Time is the most precious gift you can give your mom. Here are a few fun ways to spend quality time together and make memories together, even if you live in different states.

By Allison Carter

We live life so fast now. It’s rare we slow down to savor the special moments, to freeze time for just a second to appreciate the different ways we spend time making memories and sharing new experiences, especially with our moms. I’m very lucky to live close to my mom and get to see her often. She’s one of my favorite people to spend time with, and as we get older our relationship only gets stronger and more precious to me. Whether you live close to your mom or states away, here are 10 of my favorite ideas for spending quality, meaningful time with my mom—and you can use them, too.

Image courtesy of Getty.

1. Take a Weekly Walk and Talk

Walk and talks are basically exercising without realizing it. Getting out of the house, enjoying fresh air, and catching up with someone you care about can be a wonderful stress-reliever. You don't have to physically be with your mom to reap the benefits, either; just put your headphones in, give her a call, and chat about the week as you walk around your neighborhood.

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2. Host a Party Together

You don't need a holiday or birthday to come up with an excuse to throw a party. My mom and I are always looking for unique reasons to co-host parties together. Not only will you create a fun experience for your guests, but you’ll also create memories together as co-hosts. This year, try hosting an Oscar night viewing party, summer garden party, or cookie exchange party. Use your imagination to come up with a theme you both love.

3. Make a Family Scrapbook

My family has printed photos everywhere, mostly just sitting in boxes. Take time to go through pictures together and create scrapbooks of favorite childhood vacations, holiday memories, or school years. Combining photos of your mom’s childhood with yours is another way to make this project extra special. How fun to see your mom’s Santa photos next to yours! It’s nice to have a creative project you can build upon slowly. Besides, it gives you even more excuses to get together and hang out.

4. Try Cooking a New Recipe

My family and I love to cook. We’re big foodies, so testing new recipes together is always exciting to us. Think of all the recipes you have laying around your house that you keep meaning to make. Now’s your chance! Select a couple to cook or bake with your mom each month (if you can't be together, you can even video chat each other while you cook and then dish about the results). If it’s a keeper, add it to your family’s rotation.

5. Plant a Garden

I love the idea of having plants and veggies growing out of quality time together. To this day, my mom still goes over and helps my grandma plant new flowers in her pots. Gardening together is something they bond over, and it's an activity you can share with your mom (or grandma) as well.

If your mom doesn't live nearby, you can create your own individual gardens with flowers that represent you both. For example, each of our gardens might have strawberries and peonies (for me) and hydrangeas (for her). It's also fun to compare tips, notes, and photos as they grow.

6. Take a Class

Learning a new skill together can spark creativity and encourage you both to take on a new challenge or bucket list item. Think of something you and your mom would be interested in learning together. You could take a cooking class to learn how to whip up a souffle or make the perfect vinaigrette. You could also take an art, yoga, or gardening workshop. Check out listings at your local community center or college for class descriptions and times.

7. Start a Book Club

I grew up with parents that passed their love of reading on to my sister and me, and we’re constantly swapping books with each other. If this sounds like you and your mom, start your own club! Each month, decide on a book to read together and then go out for a happy hour or coffee to discuss it. Take turns choosing books (bonus points for seeking out different genres). You can even throw in a cookbook to inspire menu items for your next family get-together.

8. Go Wine Tasting

Head to a local winery, wine bar, or tasting room for a wine tasting outing in your city. No worries if you don’t live near any; you can go to the grocery store, buy a couple of bottles of wine you’ve never tried, and taste away. Not into wine? Try it with beer or spirits instead.

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9. Go Shopping—For Each Other

Even if you and your mom frequently shop together, it can be fun to switch things up with this little exercise. Let your mom pick out a few items she thinks you would like to add to your closet rotation, and vice versa. There's just one rule: you have to try them on no matter what. It’ll be the ultimate test to determine whether or not mom really knows best!  

10. Have a Staycation

I’ve lived in Seattle all my life and still love being a tourist in my own city. You can stay at different local hotels, bed and breakfasts, or rent a house in a city close to yours for a change of scenery. Or, if you prefer the comfort of your own home, camp out in pajamas all day and watch movies, try a new restaurant, go to a museum, but more importantly, rest and recharge together.

Changing up how you spend quality time with your mom can help you form new cherished memories, inside jokes, and experiences together. Who knows, maybe some of these ideas will even become new mother-daughter traditions

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