10 Fun Outdoor Activities to Do with Your Mom for Mother's Day

Not sure what to do with your mom this Mother's Day? Check out these ten ideas for epic adventures and fun activities you can do together as a family!

A family sits at a lake-side picnic table at sunset and shares a meal.

Photo by Alex Guillaume

Published on

Moms rule. Whether your love of the outdoors came from your parents or not, spending quality time together is undoubtedly one of the best gifts we can give one another. Keep on reading for 10 suggestions on how to celebrate your mom this Mother’s Day while enjoying nature together and making some lasting memories.

1. Day Hiking

A woman sits next to her adult daughter in front of a waterfall. They smile for the camera.

Hiking in the Rocky Mountains. Photo by Amy Boissonneault

Hiking has always been a go-to activity for me and my mom—we spent a lot of time outdoors growing up and she took me on my first big day hike one year for my birthday. That trip evolved into annual mother-daughter backpacking trips, and hiking is something I’m so grateful to be able to share with her.

The nice thing about hitting the trails is there are so many options of varying terrain, difficulty, and length. You could hike to a viewpoint, enjoy a scenic boardwalk trail, find an impressive waterfall, or go all in and trek all the way up to a mountain peak! If you’re not sure where to go, there are so many resources for finding trails in your area. A quick search online should provide you with some options, along with their difficulty rating, directions, elevation gain, and any other info you need. One thing is for sure, wherever you decide to go, don’t forget the snacks…and probably chocolate, too. Moms like chocolate!

2. Have a Picnic

A woman and her daughter look at each other and smile. The daughter holds a cup of tea, and they are both bundled up.

Escaping the rain while backpacking in Strathcona Provincial Park. Photo by Amy B.

Who doesn’t love a picnic? Generally in May, the weather is starting to improve, and if the sun looks like it’s going to make an appearance, a picnic is a fun alternative to sitting inside a restaurant.

First, you’ll want to pick your location; a nice park, the beach, a viewpoint, or even your backyard are all good options! Homemade treats add a nice touch but as long as you have some yummy food, there is no wrong way to do it! Make it as casual or fancy as you like.

There are some essentials you might need for your picnic—a good blanket, some non-breakable dishware, etc. (Chat with any of our Camping & Hiking Experts if you need ideas!). Roll out your blanket, enjoy your picnic, and don’t forget the frisbee or other games to play when you are done eating!

This one combines well with A Day at the Beach or Catch the Sunset!

3. Catch the Sunset

The sun sets over the beach in Tofino, BC, Canada.

Sunset in Tofino, BC, Canada. Photo by Amy B.

There’s a reason they call it ‘magic hour’. If the skies are on your side, watching the sunset is always worth it. Sharing it with mom only makes it better. Grab a few camp chairs, head to a good viewing spot, and take in the sky as it’s painted pink, purple, and red. It’s simple, no need to overcomplicate things.

4. Go Backpacking

Someone sits on a hilltop and points toward distant peaks.

Photo by Amy B.

This one is sort of all of the above ideas combined. If you are looking to do something a bit more involved, a backpacking trip can be a special way to spend time with your mom. This is something my mom and I have done together many times, and these trips are some of my favorite memories to look back on. My mom was an instructor at Outward Bound in her 20s and has spent a lot of her life enjoying the outdoors—I feel incredibly lucky to be able to share this type of trip with her and learn from her along the way. She taught me which berries are edible, continues to teach me plant and flower names, and seeing her so at peace in her surroundings is just, well, really awesome. So long story short, go spend time with your mom outdoors. You never know what you will learn from one another.

5. Ocean Kayaking

A woman kayaks on the ocean, which is very calm and flat. In the distance are mountains.

Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada. Photo by Jeff Isaak

Renting kayaks or even joining an ocean kayak tour is a pretty neat way to explore the water. You can easily include younger kids by opting for a double kayak, and you are likely to see some wildlife when you paddle away from the shore, too! There is something inherently peaceful about gently bobbing up and down on the water, so this is a great way to let go and soak up some new sights together.

6. Go Camping

A tent is set up in a forested campsite. Dappled sunlight falls on the tent.

Setting up camp! Photo by Amy B.

Front-country camping is a fun way to escape the daily grind and soak up some time in nature. This is a family-friendly activity perfect for all ages, so get mom, the kids, and even the grandparents to come along! Most campgrounds include some great nature-based activities to enjoy, such as hiking trails, so be sure to take advantage of these and explore your surroundings. Some of my favorite moments from camping trips are simply everyone sitting around the campfire in the evening, telling stories, and kicking back after a full day.

7. Backyard Games

A pair of hands hold a croquet mallet and prepare to hit a ball.

Photo by Erol Ahmed

There is no need to go far to have fun! Pop out into the backyard or to a local park with mom and family for an afternoon of games. Bocce is a game that offers some friendly competition and can be played almost anywhere! Another great yard game is croquet; gift mom a set and then get the whole family in on a game together. No games on hand? You can’t go wrong with a round of tag, hide-and-seek, or picking up a frisbee from the dollar store. Get out there and have some fun!

8. A Day at the Beach

A woman stands resting on a rock next to tidepools.

Photo by Amy B.

Remember when you were a kid and you would go to the beach and spend your time staring into tide pools, finding little fish, crabs, anemones, and other sea life? Well, this is still pretty cool to do at any age. I would even bet that your mom would get a kick out of it because, hey, we’re all kids at heart, right? But, if tide pools aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the beach whether you opt to stay in the sand or get in the water. If the waves are right, surfing is pretty cool, but personally, I really enjoy a good boogie boarding session. Plus, they are relatively inexpensive and laughs are pretty much guaranteed! You’ll be grinning at one another from ear to ear in no time.

9. Whitewater Rafting

A group of people sits in a raft with life jackets on.

Photo by Jeremy Bezanger

Whitewater rafting is an exciting way to get the adrenaline pumping! May is often when the rafting season kicks off so the timing for Mother’s Day is just right. There is a good chance of seeing some wildlife, and an even better chance of getting wet! Depending on where you are, remember to dress warm and avoid wearing cotton clothing, especially if the river you are rafting down is fed from snowmelt. No experience or special gear is necessary—simply book your trip, get mom on board, and show up with a smile. Hold on tight and stay inside the boat!

10. Outdoor Movie Night

A projector is set up in someone's yard next to a lake. In front of the projector are chairs and a campfire.

You will need a projector for this one! Set up a makeshift movie night under the stars on your deck or in the yard featuring mom’s favorite movie. Make sure to set up plenty of pillows and blankets for comfortable viewing, and don’t forget to pop some popcorn and get some snacks ready!

There you have it, 10 ideas for fun outdoor activities to do with your mom this Mother’s Day (or anytime, really!). Whatever you decide to do, I would love to hear about what type of adventure you get out on together!

Take some time this Sunday, May 8th, to make mom feel special and loved because, as much as we might like to think otherwise…we were all a handful growing up and she deserves it! If you're looking for a present to go along with one of these activities, check out this ultimate Mother's Day Gift Guide. If you need any gear to help you get out there and enjoy yourselves, connect with a Camping & Hiking Expert, and we will get you all set up!

Camping & Hiking Expert Amy B
Amy B
Camping & Hiking Expert
Have a question for Amy B? You can get connected directly with her to learn more.
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Written By
Growing up on the west coast, camping and getting outdoors in general was always (and continues to be) a priority. Whether it's skiing, hiking, camping, or something a little more off grid, it seems like we're always looking for the next adventure. ​ I've hiked and camped all around British Columbia...

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