Mother’s Day is right around the corner and if you want this year’s Mother’s Day to be a little more special than the past years, we have some great ideas for you. After all, this day is about spoiling your mom, wife or any other mother-figure in your life. It is a day to show your respect and gratitude toward this woman who makes your life that much more precious and wonderful.
A memorable Mother’s Day can be about more than a pretty bouquet of flowers and some chocolates. No matter how much time you have to spoil your mother, how far away you live away from her or how much money you have available to spend – you will surely find just the right activity below. All activities are sorted from free to a little more on the expensive side so you can find an activity that fits your mom, your schedule and your wallet. Use the quick guide below to reference the approximate budget needed for each of the activities.
You can also browse through the list by activity type. Use the jump-to links below to check out activities perfect for the mother you are celebrating.
Mother’s Day Activities for Kids
The Indian public speaker Osho once said, “The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new”. Involving kids in the activities planned for Mother’s Day is a great way to celebrate what made her a mother in the first place: her children. These ideas are both easy to pull off and family friendly.
- Come up with a pamper-mommy-schedule. Everyone writes down a few things that make mom happy: give her a hug, cook her food, draw her a picture, or help her with the dishes. Write out a calendar together and schedule exact times during the day when these things will happen. It’s a fun way to plan and spoil the mother on this Sunday! (free)
- Clean her car. Have the kids clean out all their toys and trash and then either turn on the garden hose or drive to the nearest car wash together. It gives mom some time to herself and the children a feeling of accomplishment once they present the sparkling car to their mother. (free – $)
- Plant some flowers together. Whether you and the kids do it as a surprise for the mother or you all get together as a family and mommy gets to delegate – this is a fun activity for everyone. Marigold, sunflowers or calendula are all great flowers to plant in May. ($)
- Plan a picnic. Pack a basket (or cooler) full of your favorite fruits, snacks and desserts, grab a comfy picnic blanket and drive to your mom’s favorite spot. Whether that is the beach, a mountain top or your backyard, there is just something special about sitting on a blanket and munching on yummy finger food. Bring games to play with the kiddos and a music box for some tunes. ($)
Easy Mother’s Day Activities
Just because your mother keeps pointing out how little she cares about Mother’s Day does not mean a nice gesture will go unappreciated. Disregard her downplaying the weight of this day and do something for her that will make her feel special.
- Let her sleep in. It’s so simple, yet such an effective way of having someone start the day on the right foot. Make sure the bedroom is dark, the house is quiet and you have coffee ready when she finally wakes up from her beauty sleep. (free)
- Bring her breakfast in bed. Make sure you serve it on a tray that won’t fall over and result in a mess in bed. Just stay with her, talk to her or watch her favorite show together. Make sure to jump right up and offer to refill her mug when she finishes her coffee so she can fully enjoy her downtime. (free)
- Write a letter. If you’re not good with your own words, use a Mother’s Day quote and write a personal note inspired by it. The fact that you took the time to sit down and write an actual letter with pen and paper will warm her heart and show that you truly care. (free)
- Plan a karaoke night at home! Invite some of her friends, prepare her favorite cocktail and sing songs that make her happy. She will love it! (free – $)
- Make her a candle with her favorite scent. Whether that is lavender, rose or vanilla – simply add about ten drops of essential oil to 16 oz. of wax flakes while warm (not hot!) or buy candle fragrance oils and follow the instructions on the box. ($)
- Take her out to the movies. Go and see that movie she’s been talking about for weeks that won’t be in theaters for much longer and make sure to buy her favorite movie snack. ($)
- Get a reading from a psychic. It doesn’t matter if you believe in this kind of thing or not – it will definitely be a Mother’s Day that you’ll never forget. ($)
- Go to a yoga class together. Whether your mom is an experienced yogi and you’re showing interest in her hobby or it’s something she’s never done before but has always wanted to, taking care of your mind and body together is never a bad idea. ($)
- Sign up for a paint and wine event! You’ll get a fun experience out of it and can even bring home the paintings as keepsakes that will forever remind you of that day. Again, make sure you have a safe ride home so neither of you has to worry about enjoying themselves too much. ($$)
- Book an appointment for mani/pedis. Call ahead of time to ask if you and your mom can sit together so you can enjoy the time and chat too. ($$)
- Take your mom to her favorite winery and do a wine tasting. Ensure that you have a ride home so you can fully enjoy the experience together. ($$)
- Schedule a Family Photo Shoot with a professional photographer. Make sure to not just give her a coupon that will expire or be forgotten – schedule an appointment and go! Also, offer to help her frame the best pictures taken that day and hang them up once you receive the prints. ($$)
- Give her tickets for a concert. Check if an artist is coming to town that she’s always wanted to see live and if the tickets are within your budget. You can either go with her (schedule a babysitter if necessary) or let her choose a friend she wants to take along (and offer to be the babysitter yourself). ($$$)
Long Distance Mother’s Day Activities
If you don’t live close to your mom because you moved away for college or a job, it can be a bit tricky to plan a Mother’s Day. Thanks to technology, you can still show her you care even when you won’t be together that day. If your budget is a little bigger, maybe one of the more expensive ideas will inspire you to go big (and go home)!
