Although COVID-19 has definitely caused the days of the year to blur together, one that you’ll want to mark down on your calendar to remember is May 9—Mother’s Day. For the second year in a row, restrictions in your area may mean that celebrations look a little different than they have in the past, but there are certainly still a lot of great ways to make the moms in your life feel special (even if that mom is you!)
Here are 10 ideas for you and your family to help make the day special.
- Set up a family scavenger hunt
Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt? First, decide the starting point for your scavenger hunt—is it a hunt in your neighbourhood? Around town? Along a favourite hiking trail? Next, look online for a hunt that matches with your theme. There are tons of fantastic printable lists and cool apps filled with hunts that will get you out and exploring. Alternatively, you can get your family to come up with your own hunt, try this fun alternative scavenger hunt, or create a “colour match” hunt where everyone is on a mission to collect items that match with each colour on your scavenger hunt card. Finally, decide whether your family is going to work together as a team to find the items on your list, or if you’d like to make things a little bit competitive and split up into groups. Happy hunting!
- Plan a family photo shoot at all of your favourite places
As a mom, I love finding excuses to take family pictures, and Mother’s Day is the perfect time to get everyone on board. Make a list of your favourite places to visit and snap a fun photo at each one. You could even make a scavenger hunt out of the activity by coming up with a list of creative poses and locations—for example, “Make a family pyramid in front of our favourite playground.” Don’t forget—Mom has to actually be in the photos!
- Take a nature walk or hike
Our family loves finding new trails to explore at the provincial parks close to our home. For an extra special outing, we love to drive out of town to visit the nearby Rocky Mountains and hike some of the beautiful paths there. AllTrails is a great resource to check out to learn more about trails you’d like to try out for the first time. Information like the length, difficulty, terrain, wildlife, and other important tips such as parking information and whether the path is kid- or dog-friendly can all be found on AllTrails. You can also jazz up your typical hike with some of these fun hiking games and activities. Mom gets the final say on which trail will make the cut for Mother’s Day!
- Head out for a family bike ride
Family bike rides are a great way to get outside to explore. Pump up your tires, strap on your helmets correctly, and head out for a ride around the neighbourhood, or decide on a new path to explore. Make a day of it by packing up lunches and stopping for a bite to eat when you get hungry. If you’ve got a little one in the family who can’t quite keep up yet, a chariot is a great and safe way to bring them along for the ride. You can also use the chariot to bring along extra items like food and outdoor toys to play with if you have a destination in mind.
- Plan a park hop
Our family is fortunate to live in a city with a huge list of incredible playgrounds perfect for kids of all ages and ability levels to play at. Most weekends are spent visiting one or two of our favourites, but for Mother’s Day, why not make it an all-day affair? Plan out a route of some of your family’s favourite playgrounds and decide how long you’ll spend at each one before moving to the next stop. Tired of the same old stuff? Make a route that includes new parks you’ve never had a chance to visit instead. After each park, make sure to make a note of the things you loved about it, and whether or not you’d visit again. It’s a great way to spend a Sunday, and will help to build up your playground repertoire for future reference!
- Pack a picnic
One of our family’s favourite things to do when the weather is nice is pack up a picnic and head to one of our favourite local parks. Your picnic could also be packed and pulled out as part of one of the other activities we’ve mentioned on this list, like the park hop, hike, or bike ride. Or, you can make your picnic active and fun with some games when you get there. Some of our favourite things to pack for the perfect picnic are crackers, cheese, meats, veggie sticks, fruit, popcorn, and something sweet, like granola bars or muffins.
- Visit a nursery, choose some plants, clean up the yard, and do some gardening
Nothing says spring quite like gardening! Even better, gardening as a family together. If you or the mom you’re celebrating has a green thumb, take a trip to your local nursery to pick out some favourite flowers, plants, and seeds for this year’s garden. You could even choose a new decoration for the garden together. Fairy gardens are a fun way to add a little bit of magic to your yard; if you’re up for the idea, choose some cute ornaments together and create your own little village when you get home. If the weather in your area is warm enough, spend the rest of the day in the sunshine, putting your new plant babies into the ground!
- Bring out your favourite lawn games and have a tournament
Does your family have a repertoire of favourite lawn games? Set them all up and create your own backyard Olympics! Split up into teams, compete individually, or scrap the points and just play for fun. If you need to build up your collection, Amazon, Canadian Tire, and Walmart have great options, including games that are perfect for younger kids. Some of our family’s favourite lawn games are Ladderball, Spikeball, and Giant Jenga, but we’d also like to bring out some classics this year, like croquet, bocce ball, and lawn darts.
- Does your city have cool walking tours? Book a walking tour or self-guided tour
Chances are, the city or town you live in is loaded with history or hidden gems you may have never known about. Many cities offer walking tours, both guided and self-guided, that give you an opportunity to see and learn new things about the place where you live. GPSMyCity is a website and app filled with user-made walking tours of over 1,000 cities all around the world. You can even create and share your own walking tour. Viator is also a great resource for all sorts of activities, including sightseeing excursions and walking tours. Check locally to see what sorts of tours are offered in your city—many of them are free or pay-what-you-want.
- Give Mom some time to herself
The cherry on top of a perfect day spent together as a family may just be giving Mom a little bit of downtime to spend by herself. If she’s like many moms, the past 14 months have been spent pouring a lot of love and energy into her family, without a lot of time for rest for herself. Giving her a chance to catch up on a book, go for a walk and listen to a podcast, have a relaxing bath, or even head to bed early is better than anything money can buy.