What can we do to show mom appreciation, love, and caring during the (hopefully) tail-end of a pandemic? Whether you’re close enough to hug your mom or children, read on for ideas!
Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 9 and there are as many ways to celebrate moms as there are moms in the world. We hope you can find just the right way to say, “Hey mama, thanks for all you put up with while raising me to be a decent human.”
If you’re planning to order something, you might want to do it now. Here are 20+ places to shop local from home >
Mother’s Day Activities
Mother’s Day Ribbon Cutting @ Berkeley Rose Garden
Saturday, May 8, 10 am to noon. Celebrate the historic rose garden and mom at the redwood pergola with chocolates, roses, and a municipal ceremony. Actual ribbon cutting at 11 am. FREE. 1200 Euclid Ave. Learn more >
Mother’s Day Outing at Garden Valley Ranch, Petaluma
Sunday, May 9, 11 am to 1 pm. Celebrate motherhood among the blooming roses at Garden Valley Ranch. Guests will leave with a bucket full of flowers and full hearts. BYO food and blanket. $90 per person. If you have kids in your group that would not be flower foraging there is a fee of $15 per non-flower-foraging child. Purchase tickets here >
A’s Game vs. Tampa Bay, Oakland
Sunday, May 9, 1:07 pm. Enjoy an afternoon baseball game at the Oakland Coliseum against the Rays. Prices vary. Purchase tickets >
Mother’s Day Marina Cruise Brunch, Berkeley
Sunday, May 9, 11 am boarding, cruise until 1:30 pm. Bottomless mimosas for adults, plated brunch for all guests, and spectacular views of the Bay Area. $95 adults, $90 seniors, $72 for children 4+. Reserve Your Spot >
Urban Edge Farm, Brentwood
Wednesday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm. Enjoy an outing to a lovely organic farm with spring veggies and a floral display. Find details and hours on Facebook.
Filoli Garden & Estate, Woodside
Daily 10 am to 5 pm. Moms and grandmas will enjoy the flowers while children run “all over the place” in this 16-acre garden. Seniors: $22; Adults: $25; Children (5-17): $15; Under 5: free. For additional fees, reserve tea or champagne. Reservations required.
Take a hike
Outdoor adventure. There are dozens of ways to play outside with your family. Pick your favorite hike or outing and force the kids into a gentle “No whining, it is Mother’s Day” agreement. I find a pocket full of candy or a scavenger hunt helps.
Float away at Lake Chabot
Rent a boat, large or small. There are kayaks for active families, pedal boats for tweens, and pontoon boats for relaxing plus trails to enjoy the day. Find something perfect for your energy level and budget. Check availability.
Plant your own garden hideaway
Plant a garden. Do the heavy lifting so mom can have a little bit of green space. This idea can be small or large depending on your imagination, outdoor space, and resources so scale it up or down as needed. I would like about three bags of soil and some seedlings. Please and thank you. Tips on gardening with kids locally >
Special Food on Mother’s Day
Breakfast in Bed Lesson with Cooking Round the World
Friday, May 7, from 3:30 pm to 5:30. Thrill mom when kids learn how to prepare a delicious meal on their own from the skilled teachers at Cooking Round the World via Zoom. Lessons are $25. Register >
Breakfast in bed. Feastin can help spoil the mothers in your life with restaurant favorites delivered to your house like stuffed french toast, brunch with mimosas, or a dim sum crab feast. Helpful children can reheat, recycle packaging, and carry the tray at the very end.
Epic Brunch. Somehow I can’t picture enjoying a six-course brunch from my bed, but I would definitely want to give it a try. ACT at Home Catering has several featured Mother’s Day brunches and flowers including a giant vegan meal.
Afternoon Tea. Create a lovely afternoon tea time for mom and the kids. Assemble mini desserts, tiny sandwiches, and hot beverages on your finest dishes. Make it fancy, dress up a little!
Picnic. If the weather is pleasant, take mom to eat outside where she won’t have to stress (as much) about manners and noise. Bring a blanket to the backyard in case you need to run back inside for supplies.
Delicious Dessert. My family and I have discovered that pandemic really brings out my sweet tooth. We’ve happily ordered cakes, cupcakes, pies, and more. Each of the bakeries in our Party In Place: Virtual Birthday Guide will deliver to your doorstep or allow easy pick up.
Gifts you can make for Mom
DIY Craft workshop at Walnut Creek Civic Center Park
Saturday, May 1, 10 am to 11. Children ages 3 to 8 are invited with a helping adult to make two DIY crafty gifts and cards for moms and grandmas. Enjoy the facilitated crafts and the park. $40 per pair. Register before April 21.
Bracelet Craft with Brooklyn Robot Foundry, Your House
Saturday, May 8, 8 am or 10 am. Each child will build a bracelet-o-matic and customize a card for mom. $45 for class plus $10 for materials. Register >
The homemade coupon book is a classic for a reason. Gift mom with things she loves now (foot rub, favorite dinner, sleeping in, desserts, walk together, control of remote, alone time, snuggles, breakfast in bed) and less of what she doesn’t (chores help of all kinds, instant Sibs Stop Fighting ticket, wash the car, laundry all day, etc.) with a few ideas for future treats (girls night out, a theater visit, a massage!). You design it because you know Mom best. Here’s a template if you’re not creative in that way >
Kid craft projects. Made with love and their own messy handwriting, adorable craft projects. #1 Mom, and done!
Handmade tee shirts. This one is pretty easy: grab some WASHABLE markers and write a message of love on the kids’ clothes or hers: I love Mom, Mom Rules, Queen for a Day, etc.
Gift Ideas to Buy for Mom
Local Love Gift Basket. Local Food Adventures assembled six really cool thematic food party boxes this year. The most festive looking is the mai tai cocktail kit but you’ll have to decide if mom is more into cookies, beer, or barbecue when you try to decide. Buy a Local Love Gift Basket for a mom you love >
Paint some kiddo handprints on a lovely keepsake mug with a home activity kit from Brushstrokes in Berkeley or Color Me Mine to go in Alameda. My family has a few of these and I tell my husband that every year, he only needs to fill it with chocolate (but like really good chocolate!). A few local chocolatiers and coffee purveyors will deliver to your home. See the bottom of the 20+ Places to Shop Local Guide.
Virtual Chocolate tasting. I want to try a virtual chocolate tasting with my family around the country. Do you think all the moms, aunties, grandmas, and sisters would indulge me? Learn more about why we love virtual chocolate tasting.
Book a photography session with a local family photographer. Find a great location and date for a socially distant photo (maybe in your matching PJs?!) to make mom smile all year.
Surprise mom and grandma with a framed print of a photo they already love. Or a puzzle, memory game, tote bag from her favorite pictures.
Share the love. For the woman who doesn’t need anything, make a donation to one of our favorite local non-profits, Help A Mother Out, raising funds to provide diapers to moms in need.