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How to Celebrate Mother's Day While Social Distancing

How to Celebrate Mother's Day While Social Distancing

Whether you can be with your mom this Mother's Day or not, here are some ways to make sure Mom feels extra appreciated and special this year.

UPDATED May 8: Mother’s Day is no doubt going to be different this year. In years past, families may have gathered to celebrate the mothers in their lives, whether that is Mom, Grandma, aunt, family friend, or neighbor. This year, we have to be cautious about who we celebrate with and how, so here are some tips for making sure mom’s day is special despite our normal-for-now, whether it’s at home together or apart.

Celebrating Mother's Day at Home with Mom

Make Mom a Homemade Gift

A harsh reality is sinking in for many Dads: The kids aren’t coming home from school with the usual Mother’s Day craft gift. Luckily, you still have time to make that happen for Mom at home. Here are some craft gift ideas from Craft Project Ideas that can inspire your little one to create the perfect gift for Mom:

As part of its CMOM at Home programming, the Children's Museum of Manhattan is teaching children to make Mother's Day cards with a secret message. You can create this special card by following the directions on the CMOM website download here.

If you don't have the materials for any of the crafts above and can't get to a craft store right now, here are 100 projects you can make with household items.

Order or Make Her Favorite Dinner

Whether it’s takeout or a home-cooked dinner, turn the house into a restaurant for Mom. Put down a tablecloth, light a candle or two, and have the kids pretend to be the servers. Here are some New York area restaurants offering Mother’s Day deals and specials for takeout dinner and brunch, courtesy of Retail Me Not:


Plan a Mother's Day Scavenger Hunt

Surely your home is filled with relics and memories the kids share with Mom. Look for things around the house with Mom that represent special moments and bring back happy memories you've experienced together. Some things you can search for, courtesy of MistoBox's Blog, include:

  • A picture of you and Mom. Tip: Make it more challenging by finding one from every age!
  • An old birthday card from Mom or to Mom
  • A handmade gift from Mother's Days in the past
  • Clothing you borrowed from Mom's closet
  • A book she read to you when you were little

Have a Picnic in the Backyard

If the weather holds up on Mother's Day, and as of right now the forecast for New York is looking clear, plan a special backyard picnic.

Give Mom the Day Off

Moms are superheroes under regular circumstances and right now, they are likely balancing motherhood with homeschooling all while being someone for the whole family to turn to in this time of uncertainty. Give Mom the day off from being the designated superhero by getting up early to finish up some house chores, make her breakfast in bed, or even plan a full at-home spa day. You can make Mom a bath bomb to use or it can be an activity you do together.

Make a Mother's Day Cocktail

You can make Mom feel like she's enjoying a special drink out at a restaurant with the ingredients you already have in your home.  allows you to plug in every alcoholic drink and mixer you have in the house and will then generate all of the fun drinks you can make using them. For an easy, two-ingredient, sugar free Mom-mosa, combine Flying Embers Hard Kombucha with champagne.  

Make Mom a Special Dessert

While we unfortunately can't visit some of our favorite restaurants, bakeries, and dessert spots right now, we can luckily bring some of them home. If Mom has a sweet tooth, surprise her with her favorite dessert. Here's the recipe for about one quart of Van Leeuwen's Roasted Banana Ice Cream excerpted from Van Leeuwen Cookbook:

For the Roasted Bananas:

  • 4 medium bananas, preferably somewhat speckled but not brown, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • Pinch of kosher salt

For the Roasted Banana Ice Cream:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 recipe Roasted Bananas (recipe above)

Make the Roasted Bananas:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F; position the rack in the middle. In a bowl, toss the bananas, dark brown sugar, butter, and salt. Spread the ingredients on parchment-lined shallow baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until caramelized. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Make the Roasted Banana Ice Cream:

  1. Pour cream and milk into a bowl set over a pot of simmering water (this is acts as a double boiler). Don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Whisk in 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and stir until both are dissolved. Warm the mixture until you see steam rising from the top.
  2. While the dairy mixture warms, prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water and placing another bowl over it.
  3.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the yolks with remaining sugar until combined. Take a splash of the warm dairy mixture and add to the yolks while whisking. Continue to add the dairy mixture, bit by bit, until you’ve added about half of the mixture. This process is call tempering and ensures that the yolks are slowly brought to temperature to avoid cooking or scrambling them. Once tempered, transfer the yolk mixture to the bowl with the remaining dairy mixture in your double boiler. Set the heat to medium to medium-low (you need to monitor to see how your stove works best), and cook the custard, stirring constantly until steam begins to rise from the surface and the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon. Hold your spoon horizontally and run your finger through the custard. If the gap stays separated, the custard is ready to be cooled.
  4. Strain custard into the bowl sitting over an ice bath and stir about 3-5 minutes or until the custard has cooled. Transfer custard to a quart-sized container, add the roasted bananas, and using an immersion blender, buzz the custard until fully combined. Cover custard, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or, preferably, overnight.
  5. Pour custard into an ice cream maker and freeze until the texture resembles soft serve. Transfer ice cream back to its storage container and freeze to harden. Alternatively, you can serve it immediately—it will be the consistency of gelato. 

Celebrating Mother's Day if You Can't Be with Mom

Not being with your Mom on a special day like Mother's Day can be difficult, but it's something some of us need to do to keep each other safe. Because of the world we live in, there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate virtually even if you can't be with your mom in person. Here are some ideas:

Zoom Celebration

Order the same dinner or cook a meal and then eat together over Zoom for a virtual Mother's Day Celebration. You can even get dressed up to make the occasion feel more exciting and out of the ordinary. 

Mother's Day with NYBG at Home

The New York Botanical Garden is moving its annual Garden Party online on Mother's Day at 11am. Join the Facebook live Watch Party for a virtual tour of the Maureen K. Chilton Azalea Garden in peak bloom with Mother's Day greetings from patrons and members throughout the video. 

Write Mom a Letter

An old fashioned, handwritten letter via snail mail never gets old. Take this extra time to tell Mom how you feel about her and thank her for all of the things that she does for you and mail it so she has something exciting to open on Mother's Day.

Drive by Celebration

If you live close enough to drive by or say hello from a safe distance, seeing her kids on Mother's Day at all will surely bring a smile to any mom's face. 

Make a Special Memory Keepsake 

You've had tons of happy memories with Mom and not being with her this year doesn't mean you won't have a lot more in the future. Make Mom a special photo book or scrapbook so she can spend this mother's day reminiscing on the happy times you've had together and look forward to those you will have again when you are able to be together again.

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Melissa Wickes

Author: Melissa Wickes, a graduate of Binghamton University and the NYU Summer Publishing Institute, is the production editor for NYMetroParents. She's written hundreds of articles to help New York parents make better decisions for their families. When she's not writing, you can find her eating pasta, playing guitar, or watching reality TV. See More

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