40 Awesome Mother's Day Activity Ideas You Can Even Pull Off Last Minute
After two years of restricted Mother’s Day celebrations, we’re finally going back to some sense of normalcy. However, if your old tradition of going to a prix-fixe brunch no longer interests your mom, you're going to have to get a little more creative and plan an out-of-the-box—albeit safe—celebration this year. So, we’ve composed this list of 40 Mother’s Day activities you and your mom can get into.
There are plenty to choose from, whether you’re looking for something to do after that Mother’s Day brunch in your backyard or searching for something to complement that Mother’s Day gift you got her. For the moms who love the Great Outdoors, why not do some gardening or hiking together? Or if your mom is more of a homebody, there are a ton of things she can get into in the comfort of her own home—from painting to taking a cooking class. (And here's another great idea: send this list to your partner…you know, just in case they need some ideas.)
1. INDULGE IN SOME RETAIL THERAPY
Every mom has “a thing.” Whether it’s antiquing, ceramic frogs or cheesecake, treat your mom to an afternoon at the thrift store or flea market. If she’s not quite comfortable in the big crowds yet, then show her some cool sites that offer things she might like online.
2. THROW A MOVIE NIGHT EXTRAVAGANZA
A lot of film studios are still releasing their roster of flicks to rent earlier than expected, so why not bring that movie magic into your home? Or pick one of these heartwarming movies that celebrates parenthood. Heck, you could even make it a double-feature. Just make sure to let mom choose the films and the snacks.
3. GIVE HER A MANI-PEDI
There’s nothing like a little pampering to encourage mother-daughter bonding. Here's how to give her the best at-home pedicure plus the secret to shaping your nails. If you know that manicuring is just not your best talent, then by all means, head to your nearest nail salon and let the pros handle it.
4. OR A FACE MASK
Here are some DIY face masks you can make, using things you already have at home. However, if you want to give mom a deep, pore cleansing facial, then a day at the spa is definitely the way to go.
5. CHECK OUT AN ART GALLERY OR A MUSEUM
You know who would die to see that new Cezanne exhibit? Your mother. Look around for a gallery or museum your favorite lady might enjoy and spend the day admiring some art. P.S. venues such as the Brooklyn Museum in New York often host performances as well, so be sure to snag tickets in advance.
6. OR AN AQUARIUM
Looking for something fun to do with your mom and her grandkids? Head to the nearest aquarium with your family and spend the day rubbing elbows with whales, seals, octopuses and the like.
7. GET CRAFTY
Jewelry, tote bags, candles...there’s a DIY project that has your mom’s name all over it. Make something together or gift her one of these art subscription boxes and let her creative juices flow. (Either way, the finished product will be so much better than that macaroni necklace you made her in the first grade.)
8. HOST YOUR OWN SIP AND PAINT CLASS
Pop a bottle of vino, pick a subject (like the fruit bowl on your kitchen counter or your dad lounging on the sofa) and start painting. You can always head to an actual sip and paint if your inner Rembrandt needs to be coaxed out by an instructor.
9. GO WINE TASTING
Honestly, is it even Mother’s Day if no one’s a little tipsy? Go to a winery and spend the day imbibing. Make it a girl’s day and invite another mother-daughter. Odds are, you’ll walk away with plenty of vino knowledge….and possibly some very interesting stories.
11. BREAKFAST IN BED
From baked tiramisu French toast to asparagus and brie puffed pastry with thyme honey, here are 57 elegant Mother's Day brunch ideas that will make her morning.
13. HOST A PICNIC
Pack an alfresco feast (think: cheese, fruit and sandwiches) and pick out a prime spot in your backyard or nearest park for a relaxing and delicious afternoon.
16. TAKE A COOKING CLASS
She may have taught you everything you know in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean she won’t be excited to learn something new. In person or online, there are tons of cooking classes to check out for mom’s special day.
17. ORGANIZE YOUR FAMILY PHOTO ALBUM
Your mom is always trying to get everyone together for a family snap. Do the work for her this year and print out all those family photos you have on your phone (use an online service like Shutterfly) and put them in an album. Aren't you thoughtful?
19. THROW A SURPRISE PARTY
Doesn’t it feel nice to be able to organize one of these again? She'll appreciate all the effort you went through to gather her nearest and dearest together. Just be sure all in attendance are fully vaxed or COVID negative.
