Many moms like getting nature -- in the form of a splashy bouquet -- hand-delivered to them on Mother's Day. Still other mothers like to go directly to the nature. If your mom's in the latter group, better tell her to up the SPF and grab a sun hat for...
THE BUTTERFLY PAVILION: There's a reason that butterflies are some of the most famous flying creatures in the world; they pack a lot of "wow" into about one square inch (if humans had as much "wow" per square inch, we probably couldn't leave the house, for fear of over-dazzling other humans). The annual butterfly-focused attraction at the Natural History Museum is always a huge hit; people just love those little winged things, and there are about 40 different species zipping about inside the enclosure. If one or two or 11 land on your mom simultaneously, best have your camera handy. Natural History Museum South Lawn. Daily through September 7
BRUNCH ON THE SEA: Most moms, and most people, like brunch. In fact, we'll say all moms and all people like brunch. Take a clipboard, go out to the streets, poll passersby, you'll see. But brunch on the water is just upped by a factor of 10 and multiplied by 117 with a big ol' cherry on top. We like eating while the scenery outside changes, because we can sometimes get bored between bites. Thank goodness for brunch cruises. Plus, it isn't just scenery, but all the ocean-y wildlife we enjoy on a dining cruise; birds soar in every direction and the occasional playful mammal swims by. Memorable and tasty and all very mom-like, we think. Hornblower Mother's Day Cruises, May 10 (see list for points of departure and times)