7 Fun & Free Things to Do This Mother’s Day in Los Angeles | 2024

As the warmth of Spring bathes the city, and with Mother’s Day fast approaching on Sunday, May 12, 2024, hearts are filled with appreciation for the women who make our lives extraordinary. Yet, in a year where pocketbooks and wallets feel a little tighter, finding ways to celebrate Mom without breaking the bank becomes a quest in itself.That’s why we’ve curated a list of FREE activities happening around town this Sunday, ensuring that Mom gets the special treatment she deserves without adding financial stress to the equation. Because what could be more precious than creating cherished memories together under the Californian sunshine?

Mother’s Day can be a mixed bag of emotions for many, including mothers themselves. It’s a day that prompts reflection on the complexities of motherhood and family dynamics. To truly make it a day to remember, why not start by asking your mom or mother figure what their perfect Sunday entails? After all, the key to a truly memorable experience lies in tailoring it to her preferences. To kickstart your planning, we’ve combed through our guides and compiled a selection of suggestions for fun and FREE things to do in the City of Angels. From leisurely strolls through scenic parks to exploring cultural gems, there’s something on this list to suit every taste and preference. So, let’s dive in and make this Mother’s Day one for the books!

Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Dutch, 1894
Oil on canvas
Courtesy of The J. Paul Getty Museum. Los Angeles, CA.

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Whale Watch at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center
Rancho Palos Verdes
10AM – 5PM
In spring, gray whales journey 10,000 miles from Mexico to Alaska. Witness this unique migration with Mom, spotting spouts and chatting with American Cetacean Society volunteers in L.A. They’ve counted whales since 1984 and will be stationed through late May to assist in spotting these majestic creatures. Keep an eye out for spouts and talk to volunteers from the American Cetacean Society’s L.A. chapter. They’ve counted whales since 1984 and will be stationed through late May to assist in spotting them. This beautiful park, located adjacent to the Point Vicente Lighthouse, offers recreational and educational opportunities to the public. The Interpretive Center opened in 1984 with a mission to present and interpret the unique features and history of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The almost 10,000 square foot newly expanded Interpretive Center, re-opened on July 15, 2006, features exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the Peninsula, with a special emphasis on the Pacific gray whale. This premier whale watch site provides spectacular opportunities to view the annual migration of the Pacific gray whale, from December through April.

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Picnic at the Silver Lake Meadow or Echo Park Lake
Silver Lake and Echo Park
Dawn to Dusk
While Los Angeles boasts plenty of relaxing and verdant parks to enjoy an impromptu picnic with mom, perhaps our favorites are Silver Lake Meadow and Echo Park Lake, especially the lake if you or your mother are bringing a furry friend. Both are sure to be a bit crowded this Sunday if you want to grab a spot by Lady of the Lake or closest to the walking path at the Reservoir, try to arrive a little early, say, before the crowds are leaving their wallet-tightening brunches at all our nearby hotspots. If Mom likes to walk, you can hike the 2ish mile pathways at either park and check out the dazzling array of poppies, purple sage and wildlife (think ducks, turtles, and more) that lines the bodies of water. But mostly it’s a nice place to just relax on a blanket people watching and taking in the solitude.

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Bike the Coast in Santa Monica
Santa Monica
Dawn to Dusk
Hit the beach, rent a bike for two (or one for everyone), and take the wheels up and down The Strand, from Muscle Beach to Venice or all the way up to Pacific Palisades where the legendary and soon-to-be-closed Patrick’s Roadhouse will soon be serving their last meal and mimosa. The stretch from the pier to the top of the bicycle path is roughly 3 miles, so come prepared with a bottle of water or two, plus ample SPF, in tow. Parking at Santa Monica Parking Structure 5. 1440, 4th St. Santa Monica. 90 minutes free and then around $2 per hour.

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Bring a Dish to the Mother’s Day Potluck at the Will Rogers Polo Club
Pacific Palisades
11AM – 2PM
Pack the makings for mimosas and charcuterie boards to share with the other Mother’s Day attendees, or not, and settle on the edge of the field to watch a polo match (for free) at Will Rogers State Park.

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Hike to the Hollywood Sign
Dawn to Dusk
Embark on an adventure with the special moms in your life! Trek along the family-friendly path leading to the iconic Hollywood sign, offering a breathtaking close-up of this LA landmark. For those seeking diverse trails, we present an array of options. Delight in walks suited for toddlers, stroller-friendly paths, captivating spring wildflower trails, enchanting waterfall routes, and immersive wildlife excursions. Our favorite way to get up there? Traversing from Beachwood Canyon to the Hollywood Sign unveils a scenic journey through rugged terrain and lush vegetation. As hikers ascend, panoramic vistas of Los Angeles emerge, captivating with each step. The trail winds gracefully, offering glimpses of iconic landmarks before culminating in an awe-inspiring vista at the foot of the legendary sign. Follow the Hollyridge Trail, accessible from Beachwood Drive. Begin at the Sunset Ranch Hollywood Stables and ascend gradually, soaking in stunning views of the cityscape. After approximately 3 miles, you’ll arrive at a vantage point offering an unforgettable close-up of the iconic Hollywood Sign.

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Look at Art at The Getty
Pacific Palisades
10AM – 5:30PM
Embark on a scenic drive along the Pacific Coast Highway to the Getty Villa, an exquisite recreation of a Roman villa nestled in Pacific Palisades. Explore ancient art, stroll through serene gardens, and savor Mediterranean-inspired cuisine at the onsite café. Don’t forget to make reservations for the free museum entry. For an extended cultural adventure, venture to The Getty Center nearby, where stunning architecture and a diverse collection of art await. A visit to both sites promises a delightful and enriching Mother’s Day experience, blending scenic beauty, cultural immersion, and culinary delights in a celebration of art and history.

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Mamma Mia! at Los Angeles State Historic Park
Friday, May 10
Seeking a spirited and song-filled kick-off to the holiday weekend? Start the weekend off right with this paid event courtesy of Cinespia.  Cinespia is presenting “Mamma Mia!” on the outdoor screen at Los Angeles State Historic Park on Friday, May 10; picnic and treat your mom to a joyful musical movie full of panache and dash.

Happy Mother’s Day! Enjoy!


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