Sure, it’s a relaxing day for mom, but Mother’s Day can be stressful for the rest of the family. You want to show your partner that she’s the best mom ever, but another mug proclaiming “Best Mom Ever!” just won’t cut it. Mother’s Day flowers and treats are practically requirements, but don’t forget to involve the kids in the rest of the day’s activities. Left to their own devices, who knows what kind of gifts they’ll come up with: maybe another unflattering stick-figure drawing of her or worse, nothing at all. Your family can do better than this, and our guide to Mother’s Day ideas is here to help. We have activities to get kids of any age involved in mom’s big day so she won’t have to lift a finger—and as the kids get older, you won’t either.
Kids’ Age: Infant
Who’s in Charge: Spouse
Activity: Spa day for Mom
With a brand-spanking-new baby, you want mom’s first Mother’s Day to be memorable—but she just wants to relax. Sure, infants are cute and all, but let’s be honest: they’re exhausting and they can’t really do anything. Give her a break from the screaming, feeding, and more screaming with a luxurious spa day full of massages and mani-pedis. Before she comes back, make sure baby is sound asleep and has “signed” a sweet or funny card.
Pro-tip: Coordinate with the other new parents in your social circle to give all the moms a well-deserved ladies’ day out.
Kids’ Age: Toddler
Who’s in Charge: Spouse
Activity: Lunch in the park
Though they can’t do much in the planning department, toddlers are old enough to get in on the fun of Mother’s Day. Before the outing, let them glue some macaroni on a plate or make whatever else constitutes art in their adorable little minds. They can present it to mom like it’s a long-lost Van Gogh (okay, their art probably is that valuable to her). But remember: Their attention spans are going to fade fast.
Lunch in the park is an ideal time and place for toddlers to present these homemade gifts for mom. Our version makes it even easier, because all you need to do is order takeout or delivery from a neighborhood restaurant. No one has to cook, clean-up simply involves finding the nearest trash can, and the kids can keep themselves busy on the playground. Make sure to bring a blanket, so that after lunch, you and your partner can kick back and enjoy the outdoors as you watch the little ones play.
Pro-tip: For a little added relaxation, bring a bottle of wine in a thermos.
Kids’ Age: Middle school
Who’s in Charge: Spouse, with input from kids
Activity: Family art class
Middle-schoolers tend to get really excited for holidays. Mother’s Day should be no exception, so take the entire family to a group art class. Kids can put their enthusiasm—and a little imagination—into making mom a piece of artwork that she’ll actually enjoy for years to come. Let them choose the type of art class the family takes, just encourage them to think about what art mom likes. She’ll be there too, after all. At the end, mom gets to keep all the ceramics, paintings, or mosaics as memorable gifts.
Pro-tip: Middle-schoolers can be ornery; if art class doesn’t sit with your crew, pick an outdoorsy family activity that will tire them out (Mom will appreciate it).
Kids’ Age: High school
Who’s in Charge: Kids, with a little help and guidance from you
Activity: Home-cooked feast
This one takes some commitment, but it will pay dividends for mom (and you too). To pay her back for years of home-cooked meals, send the teens out to a cooking class before the big day. Now they’re ready to prepare a multi-course Mother’s Day feast for the whole family. Thanks to their fresh culinary training, they shouldn’t burn or undercook anything, so you won’t need to hire a professional taster. You’re not completely off the hook, however. Be sure to have a wrapped box of jewelry ready to go once you finish the kids’ chocolate souffle.
Pro-tip: The teens can cover the food, but you’ll need to provide the mimosas.
Kids’ Age: Adult
Who’s in Charge: Kids
Activity: Wine tasting crawl
Now that your kids are on their own, their visits are probably few and far between, so spending time together is a special bonus on Mother’s Day. Of course, a little booze makes it more fun. Let your kids introduce you to their favorite bars with a day of wine tastings throughout your city. They’ll make the itinerary—all you and mom have to do is comment on how fabulous everything tastes.
Pro-tip: For an even more luxurious experience, hire a limo service to transport you from destination to destination.