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30 Mother's Day Ideas Better Than Any Store-Bought Gift

Any mom would go nuts for these fun Mother's Day activities.

With the month of May right around the corner, it's time to start prepping for arguably one of the most important holidays: Mother's Day. And if you'd like to take things one step further than a bath robe and a heartfelt card this year, you'll definitely want to consult our list of fun Mother's Day activities. All of these are truly heartfelt Mother's Day ideas that show her you care simply by the way you spend your time together. You can choose one activity, or you can combine several to make the day all about her. It's entirely up to you! One thing's for certain, though: No matter what you decide, she'll definitely feel loved and celebrate, which is the whole point and purpose of Mother's Day.

Plant a garden.

Mother and daughter planting a garden

Mother's Day happens to fall right as spring temperatures are warming up and the days are getting longer. And you know what that means: It's planting season! So, spend some time on mom's special day planting a garden side by side. She'll love the time spent together, and you can both enjoy the harvest in the coming months.

Take a sewing class.

Mother daughter sewing class

Did you know there are places that offer sewing classes? There aren't many people who know how to operate a sewing machine, and if it's something mom's talked about for a while, hitting up one of these local shops and learning together could be the perfect Mother's Day activity. You'll be surprised by the number of fun DIY things you can make once you know how to use a sewing machine.

Hit up a craft fair.

Craft fair

Spring is pretty much synonymous with craft fairs, which makes this a wonderful Mother's Day activity. Spend the day idly walking through rows and rows of unique crafts with your mom. And if she sees something she loves? Why, you've just found the perfect Mother's Day gift. We'll call that a win-win!

Go antiquing.


If mom's go-to shows are on HGTV, she'll probably love a day spent at some of the local antique stores in your area. If she sees something she loves, surprise her by secretly purchasing it and giving it to her later over dinner.

Hit up your local thrift stores.

Thrift shopping

There's nothing quite like a good thrift store find. It's a total rush of adrenaline knowing you've found something amazing—and for a steal, too. Hit up mom's favorite local thrift stores with her on Mother's Day, and don't forget to keep your eyes peeled for that vintage band tee or '60s skirt she'll love.

Get a mani/pedi.

Mother daughter mani pedi

This Mother's Day, schedule your mom a day at the spa complete with a manicure and pedicure. It's a great way to help her feel relaxed, beautiful, and appreciated. What she'll love even more? For someone special (you!) to join her.

Treat her to a massage.


If a spa day sounds up your mom's alley, you can always take things a step further and treat the two of you to full-body massages for her special day. Trust us—she'll thank you!

See a show or movie.

Families watching a movie at the theatre

Seeing a show or movie with mom is one of our favorite Mother's Day ideas. Why? Because it's one of her favorites, too! And now that most movie theaters offer great extras like reclining seats, gourmet snacks, and even wine, this is a great way to celebrate mom on her special day.

Catch a concert or orchestra.

Mother and daughter at concert

If you feel like a movie is a little too simple, you could go the extra mile and book tickets in advance if there happens to be a concert in your area around Mother's Day. Whether it's oldies rock, country, or even a symphony orchestra, catching a show is always a special occasion, and a great way to celebrate mom.

Have a relaxing family movie night.

Family movie night setup

Netflix awaits when you plan that special Mother's Day evening. After dinner, have everyone pile up on the couch with popcorn to watch mom's favorite movie. Then, if there are little kids in the mix, give her the night off from bedtime duty.

Go to a farmer's market.

Farmer's market

Today's farmer's markets aren't just about the veggies. You can also find delectable homemade goodies like pastries, jams, and jerky; handmade crafts and soaps; and premium farm-to-table meats. If your town has a weekend farmer's market, don't hesitate to add it to your list of Mother's Day ideas! You could even make a fun game out of putting together a Mother's Day dinner using only farmer's market finds.

Go for a hike.

Mother and daughter hiking

If mom's an outdoorsy gal, a hike is probably near the top of her list of ideal Mother's Day activities. You can head to a local national park or forest if there's one within driving distance—and if not, just Google the best local hikes in your town or area for some inspo.

Go on a long walk.

Mother daughter walking together

If your mom is a low-key lady, or if her daily life has gotten super busy, chill things out on her special day with a long walk together. You'll get exercise while engaging in one of her favorite pastimes: spending quality time with you.

Visit a lavender farm.

Mother daughter lavender farm

Do you have a lavender farm nearby? If so, pack a picnic, grab your mom, and head there this Mother's Day. Lavender farms are the perfect place to enjoy Mother's Day; not only do they make the ideal photo background, but you can also pick your own lavender to take home. Your abode will smell amazing for weeks, and mom can even make her own special soap or sachets with her haul.

