50 Mother's Day Activities the Whole Family Will Love

Stumped on what to do for Mom this year? Try some of these sweet and surprising ways to celebrate Mother’s Day with the family.

A family having a summer picnic at a lake.
Photo: Tim Robbins/Getty Images

Mother's Day activities aren't one-size-fits-all, but there are certain family-friendly activities nearly any mom will appreciate. Whether it's an all-day scavenger hunt focused on her, a traditional breakfast in bed, or a chance to get outside, mom will appreciate any outing that's all about her.

Show appreciation for your mom (or grandmother, aunt, wife, partner...) with these totally entertaining Mother's Day activities that you'll probably love, too. You can expand upon an old family tradition or create a new one—just make sure Mom's happy, relaxed, and carefree.

Pro tip: Some of these Mother's Day activities will only take an hour or two, so you might want to pick a few to create a customized itinerary for your mom.

Mother's Day Activities

01 of 50

Set Up a Scavenger Hunt

scavenger hunt sign

Getty Images 

Give your mom a fun adventure filled with clues that take her to her favorite spots—and a small gift, treat, or experience at each destination. (What mom will say no to a midday massage?)

Even better, have each family member create their own clue, and offer up a message that tells Mom just how special she is.

02 of 50

Get Your Game On

Family playing board game
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Whether Mom loves board games, video games, or DIY classics like charades and name that tune, launch a tourney to get everyone in on the fun.

Need some hints? Check out these party game ideas for adults and kids.

03 of 50

Create Something

woman doing a craft

Alistair Berg / Getty Images

Have a crafty mom? Look for a cool project you can all work on together—whether that's painting ceramics for a customized new set of mugs or plates, building a birdhouse, or taking on a paint and sip. (If you want to DIY it at home, look for art kits that give you everything you need for a fun project.)

04 of 50

Start Something Growing

Planting Garden on Mother's Day

Ariel Skelley/Getty Images

For much of the country, Mother's Day marks the perfect time of year to get your garden started. After Mom has enjoyed her breakfast in bed, head out to the garden center to find some great things to grow, and put the whole family to work getting the garden in shape.

05 of 50

Put Your Family to Work

Making Dinner for Mother's Day

wera Rodsawang/Getty Images

Let your kids get creative and put together a special event just for her. Splurge on a few fun spa products (think bath bombs, facial masks, a splurge-worthy body cream), and draw the bath for her and let her relax. Or create your own fancy restaurant (let the kids color in a fun menu and set the table), and serve her all of her favorite dishes.

06 of 50

Take a Nap Together

Family sleeping in the hammock

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If there's anything a mom needs, it's more sleep. Cocoon everyone into your bed, include a few good bedtime stories and some cozy throws to get everyone feeling drowsy, and nod off for a few well-deserved Zzzs. (P.S. If it's nice outside, a hammock makes a perfect place for a little R&R.)

07 of 50

Learn Something New Together

Learn Something New Like Flower Arranging

Alistair Berg/Getty Images

With online, on-demand options (and plenty of creative classes near you), you should be able to find something to try together. Maybe master a new dish, learn to make a gorgeous flower arrangement (for mom, of course), or start learning a new language.

08 of 50

Stick With the Classics

Breakfast in Bed
Cultura RM/Kate Ballis Images

There's a reason breakfast in bed is tried and true—what Mom doesn't love the opportunity to relax in bed while her family whips up a fantastic meal? Don't forget the flowers and perhaps a new book she'll want to read while she's enjoying her omelet or pancakes. (Check out these Mother's Day breakfast ideas for inspiration.)

09 of 50

Take Time to Reminisce

Go Through Old Photos

Israel Sebastian/Getty Images

You know how Mom gets teary every time she sees baby photos of you? Spend the day reliving the glory days by looking back over old photos and watching home movies.

10 of 50

Have a Binge Watching Marathon

Image of a family watching TV

 Portra\Getty Images

Create a lineup of all of her favorite movies and TV shows, and get cozy on the couch to enjoy it. (Don't forget the popcorn!) If your mom might be looking for something new to watch, check out these great mom-friendly shows and movies she might have missed.

11 of 50

Make It a Spa Day

Woman having face mask applied to face
Woman having face mask applied to face.

Piotr Marcinski/EyeEm/Getty Images

Book her in for her favorite treatments at a spa, or splurge on some masks, lotions, and other goodies to pamper her head to toe at home.

12 of 50

Pack Up a Picnic

Family having picnic

Martinns/Getty Images

Dining al fresco with the fam will definitely be high on her list of Mother's Day must-dos. So pack up a moveable feast (don't forget the rosé), and let her sip and enjoy with the crew. (P.S. If the weather doesn't cooperate, a living room picnic can be just as fun.)

