You see them everywhere: jogging while pushing a baby stroller, shepherding pre-schoolers down a dusty trail, helping toddlers and teens build sandcastles at Doran or Goat Rock, chaperoning an overnight scouting canoe trip, introducing grandkids to the joys of making and gobbling campfire s’mores.
Outdoorsy mothers, by their example, tend to pass on to their children a love of nature and respect for the planet. They teach us that simple things — a peaceful walk, a vigorous bike ride, the challenge of climbing straight up a rock — can bring joy and fulfillment.
Do you have an outdoor-loving mom? Did she help to bring alive your love of nature? If so, be sure to tell her this Mother’s Day just how important that introduction to Mother Nature was to you.
SmarterLife’s Smartlite ultra LED headlamp
There are so many reasons for mom to love this headlamp. At a mere 1.25 ounces, it’s not only of the lightest headlamps around, but also runs 38 hours on low (6 lumens) and eight hours on high (115 lumens). The curved bracket and adjustable strap guarantee a secure and comfy fit, and the headlamp’s Cree technology translates to high-quality, long- lasting LED lighting. It’s water-resistant, operates on a single AA battery, offers six easy-pushbutton light modes — including a flashing red SOS and another that’s perfect for reading — and comes in four vibrant colors. $29.97. smarterlifeproducts.com
BOB Gear’s Revolution Flex Jogging Stroller
Adventurous moms can keep jogging — while introducing their babies to the outdoors — with the Bob Gear Revolution Flex. An all-terrain stroller, it fits babies from 8 weeks up to 75 pounds and is capable of traversing paved streets or rugged trails. It has a high-tech adjustable suspension system, padded handlebars that adjust in many ways and a front wheel that swivels for maneuverability and locks for stability. Numerous add-ons let mom tailor the stroller to suit her specific needs. An easy two-step fold makes it easy to store at home or in a car trunk. Comes in six colors. 28.5 pounds. $449. bobgear.com
For any mom who loves her dog, these unique “dog blueprints,” created in the format of a 1950s blueprint, are drawn in detail and to scale for specific breeds (and numerous mutts, too).
Each blueprint — actually a museum quality print on archival acid-free matte board — includes exact characteristics for the breed (they’re called “construction notes” on the blueprint).
The blueprints come in a variety of sizes, can be purchased with or without a frame and can be customized with a beloved dog’s name. Blueprints are also available for cats and horses.
Prices start at $110 and increase with print size and other options.
One year of workouts in Sonoma County parks
For a present that lasts all year long, give your favorite outdoor mom a local park pass. With more than 50 beautiful parks, Sonoma County Regional Parks has one of the nation’s most vibrant county park systems.
As a member, your mom can visit a different one each week for the next year — or stick to a few favorites — and never pay the $7 parking fee (membership ranges from $29 to $69). Both Jack London State Historic Park and Sugarloaf Ridge State Park offer a $49 one-year unlimited-use pass (each pass is good for entry to both parks).
Historic homes with holiday events
Luther Burbank Home and Gardens, Santa Rosa. Enjoy a 36-year community tradition on the site of Burbank’s home and working garden. Tour the modest Greek Revival house decked out in old-fashioned holiday finery. See the latest exhibit and shop for Burbank-related items in the Carriage House Museum & Gift Shop. Entry: $2; free for kids. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 5-6. Entrance at corner of Santa Rosa and Sonoma avenues, Santa Rosa. (707) 524-5445, lutherburbank.org.
Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael. Join Charles Dickens and his family for an evening of Victorian revelry at the 17-room, Queen Anne-style Falkirk mansion built in 1888. Partake in light holiday food and drink as you listen to Dickens read from his works and watch his characters come alive. Meet Father Christmas, play parlor games, dance and sing with the Victorian family. 6:30 p.m. Dec. 4. Tickets $10, $7 children, by reservation at (800) 848-3006. 1408 Mission Avenue, San Rafael.
Haas-Lilienthal House, San Francisco. Built in 1886 for wealthy businessman William Hass, this elegant home has gables and a round tower. Fully furnished rooms, mostly with original furnishings, are decorated for the season. Enjoy holiday cheer, a festive buffet, music, a train for tots and a visit from Santa noon-3 p.m. Dec. 6. $15. RSVP required at sfheritage.org/haas-lilienthal-house. 2007 Franklin St., San Francisco.
Shadelands, Walnut Creek. A Holiday Faire is a seasonal tradition at Shadelands’ 1902-built Colonial Revival ranch house. The two-week Faire features dozens of vendors offering hand-crafted items and gifts for sale. Coinciding with the Faire are three-course Victorian tea luncheons; seating’s at 11:30 am and 1:30pm. Open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily through Dec. 13. Admission is free. Tickets for Victorian tea luncheons, $35. Info and reservations: (925) 935-7871. 2660 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek.
Filoli, Woodside. Designed by Willis Polk and known for its extensive collection of 17th and 18th century English antiques, this charming mansion offers a holiday world of opulent elegance brimming with fresh flowers, greenery and holiday scents. Through Dec. 5, sample specialty foods and shop for trendy women’s clothing. Visit the toy shop, the gingerbread bakery and the Garden Room, where holiday plants and fresh-greenery wreaths are available for purchase. Advance reservations required at filoli.org/holiday-traditions or (650) 364-8300 X508. 86 Cañada Road, Woodside.