Don’t get us wrong, we love receiving a present as much as the next person. There is absolutely a place for packages wrapped up with ribbon, hiding all manner of treats from an on-trend homeware accessory, thoughtful subscription service or this season’s most coveted maxi dress.
But although we’re sure any mum would be over the moon to receive a carefully chosen Mother’s Day gift, wouldn’t it be even more special to give her something that you can enjoy together?
Most mums, above all else, just want to spend some quality time with us. So, by giving her an experience gift that you two can do together, you’re giving her a set of memories that are worth more than anything you can buy in a shop.
What’s more, research has actually shown that spending our money on experiences over material items improves our happiness levels. In fact, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology reports that the happy memories we attach to experiences like holidays or days out stay with us, while our interest in products goes over time.
And remember, the great thing about gifting her an experience is that it doesn’t have to happen on Mother’s Day itself. You can even present her with a few options, find a date that works and book something in for the future – which will mean you’ll both have something to look forward to.
We’ve put together some ideas on experience gifts that are fun, interesting and, crucially, involve lots of eating and drinking to inspire anyone who is struggling to think of a worthy Mother’s Day present.
Overnight Mystery Murder experience
If your mum has a wicked sense of humour then spare her the cards and flowers and take her somewhere a little unusual instead. This murder mystery experience is hosted in country houses all over the UK and includes an overnight stay and three-course meal (from £179 per person).
As soon as you arrive you’ll be surrounded by other guests and actors who will both-help the story unravel throughout the evening, as you play detective to find out who the murderer is. It sounds like one hell of evening and a Mother’s Day present she’ll never forget.
Bateaux London boat ride
There are plenty of fabulous places to take your mum out for dinner in London. From restaurants covered in plants to venues that have been hailed for their cool factor, the options are almost limitless. But there’s one meal you can treat her to that is guaranteed to be different to the rest. Bateaux London is a river dining experience that sails smoothly along the Thames from 7pm until 10.15pm every night.
The newly-refurbished Glass Room allows you to have dinner under the stars, and the transparent sides of the boat mean you can gaze out to all of those iconic London sights as dusk turns to night.
Not only is the experience atmospheric, and great for taking a cute picture of your and your mum, the food is good quality too. If you don’t fancy dinner (from £79 per person) afternoon tea (from £46) is also a lovely option.
Chapel Down winery
One of England’s leading wineries, Chapel Down, is known not only for producing delicious sparkling wine but for also being a simply beautiful place to spend the day. The winery is based in the sleepy town of Tenterden in Kent, which has a large and leafy conservation area, making it a wonderfully green area to wander around.
Chapel Down has a selection of experiences to choose from, including guided tours, wine tastings and masterclasses. We like the sound of the deluxe experience, which includes a tour, a tasting and lunch in the on-site restaurant The Swan (£120 per person). Or, the fizz and falconry experience (£140 per person) combines sipping bubbly with meeting some impressive birds, followed by lunch, a guided tour and a tasting session.
Kew Gardens and afternoon tea
There are at least three reasons why Kew Gardens is an unmissable London gem. One: it has a selection of ornate Victorian green houses, the likes of which your Instagram has never seen. Two: the gardens and exhibitions are genuinely educational, and who doesn’t like learning?
And three? Well thanks to the sprawling grounds, there’s plenty of places for a picnic. Or if it’s a little chilly, to take a long walk with a flask. All in all, we think this combination makes it a lovely day out to spend with your mum, especially when you throw some tea and scones (from £34) into the mix, which can be eaten in the botanical restaurant.
Images: unsplash / courtesy of venues