's Mother's Day Social features light refreshments and live music in addition to the pleasure of strolling  the paths to view beds in full spring bloom.

For those of you who want to celebrate Mother's Day with in a truly kid-friendly way, Remlinger Farms opens its Country Fair Family Fun Park (think kiddie rides, animals, cool steam locomotive ride) for the season on Mother's Day weekend. A car show featuring gleaming Mustangs is on the schedule, too.

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