- Call, Skype or FaceTime her. Put a good chunk of time aside and devote it just to talking to her. No Instagram-scrolling, pasta-cooking or driving while having her stare at your chin from your lap. Pay 100 percent attention to her and your conversation, she will appreciate it. (free)
- Send her a bouquet of flowers. Whether you send her a few sunflowers or a lavish bouquet that barely fits in any of her vases, attach a sweet note and order it to be delivered on Mother’s Day. ($ – $$)
- Send her a basket full of goodies that you know she loves but is too frugal to buy for herself. Be creative, you can send your mom her favorite chocolates, body lotion that is not the cheap store-brand she usually opts for or even her favorite selection of wines. ($ – $$)
- Fly her in! Depending on how far you live away from her, this can be a little more pricey and difficult to plan but just think about the blast you’ll have spending Mother’s Day together just the two of you in your new home. ($$$$)
- Surprise-visit her! Again, this gift can be kind of expensive but the look on your mom’s face when you show up on her doorstep on Mother’s Day unannounced – that is truly priceless. ($$$$)
All Day Mother’s Day Activities
Whether your mom is the active type or just wants to lay low – planning out a full day to celebrate Mother’s Day will be a blast with any of the following ideas.
- Clean her house or help in the garden while your mother relaxes with a book or her favorite TV show on. Ask her if there is anything that really needs to get done and she’s been dreading to do herself like cleaning the windows or pulling weeds. (free)
- Go on a hike. When was the last time you enjoyed nature for a full day? Pack a bunch of snacks, sunscreen, plenty of water and get going! Nature is a great place to exercise, explore and rejuvenate yourself. If you feel like it, bring the whole family along – hiking is more fun when experiencing it as a group! (free)
- Go volunteering together. Giving back together is a bonding experience that will make both of you (or even the entire family) feel even more grateful for what you have. Help out at the food bank, walk a dog from a shelter or check for local volunteering events happening on Mother’s Day that you can join. (free)
- Go on a bike ride with her. If you don’t have your own bikes at home, rent a couple for the day. You can do this casually around town with a few stops to grab coffee and snacks or as a workout on mountain bikes exploring nature around you. (free – $)
- Visit a museum. Take just your mother and check out her favorite art gallery or bring the whole family and enjoy a fun-filled day at a science museum. ($)
- Go antiquing. Maybe there is a cool flea market in town or your mom has a favorite antiquing store already in mind. Buy her something small to remember this day by like a delicate picture frame or a unique perfume bottle. ($)
- Visit the local Farmer’s Market. Get your weekly shopping done or just stroll around and try all the free samples. Treat her to something she normally wouldn’t buy for herself to have a keepsake from this day together. ($)
- Go out for brunch and take her shopping. Go to your favorite place in town, have some mimosas and enjoy a long, delicious brunch together. Take your mom to the mall or outlet of her choice afterward. Be very clear about this being Mother’s Day and don’t accept any of the things she wants to buy for you. Have her try on some clothes for a change and make her feel like this day is all about her. ($$)
- Throw a ladies’ garden party! Invite only a couple of friends or the whole neighborhood – celebrating moms together makes the day even more special! ($$ – $$$)
- Take a cooking class together. If your mom is already the best cook you know, book a class that is outside of her comfort zone. Maybe you can find a cooking class that teaches how to prepare an ethnic food that your mom loves but has never had the courage to try herself at home. ($$$)
- Get a 3D statue printed. Find out if there is a spot nearby where you can get your bodies scanned and printed as little figurines. If you can pick them up the same day, take the little dolls around town and take pictures in funny places (next to a flower that will seem enormous or a puddle that will look like a giant lake). ($$$)
- Go Skydiving. Your mom is an adrenaline junkie and so are you? Well, skydiving, ziplining or bungee jumping are all great gifts for someone like her who just can’t get enough of the thrill. See what is available where you live and make sure to get the experience on camera! Chances are you’ll still look back at these memories in many years to come remembering how your heart skipped a beat when you jumped off that edge. ($$$$)
Celebrate an Extended Mother’s Day
Who says Mother’s Day can only last 24 hours? If you really want to spoil your mother, take her out for a whole weekend and make sure she’ll have the time of her life.
- Take a road trip! It’s the perfect plan if you have no idea where to go but love the adventure. Bring enough clothes and snacks, make a playlist you can jam to and fill up your gas tank before you hit the road. ($$)
- Visit a national park! If one day of hiking isn’t enough for your nature-loving mom, take her to a national park she’s always wanted to visit. Pay your tribute to president Theodore Roosevelt who made sure we can still enjoy preserved nature today: “There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm”. Let his words inspire you to explore one of the 62 National Parks in the United States. ($$)
- Take your mom on a city trip! If there’s a city you’ve always wanted to explore together but never taken the time to do so – let that time be now. It doesn’t have to be Paris or Rome, maybe you live just an hour outside of a cool city you’ve never fully explored. Pro tip: Sign up for a free walking tour on your first day to get to know the city and figure out how to maximize the time you have there. ($$$-$$$$$)
- Take a horseback riding trip with your mom! Even if she’s never sat on a horse in her life, there are tours you can book for complete beginners. Depending on where you live, you could be riding on the beach or across fields of green. This romantic trip will be one for the books. ($$$$)
- Go Glamping! The last thing a mother needs is to come home from a weekend with back pain from sleeping on a mediocre air mattress. If you still want to enjoy a couple of nights in nature under the stars, opt for the more glamorous version of camping: glamping! Stay in a luxury treehouse, a yurt in the mountains or a bubble in the wilderness – there are more and more glamping destinations available every day. ($$$$$)
- Book a wellness weekend at a resort for you and your mom if you prefer a hotel room over a fancy version of a tent. Schedule spa treatments, fancy dinners, and downtime to just talk or finally finish that novel you haven’t had time to read. ($$$$$)
However you choose to spoil your mom on Mother’s Day make sure to appreciate her on all the other days of the year too. Maybe get her flowers on a random day to show how grateful you are to have her in your life.