Sunday, May 9 is Mother’s Day – the annual reminder to show mom how much she is loved. While nothing can get in the way of our affection for moms, this year, like last, looks a little different. So, get creative and show your gratitude for the women in your life with some out-of-the-box ideas to celebrate her and everything she does.  

Tacoma and surrounding cities have plenty of places to celebrate Mother’s Day and enjoy a meal mom doesn’t have to cook, relax and enjoy nature in beautiful parks, find flowers she will love, explore a museum as a family and more.

Mother’s Day Cards

Owners of Curious Bear
Mother-and-daughter team Jennifer Luna and Laurie Hicks own and operate Paper Luxe. Photo courtesy: Jennifer Luna

From wild to traditional and everything in between — say it with a card.

  • SouthSoundTalk featured My Favorite Things in 2020. The mother and daughter team, Laurie Hicks and Jennifer Luna carry elegant cards and creative crafting supplies at Paper Luxe Stationery & Gifts for DIY Mother’s Day card(s). Brandon and Brit Beauchesne stock unique, over-the-top zany cards and gifts at The Mail Room Gift & Ship Company.
  • – If your mom has a wacky sense of humor, she might get a kick out of an e-card that you create/customize just for her. Video options are available, too.
  • Dollar Tree – Multiple locations in Tacoma and Pierce County offer cards for $1 each, and some are 2/$1. Note: The 6th Avenue store is permanently closed following a roof collapse.
  • Trudy’s Hallmark – University Place’s Green Firs Village Hallmark shop offers various cards and gifts for Mother’s Day.

FaceTime, Zoom and Calling

For Mother’s Day, make the all-important phone call 2021 style.

  • FaceTime is a free app for iPhone and Mac users. It allows up to 32 family and friends to join the call.  Download the FaceTime app and get everyone in the loop for an unforgettable get-together.
  • This is maybe the most important Zoom meeting of the year. The ‘Personal Meeting’ version of the app is free and allows 100 people to join in for up to 40 minutes. One of the tech-savvy kids or grandkids can get mom and grandma squared away so they are confident about how to connect on Mother’s Day. Zoom can be set up for video and audio or simply audio.
  • At the very least and yet perhaps more important than any gift, gathering or outing, is the all-important phone call. Simple as that — make that call to mom.

Brunches, yes. Buffets, not so much.

Washington State’s Roadmap to Recovery reopening phases has fluctuated between Phase 2 and Phase 3. As of April 12, Pierce County was pushed back to Phase 2 for three weeks which limits inside dining to 25% of capacity. Hopefully, by Mother’s Day weekend, the restrictions will be lessened. It would be wise to call your chosen restaurant ahead to verify their status and hours of operation. As of this writing:

  • Harvest Buffet at 3121 S. 38th St., Tacoma, is open. Make it your choice for a “fresh Japanese sushi bar, Mongolian grill, and authentic regional cuisines of China.” No matter how large or small your family is, they can accommodate you.

Mother’s Day brunch specials are definitely a go at:

  • Tatoosh Grill, with a panoramic view of Mount Rainier, is located on the 3rd Floor of the Emerald Queen Casino in Fife. Their menu features “Angus beef, wild seafood and authentic Chinese fare.” The Puyalapabs Cafe at the casino’s new Tacoma location celebrated its grand opening in 2020. The entire family is welcome in the restaurants at both locations.

Fresh Florist Flowers

Any mom would love to get succulents in an elegant Dish Garden from Mudda’s Succulent Designs for Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day is traditionally the biggest floral holiday of the year for retail florists. Even if a great geographic distance separates you and your mom, she’ll be delighted to receive flowers from you. Send flowers just about anywhere or visit these shops in Tacoma, Lakewood and Puyallup to buy locally.

  • Mudda’s Succulent Designs – Home decorating with low-maintenance succulents is trendy and extremely popular. They make an ideal gift for Mother’s Day, too! Visit Mudda’s Succulent Designs at the Point Ruston Public Market. The mother and daughter team of Sandra Norwood and Patrice Shanell Norwood create out-of-this-world dish gardens in one-of-a-kind, uniquely fabulous containers.
  • A Rhapsody in Bloom – Closed to walk-in traffic but accepting phone and internet orders.
  • Blitz & Co. Florist – Teleflora and local delivery to hospitals and nursing homes. Open daily except Sunday.
  • Brown’s Flowers and Gifts – FTD to send flowers anywhere in the U.S. & Canada for Mother’s Day.
  • Crane’s Creations  – Local delivery in Tacoma, Lakewood and surrounding area.
  • Tacoma Boys – Locations in Lakewood (H&L Produce), Puyallup and Tacoma feature a massive selection of hanging baskets and fresh-cut flowers, too.
  • Florist on-Duty – Metropolitan Market, Stadium Thriftway and Safeway stores’ floral departments have a florist on-duty. The smaller, neighborhood Fred Meyer Marketplace in UP/Fircrest offers self-serve, wrapped bouquets & blooming plants. The larger Fred Meyer stores, Albertson’s and other supermarkets have full-service floral departments.

