Moms like me who consider outdoor exercise and adventure a boost would probably like nothing more on Mother’s Day than a couple of hours to bask in what they already love to do, but usually have a hard time squeezing in during the week (e.g., hike, run, SUP, mountain bike).

If the kids are old enough — or interested enough — to join for all or part of Mom’s adventure, great. If not, note to families: Just meet her after, at the trailhead, for some grub. (Oh, and maybe pick her some wildflowers.)


Breathe in, breathe out. Not a kid in sight. Photo: Pavel L/Unsplash

This year, I might convince my guys (9 years old and almost 11 years old — and my 43-year-old) to hit the local lake for a picnic. This will probably include bringing some sort of ball sport to offset any downtime between walking, paddling and eating, the latter of which seems to occupy most of our days together.

What would be even cooler, though, is if they organized a picnic. Since most moms don’t want to go anywhere near a kitchen on “their” day, please, please, dads and kids, simply go to the store and pack up some killer provisions — with a healthy twist.


Better than a bubble bath. Photo: Mark Bosky/Unsplash

For some on-the-go moms, what might sound best (especially if it coincides with a nicely timed rest day anyway) is to just hang outside, but still at home. A car ride, even to a wilderness area, might take the air out of a “me” day.

I know I go stir crazy in my house, so there’s nothing like some compulsory chill time in the yard or on the deck.

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It’s that time of year, so giving mom some flowers to plant in the garden is a refreshing gesture. Lining up mellow family fun such as some corn hole, grilling and al fresco cocktails (including kiddie versions) will also fit the bill for power moms who need a nudge to decompress.

If a gift is in order, here are few other ideas that might inspire that outdoorsy mom:

Camp chair set

Chances are, yours are tattered and sooty from one too many campfires. Find an adult set with all the fixins, like cup holders and a neck rest, so it can go from backyard to festival to car campsite. Better yet, add a travel mug and some luxury camp coffee, with a little note to mom about all the adventures that lay ahead.

Kid coupons


Good for one game of hide-and-seek in the woods. Photo: Jamie Cooper/Unsplash

This doesn’t have to be as cheesy as relieving mom of dish duty for a week. Have each kid make a pack of coupons specific to the outdoors: one month of Monday evening walk-and-talks; one hour of help organizing summer camp gear; a mountain bike ride on a new trail and lunch out. You get the idea.

RELATED: Mother's Day gift ideas for outdoorsy moms

Relax basket

Given that active, outdoor moms endure a lot but typically don’t give themselves enough time or treats to recover, whip up a big ol’ basket of relaxation: Epsom salts, bath bubbles, body lotion, a pretty sports towel, foot/hand balm and a gift certificate for a sports massage. Perfection.