What can I get my mother for her 70th birthday?
May 30, 2007 7:07 PM   Subscribe

What can I get my mother for her 70th birthday? I'm thinking a cultural/educational experience more than an object.

It's at the end of June. She lives in the suburbs north of New York City, sells real estate, loves gardening (#1 passion), theater, art and museums, plays, classical music, just about anything educational and cultural, and working with her hands (she grew up on a farm in PA).

She's also very fit for her age, so something active would work except for the fact that my father (71) isn't, so hikes and stuff are pretty much out for them as a couple.

I'm thinking of a weekend somewhere nice, like a B&B, or some sort of 1- or 2-day educational thing nearby like a Smithsonian tour, though those are way out of my price range. I'm hoping to spend around $250-300. As a comparison, when my father turned 70 I got him a ride in an old biplane.

Last thing: I just moved to Portland, OR, so it could be something around here for when they come visit.
posted by gottabefunky to Grab Bag (11 answers total)
I would suggest either a day at a local spa (most sell packages and gift certificates) or a gym membership.

I've always been a big fan of giving women gifts that they can get more than a fleeting moment of pleasure from.
A day at the spa is a day of health and beauty, which any woman would enjoy.
A gym membership is a gift that will last.
posted by bodystrokes at 7:32 PM on May 30, 2007

How about a weekend spent touring Longwood Gardens and the Winterthur Museum? Here's a B&B nearby.
posted by brain cloud at 7:41 PM on May 30, 2007

1. Ride in a sail plane (glider). Much quieter than a biplane and an amazing experience.

2. Objects of sorts, but if she is a wine drinker how about several bottles of wine more expensive than what she is used to?
posted by Kevin S at 7:51 PM on May 30, 2007

To continue with the sky, a hot air balloon ride?
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:35 PM on May 30, 2007

A Guns and Roses CD and some garden gloves.
posted by oh posey at 9:15 PM on May 30, 2007

seconding hot air balloon ride. my mother got her mother this for her 75th and she loved it.. it has an air (er... well.. it does) of danger about it for a little thrill, but its not some extreme sport and is actually peaceful
posted by white light at 10:52 PM on May 30, 2007

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland would probably knock their socks off.
posted by Osmanthus at 10:53 PM on May 30, 2007

I would have suggested airplane ride if I didn't see the last line of your question. There's a corridor down the Hudson River that cuts through the incredibly annoying and complex New York airspace - you get some great views of Manhattan and the northern 'burbs along the river.
posted by backseatpilot at 4:20 AM on May 31, 2007

Chautauqua Institution ???
posted by beccaj at 5:12 AM on May 31, 2007

I bought my mother a ticket to a gardening workshop once, and she absolutely loved it. Google revealed this one in the Portland area, I'm sure there are others there or near where she lives.
posted by modernnomad at 7:04 AM on May 31, 2007

A very cool thing I bought for my mom recently after a friend of mine did this and loved it was a chance to "blow your own glass float" at a glass blowing place in Lincoln City, Oregon. If you wanted to make a whole weekend of it, we recently spent a brief honeymoon at this very nice, quiet hotel that has fire places and down comforters and amazing ocean views, and wine tasting in the lobby every night. The Bayhouse is just down the road, and is a great restaurant. If your mom hasn't spent any time on the west coast, this would be a neat experience (and a gorgeous souvenir).

A hot air ballooning, winetasting trip would be amazing, too.
posted by purenitrous at 12:03 AM on June 1, 2007

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