Can't Go to Brunch? Host a Mother's Day Picnic Instead
While we're certainly seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, the pandemic isn't over yet. And that means our Mother’s Day celebrations will look a little different for the second year in a row. I typically make the drive to my hometown on Mother’s Day weekend and take my mom out to lunch, but we're skipping in-person dining until we're both fully vaccinated.
Luckily, there is a way you can still share a meal with mom while practicing social distancing. Head to a local park or meet up in the backyard to treat Mom to a good old-fashioned picnic. All you need is a sunny spot to spread out a couple of blankets six feet apart and our menu of summery sandwiches and sides. Here are seven tips for a safe and fun Mother's Day picnic.
1. Keep it Small
The most important thing to consider is safety: Keep your picnic to just a few people and stay six feet apart or wear masks if you're not all vaccinated. Be sure to bring along hand sanitizer too. Even if you live in a state that lifted safety restrictions, we like to err on the side of caution when it comes to gatherings.
2. Send an Invitation
Since Mom might be missing the typical holiday celebrations (especially after a full year of social distancing), make this picnic extra special by sending her an invitation to join you for lunch. Craft your own paper invitation and include a heartfelt Mother's Day quote, or repurpose one of our last-minute printable Mother's Day cards into a pretty invitation.
3. Bring a Basket
The key to a good picnic is a cute-yet-functional picnic basket to hold your sandwiches, chips, and cookies. If you'll be traveling to a park or to Mom's backyard, be sure to choose a sturdy basket with a lid that securely closes. We like the Canasta Picnic Basket ($66, Target) because it's pretty and functional. For a truly Instagram-worthy setup, add a pretty patterned dishtowel ($6 for two, Target) and mini bottles of champagne.
4. Personalize with Pillows
If you can't rely on a restaurant for ambiance this year, it's easy to create it yourself! In addition to the typical picnic blanket (we love this Turkish Towel Throw, $7 (Olive & Linen) because it's gorgeous and easy to wash), add a few bright throw pillows as well. Go with a classic summer print such as the cabana stripe throw pillow ($15, Target), or opt for something more subtle, like these solid tasseled outdoor pillows ($40, West Elm).
5. Make It Eco-Friendly
If you’re individually wrapping your sandwiches, consider using beeswax wraps to hold them together so the fillings don’t fall out. The coating is naturally tacky so it seals tightly, and is much less wasteful than using individual zip-top plastic bags. They’re easy to make yourself, and mom can take the leftover wraps to reuse in her kitchen. We also suggest packing eco-friendly flatware that you can toss after the picnic (the fewer things you take back into your house, the better). Slide folded napkins and compostable flatware like wooden disposable utensils ($5, Target) into paper snack bags, then fold the bags and secure with decorative washi tape for a special touch.
6. Keep the Menu Simple
Don't go overboard on the menu: Mom will appreciate your time the most, so stick to a few simple (and delicious) recipes. Easy sandwiches, a quick bean salad, and a sweet dessert are all you need for the perfect summer spread.