2020 East Bay Mother’s Day Guide

This year, our Mother's Day Guide is a little different, because everything is a little different. What can we do to show mom appreciation, love, and caring while sheltering in place at home? How can we give our essential worker moms a real break? Read on for ideas!

Mother's Day is May 10th 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

Mom and kids decorating cookies
Let mommy do her favorite parts of the baking project with no clean-up

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. Choose a place on your block or further away to breathe and walk together.

Mother-child at-home spa day. Sheltering at home has lead to some creativity with our beloved beauty routines. If you have enough of these ingredients, try a homemade avocado mask treatment with your mom to soothe your faces. I purchased an at-home spa kit for my own mom because I had to miss her birthday. (She said it was great, but moms say those things, don't they?) Massage her hands with the good hand cream, paint her nails in a rainbow, or go wild with hair color together.

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.

Mother-child cooking class. How cute is this cooking class for moms from ITK? Anything that builds these life skills without my nagging or instruction is a total win.

Special Food on Mother's Day

Favorite Restaurant. To help mom enjoy the day, order food delivery or dinner pick-up from one of the many East Bay eateries still cooking the best meals.

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. You can order a ready-made picnic basket from Tender Greens complete with wine, cheese, and spreads.

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.

Paint a keepsake project at home
Paint a keepsake pottery project at home

Gifts you can make at home

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 car, laundry all day, etc.) with a few ideas for future treats (girls night out, 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

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.

Matching pajamas. Why save Family Matching PJs for the wintertime when we're lucky if we switch out our nighttime pajamas for our daytime ones?

Book a quarantine photography session with a local family photographer. Some are doing “porch-raits” or socially distant commemorative photos (maybe in your matching PJs?!), and most will be delighted to let you book for a future day.

Surprise mom and grandma with the best framed prints 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 local non-profit Help A Mother Out, raising funds to provide diapers to moms in need. Or help one of the other essential services in our community.

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