Inspiration & Ideas

Mom-approved Mother’s Day ideas (that aren’t just brunch)

Family making and eating a meal together outside.

Written by Jennifer Brandt Heilbron

Every year, as the second Sunday in May approaches, I wonder how (i.e. hope) my family will spoil me rotten. While I appreciate the cards, flowers and “we can do whatever you want,” (which usually results in nothing I’d actually want to do), I would love to ditch the sameness and predictability just once.

I love a brunch, but it turns out that eating at 10:30 am is a terrible time for small children and results in hours upon hours left in the day with nothing to do but count down until you get to crawl back into bed. Am I thinking out loud?

This year, I’m creating a list of fun, unique and NOT omelette-bar-and-mimosa-driven Mother’s Day activities for the family. Well, okay, mimosas are still totally welcome! 

Moonlight with Mama

Silhouette of people sitting on a fence looking up at a starry sky next to an invitation with silver stars on a navy background.

For the mom that hung the moon, take her stargazing or to watch the sunset somewhere special. Have your kids “name a star” after her and create a Dream Jar for her. Simply take an old Mason jar, fill it with “sweet dreams,” that she can pull out each night and wish upon a star for…safari with the family, sailing through crystal waters, a beautiful rainforest—anything that would make her happy and fulfill her dreams!


Mahjong invitation next to a table set for mahjong.

Why not teach yourselves or finally let HER teach you how to play mahj! Order in lunch from your favorite Chinese restaurant, make a big pot of her favorite tea and invite a couple of other moms and daughter duos to play with you. Don’t have a Mahjong set or any interest in it? Make it a day of cards!

Cooking class

Rolls of sushi next an invitation for a sushi-making class.

Your mom may be the family’s go-to cook for certain holidays, but why not take a fun class together where you learn how to make that pasta you had in Italy and have always wanted to recreate? Or a cake-making class, or even a sushi-making class since you never got to take that trip to Japan together! 

Game night

Invitation with "Let the games begin" on it next to a child playing Jenga.

Gather the whole gang and have them over for grilled cheese and games! From charades to Jenga to "the floor is lava," there are so many fun games you can play as a family and make Mom the MVP by having her rotate with different partners so she feels special. Consider handing out fun and custom trophies to everyone for “playing” at the end of the night. Pro tip: Play a “What Would Mom Say” game with some of her favorite “isms” to have everyone laughing.

Movie marathon with Mom 

Bags of popcorn next an invitation that says "Pizza, Popcorn, Action" on it.

Remember the days of cuddling on the couch with Mom and watching her favorite old black-and-white movies? Recreate that day for her with her favorite movie (maybe she’s crossed into current culture and would indulge you in The Notebook or Love Actually). Buy her a new amazing blanket or comfy robe and make it a sweats and slippers-only event. Serve all things movie food: pretzels, individual pizzas, candy and, of course, popcorn! Maybe even make a popcorn bar or station with different flavors—caramel, cheese and spicy!

Family hike

Inviation featuring gear for a hik next to a family hiking in front of the ocean.

Whether you live in a city with incredible hills and trails, or next to a lake or ocean with fantastic paths, gathering the family together for a nature hike is an amazing way to get your bodies moving together. Perhaps let Mom take you to the place she used to take you when you were a kid, or drive somewhere she’s always wanted to see. You can get her a fanny pack as a present and load it with snacks and sunscreen as a special treat!

Family art session

Closeup of a person painting on a large canvas next to an invitation featuring Lisa Frank's Painter Panda.

Two years ago, my family and I went to a local art studio and had a private session where we were given a giant (and I mean GIANT!) canvas and 4 different colors of our choosing, along with various tools, brushes and other items to create our own family masterpiece. It is now hanging in our living room and one of my most prized possessions. If you don’t have a local studio that offers this, head to your local craft store and pick up all the supplies. Lay a tarp down in your backyard and have a collaborative art session with your mama! It will go down in the books!

Photoshoot with the family

Film strip invitation with option to add your own photo next to a family posing together on a beach.

Does your mom constantly ask for photos of you and/or the kids? How about arranging for a session with a professional photographer to grab photos of your mom and the whole family! From portraits to candid shots, this will be a memory-making kind of Mother’s Day that’s both special and practical.

Go cherry picking

Hand holding freshly picked cherries next to an animated inviation of Sanrio's Cinnamonroll sliding down a cupcake.

May is a great season for fruit picking, and cherries are in season! Arrange a day to drive out to your local farm where the harvest is bountiful and spend the afternoon picking fruit as a family. Perhaps head home together later to make a special pie, or give your mom a darling apron with a picture of the kids and a beautiful new pie dish.

Park playdate

Invitation with cute animals on a picnic blanket next to a child on a tire swing playing.

For several years, our family decided to set up a giant tent and table, bring chairs and have a picnic for Mother’s Day. We were all able to sit together, watch the children play and also play with them—tag, football, water balloons, etc. We loved the no-pressure vibe of this Mother’s Day get-together and most importantly, the near-to-nothing cost of a party at the park!

Take her shopping

Photo of an indoor mall next to an invitation with a toy car and "Get in, Besties" written on it.

If shopping 'til you drop with the girls is your idea of heaven, then this one's for you. Have your mom pick 2 stores she has been wanting to check out—they can be anything from home furnishings to her favorite mega store—and give her the gift of a real-life add-to-cart day. Follow the shopping with lunch, and you guessed it, mimosas!

Okay, now that you have an abundance of amazing Mother’s Day ideas to treat your own mama to, don’t forget to check out Evite’s full assortment of Mother’s Day invitations to get your mom-day plans underway!

Jennifer is a writer, mom of 3 and shopaholic. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, 3 sons and endless amounts of Amazon deliveries.

No items found.

No items found.

No items found.

No items found.

No items found.

No items found.

No items found.

All of the products we feature are hand-selected by our editors! You see only what we love and what we think you'll love too. If you buy something through links on our site, Evite may earn a commission. Prices are subject to change.

No items found.
No items found.

View More Articles

View All