Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Ideas to Celebrate You

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day ideas that aren’t a crowded brunch or BBQ — and that focus on you!

There are two days each year where we get to honor moms, dads and those who have played these important roles in our lives. Even so, we’d argue every day should be about recognizing and celebrating these special people. Most parents say it’s not the gifts they want, but quality time with their family or time off from the regular chores. Try these ideas this year. 

Something New

Mom or Dad gets to create a Something New Jar. Each gets three to four strips of paper to write a hobby, interest or activity that they have always wanted to try. Pull one every weekend this summer. Some ideas to get you started include cooking class, sailing, making bread, knitting, fly fishing, horseback riding, snorkeling, art class/workshop or ziplining. Or you could also create a Go Somewhere New Jar. Set the boundaries to a tank of gas or under two hours away. My family has also created a weekly Family Night Jar. On the strips of paper, we listed an activity that we could do at home, or within our city, that would cost nothing. One of the fun nights we’ve had included a Mini-Golf Course (in each of our bedrooms). It all totals up to time well spent together laughing. No wrapping required.


Gather the family for snacks and drinks. Film Mom and Dad and kids telling stories. StoryCorps, a nonprofit organization, has created an art out of collecting and archiving the stories that make us who we are. The StoryCorps app guides you from start to finish through an entire interview after you pick the topic or theme. As anyone who has ever lost a loved one knows, having a recording of that person’s voice telling their own stories is a treasure worth more than gold. 

A Picnic

Reserve a shelter at a local park and invite the entire family or make it all about your mom or dad group. There is no cleaning the house before or after, which makes this kind of celebration a winner. Create a theme and make it a pitch-in where everyone brings something. Ideas for themes include family recipes, food from a favorite location (southwestern, southern, Italian, etc.) or a favorite decade. Get some yard games going, including a hula hoop contest and a watermelon eating contest.

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