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Mother's Day Travel Gifts: 14 Ideas For Where To Take Mom On May 11 (PHOTOS)


Your mom is a wise woman.

Over her lifetime, she’s been there and done that more than once. But how about introducing her to a fresh adventure that pushes her out of her tried-and-true routines, rolling out the proverbial welcome mat as she steps into the unknown?

The giving of experiences, rather than stuff, makes for a wonderful Mother’s Day gift. Of course, you can always join her and add some new memories into the basket of old ones.

As we know, some parents are reluctant to embrace the unfamiliar when it comes to travel. They’ve gone to the same cottage for eons and they stick with the same destinations and resorts, too. It’s time to shake things up. If mom resists your attempts, here’s what you tell her: It’s good for her brain.

No kidding, modern research has determined that brain plasticity (the ability to change and adapt) is boosted through learning, new information and experiences. The old thinking said this process happened mainly in the early years of a child’s life. Now, we know that the process can continue into adulthood, though at a slower rate.

The bottom line is this: Your mom’s brain can thrives with the introduction of new travel adventures, whether it’s enjoying high tea at a luxury hotel or facing her fear of heights with a stroll around the top of the CN Tower. Maybe now she’ll stop asking you where her glasses are, as you point to them perched on the top of her head.

Mom, we adore you. Let’s add some more memorable moments into our family history. Here’s how:

Altitude Adjustment: Venturesome Mom Package Including CN Tower EdgeWalk
Famous last words: “You’ll never get me to do that!” Ah, come on, mom. You taught me to ride a bike so you can do this. The InterContinental Toronto Centre hotel has a package that includes: a one night’s stay, Mommy Wrap spa treatment, in-room welcome gifts, breakfast in bed, valet parking and two passes to the city’s most extreme attraction. EdgeWalk put you and mom 1,168 feet above the ground as you walk around the CN Tower.
Western Exposure: Tap Into Mom’s Inner Cowgirl
Flickr: rocketjim54
The Bar W Guest Ranch in Montana will help your mom live out her cowgirl fantasy. She’ll saddle up with expert riders and learn how to handle a horse. She’ll look right at home in chaps and a cowboy hat after five days of instruction. It’s not too hardcore since it’s paired up with soaks in a hot tub and cocktail parties. Giddy up, mom! Photo Credit: jim simonson
Petal Power: Tiptoe Through Butchart Gardens
Flickr: David Herrera
Take mom for a stroll through these award-winning gardens near Victoria, B.C., ranked among the world’s very best. Though popular, there’s always a peaceful place to sit and chill to be one with nature. Breathe in and smell the flowers of the rose garden, admire the simplicity of the Japanese one, and descend into the beauty of the sunken garden, housed within the walls of an old quarry. Photo Credit: dherrera_96
Dough! Cooking Italian In Montreal
Flickr: sporkist
It’s never too late to pick up a few new tricks in the kitchen. Moms who have never met a frozen dinner they didn’t love can expand their culinary horizons at Mezza Luna. The Montreal cooking school specializes in teaching students how to make their own Italian specialities, from stuffed pastas to sauces. Say goodbye to Kraft Dinner for good! Photo Credit: Taz
Wheels And Wine: Cruising The Back Road Of Prince Edward County
Flickr: jbcurio
Pretty Prince Edward County (a two-hour drive east of Toronto) is becoming one of the hottest new wine regions in Canada. Sip and cycle to the vineyards and experience some of the best tastes in the region. There are more than 35 in the area. Bed down for the night in Picton at the cute-as-a-button inn, Waring House. Photo Credit: Jamie
Golden Glow: 24K Facials And Wellness At The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort
If your pockets run deep and money is no object for your beloved mom, pamper her to the max at the St. Regis in Bal Harbour, Florida. It features a wellness program designed to fine tune her health and put more pep in her steps. Picture personal trainers, healthy cuisine and treatments at the Rémede Spa where she can get a 24-carat designer facial – a golden touch for your own golden girl.
Quilt Trip: edVentures In New Brunswick
Flickr: Mark Lamontagne
Sign your mom up for a quilting course held at the historical Kings Landing, near Fredericton. She’ll slip on a thimble and sit with other women to stitch and gossip over squares of fabric. Quilting is replacing cocktail hour and girls getaways in some circles. It’s hot! The sessions ($40) are held in the summer. Photo Credit: Mark Lamontagne
From Si To Si: Spanish Lessons In San Miguel De Allende
Flickr: Lloyd Real Estate
Send mom back to school. This time, the math books never see the light of day. At the Academia Hispano Americano, located in pretty village of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, learning how to speak Spanish is a fun exercise. Learning a new language is a great way to keep those brain synapses firing. Photo Credit: Lloyd Real Estate
Changing Tides: Wet And Wild At The Tidal Bore Rafting Park
Tidal Bore Rafting Park Facebook
She could be upset at you for making her wreck her hair, but she’ll thank you, once she has had a chance to experience the wild, white waters near Shubenacdie, Nova Scotia. The shifting tides create some pretty crazy waves that will have you and mom shrieking like girl scouts. At the end of the trip, you can slide down the muddy banks for some dirty fun.
Wright This Way: Shuffle Off To Buffalo For An Architecture Legend
Michele Sponagle
Your mom has exquisite taste, no doubt. Take her to Buffalo, New York, where there are stellar examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s ground breaking designs. The All Wright All Day trolley tour package showcases the fantastic Martin house, Graycliff (the Martins' summer residence), Fontana boathouse, a mausoleum, and the newly completely gas station in the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum. It was designed in 1927 by Wright for the city, but was never built – until recently.
Geared To Go: A Speedy Visit To Motorsport Park, Near Bowmanville, Ont.
Admit it. You’ve criticized your mom’s driving on more than one occasion. She seems to have a lead foot that won’t quit. Send her to the track so she can tap into her true inner speed demon. The Bridgestone Racing Academy lets her find out what it’s really like to drive a racecar (in this case, a Reynard F2000). Zoom, zoom, ma!
Stage Sight: Broadway-Bound In NYC
Go ahead and blow your budget. Mom’s worth it, right? Take her to New York City for a night on the town. Check out "Hedwig and the Angry Inch", starring Neil Patrick Harris, star of "How I Met Your Mother". He’s strutting his stuff in the musical that is guaranteed to have mom shaking her booty all night long.
Tea Time: Sips And Spa Time At The Shangri-La Toronto
Shangri-La Toronto
If mom watches "Downtown Abbey" and appreciates the gentile nature of afternoon tea, book an afternoon at the Shangri-La Toronto. Its lovely Lobby Lounge is the perfect place to sip and nibble the modern way. An extensive tea menu helps to break moms from their English Breakfast tea habit in favour of more exotic varieties, from Honey Bush to Oolong.

Couple this with a manicure or pedicure at the gorgeous Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie, part of the Mother’s Day Indulgence package, and she will forget about that time you knocked over her favourite Royal Doulton figurine.
Bits And Bites: Vancouver Foodie Tours With The Granville Island Market Tour
Vancouver Foodie Tours Facebook
Expand your mom’s culinary horizons and sign her up for the new Granville Island Market Tour, offered by the experts at Vancouver Foodie Tours (who also offer a food truck tour and one devoted to guilty pleasures). A knowledgeable guide will reveal the best of the market, one bite at a time, and tell tales that enhance a visitor’s experience of one of Vancouver’s most popular destinations. There are 20 tastings over two delicious hours.

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