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8 Ultimate Mother-Daughter Bonding Activities for Mother’s Day (and Any Day)

While a trinket for her china cabinet or a new silk scarf might get you the "wow" face when she opens her Mother's Day gift, a bonding activity with your mom can be even more special. So this May when you celebrate your one-and-only ma, try one of these ideas to make a lasting memory.

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Ultimate-Mother-Daughter-Bonding-Activities-for-Mother's-DayNelli Syrotynska/shutterstock

Try a cooking class

If your love of spicy food or your craving for chocolate brownie sundaes comes from culinary genes your mom passed down to you, consider booking a cooking adventure together. And while learning to decorate a cupcake might be fun (and totally Instagram-worthy), challenge yourself to put your home chef skills to the test and try a new and unusual ethnic cuisine. If you don’t have a local culinary school or kitchen goods store near you, reach out to some of your favorite restaurants to see if they’d take you behind the scenes in their kitchen area. Just imagine your mother’s face when she finally nails a tough flambe—she’ll be telling the story for years to come. Get inspired for your class with these chef-favorite comfort food recipes.chef-favorite comfort food recipes.

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Spend the day at the spa

Even if your mom is still the most beautiful person you’ve ever met, chances are solid that she’s pretty hard on herself—and even more likely that she doesn’t take the time to pamper herself. Remind her how much she truly glows (yep, from the inside out) by booking a day at the spa. From manicures and pedicures to facials, scrubs and massages, you can sip champagne (or organic herbal tea) while hanging out in robes and gossiping about the latest talk around your town. She’ll feel super-relaxed, pampered, and beautiful.

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Ultimate-Mother-Daughter-Bonding-Activities-for-Mother's-DayTropical studio/shutterstock

Learn something new together

So you’ve wanted to learn sign language. Or your mom keeps chatting about how she could have been a florist, given how much she enjoys arranging flowers. Or maybe you both are visual and want to learn how to actually nail a paintbrush stroke. For Mother’s Day, take your shared curiosity and passions and tie them together in an adult-sized classroom. Better yet? If you are both available and can take several classes, make it an ongoing gift, meaning you’ll see her on the reg. Here’s how to find a new hobby you’ll love.

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Take a to-do off her list

Consider something on your mom’s plate that she’s maybe been procrastinating or doesn’t want to do by herself. Perhaps it’s that big pile of photos that are from decades ago that she just hasn’t gotten around to organizing. Or she’s been wanting to plant a flower bed next to the front porch, but just didn’t make it to the nursery for the bulbs. Whatever the pain point, solve it for her by donating the most precious gift of all: your time. Set aside a whole afternoon (or weekend, if you can) to help her be less stressed.

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Ultimate-Mother-Daughter-Bonding-Activities-for-Mother's-Day Puzurin Mihail/shutterstock

Have a family photo shoot

Now that your mom has officially joined Facebook and (mostly) understands how to connect with people from her past and present, she’s the queen of ‘liking sprees’ where she double-taps every post she scrolls past. Since she sees all of the professional wedding and baby photos, she probably has hinted that she’d like to get everyone together for updated images that aren’t circa-1980 with mall hair and hoop earrings. Set up a time with a local photographer to capture your family in a setting that describes your heritage, say your backyard, the local lake or ocean, or simply sitting around the kitchen table.

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Ultimate-Mother-Daughter-Bonding-Activities-for-Mother's-DayJacob Lund/shutterstock

Have a sweat date

If your mom is more of a yogi than you are or she runs five miles each morning, when you can barely make it out of bed, then you know sweat-equity is definitely the building blocks of your relationship. Take one for the team and go with her to her fave class or ask her to slow it down so you can run together. You’ll be able to catch up, work out and still have time to sip on mimosas at brunch post-sweat sesh. And hey, if there’s a class you’ve both been eyeing (Underwater cycling? Hot yoga?), take it as your opportunity to both try something new, together.

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Ultimate-Mother-Daughter-Bonding-Activities-for-Mother's-DayYAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV/shutterstock

Volunteer together

One way to connect, show your gratitude, and make a special memory is to select a shared cause to contribute your time to. From walking dogs at an animal shelter to visiting cancer patients or the elderly who simply need company and smiling faces, volunteering together can bring you closer, make you realize how lucky you are, and encourage you both to pay it forward more often. If you fall in love with an organization, it can become a regular tradition, helping you to build bonds with those in need and the tireless workers who run charities.

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Ultimate-Mother-Daughter-Bonding-Activities-for-Mother's-DaySyda Productions/shutterstock

Book a trip (or a staycation)

Even if you can’t quite afford to go to Europe, having a weekend getaway just the two of you (especially if you’re a mom too, and need some R&R!) can be a special way to create enduring memories. Pick a destination with plenty to do, from the beach and the sand to little markets and craft shops, so you can explore a new city or town together. If you can’t get away, consider booking just one night at a super-luxe hotel nearby, so you can each get those rare eight hours of sleep, order in room service, and do your favorite pastime of all: girl talk. Here are trips all moms and daughters should take together.

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