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Some special Australia Mothers Day ideas here. With baggage restrictions in mind, I'll keep it light, focused more on things to do than things to buy. And a budget saver: finding cheap flowers for Mothers Day.
The best Mothers Day gifts don't change
Yes, it's traditional, it's sentimental, it's over-commercialised - and we're holding onto it, thanks!
Having sorted that out, here's a bunch of great Sydney Mothers Day ideas for you. All doable from a hotel room!
In Australia Mothers Day is on the second Sunday in May.
When is Mothers Day 2013? Sunday 12 May.
In 2014, Mothers Day Australia will be on Sunday May 11.
We'll kick off our Mothers Day ideas with one that's good for you and supports a great cause as well. Walk or run the Mothers Day Classic around Sydney's Domain and support breast cancer research while you have fun and stay fit.
The Mothers Day Classic is a 4 or 8km fun run or walk - you choose. Do it with your family or come and offer support from the sidelines. There's lots of other entertainment during the event as well.
On the day registration opens at 0630 (6.30am). Registration fees (which all go to cancer research) are AUD$45 per adult, AUD$27 per child and AUD$80 per family. Runners start first, from 0730 (7.30am) on, walkers start later from 0900 (9am) on.
Here's the program:
The course is 4km. Those doing the 8km run or walk do two laps.
Lots and lots of cafés and restaurants do great breakfast or brunch. But Mothers Day is in the same league as Christmas and Valentines Day when it comes to pricing. It's often more akin to gouging. Because they can. So don't support it.
Where to go then? Try your smaller neighbourhood cafés, especially beachside ones with outside seating. They will be popular and they won't take bookings, so either come early or be prepared for a bit of a wait.
Or do what Sydney does best on a Sunday - yum cha, also known as dim sum. I think this is one of the better Sydney Mothers Day ideas.
When you rock up it may look like there are hundreds waiting ahead of you. But these restaurants are huge and they're very used to moving lots of people through very quickly.
Yum cha Mothers Day brunch
Make sure you get a number from the person at the door. After that it's just a matter of waiting for it to be called.
Once inside you can take as long or as short as you like, choosing from the many delicacies offered for your inspection.
Resist the temptation to book a table (unless you really do have a large party) - any yum cha restaurant that accepts bookings for small groups probably also has a menu that you need to choose from. You don't want that.
It's much more fun to have the trolleys come past and to point at what you want.
As an added bonus, it's almost impossible to spend lots of money on yum cha. It's very affordable - depending on your appetites and choices you might average AUD$20 to AUD$30 per adult. More if you include alcohol.
We normally have an eternally replenished teapot with it. The traditional sign that you want more is to take the lid off the pot and angle it on top (not fitted onto it). You'll get more hot water poured in immediately. If you need more tea leaves (unlikely), just ask.
There are good yum cha restaurants all around Sydney, you don't need to travel far to find one. Ask at your hotel and they're sure to recommend one in the area.
And there are some very good vegetarian yum cha places - We often go to Bodhi, an indoor/outdoor restaurant in Cook + Phillip Park in the city.
City restaurants can start serving yum cha from 0900 (9am), suburban ones start later - around 1000 or 1100 (10am or 11am). They all finish between 1500 and 1700 (3pm and 5pm).
She's a mother - that probably means you're a family. It's a Sunday - that means you can buy Family Fun Day Sunday tickets. A Mothers Day idea the whole family will enjoy.
Relaxed, easy Mothers Day ideas
On these tickets, available only on Sundays, you can travel anywhere you want around Sydney for the whole day for AUD$2.50 per person.
That's provided you're a family - at least one adult and one child.
You can travel on ferries, buses, trains and the light rail too. It's such a bargain.
Use these tickets to go for a fantastic picnic on Cockatoo island in the harbour, or to take the train to the blowhole in Kiama, south of Sydney.
Perhaps fish and chips overlooking the water in Manly or Watsons Bay sounds more like you?
Have a look at these picnic themes for more great picnic ideas.
Still on the cheap and cheerful Mothers Day ideas, forget having flowers delivered to your hotel. Go out the day before, on the Saturday, to one of Sydney's many markets.
If you're in the CBD, head for Paddys at Haymarket, otherwise just check out where your nearest Saturday market is.
Mothers Day ideas start with flowers
Buy your flowers there and get your friendly concierge to put them in the hotel's cool room for the night.
No concierge? Hide them under your bed! I'm serious.
Wrap the stems in damp newspaper or whatever you have - a facecloth, tissues, whatever (or ask the seller to do this for you). Wrap the damp paper etc in plastic to retain the moisture.
Then cover the whole bouquet loosely with a plastic bag to keep it clean and carefully stow it in the coolest place you have (where your wife/mother won't look).
Your alternative is to go out early in the morning on Mothers Day to buy them.
You won't find a neighbourhood market open early on Sunday, so try one of the big supermarkets - they all have flowers and they usually open around 0700 (7am).
The other traditional place to buy them is at the greengrocers. Many of them sell bunches of flowers. If they're not open try a convenience store, but you'll pay more there.
Save the Mothers Day flowers delivery for mothers who aren't in Sydney with you. As always in these cases, you're best off to order your flowers directly with a florist from the town your mother lives in. A phone call and a credit card should do the trick.
What about one of these Mothers Day ideas?
Mothers Day ideas end in love
The list goes on and on. There's no shortage of great Mothers Day ideas. You just need to look around you.
The Bridge climb? A flight over Sydney? A book by an Australian author? A cooking class using bush foods? An opal if you want to give her Mothers Day jewelry?
She's your mum - or your children's - you'll know what will make her happy. And when she's happy, everyone's happy, right?
Happy Mothers Day.
The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide has released a list of 10 of its reviewed restaurants which are offering Mothers Day menus in 2012.
Although they don't include their reviews of each restaurant in the list, just getting into the Guide is already a mark of quality.
So if you're looking for one of Sydney's better restaurants to take your mum to for Mothers Day, have a look at Mothers Day lunch
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