I grew up with that mom who was always turning special occasions into memorable experiences. I vividly remember a birthday when she packed up a picnic basket with fried chicken, deviled eggs, and cake, and we went looking for the perfect picnic spot in a pecan grove by the Brazos River. I don't recall the gifts I was given, because the experience was so much sweeter than the material things. She relentlessly researched every vacation she planned for us, bypassed the tourist traps, and headed straight for the small towns and hole-in-the-wall gems. We were not well off, so she would take advantage of the free community festivals, concerts in the park, and a host of family-friendly events. And I have the memories to show for it.

Now I've turned into my own mother (like we all do) and carried on those same traditions with my son. When I say we never run out of things to do in Cumberland County that are free or affordable forms of entertainment, I really do mean that. This weekend, as a matter of fact, is a prime example. Whether you're planning a celebration of the woman in your life or just looking for something to do with the fam, I have 50+ ideas for fun and affordable things to do over Mother's Day weekend (2019) here.

mothers day ideasFind fabulous gift options at The Shops at 123 Hay Street and many other stores during Downtown Fayetteville's Celebrating Our Moms! event.

Spoil Her

Between our local farmers markets and our charming shops, there is no excuse for not finding a unique gift for the special woman in your life (or for not spoiling yourself)!

Celebrating Our Moms! @ Downtown Fayetteville – Friday-Monday, All Day

City Market at the Museum @ Fayetteville Area Transportation & Local History Museum – Saturday, 9 a.m.

Beauty Bootcamp @ Ramada Plaza – Saturday, 10 a.m.

Mother’s Day at the Market @ Dirtbag Ales Farmers Market – Sunday, 10 a.m.

Mother’s Day Bouquet Bar @ Leclair’s General Store – Sunday, 11 a.m.

mothers day ideasCape Fear Botanical Garden's outdoor sculpture exhibition, Origami in the Garden2, offers the whole family a delightful way to spend Mother's Day in nature. (PC: CFBG)

Play with the Fam

Affordable recreational and entertaining events are happening all over Cumberland County this weekend, and all you have to do is pick out your family's brand of fun.

Origami in the Garden2 @ Cape Fear Botanical Garden – Friday & Saturday, 10 a.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m.

Around the World Run @ Fort Bragg – Saturday, 7 a.m.

Dog Jog @ Carvers Creek State Park – Saturday, 9 a.m.

Celebration of Mama @ Clark Park – Saturday, 9:30 a.m.

Spring Fling Festival @ Town of Spring Lake's Main Street - Saturday, 11 a.m.

Mother’s Day Carriage Rides @ Cool Spring Downtown District – Saturday, 1 p.m.

Sandlot Movie Night at the Swamp @ I-95 Muscle – Saturday, 4:30 p.m.

Mommy & Me: Mother’s Day Dance @ The Metropolitan Room – Saturday, 6 p.m.

Mommy and Me @ Carvers Creek State Park – Sunday, 9 a.m.

Mother's Day Special @ Xscape Factor – Sunday, 12 p.m.

Mother’s Day Bowling @ Dragon Lanes – Sunday, 1 p.m.

Mother’s Day @ Fort Bragg Fair – Sunday, 1 p.m.

mothers day ideasHayat Yoga Shala leads classes all over Cumberland County, and Run, Yoga, Detox! presents the perfect opportunity for some girlfriend bonding time.

Treat Yourself to Girl Time

Whether you want to get active or just relax, go crafty or let loose a little, it's time to call up your besties and take a little time for yourselves.

Ladies Night @ Cape Fear Flooring & Restoration – Friday, 5:30 p.m.

Run, Yoga, Detox! @ Hayat Yoga Shala – Saturday, 7 a.m.

Ladies Only “Rock It” Climbing @ The Climbing Place – Saturday, 9 a.m.

Yoga in the Meadow @ Lafayette Memorial Park – Saturday, 10 a.m.

Walk MS @ Festival Park – Saturday, 1 p.m.

Mommy Dearest Trivia @ World of Beer – Saturday, 3 p.m.

Memphis Opening Night Dance Party @ Cape Fear Regional Theatre – Saturday, 10 p.m.

Mother's Day Workout @ The Vitamin Shoppe – Sunday, 9:30 a.m.