20. MAKE SOMETHING SWEET TOGETHER
Sachertorte chocolate apricot cake with dark chocolate ganache? Don't mind if we do. That and 53 more Mother's Day dessert ideas right this way.
21. GIVE HER A TAROT CARD READING
Help her answer a specific question in her life or make a decision she's been grappling with by giving her a quick glimpse into the future, thanks to the power of the cards. Here's everything you need to know about tarot for beginners.
22. SOLVE A PUZZLE
Here are five of our favorites.
23. TURN YOUR LIVING ROOM INTO A KARAOKE BAR
Channel your inner Celine Dion and belt out some classics. Keep it low-key with a Spotify playlist and some spatulas for microphones or go all out with an at-home karaoke system and these 65 karaoke songs that’ll absolutely bring down the house. Feeling a little jazzy? Hit up a real karaoke bar instead.
24. SET UP A SCAVENGER HUNT SHE'LL LOVE
This one's great for getting the kids involved. Create a list of activities to do (think: organize all the books in the shelf or record a video of you singing a song about mom) and then split the family up into teams. The winners get first pick at the ice cream sundae bar.
25. PLAN A PHOTOSHOOT AT HOME
What better way to make your mom feel special than giving her a reason to get glammed up in the comfort of her own home? There are so many creative ways to do a photoshoot at home without having to buy expensive materials (You can utilize your backyard, choose a colorful shower curtain or even get crafty with your bedsheets).
27. START OR JOIN A BOOK CLUB
Perhaps there’s series of books you and your mom were both fond of back in the day and you just haven’t had the chance to revisit them (hello, The Thorn Birds). Well, consider this Mother’s Day an opportunity to find those pieces of literature that connected you and start your very own mother-daughter book club, join one of these online book clubs, or find one that has in-person meetings.
28. HOST A VIRTUAL BRUNCH
Restrictions may be lifted, but that doesn’t mean virtual events no longer have value. If your mom’s nearest and dearest are faraway, you can totally organize a virtual brunch with some of those people. Bonus points if you put the whole thing together as a surprise.
31. GIVE HER THAT AT-HOME SALON TREATMENT
If you’ve honed your haircutting skills over the course of the pandemic, treat your mom to one. You can give her a simple trim or check out these highly recommended blow dryers if you’re looking to give her hair some new bounce. For the natural mamas out there, you can offer up these natural hairstyles and see which she’ll go for.
32. MAKE A CHARCUTERIE BOARD
Charcuterie boards are all the rage, so why not put your favorite lady onto one of the latest trends. The best part is, there is a wide variety of boards you can make depending on her taste. If she’s not into meats and cheeses, well, you can create a fruicuterie board packed with her favorite fruit. If she has a sweet tooth, you can create a board whose main stars are decadent chocolates. Either way, nom nom.
33. THROW A PAJAMA PARTY
The best part about throwing a pajama party is that you can do it no matter what age you are and no matter where you fall in the mother-daughter scenario. Take things up a notch by giving it a theme like Mean Girls or 70’s disco night, or keep it simple by buying your mom a special PJ set (we like this cozy pick from Nordstrom).
35.CREATE A HOME VIDEO
Making memories is important now more than ever. Capture your favorite lady in a setting of her choice and get her to reveal some things you may not already know about her (like if she ever got grounded as a kid or what surprised her the most about being a mom).
35. Go camping
Take advantage now, before the summer heat sets in. Here are 22 camping spots around the country to check out.
36. Head to the farmer’s market
The idea of possibly starting a garden didn’t win her over. It’s OK. That’s why there are farmer’s markets. An afternoon picking out fresh produce and snacking on some artisan cheese is an afternoon well spent if you ask us.
37. Attend a concert
Ahh concerts…remember those? Just be sure to stock up on masks, sanitizer and all that jazz.
38. Take a flower arranging class
The bouquet you get her every year always takes her breath away. Give her the joy of making her own this Mother’s Day. Notable flower companies such as 1-800-flowers offer workshops you can do right at home.
39. Do one of her bucket list activities
Whether it’s hot air ballooning, getting a tattoo or taking a cool trip, pick out an activity she’s always wanted to do and go along with her. Some things are better executed with a supportive buddy next to you.
40. Write her a letter
Moms do so much for us, and while we can never truly repay them for all they sacrifice, telling them how much they mean to us is always a great start.