Happy Mother's Day on Chalkboard

If you’re bound to spend Mother’s Day separated because of social distancing or other logistical reasons, there are still lots of ways to celebrate the ones who made us. Bring family together, wherever they are, and find ways to celebrate.

Setting Up a Mother’s Day Video Call

The first step in setting up a virtual Mother’s Day celebration is getting mom what she really wants: all of your adorable faces in one digital place with reliable video and audio chat. There are plenty of free apps for this, but simple is better since some mothers are more digitally savvy than others. Also, not every mom owns the same devices, so it’s best to go with what everybody already has access to.

If everybody has an Apple device with built-in video, including Macbooks, iPhones, and iPads, you can easily start a call with up to 31 guests through Apple’s own FaceTime app. Whether mom and the rest of the family are on an Apple device, a Windows PC or laptop, or any number of smartphones, Skype is a familiar video chat option to many that only requires a free Microsoft account to login. It has been criticized lately for its security issues, but with apps on almost every platform, Zoom is a great option for connecting with your family.

Family Video Chatting on Tablet

If the device mom’s using for chatting doesn’t have a camera, you can turn a smartphone into a webcam or even use a digital camera for video chat. Whichever app or device you choose to connect with your family, you’ll next need to think about what to surprise mom with during this virtual Mother’s Day celebration.

RELATED: The Best Zoom Alternatives for Video Chatting

Activity Ideas for a Virtual Mother’s Day

Once everyone is all gathered together on a free video chat app, most moms will say that just seeing your beautiful faces and hearing your wonderful voices is enough for her. That may be true, but you can still surprise her with a wide number of engaging activities through any web browser that will make memories to share for years to come.

Some of these Mother’s Day gift ideas just involve video chat, while other ideas like virtual tours work best if you share your screen so everyone can see the same thing. Zoom, Skype, Discord, and many other video chat apps have this screen sharing feature. Here are some ideas for ways to spend time celebrating Mother’s Day over a distance:

RELATED: How to Change Your Zoom Background to a Fun Photo or Video

Have a Virtual Picnic, Wine Tasting, or Brewery Tour

While ordering delivery packages during a global pandemic may give some pause, the CDC states that even fresh food deliveries are safe if proper precautions are taken. Whatever mom’s favorite treat is, order a scrumptious delicacy for her and you and enjoy a basket of tasty treats together. Pick out her favorite wines and ship all your guests a bottle to have an enjoyable wine tasting where you can share notes, tastes, and experiences. Beer-loving mommas might enjoy this live virtual brewery tour from Maine Brew Bus, hosted by industry experts who will take your questions while you both sip on her favorite suds.

Two Women Drinking Beers
Alina Rosanova/Shutterstock

Watch Videos Together On Video Chat

If you want to have a classic Mother’s Day, pull up any digital home videos on your desktop and share your screen so that everyone can see the good old days. If your videos are on YouTube, or if you just want to watch some funny videos together, you can use ShareTube to create a synced YouTube feed that everyone will see at the same time through their own browser. Family and friends can even add videos to the queue. There’s also Facebook’s Watch Party app that may be particularly useful for families where everyone keeps in touch through Facebook.

If you want to watch mom’s favorite movie or something new on Netflix, the Netflix Party extension for Chrome will allow you to sync the stream so everyone can watch. This will still work if not everyone has a Netflix subscription, although as a good child it’s your responsibility to share that Netflix account with your mom.

RELATED: 5 Ways to Watch Video With Your Long-Distance Friends

Virtually Tour Museums, Zoos, or Theme Parks

Due to a lack of tourists, many of the world’s most famous destinations are providing free virtual tours. Visit famous art pieces at the Lourve, the Vatican, or even the National Women’s History Museum. Teach the whole family something new by visiting NASA’s Langley Research Center or the British Museum. Animal lovers will find plenty of places to take mom like the National Aquarium or the San Diego Zoo.

Through the Street View feature in Google Maps or the Look Around feature in Apple Maps, you can visit just about anywhere in the world. Walk through some of the most famous theme parks in the world, including Disneyland, Disney World, Busch Gardens, and Universal Studios. You can also find unofficial walking tour videos on YouTube of your favorite locations. All you need to do is start that video call, share your screen, and spend time visiting.

Virtually Touring Disney World on Google Maps

Play Games Together Online

Many moms love to game online, but even those that don’t can find plenty of fun activities online to enjoy with their kids. Jackbox games are some of the best family-friendly party games that can be played with just a smartphone or any device that can access a web browser. They’re easy to play even for people who don’t generally play games.

If mom has a Windows or Mac machine that can handle running games, platforms like Steam offer a wide selection of co-op games. You can even play local multiplayer games online with Steam’s Remote Play Together feature.

Mother’s Day can be a hard holiday when you’re apart. This Mother’s Day, stay home and stay safe together by celebrating with any of these engaging online activities.

Profile Photo for Joel Cornell Joel Cornell
Joel Cornell has spent twelve years writing professionally, working on everything from technical documentation at PBS to video game content for GameSkinny. Joel covers a bit of everything technology-related, including gaming and esports. He's honed his skills by writing for other industries, including in architecture, green energy, and education.
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