Need an excuse to celebrate the mothers (or mother figures) in your life? Do it with style in marvelous Melbourne.
Like most other places around the world, Mother’s Day 2018 in Australia falls on Sunday, May 13. On this special weekend, should you have the fortune of enjoying your Melbourne holidays with the woman that you wish to honour, follow our guide to ensure that Mum is wined, dined, and indulged to her satisfaction.
After all, as the French novelist Honoré de Balzac once observed, “A mother’s happiness is like a beacon, lighting up the future but reflected also on the past in the guise of fond memories.”
Saturday, May 12 2018
9:40 a.m. Discover Passion
On the eve of Mother’s Day, do something unique for Mum by helping her to realise her unrequited dreams. As the woman who devoted her life to caring for your family, the prospect of reviving her career may come across as a daunting challenge. Help Mum to quell her reservations and jump-start her ambition with a full-day career workshop at The School of Life, founded by philosopher and bestselling author Alain de Botton. She will emerge with a deep understanding of her talents and passions, as well as fresh ideas on where she can find fulfilling work.
7:30 p.m. Theatre Delight
Even if Mum is not an ardent fan of the pop composer and singer Carole King, she is almost certain to have heard many of King’s evergreen hits, as featured in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
The storyline promises to be equally captivating, as it is a gripping tale of King’s journey to become one of the most celebrated musicians of all time, where her personal struggles are laid bare for the audience. The thing that kept King going in hard times? (Mum will approve.) Her mother Genie Klein’s enduring influence on her life.
One more reason to catch “Beautiful” before it concludes its Melbourne run on July 1: the sterling portrayal of King by lead actress Esther Hannaford. Look out for her critically acclaimed performance, which has been lauded for its “natural vulnerability, joy, and strength.”
Sunday, May 13 2018
If Mum is a fit and active early riser, you can participate in the Melbourne Mother’s Day Classic run (or walk) at the Royal Botanic Gardens. Depending on how fast and far her legs can take her, you can choose between a 4 km and an 8 km route. (Registration begins at 6:00 a.m.)
For something out of the ordinary, take Mum to experience Shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing” (from 10:00 a.m.). Soak in the therapeutic sounds, sights, and scents of the forest, and let it soothe your body and soul.
If your mother prefers to relax indoors, treat her to a full buffet breakfast (from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.) at Pan Pacific Melbourne’s Dock 37, where she can look forward to house-cured Tasmanian salmon, a selection of breakfast canapés, and a live crêpe station.
11:00 a.m. Brunch Bonding
Alternatively, let the mother-of-honour sleep in, but not for too long. Once she is up and about, begin the day with an energising brunch or lunch, where she can bask in the glow of your undivided attention.
To set the mood, book a restaurant following the criteria laid out by Broadsheet Melbourne: a conducive spot for intimate conversation, impeccable service, and classic cuisines (preferably with a dash of creativity). Try The European at Spring Street, which “mines the traditions of rural France, Italy, and Spain,” and serves breakfast till 4:00 p.m. on weekends. Or wander into the heart of Melbourne’s “tastiest street,” a.k.a. Flinders, where you can experience the “purity of Japanese food… with a uniquely Australian sensibility” at Kisumé.
To browse more special-occasion restaurants, consult Broadsheet’s curated restaurant list.
2:00 p.m. A Gift to Treasure
Satiate your mother’s intellectual curiosity with a visit to Embiggen Books, which specialises in popular science and philosophy works. Or look for a Readings bookstore near you; it is award-winning, and has been hailed as one of the world’s best independent bookstores.
For the fashion maven mother, take her shopping on Gertrude Street, where local designers hold court, or to High Street, where she can find a red-carpet worthy outfit for her collection. Match this with an accessory that makes a bold statement; Lucy Folk at Crossley Street carries a Mother’s Day range inspired by classical mythology.
For the tree-hugging mum, the Cruelty Free Shop in the hipster Fitzroy neighbourhood will align with her values. (Look up more shopping street recommendations on The Weekly Review, or find a shop to suit her unique style and interests on TimeOut.)
4:00 p.m. Tea Party
For an afternoon of wine and cheese, along with a short architectural tour of one of Melbourne’s standout buildings, join the Manchester Unity Building Mother’s Day tour. This is a two-part event: First, Mum and you will get to enjoy a glass of bubbly on arrival, followed by a selection of three hand-picked Savour & Grace cheeses, as well as handmade desserts. Next, you will tour the Manchester Unity Building together, to better appreciate its Art Deco and Gothic design.
7:00 p.m. Mum’s Night Out
For the tough-as-nails Mum who appreciates her golden brew: take her to the Good Beer Week festival, with events spread across Melbourne. To meet female brewers, artists, musicians and more at a food-and-fun carnival that runs all day on May 13, head to Fempocalypse at the Spotswood suburb. Or accompany Mum to the Stomping Ground Brewery and Beer Hall at Collingwood, where her first Mother’s Day drink is on the house.
For more celebration ideas for Mother’s Day in Melbourne, bookmark The Urban List.