What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 8) than with a visit to Wilmington, North Carolina and its island beaches? Whether you’re spending the entire weekend or just visiting for the day, here are a few activities from the river to the sea that Mom and the family are sure to enjoy. 

Mother’s Day weekend events in Wilmington, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach:

May 6-8: Wilmington Wine & Food Festival. A weekend made for foodies, featuring a Bourbon & BBQ Derby Party (Fri.), Corks & Fork Grand Tasting (Sat.) and Bubbles, Brews & Street Eats (Sun.). Bellamy Mansion, Wilmington. www.wilmingtonwineandfood.com/

May 6: Airlie Gardens Concert. 6pm-8pm. Music under the grand Airlie Oak by Signal Fire (Reggae). Airlie Gardens, Wilmington. www.airliegardens.org

May 6: Night Tour of Burgwin-Wright House. 8pm. Experience this extraordinary home with costumed interpreters by candlelight, as it was before electricity. Burgwin-Wright House, Wilmington. www.burgwinwrighthouse.com

May 7: Family Farm Day. 9am-12pm. Families can spend the morning with chickens, bunnies and other animals; pony rides, herb-planting and more. Children’s Museum of Wilmington, 910-254-3534; www.playwilmington.org.

May 7: Riverfront Farmers' Market. Saturdays 8am-1pm. Rise early for regional produce, plants, herbs, and fresh flowers by local farmers, artists, crafters. Free admission; charge for food and products. www.wilmingtonfarmers.com

May 7: Ladies of Laughter. 7:30pm. Give Mom an evening of comedy when up-and-coming female comedians take the Mainstage for a night of gut busting laughs. Thalian Hall, 300 Chestnut St., Wilmington. www.thalianhall.org

May 7: Carnivorous Plant Hike. 12pm. See Venus flytrap & more carnivorous plants on a guided plant hike. Carolina Beach State Park, Carolina Beach. Free. 910-458-8206; www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/cabe/events.php.

May 8: Free Admission for Mothers:

*N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Moms are admitted free to the Aquarium, today only. Admission charge for guests accompanying mom. Arrive by 11am to enjoy brunch and craft activities. Reservations required for brunch (additional charge). 900 Loggerhead Rd., Kure Beach. 910-458-7468; www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher

*Children’s Museum of Wilmington. Mothers admitted free today only. Admission charge for guests accompanying Mom. 116 Orange Street, Wilmington. 910-254-3534; www.playwilmington.org.

May 8: Mother’s Day Narrated Dessert Cruise. 1pm & 3pm. Treat Mom to a 90-minute narrated dessert cruise of the storied Cape Fear River. Admission charge. Advance reservations. Boards at 12:45pm & 2:45pm from Riverwalk at 212 S. Water St., Wilmington. 910-338-3134; www.wilmingtonwatertours.net .

May 8: Wilmington Jewish Film Festival. 3pm. The Israeli feature film “Noodle” is about a widowed, El Al flight attendant whose life is suddenly turned upside down by an abandoned Chinese boy whose migrant-worker mother has been summarily deported from Israel. Film followed by reception. Thalian Hall, Wilmington. www.wilmingtonjff.org

May 8: Mother’s Day Jazz Brunch. 11:30am-2pm. Music by jazz pianist Grenoldo Frazier. Admission charge; advance reservations/tickets required. Theatre Now, Wilmington. 910-399-3669; www.theatrewilmington.com

Weekend Theatre:

            *The Real Inspector Hound. Cape Fear Playhouse, Wilmington. www.bigdawgproductions.org

            *The Kudzu Queen. TheatreNow, Wilmington. www.theatrewilmington.com

Special Exhibits:

            *Ribbit the Exhibit. Copper frog sculptures at Airlie Gardens

            *Starring Cape Fear! 30+ years of film history at Cape Fear Museum www.capefearmuseum.com/exhibits/starring-cape-fear/

            *DINOSAURS! & Butterfly Bungalow at N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher-exhibits

            *“She Tells A Story” at Cameron Art Museum. Other CAM exhibits include: “Patchwork North America” + “Dustin Farnsworth” + “Raise the Curtain!” www.cameronartmuseum.org/index.php?c=exhibitions&s=index

And that’s not all! There are parks, gardens, museums, tours and Mother’s Day brunches all weekend long. For a complete Events Calendar, visit www.WilmingtonAndBeaches.com/events-calendarFor special offers and visitor information, visit www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com or call 1-866-266-9690.