13 of 50

Give Her a Rain Check

Mother's Day Gift Envelope

ZwartFotografie/Getty Images

If her favorite activity is one that isn't exactly feasible at the moment (whether it's out of season or rain cancels your outdoor adventure), you can gift her an IOU for a future day of fun. (Perhaps send her on a bit of a scavenger hunt to track down her gift to add a little action to your day.)

14 of 50

Give Back Together

Best Volunteer Vacations for Families
Hero Images/Getty Images

If your mom has a generous spirit, pick a worthy cause and donate some time to it on Mother's Day, whether you're helping plant a community garden or serve food at a local soup kitchen.

15 of 50

Help Her Solve Something

Doing Jigsaw Puzzle


Put your heads together over a jigsaw puzzle or a murder mystery game (if she's more the true-crime podcast type).

16 of 50

Go Pinkies Up at a High Tea

Vintage high tea party pink and blue tea cup, plates, gold cutlery flatware, pink roses, place setting - wedding bridal shower
Alison Henley / Getty Images

What mom wouldn't love a little tea and fancy sandwiches and petit fours for Mother's Day? Book something at a local restaurant, or gather everything you need for a fancy high tea at home. (Don't forget to dress up!)

17 of 50

Bake Something Delicious

Family baking cookies in kitchen
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If your mom loves to bake, pick out a favorite treat that you can collaborate to make. (Perhaps a yummy dessert for Mother's Day dinner?) You could pair that with a related baking gift that she can use during the baking process.

18 of 50

Set Up Some Blissful Alone Time

Mom Relaxing on Mother's Day

d3sign/Getty Images

Mom loves you—Mom might actually love a little me time on Mother's Day. Block off a few hours for her to do whatever it is she likes—without anyone tagging along.

19 of 50

Enjoy a Tasting Event

Wine Tasting for Mother's Day

Westend61/Getty Images

Take her favorite treat, and turn it into an event. For a grownups-only event, you can opt to visit your local makers or a restaurant or bar for a wine, beer, or whiskey tasting. Or set up your own at home, with a variety of types of chocolate, coffee, cheese, ice cream (can she tell the difference between the splurgey mint chocolate chip and the cheaper one?)—or whatever other treats she loves.

(Pro tip: You can find a lot of cool prepared tasting kits to help you get things started, whether they're into wine, cheese, chocolate, or something else.)

20 of 50

Visit a Farmer's Market (or a Farm!)

Family Strawberry Picking

eclipse_images/Getty Images

Whether she's looking for fresh strawberries and homemade jam—or just a little quality time with a baby lamb or two—she'll enjoy either excursion.

21 of 50

Have a Fill-in-the-Blank Fight

Pillow Fight

Dasha Petrenko / EyeEm/Getty Images

Pick your perfect weapons—water balloons, pillows, marshmallows, paintballs—and battle it out. (Just be sure that you're on cleanup duty, not mom.)

22 of 50

Plan a (Short) Road Trip

Family Road Trip

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Pack all those road trip essentials—including great snacks and a killer playlist—and take her on a surprise adventure somewhere she hasn't been.

23 of 50

Two Words: Goat. Yoga.

Goat Yoga
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Cute animals + zen-inducing movement = one great Mother's Day activity. If goat yoga isn't available near you, plain yoga will do the job.

24 of 50

Put on a Show

Kids Putting on a Show for Mothers Day

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There's nothing your mom loves more than watching you flaunt your talents. So go ahead—show off that TikTok choreo, serenade her with her favorite song, or teach your dog a sweet new trick.

25 of 50

Collaborate With Her Crew

Women Drinking Cocktails

Dulin/Getty Images

Sometimes, moms just want to have fun (together) for Mother's Day. Coordinate with the families of her dearest friends for a group Mother's Day activity, like sending them to the spa for a few hours, or hosting a mom-centric happy hour.

26 of 50

Hit the Beach

Sunset at the beach with family
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Even if it's not quite bikini weather where you are, a stroll along your local body of water will be enjoyable.

27 of 50

Say Yes to Karaoke

family doing karaoke

Edwin Tan/Getty Images

Give everyone a turn at the mic for a fun, family-friendly Mother's Day activity.

28 of 50

Read a Book Together

Mother and daughter reading together
Robert Nicholas / Getty Images

Start a family-wide book club, and dive into a great read with your mom for a few hours on Mother's Day. You can chat about your progress at dinner.

29 of 50

Get Your Pictures Taken (With Her in Them!)

Family Photo Shoot

Sorapop/Getty Images

We all know that Mom's usually behind the camera—so have a photo shoot where she's the star. Whether you book a pro or have Dad or someone else take a turn behind the lens, you'll ensure that she remembers this special point in time.

30 of 50

Two Words: Dance. Party.

Family Dance Party

VioletaStoimenova/Getty Images

Crank up her favorite playlist, and let everyone show off their dance moves for a while. (It's the perfect way to work off a little of that delicious Mother's Day brunch you whipped up.)