Family Portraits are Forever

Mother's Day 2021 in Tacoma
Riandi Photography client Crystle Rivera with twins Javier and Martín Rivera-Lattea. Photo credit: Tonya Dran-Jackson

Mother’s Day is the perfect time to make a definite plan for an updated family portrait. If you’ve talked about getting the family together for a picture, don’t put it off any longer.

  • Riandi Photography specializes in both creative and traditional family portraits in a downtown Tacoma studio. “Mini Sessions” are available with a special Mother’s Day discount. Tonya Dran-Jackson is behind the lens with more than a decade of professional experience. She is also a mother and grandmother herself.
  • Selfie-Stick family group portrait(s) of your Mother’s Day celebration will allow everyone to be in the frame.

Find Your Family Tree

  • Record Family History – Audio and/or video recorded on your phone, tablet, computer, or other devices will be a great start to create a living history for generations to come. Keep it casual and informal. Engage your mother or grandmother in conversation about their most cherished family memories, ‘who’s who’ from past generations, etc.
  • Unknown History – If early history is unknown, a surprise gift for Mother’s Day might be a kit to collect DNA samples. Unlock the mysteries of the past for future generations. These are the top three sites that may help unravel your family’s history:

The Great Outdoors

Mother's Day 2021 in Tacoma
Gig Harbor Gondola with owner-gondolier John Synco rowing Venetian-style. Photo credit: John Synco

Options for fresh air, baseball, zoo & aquarium, gondola adventure on the water – and more.

  • Gig Harbor Gondola – Treat your wife/mother of your children to a romantic adventure on the water for just the two of you (or up to six) on Mother’s Day when you book the Gig Harbor Gondola. Gift certificates are available, too. A Venetian-style professional gondolier will entertain you right here in the Northwest. No need to fly half a-world away to Venice, Italy. The Inn at Gig Harbor has a special offer that includes the Gig Harbor Gondola, also.
  • National Park Inn – Requires a reservation for a minimum two-night stay in Longmire on the road to Mount Rainier. The mountain is only 59 miles from Tacoma.
  • Washington State Parks – Camping reservations are being accepted now.
  • Tacoma Rainiers Game time on Mother’s Day is 1:35 p.m. Their six-game homestand against El Paso at Cheney Stadium runs May 6-11.
  • Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium – Pacific Seas & South Pacific Aquariums are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mother’s Day weekend. Advance purchase is required. Here’s the link to ticket information.
  • Cinemark’s Century Point Ruston and XD  – Relax and take in a movie with the family in ultra-plush surroundings at Point Ruston after an invigorating walk on the shoreline path along Commencement Bay. Ruston Way is unmatched for people watching and dog walking, too.

The Parks are Open

Mother's Day 2021 in Tacoma
The entrance to Wright Park in Tacoma guarded by larger-than-life-size statues of lions. Photo credit: Jaynie Jones

Choose from an abundance of beloved parks. There’s something for everyone!

  • Wright Park – Open for picnics and a network of trails; however, the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory is closed for major renovations until at least January of next year. A pair of statues of larger-than-life-sized lions greet park visitors. Features include a bowling green, playground, horseshoe pits, and basketball court.
  • Fort Steilacoom Park – Encompassing 340 acres, the park is home to a family favorite 22-acre dog park and a plethora of facilities from playgrounds to picnic shelters, including the Pavilion for family reunions and other events. The Discovery Trail walk around Lake Waughop is perfect for the whole family and features historical markers along the way. Park and Shelter reservations are available at all 14 parks in the City of Lakewood, which is celebrating its 25th Anniversary. Lakewood Farmers Market opens at the park on Friday, May 21, at 2 p.m.
  • American Lake Park – It’s time to get the boat out and take the family fishing. But first, to use the boat launch, complete the Boat Launch Application Packet and pay the annual fee. Here are the 2021 Trout Derby dates and details. It’s underway now. Year-round boating is available on the nearly 1,100 acres of American Lake. With a permit, you’ll have unlimited use of the boat launch for the year.
  • Spanaway Park – Find fun for the whole family at the 135-acre park, including baseball fields and basketball courts. Plus, there’s a new, ADA-approved playground. Restrooms are accessible also. Spanaway Lake is within the park. Open at 6 a.m. The lakeside trail is thousands of feet long. Nature-watching is at its best anywhere within the park.

Mom at the Museum

Mother's Day 2021 in Tacoma
Even mom loves cool cars! Find more like this awesome Chrysler at LeMay America’s Car Museum. Photo credit: Jaynie Jones

For a most memorable family outing on Mother’s Day weekend, make plans to visit one of the world-class museums in Tacoma.

With this year’s unique circumstances, many of us must celebrate the holiday away from the women — moms, grandmas, aunts, we love most. There are still plenty of fun ways to honor mom and make Mother’s Day 2021 the best one yet.