Mother’s Day Open Studio @ Wine & Design – Sunday, 2 p.m.

Mother’s Day: Craft & Relax @ The Creative Frenzy – Sunday, 3 p.m.

mothers day ideasMaid Marian's fresh and feminine take on the classic tale of Robin Hood is resonating with its audience (PC: Sweet Tea Shakespeare)

Take in a Show

If you’re a theatergoer, comedy fan, or live music lover, Cumberland County’s arts and entertainment options are endless (and oftentimes free).

Fayetteville After Five Featuring 120 Minutes @ Festival Park – Friday, 6 p.m.

Reggie Codrington @ Huske Hardware House Restaurant & Brewery – Friday, 6 p.m.

Live Sax Jazz with Mr. Velton Brown @ The Wine Café – Friday, 6:30 p.m.

Eastline Band @ Dirtbag Ales Brewery & Taproom – Friday, 7 p.m.

Whiskey Pines @ Bright Light Brewing Company – Friday, 7 p.m.

Maid Marian @ 1897 Poe House – Friday-Sunday, 7:30 p.m.

Memphis @ Cape Fear Regional Theatre – Friday & Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.

Marquis Trio Live @ Luigi's Italian Restaurant & Bar – Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Bill & JD Shaw @ World of Beer – Friday, 8 p.m.

80's Unplugged @ The TapHouse – Friday, 8 p.m.

Ron White @ Crown Theatre – Friday, 8 p.m.

Mother’s Day Jazz Explosion @ Ambiance Entertainment Venue – Saturday, 7 p.m.

Ed Prophet @ Bright Light Brewing Company – Saturday, 7 p.m.

Artist Showcase @ Fayetteville Pie Company – Saturday, 7 p.m.

The Parsons Live @ Leclair’s General Store – Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

80's Unplugged @ Luigi's Italian Restaurant & Bar – Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Third Degree @ The TapHouse – Saturday, 9 p.m.

mothers day ideasTreat her to a perfect Mother's Day Brunch at Circa 1800, where the Southern Eggs Benedict is divine and the build-your-own Bloody Mary is a must.

Wine & Dine Her

Nothing speaks love to a woman like treating her to a meal she doesn't have to cook, and you'll find brunch and more all weekend long here.

Mother’s Day Brunch @ Dorothy’s Catering 2 – Saturday, 10 a.m., & Sunday, 2 p.m.

Mother Daughter Tea @ The Belmont Village – Saturday, 11 a.m.

Wine Tasting Extravaganza @ Rockfish Creek Winery – Saturday, 12 p.m.

Mother's Day Brunch @ The Mill at Puppy Creek – Sunday, 9 a.m.

Mother’s Day Brunch @ Iron Mike Conference Center – Sunday, 10 a.m.

Mother’s Day Brunch @ Huske Hardware House Restaurant & Brewery – Sunday, 10 a.m.

Mother’s Day Brunch @ Circa 1800 – Sunday, 10:30 a.m.

Mother's Day Sunday Brunch @ ScrubOaks - Contemporary American Pub – Sunday, 11 a.m.

Mother's Day @ Mash House Brewing Company – Sunday, 12 p.m.

Mother’s Day Mimosa Brunch @ Cape Fear Regional Theatre – Sunday, 1 p.m.

One more idea for how to spoil yourself or someone else this Mother's Day is with a day spa experience. Guest blogger Alison Klakowicz recently shared why she thinks every visitor to Cumberland County should treat themselves to one of our oldest and most popular day spas, and you'll find her insider intel on this wellness haven at "Spring Has Sprung: Time Self-Rejuvenation."

Need more ideas for things to do this weekend or on a future trip to the communities of Cumberland County? The Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau will guide you toward so many Free Things to Do, Family Friendly Attractions, Dining, and much more.

Also, if you haven't heard by now, our Fayetteville Woodpeckers have brought Minor League Baseball to Fayetteville this year, offering our visitors affordable, family-friendly entertainment for 70 home games. Regardless if it's game night or not, though, many of our downtown shops and eateries offer visitors baseball-themed everything–from souvenirs to beverages to exhibits. Read more on this at "Downtown Fayetteville: Where to Park, Shop, Eat & Watch Baseball." Then get to planning a fun family getaway to "America's Hometown"!