Each year, the prospect of finding the perfect Mother's Day gift gets more and more daunting. Between Christmas, birthdays, and Mother's Day, chances are that over the years, you've exhausted all your most creative resources in search of the perfect present. But just because you're out of ideas doesn't mean you have to resort to a last-minute greeting card and a bunch of flowers.
Whether you live in New York City or are simply visiting for the weekend, there are tons of off-the-beaten-path activities that have Mother's Day written all over them. The trick is to be able to look beyond the first page of Google search results for "best Mother's Day gifts from NYC" (insert bottomless brunches and Broadway matinées here) and find unique experiences that will show your mom how much you care. Convinced? We searched high and low to bring you a definitive guide to the best gifts from NYC.
Sharpen Your Baking Skills at Haven's Kitchen
As far as cooking classes go in New York City, it doesn't get much better than Alison Cayne's Haven's Kitchen—a stylish enclave in Union Square filled with gorgeous white-painted brick and marble fireplaces—the perfect space for a mother-daughter activity. Take the opportunity to sharpen your kitchen skills—for Mother's Day, the cooking school is offering a vegan and gluten-free Mother's Day cookies class with Erin McKenna of BabyCakesNYC—also available for children as young as 5.
Get Pampered at Chillhouse
Stepping into your average nail salon on Mother's Day may not me the most awe-inspiring gift, but an afternoon at the newly opened Chillhouse in the Lower East Side promises something entirely different. Start off with a reinvigorating golden latte or beet-chata, polish your hands with the latest nail art creations, and finish off with a full-body massage that will leave you and your mom feeling like your best selves.
Workshop Your Floral Skills at Crowns by Christy
Making a flower crown might seem impossible at first glance, but charismatic Southern belle Christy Doremus will turn you into a pro in no time. What's more, the activity is oddly relaxing! The Crowns by Christy studio is set in a beautiful NoLIta townhouse, also home to famed decorator Miles Redd. Armed with an endless supply of beautiful blooms and a pair of chic brass scissors, you'll be well on your way to becoming a flower-crown pro.
Do Brunch Right at Le Coucou
If you must do a classic brunch, we urge you to do it well—no omelet station for Mother's Day. Instead, head to SoHo, where the acclaimed restaurant Le Coucou serves incredible brunch fare including lobster buckwheat crêpes, poached eggs with choron sauce and pomme dauphine, or roasted pineapple, chicken, and foie gras alongside expertly crafted cocktails. The setting is an impressive Roman and Williams–designed dining room finished with hand-painted murals, original whitewashed brick walls, and rows of intricate chandeliers. Reserve today to secure a coveted spot.
If You Can't Make It to NYC:
Take a Private Tour of the Guggenheim Museum
An afternoon at the museum is nice, but a private tour of the Guggenheim is the next-level experience every mother deserves on her special day. Discover intricacies of Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic building and learn about the current special exhibitions—you can even have a guide tailor your personal experience to include nearby art venues on NYC's museum mile.
Staycation at the Brand-New Whitby Hotel
Whether you live in New York or are just visiting for the weekend, the newly opened Whitby Hotel is every mother's dream. The gorgeous bold and colorful classic British interiors are designed by Kit Kemp (part owner of the Firmdale Hotel brand). The centrally located hotel features a theater, a restaurant and bar, a spa, and afternoon tea service. Located just two blocks away from Central Park, the Upper Midtown spot is a surefire crowd-pleaser.
Charter a Sailboat for the Family on Sailo
For a larger group or family, treat your mom to an afternoon sailing around the Manhattan skyline thanks to Sailbo—essentially an Airbnb for boats. Starting at just $350 for a few hours, choose from smaller sailboats available for six people and up, all the way to large elegant schooners that can accommodate hundreds of guests. Now that's a Mother's Day experience she will never forget.