I asked my mom what kind of special thing we could do for her for Mother’s Day this year. She responded, modestly, “I just want everyone to be together.” That didn’t give me a lot to go on, but I don’t think I could have really expected anything more specific—this response reflects who she is and what she wants perfectly and authentically. Luckily, we have a lot of family in and around the Bay Area, so it will work well to focus a Mother’s Day celebration around the idea of togetherness.

This interaction got me thinking about whether we ask this kind of question often enough of our mothers. What do you really want this day to be? What would make you happy? The diverse mothers in my life are more often thinking about others than about themselves. So, I took this question to a couple other mothers in my life. When I asked my grandma, she told me that she wanted to dance all night! I’m so glad I asked: it turns out that’s exactly what I want too, and it’s something I can merge together with my mother’s wishes. I asked my friend, who is a brand-new mother of a not-quite-year-old boy, how she would really like to spend Mother’s Day in 2017. She said that if I’m asking what she really wants, it would be to get out of the Bay Area for a while, to fly to Hawaii, and relax.

I can’t wrap up an actual destination party to Hawaii quite as easily as some of the other mothers’ wishes. But there are always creative ways to plan an experience geared toward their true personalities and wishes. Take a look at some of these event ideas:

A Traditional Mother’s Day Tea Party

No, the traditional Mother’s Day brunch and tea party have not gone out of style. Just ask Pinterest. But you can definitely get creative and personalize the usual tea, cakes, sandwiches, and decor in a way that best reflects your guests of honor. (Check out this guide to making sense of Pinterest’s endless ideas for wedding planning—the advice applies to your Mother’s Day event too.) The one quintessential thing you do want to look for is an elegant garden setting that transports everyone away from their usual concerns and sets the tone for a celebration of all mothers, Nature included.

An Outdoor Barbeque Day

Spring 2017 in the Bay Area is expected to be sunny and a bit warmer than usual. So, why not bring the whole family together for an outdoor barbeque with field games for all ages? Here, at Kennolyn, our families like to have sack races, scavenger hunts, horseshoes, relay races, hula hoop contests, and even archery. Our executive chef loves to get creative with out-of-the-box party menus, so together you can design an adventurous meal with all of your mothers’ favorites included.

A Wine and Food Pairing Event

Another friend of mine lives in the Bay Area’s wine country and has four kids under the age of ten. When I asked her about her ultimate Mother’s Day wish, she said she’d love to have a relaxing wine tasting event that didn’t mean hopping around to different wineries—but she stopped short and added that, of course, she didn’t want to be away from the kids on that day. I suggested to her a private event for the whole family centered around wine and food pairing but with space and activities for adults and kids to be together.

A Mother’s Day Dance Party

My grandma can get down with just about any dance and music styles. (Yes, she’s as much fun as she sounds.) But you can plan your event around a particular interest. Maybe your guest of honor loves ballroom dancing, line dancing, Latin dancing, jazz music, or the traditional dance party favorites like “Twist and Shout” or “The Locomotion.” In the Bay Area, we definitely have a lot of options for great DJs and live bands. Just know that you’ll have to start planning your Mother’s Day event early if you have your heart set on a certain kind of entertainment.

A Destination Party in Place

So, it’s a bit too much to ask for an actual getaway for Mother’s Day mid-spring—that doesn’t mean the party idea should be off the table. You can totally have a destination-themed party by organizing the food, decorations, and activities around the desired destination. Get out of the Bay Area and get a break from your tired routines without going anywhere. Plan a Hawaiian luau for those mothers who long for an island trip. Plan a Parisian bistro event with romantic café music and decor; the wine pairing would tie in perfectly here too. Or plan a party that captures the culture and charm of your family’s country of origin. There’s a lot of nostalgic potential for mothers in a party like that—especially to honor the mothers who are no longer with you.

An Actual Getaway for the Whole Family

There’s another great way to plan a destination party without leaving the Bay Area. Bring everyone together for a whole weekend of quality time, good food and wine, dancing, games, anything and everything to celebrate the family your mothers have nurtured for so long. I think this would be the ultimate Mother’s Day event idea for my own mother’s simple wish. At Kennolyn, everyone can stay in our comfortable village cabins, you can do the barbeque and the tea party brunch and the destination party all in one weekend. It might even be the perfect chance to invite family from outside of the Bay Area, and it can double as a family reunion.

How to Plan the Ideal Mother’s Day Party for Your Family

A lot of mothers would love to have a special event for the extended family to share, but they’d also love to enjoy the actual day relaxing or just with close family, especially if they have little kids. One way to give the gift of both those wishes is to plan your Mother’s Day event on a different day. Let the celebration of mothers continue beyond the single weekend, and take advantage of the call to bring everyone together.

Underlying most mothers’ responses to the question of the day is a desire to relax. A lot of these event ideas could come together at home, but chances are good that the mothers are going to step up and help out if that’s the case. Instead, skip the Mother’s Day checklist and leave all the mothers’ homes quiet and clean and peaceful for them to return to once the festivities are done. Check out some of the great event venues right in the Bay Area that offer a private, all-inclusive experience, so you don’t even have to do much more than envision the perfect event for your family.

Our quiet retreat in the mountains above the Bay Area is gorgeous in the springtime. Come for a visit and consider whether a day or a weekend at Kennolyn would be the right gift for the mothers in your family.


Tea and Cakes Image Source: Flickr user Michelle Waspe

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