5 Mother’s Day activities that aren’t brunch

Go, Cubs, Go

If you’re not aware that Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 8, consider this your friendly reminder. If you are a mom reading this, you might have forgotten this fact, and that’s why you need a special day.

Art Institute of Chicago


If you are a dad reading this, you might have forgotten as well, and that’s also why mom needs a special day.


Perhaps because of this yearly Mother’s Day sneak we are often left with our default Mother’s Day food pinnacle: brunch. Now, don’t get me wrong: there is nothing wrong with brunch in and of itself. Brunch is great. Brunch gives us an excuse to have champagne in the morning since we all know that if champagne is mixed with orange juice drinking before noon is deemed classy instead of disturbing. Brunch gives us an excuse to eat dessert foods disguised as breakfast well into the afternoon. Mother’s Day brunch gives moms the chance to do all of this while also giving her an excuse to see the whole family dressed up, adorable and picture-worthy without any dishes after, which is pretty much every mom’s definition of heaven.


The problem is this: everyone else seems to have that same exact brilliant brunch idea, and everyone else also seems to be on the same napping/feeding schedules. Adding to the mayhem, many brunch places don’t take reservations, which means long lines, grumpy kids and husbands gritting their teeth thinking up conspiracy theories about the marketing geniuses who came up with brunch and attached it to Mother’s Day.


Allow me to help.


Now, if brunch is mom’s favorite thing in the world, do brunch on Mother’s Day. For goodness sake, no matter what else happens, do brunch. But if she could do without the mayhem of the Mother’s Day brunch seating melee, perhaps consider one or more of these alternative activities.

Picnic and lawn games

Early May Chicago weather can be dicey, but weather permitting, perhaps try for a picnic instead of restaurant dining. Make mom a mimosa (or two!) before you head out to the park (since alcohol is not permitted on Chicago public park property) and bring an assortment of goodies, both sweet and savory, because what is brunch/Mother’s Day if not for deciding between a sweet or savory meal? Muffins, cheeses, meats, pastries and popcorn are all good options. Bring some lawn games or sit yourself next to a playlot and you’re in for some kiddo energy burning while you relax. O you can join in, too. Mom score!

Make Chicago Mom’s step and repeat

Is Mom the one always holding the camera/phone taking pictures of everyone else? Of course she is. Give her a break and make it a priority to be the picture-taker of the day. She’ll love having more pictures of herself with the kiddos. For inspiration, check out this list of places around Chicago to strike Instagram gold.


Bonus: take all those pictures and put them into a book, squares or other print. Social Print Studio can even read straight from your Instagram account, and you can search by hashtag while compiling your projects.

Get arty

Still haven’t seen the Van Gogh bedrooms exhibit at the Art Institute? Mother’s Day weekend is your last chance to do it because the exhibit packs up May 10. Already been there, done that … twice? Consider checking out another one of the museums Chicagoland has to offer. Activity + culture = happy mom.

Take me out to the ball game

This year, both the Cubs and the White Sox have afternoon home games on Mother’s Day. If baseball is something she likes, load up the family for a day at the park and enjoy some outdoor time. Be sure to take pictures. Sure, Old Style might not be served in a champagne glass like a mimosa, but cheering on your hometown team with a few thousand of your closest friends might just make up for that.


May 8 Chicago baseball schedule:


The Cubs face the Nationals at 1:20 p.m.


The White Sox face the Twins at 1:10 p.m.

When all else fails … wine

Had a great Mother’s Day so far but want a super-special gift for the end of the day that might make her burst out in tears of happiness? Of course you do, and I have it for you; its beauty is surpassed only by its simplicity. Hand her the following items: a bottle of wine, a wine glass, an iPad and noise-canceling headphones. Send her into the bedroom and tell her the rest of the evening is hers (alternative: relaxing bath materials). Mothers are simple creatures and having some guilt-free time to herself will recharge her batteries in a way she probably had no idea she needed.


Now, go forth and make Mother’s Day one for the books! Just don’t forget the flowers and the cards, because we really do love those, too.

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