Special Mother’s Day Options in Downtown San Diego

Take mom to an arts-and-crafts fair, go for a bay cruise or dine at a number of local restaurants preparing special meals on May 14
Happy Mother’s Day to Marilyn Donoho (pictured with hubby Ron Donoho Sr.)!

Do something special with your mom on Mother’s Day. There are plenty of fun and tasty options. My parents don’t live nearby, but I’m dedicating this list of things to do in downtown San Diego on May 14, 2023, to Marilyn Donoho.

Mother of three and grandparent to three, my mom goes by the very cool, rap-styled name “Grammy D.” (My father answers to “Pop Ho.”) Word up.

Grammy D is an artist and a former art teacher who’d love to peruse the booths at the Maker’s Arcade Spring Fair. All the local moms can: be pampered on a bay cruise, enjoy brunch, dinner or tea at local restaurants, or jitterbug (Grammy D’s dance of choice) at the Gator by the Bay festival.

Love ya, mom!

Maker’s Arcade Spring Fair

The Maker’s Arcade Spring Fair. (Photo by Lets Frolic Together)

This two-day arts-and-crafts shopping event happens at downtown San Diego’s Broadway Pier from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on May 13 and 14. The pier will be filled with more than 110 makers’ wares, plus food and drink and live music. It’s a chance to buy something for mom–or to take her along and let her pick out her own gift. There’s a free wreath-making and Mother’s Day bouquet workshop. Tickets are $6 before the event and $7 at the door. VIP packages are available. The first 100 attendees each day get a free swag bag. For info, go to: Maker’s Arcade.  

Brunch Cruises

Flagship Cruises set sail on Mother’s Day. (Courtesy photo)

Flagship Cruises and Events has ships departing at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Mother’s Day. The two-and-a-half-hour voyages in the San Diego Bay include all-you-can-eat brunch stations, bottomless champagne and live music. Cruises embark from the Embarcadero (990 North Harbor Drive). Tickets start at $56.70/person. For more info, go to: Mother’s Day Cruises

Downtown Dining

The bar at Cucina Urbana. (Facebook)

A selection of restaurants that are serving something special for mom:

Animae. Chef Tara Monsod is offering a special Filipino Mother’s Day dinner special in the Marina District. The upscale, four-course meal is $125/person. Details: Animae.

Bencotto Italian Kitchen. This Little Italy spot is adding a selection just for moms to its cheese wheel presentation: Tagliolini Alla Crema Di Aragosta E Gamberi, thin fettuccini in a lobster bisque sauce with shrimp, tossed in a 60-pound wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Details: Bencotto.

Callie. A four-course Mother’s Day brunch at this Michelin-recognized eatery in East Village will be served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 14. Meals are $75/person (and a children’s meal is available for $40). Details: Callie.

Cucina Urbana. This California-Italy-inspired four-course brunch in Banker’s Hill will offer 19 different dishes, including smoked salmon pizzetta and spring pea cappelletti. The brunch runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and costs $72/person. Details: Cucina Urbana.  

Hudson & Nash. Mom might like this buffet, set bayside and Embarcadero-level at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. The traditional breakfast spread will be out from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and cost $65/person ($25 for kids). Details: Hudson & Nash.

Westgate Hotel. How about an afternoon tea party in the grand lobby of the historic Westgate Hotel? They’re serving up petit gourmet sandwiches, pastries and champagne; of course there’s a harpist. Tea is served from 1 to 3 p.m. and is $75/person ($35 for kids). Details: Westgate Hotel.

Gator By The Bay

Musical fun at Gator By The Bay. (Photo by Rick Raney)

This four-day celebration of food, music and all things New Orleans wraps up on Mother’s Day at Spanish Landing Park. The festival offers seven stages with more than 100 musical acts performing Zydeco, blues, rockabilly, swing and New Orleans jazz. Bonus: 10,000 pounds of Louisiana crawfish will be on hand. May 14 hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more info, go to: Gator! SDSun

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