Moms, grandmas, foster moms, moms-in-law, stepmoms—moms and mother figures are some of our life’s biggest influencers. They come in many forms and go by many names. Whoever the mother figure is in your life, here are some ideas for activities you can engage in with her this Mother’s Day.
Low-energy activities for laid-back moms
Stack the deck! Card games are somewhat of a lost art in this fast-moving world, but they’re a popular treat for older generations. Spend some time letting your mom teach you some of her favorites, and you can be entertained – no phone or internet required – for hours!
Break out the family albums. Mom always wanted to get these out when your new boyfriend came over, so surely she’ll want to look through them now, right? No matter how many times you’ve seen a photo, viewing it with fresh eyes and a new perspective of who you are today can evoke a new memory from Mom or a story you’ve never heard before.
Look up locations on Google Maps. Images from Google Maps can be incredibly sharp and evocative. You can go back to Mom’s grade school or hometown or even travel around the world to someplace she’s always wanted to go. You can view the locations from a bird’s eye perspective, or zoom in to street level and navigate on your virtual feet and take a walk through Central Park or along the cafe-lined streets of Paris!
Read aloud together. Reading in general has benefits for cognitive health, but reading aloud with a loved one turns an isolated activity into a social one. Sharing a book with Mom can be akin to sharing a meal or special trip without leaving the house.
Share favorite memories. If your mom’s memory is sharp, settle in with a soothing cup of tea and ask her about some of her fond memories from her younger years. What trips did she love? Did she ever hitchhike? What kind of car did she drive as a teenager? If you’re stumped for inquiries, check out Modern Mom Life’s list of 40 questions to ask your parents!
For moms who are miles away
Make a long-distance date. You can do more than just chat on the phone when Mom is far away—you can do activities together or make a date to watch a TV show. Share your theories while watching true crime or giggle at the old-timey language in an old Western flick. Tune in to a tearjerker or catch a comedy for shared laughs!
Go on a virtual tour together. You and Mom can explore the world together from the comfort of your own homes. Check out Heygo.com’s schedule of free virtual tours on Mother’s Day, which include the Nishiki Market in Japan, parks in Dubai and a stroll along the Moselle River in Germany!
Plan activities for your next visit. Talking about and planning for future time spent together can make the miles melt away and give you both something to look forward to.
Royal fun for moms who like being treated like queens
Brunch the day away. Many family-friendly restaurants are catering to moms this Mother’s Day. For a truly royal treatment, make sure to set up a reservation ahead of time so Mom feels like a VIP as you breeze past the parties waiting in line for a table!
Make everything extra. Take it up a notch for Mom today by going just a little beyond the ordinary. Without too much extra effort or time spent on your part, you can make Mother’s Day extra special by adding whipped cream to her morning coffee, candles to the dinner table or fancy placemats for lunch. Fluff the pillows on the couch and set mom up with a cozy comforter and slippers.
Have a spa day. Spas are havens of aromatherapy, massage and manicures. You can tailor your experience to your mom’s particular needs and desires.
Peaceful activities for moms who want to be left alone
Make a playlist of relaxing tunes. You can make customized playlists on Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music or Google Music that Mom can stream for hours while relaxing in her bedroom or sitting in her garden.
Start an ancestry project. Mom could spend hours exploring the family tree! Websites like Ancestry.com and MyHeritage.com have free trials, and Ancestry.com has a Mother’s Day sale to get Mom started with savings!
Spruce up the place! While Mom’s in her zen place with relaxing music, a good book or a fun ancestry project, give the whole house a nice clean!
Bring in fresh flowers and plants. Whether you have a favorite local nursery or only have a short amount of time to make a run to the hardware store, this is the time of year to bring in fresh foliage for your Mom’s home or room. Make sure the plants are easy to care for so she can enjoy them for a long time.
In-the-kitchen activities for maître d’ moms
Baking is a great go-to activity on Mother’s Day. The ingredients are usually pretty simple and on-hand, though cleanup can be a burden. If you’re not in the mood for the extra work, have you heard of mug cakes? These mini-desserts offer all the indulgence of a cake on a smaller scale with no oven required!
Cake or cookie decorating contest. Another fun option in the kitchen for Mother’s Day is cookie decorating. You can add sprinkles, the grandkids’ initials or stick with the Mother’s Day motif of hearts and flowers.
All-ages activities for the entire family
Board games and puzzles, please! The best part about breaking out an old board game or puzzle is the easy cleanup—everything goes right back into the box until next time! Don’t overburden yourselves with a thousand-piece masterpiece that might turn into a chore. A 250- or 500-piece puzzle with larger, easier-to-see-and-grab pieces is perfect for this occasion.
Take family photos! No need to book a photographer—you can set up family photos at home, inside or outside. Everyone can put on their Sunday best so the occasion will feel more special, and the photos will be so fun to look back at!
Create a memory kit. Memory kits employ a form of reminiscence therapy and are great for a loved one with dementia. But even if your Mom’s memory is going strong, you can get the whole family to compile items that represent their favorite tastes, sounds and smells.
Outdoor adventures for active moms
Visit antique malls. Secondhand shops and antique malls are full of treasures and memories. It can take a little digging if you’re looking for something specific, but you’ll no doubt find items that will make you and Mom laugh or reminisce along the way.
Have a park outing. Is there a park you’ve always driven by but never stopped to explore? Today’s the day! Do some nature photography with your smartphone or traditional camera and have fun comparing photos later. And forget loading up your bicycle: Find a place that offers rentals so you don’t need to worry about loading up your two- or three-wheeler. You can pack an easy picnic or even practice some tai chi while you’re there!
Make a visit to the farmers market together. Spring is the season for the return of farmers markets—a great place for you and Mom to meet other people in your community with similar interests and tastes. Your local market may include the freshest of produce, home-crafted products like hummus, candles and soaps, and even local art. The best part about farmers markets is spending time outside, the knowledge you’re supporting your local farmers and artists, and the chance to discover new favorite things while meeting the artisans who procure them!
No mom fits into any one category, and maybe it feels like your roles have reversed and you’re more like the mom in your relationship these days. Regardless, Mother’s Day is a chance to break up the monotony of the week-to-week grind of caregiving.