31 of 50

Indulge in Some Culture

Family at a theater

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Take your mom to the theater or ballet, a local museum or gallery, or even the movies to let your mom enjoy a great performance or work of art.

32 of 50

Cheer on Her Favorite Team

Family at Sports Game

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Take your sports-minded mom to a local ballgame (or her favorite sports bar) so she can cheer them on.

33 of 50

Indulge Her Nerdy Side

Family at Aeronautics Museum

Paha_L/Getty Images

Whatever your mom is passionate about—wildlife, comics, science, Lego building, or Marvel Universe—find a way to work it into the day. You can head to the zoo, science museum, a comic con or comic book store, or start an epic Lego build.

34 of 50

Be Her Bartender

Make Great Drinks at Home
Jamie Grill/Tetra Images / Getty Images

Whether she's more Old Fashioned or Cosmopolitan (or fruity tropical drink), whip up a fancy version of it for her. (Don't forget the fancy garnish!)

35 of 50

Go Antiquing or Thrifting

Women Shopping at Vintage

Paha_L/Getty Images

Secondhand style (for the home and for her) is totally in vogue, so spend a lovely afternoon looking for a few treasures for her (and maybe you).

36 of 50

Get (or Give) Her a Massage

woman getting massage
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There are few people who would turn down an opportunity to get a backrub or a full-on massage.

37 of 50

Keep It Casual

family pajamas mother's day
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Make Mother's Day the ultimate lazy Sunday—have everyone stay cozy in their PJs, eat comfort foods (or even breakfast foods all day long), and just chill out at home.

38 of 50

Get Creative With Nail Art

Mother's Day nail art

Alex Schadnev/Getty Images

Mani-pedis are always a fun Mother's Day activity. Help her express herself with a home mani pedi (and some cool nail art to show off).

39 of 50

Give Her a Little Star Power

Mom getting celebrity message

Xavier Lorenzo/Getty Images

Look for a way to bring a little of their favorite celebrity to them, whether you buy a signed copy of their favorite author's book, or book a Cameo with their favorite boy band member.

40 of 50

Cross Something off Her Bucket List

Family Skateboarding

Peathegee Inc/Getty IMages

Whether she's always wanted to sky dive, ride an elephant, or try skateboarding, Mother's Day is the perfect day to cross something special off of their bucket list.

41 of 50

Gather Her Words of Wisdom

Woman Reading Book

Anastasiia Krivenok/Getty Images

Have your family start brainstorming all those great (and often funny) "mom-isms" that Mom has shared, and gather them in a book to keep for posterity.

42 of 50

Go for a Bike Ride

Family riding their bikes around a public park

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If the weather's lovely, grab your crew and head out on a leisurely bike ride (make sure to make a pit stop for a little Mother's Day treat or two along the way).

43 of 50

Make Fun Future Plans

Couple Planning Their Vacation
Aleksandar Nakic / Getty Images

Take the day to start making big plans, whether it's a dream vacation, scoping out ideas for the ultimate backyard, or plotting out a kitchen reno.

44 of 50

Play Outside

Family Blowing Bubbles

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Let Mom have a little kiddie fun on Mother's Day. Plan a day of cool outdoor activities, like frisbee, blowing bubbles, playing hopscotch, or hula hooping.

45 of 50

Take a Hike (or a Stroll)

Rear view of family walking in park
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Find a nice place to take a scenic walk or hike and commune with Mother Nature on Mother's Day.

46 of 50

Play a New Sport—or an Old Favorite

Women Playing Pickleball

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Start a tourney for her favorite game, whether it's pickleball, mini golf, volleyball, or croquet.

47 of 50

Spend Some Time on the Water

Caucasian family kayaking in river
Ariel Skelley / Getty Images

Whether her favorite mode of water transportation is a sailboat, duck boat, kayak, paddle board, or surfboard, she'll enjoy a day on the water.

48 of 50

Make Over a Space

Reading nook ideas - inspiration and photos for a book nook
onurdongel/Getty Images

Spend the day giving your living room, patio, or her bedroom or private reading nook a little extra oomph, whether you opt to rearrange the furniture, or shift around accessories to make it look even more fabulous.

49 of 50

Be Backyard Tourists

Family Eating Ice Cream

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There's probably some quirky museum, cool new restaurant, or other attraction in your area you haven't visited in a while (or ever!) Take a little staycation and remind yourselves what you love about your hometown.

50 of 50

Treat Her to a Special Dinner

Mother's Day Dinner

Halfpoint Images/Getty Images

A girl's gotta eat (even after that big Mother's Day brunch). So make it a two-fer and cover both meals that day, whether you opt to brave the restaurants, get her favorite takeout, or DIY a special dinner.

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