Every year, you take your mom out for a prix-fixe brunch and then spend some quality time together at the nail salon to let her know how much you love and appreciate everything she does. And sure, those are lovely ways to show her how much you care but they're not exactly feasible in these social distancing times. This year, you're going to have to surprise your favorite lady with one of these out-of-the-box (but inside-the-house) Mother’s Day activity ideas instead. Because she totally deserves it. (Psst...or send this list to your partner and kids and have them treat you.)
1. Indulge in some (online) retail therapy
Every mom has “a thing.” Whether it’s antiquing, ceramic frogs or cheesecake, treat your mom to an afternoon of online shopping and buy her something nice. It may not be quite the same as strolling around town together arm-in-arm and actually seeing the goods in person but these are strange times. Bonus points if you can order from small businesses who could really use your support right now.
2. Throw a movie night extravaganza
Your local cinema may be closed right now so bring the movie magic home to you. A lot of film studios are releasing their roster of flicks to rent earlier than expected so the selection has never been better. 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 like they do at the salon. And remember, it's OK if it doesn't look quite as flawless as a professional mani-pedi—this is about spending quality time together. (Besides, who's going to see it, anyway?)
4. Or a face mask
5. Or go all-in with an at-home spa day
When you can’t exactly book a session with your favorite masseuse or spring for a body wrap with a pro, it's time to take matters into our own hands. From scalp massages and hair treatments to foot masks and facial steamers, here are ten genius home spa treatment ideas to try.
6. Check out an art gallery or a museum
Virtually, of course. Due to COVID-19, museums around the world have shut their doors to visitors but thankfully, many of them have provided those of us stuck indoors with a way to still get our necessary doses of culture. Here are ten museums you can currently check out online thanks to Google's Arts & Culture platform (including the Guggenheim museum in New York, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and the Palace of Versailles in France). We're also very into these Los Angeles virtual museums. Look at you, being all cultural.
7. Or an Aquarium
Looking for something fun to do with your kids? Check out these virtual museum tours for children including a mesmerizing look at The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s live web cams (the penguin cam is beyond adorable).
8. 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.)
9. Host your own Sip and Paint class
While you can't head to an art studio near you for a wine and painting event right now, you can bring the same creative fun to you by ordering some art supplies online and opening a bottle of your finest Chardonnay. Pick a subject (like the fruit bowl on your kitchen counter or your dad lounging on the sofa) and start painting. Just don’t expect your mom to hang your work of art on the fridge, OK?
10. Enjoy a virtual wine tasting
In the age of being homebound, Inman Family Wines is “putting the social in social distancing” and introducing a new virtual wine tasting that benefits a great cause. Owner of Sonoma County, California’s Russian River Valley winery, Kathleen Inman, is bringing her expertise to wine enthusiasts across the country with four new wine tasting packages. You can order a trio of rosé ($84), pinot noir ($216), sparkling wine ($214) or a mixture of “fan favorites” ($154) from the Inman Family Wines website and then schedule a “Meet the Maker” Happy Hour session online. Cheers.
11. Take a workout class
The mother-daughter duo that sweats together, um, makes post-workout smoothies together? Stretch it out with a yoga class, get your heart rate up with something more intense like a spin class or work out those biceps.
12. Breakfast in bed
From baked tiramisu french toast to asparagus and brie puffed pastry with thyme honey, here are 40 elegant Mother's Day brunch ideas that will make her morning.
13. Garden together
Order supplies online beforehand and then spend the day potting, planting and pruning.
14. Host a picnic
Pack an alfresco feast (think: cheese, fruit and sandwiches) and pick out a prime spot in your backyard (or driveway or front stoop) for a relaxing and delicious afternoon.
15. Have a family game night
16. Enjoy the Great Outdoors (If You Can)
Unless your government officials have advised otherwise, it’s the perfect season for hiking, cycling or kayaking. (Just remember to practice the rules of social distancing.)
17. Take a virtual 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. Top chefs from around the world are now offering virtual cooking classes (like this one, this one or this one).
18. 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. Give Her a Celebrity Shout-Out
Maybe she's obsessed with Esther the Wonder Pig or in love with Below Deck's Captain Lee (sorry, Dad). Gift her a personalized message from her favorite celeb thanks to the talent platform Cameo and she'll remember this Mother's Day for years to come.
20. Set up a Virtual Party
Whether she's technologically-savvy or not, she'll appreciate all the effort you went through to gather her nearest and dearest together for an online hangout using a video chat service like Zoom or Google Hangouts. Or organize a virtual game night with an app like Houseparty.
21. Make Something Sweet Together
Sachertorte chocolate apricot cake with dark chocolate ganache? Don't mind if we do. That are 29 more Mother's Day dessert ideas right this way.
22. 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.
23. Solve a Puzzle
Here are five of our favorites.
24. 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 to all out with an at-home karaoke system.
25. 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.