Go strawberry picking.

Strawberry picking

Another favorite pick-your-own to add to your list of Mother's Day ideas? Strawberry picking! This mid-May holiday is the perfect time to snag some fresh, juicy strawberries in most climates, making strawberry picking a prime Mother's Day activity.

Let her sleep in or take a midday nap.

Woman sleeping

Sleep. It's what every mother craves. In fact, a recent study conducted by Owlet and reported on by Parents states that 43 percent of parents with young babies get only 1 to 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Yikes. So, if you're looking for Mother's Day ideas for new moms, letting her get some extra shut-eye might be a good place to start.

Do a brewery or winery tour.

Mom in vineyard with child

If you're lucky enough to live in an area that has multiple breweries, wineries, or cideries, a fun day tour of a few of these would be a great way to spend Mother's Day. Make up a plan and arrange for transportation in advance so mom doesn't have to do any work on her special day.

Plan a picnic.

Family having a picnic

This is a simple yet beautiful way to spend Mother's Day. Grab a blanket and a frisbee or soccer ball, then hit up a local park or garden for a nice May day spent in the sun with mom.

Hire a cleaning service.

Cleaning service

We can't think of any mom who would refuse a bit of extra help in the house. That's why a weekly, monthly, or one-time cleaning service is on our list of the best Mother's Day ideas. Take the task of deep-cleaning off her plate by having a professional come in and tackle it for her; this will free up her time for a bit of self-care.

Use a meal delivery service.

Woman opening food delivery box

Similarly, you can outsource dinner now, too. With a host of meal subscription services out there like Blue Apron and Dinnerly, you can give mom a bit of a head start when it comes to dinner prep. Even better? Get in the kitchen and help her prepare the meal that's been delivered.

Head to a local museum or art gallery.

Mother daughter at museum

Why not take in a bit of culture on Mother's Day? If mom is an art or history aficionado, she'll love to spend her special day strolling through a museum or art gallery. Afterward, a nice dinner on the town is a great way to end the day.

Take a yoga or ballet class together.

Middle aged ballet class

What better way to "stretch out" Mother's Day than by taking a yoga or ballet class together? You can even combine the two by hitting up your local barre studio; this hot new form of exercise combines classical ballet moves with the stretching and toning that a good yoga class provides. Once your class is over, gift mom a month of classes!

Take a paint and sip class.

Women painting

Paint and sip classes have become all the rage in the past few years, making this one of our favorite Mother's Day ideas. Plus, it's something fun you can do together, which is what she really wants.

Book a family photo session.

Family taking professional photo

Every mom loves pictures of her family more than just about anything. Help her update the walls with some new snaps of the whole family when you schedule a family photo session. Just be sure to book well in advance, since this is one of the more popular Mother's Day ideas.

Go to a boozy brunch.

Family having brunch in bed

Skip the clichéd "take mom out to dinner" this Mother's Day and instead treat her to something decidedly different: a fancy brunch complete with sparkling mimosas! She'll love this ultra-feminine affair complete with yummy food, delicious drinks, and the best company. You can even plan a breakfast or brunch in bed so mom doesn't have to lift a finger.

Go for a family bike ride.

Family going on a bike ride together

If everyone in the family owns a bike and knows how to use it, a family bike ride might be just the thing to do on Mother's Day this year. Bonus points if you plan a yummy picnic or sneak bathing suits into your backpack for a surprise swim in a lake.

Organize a family game of her favorite sport.

Family playing basketball together

Any sports-loving mama out there would love nothing more than a fun, relaxing day in the sun playing ball with the ones she loves the most. So grab a ball and bat or a soccer ball and some pop-up goals and hit the fields this Mother's Day. Afterward, grab some ice cream on the way home for the perfect ending to a special day spent honoring mom.

Go to a baseball game.

Mom at baseball game

Play ball—on Mother's Day, that is. If you're looking for more exciting and high energy Mother's Day ideas, why not take her out to the ball game this year? Cap the day (pardon the pun) with ice cream at her favorite creamery.

Draw her a warm bath.

Woman taking a bath with candles and cityscape view

After the little ones are in bed, treat mom to a luxurious bath to help her relax and unwind. Gift her a spa set that she can enjoy while she soaks in the tub.

Take a day trip.

Family packing the car to take a day trip

Last but not least on our list of the best Mother's Day ideas is a day trip. Though it requires a bit of advance planning, a day trip to somewhere special will show her that you really care. Whether it's a day in the Poconos or an early morning flight to Vegas that ends with a Cirque du Soleil performance, mom will appreciate the effort you put into planning a fun getaway.

Christin Perry
Christin Perry is a freelance writer covering health, lifestyle, and parenting. Read more
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