Lockdown life is big on homestyle comforts and low on exciting excursions.
Before the coronavirus kept most of the country housebound, we used to celebrate Mother’s Day with quality family get-togethers and some kind of special treat for the guest of honor.
A tasty meal out on the town? An enlightening trip to a museum? An entertaining jaunt to the theater? They were great — but they’re no longer options.
But with a little imagination, there are ways to approximate many celebratory activities using online resources this upcoming Mother’s Day, on May 10.
Here are a variety of things to do for Mother’s Day 2020 that’ll almost make you forget you can’t leave the apartment.
For the mom who enjoys a glass of red with dinner
A virtual wine tasting
One upside to wine tastings conducted over the internet is that your teacher — and your tipple — can come from anywhere in the country. Oregon winery Et Fille, located in the state’s lush Willamette Valley, was founded by father and daughter duo Howard and Jessica Mozeico. (The name of the winery, translated from French, means “And Daughter.”) Jessica — who now has a daughter herself, 4-year-old Gabriella — is hosting two Mother’s Day Mom & Daughter Tastings on Saturday, May 9, over Zoom.
E-mail [email protected] to register for one of the sessions by May 3, receive the Zoom link and instructions for ordering the two bottles ($125, including shipping).
For the mom who’s ready to embrace spring
A flower arranging class on Zoom
FlowerSchool New York holds Open Studio Box classes in flower arranging every Friday. Sign up by 8 p.m. the Monday before the class to get blooms to work with in time for the class. Expect peonies, hydrangeas, tulips, daffodils and more, straight from Holland. During each session, master florist Calvert Crary will explain and demonstrate two design styles; you’ll end up with six different arrangements.
The price of such floral artistry is $340 including shipping. But there’s also a Zoom-only option for $100 if you BYOF (bring your own flowers). Students will need about six vases (or other containers to hold flowers), two buckets and clippers. Proceeds from the Open Studio Box classes purchased through the month of April will go to World Central Kitchen, which provides 160,000 healthy meals per day to people in need.
For the mom who geeks out on history
A jaunt through New York — without ever leaving your couch
Known for uncovering the city’s quirky history via prose and photography, Untapped New York has expanded into tours — now virtual tours. These tours around Mother’s Day can take celebrants to the Queens County Farm Museum, New York City’s oldest working historical farm, and to Inwood’s Dyckman Farmhouse Museum, Mahattan’s last remaining farmhouse. All tours are also archived on the site, so Untapped New York members can dip back into past ones, too. Membership starts at $10 a month (get two months free with the code STAYATHOME at UntappedCities.com/virtual-tours).
Meanwhile, the New York Adventure Club has lively virtual events for New Yorkers — or those that love the city and its cultural offerings — from “‘The Untold Story of Seltzer’ Webinar with Live Egg Cream Demo” to a “Virtual Exploration of City College of New York, ‘Manhattan’s Hogwarts.’ ” On Wednesday, May 13, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., join staff members for a virtual tour of the New York Society Library, which, dating back to 1754, is the oldest library in the city. (George Washington forgot to return two books there!) The price: $10. Sign up for a class with Mom on the NYAC’s website — or buy her a gift card to redeem whenever quarantine boredom strikes.
For the artistic mom
A virtual painting or a make-your-own perfume class
San Francisco-based Glow Events specializes in small group activities that can be done remotely. Its slate of offerings includes a painting class, which would be perfect for a big family spread across the country that wants to spend the day together. For a minimum of eight people, a teacher will ship out all supplies (canvas, paints and brushes) to any address across the country and instruct live via videoconference to create the painting of your choice. Pricing per person starts at $100. One week’s notice is needed to ship materials in time.
Then there’s a create-your-own-scent class, which has a minimum of five people and costs about $238 per person. Not as much advance planning is required, because the class includes a private consult with an aromachologist over videoconference, during which you can discuss fragrance preferences and receive guidance on blending. Each person will be shipped a 1.7 oz. bottle of their custom scent after the class.
For the animal-loving mom
A ‘home safari’ to famous mother-and-daughter hippos at the Cincinnati Zoo
The Cincinnati Zoo’s Hippo Cove attracted a national audience in January 2017, when a baby was born six weeks premature. Weighing in at 29 pounds, Fiona is the smallest hippo to ever survive. Now 3 years old and about 1,300 pounds, she is one of the stars of the zoo’s popular Instagram feed, along with her 3,000-pound mom Bibi.
The mother-daughter duo features in the first installment of Cincinnati Zoo’s “home safari” series on YouTube and Facebook. Each weekday at 3 p.m., caretakers explain facts about their animal charges and take questions from viewers in clips that last about 15 minutes. Safaris from past days are available to watch, too, which could mean hours of oohing and aahing over cheetahs, porcupines, ocelots, sloths, lions, penguins and more.
Viewing the home safaris is free, but a donation to the zoo’s emergency fund is encouraged. Fiona is also available to film custom video messages for a friend or loved one via the app Cameo. The $100 per message — which can be for Mother’s Day, a birthday, a special occasion or just because — goes to support the zoo.
For the mom who doesn’t miss a ‘Jeopardy!’ episode
A live trivia game online
A San Diego-based engineer hosts an online trivia game each Sunday at 8 p.m. EST — perfect for the family that delights in pub quizzes and brain-teasers. When Graig Zethner, a Long Island native who now works at Qualcomm, couldn’t attend trivia nights in person due to the coronavirus, he started hosting his own weekly game on Facebook Live that is open to all players.
Interested? First, join his Facebook group, TrivialStudies.com Live “Pub” Trivia. Then head over to his website, TrivialStudies.com/live just before the game starts to create your team name and load up the page to input answers; then, click back to the Facebook page and wait for Round 1 to begin in the livestream.
“I’ve been into trivia as far back as I can remember,” Zethner tells The Post. “I used to watch ‘Jeopardy!’ as a kid on a small black-and-white TV, and appeared on the show in 2011. (I didn’t do too well . . . stage fright.)”
It’s free to play, but Zethner appreciates donations to Feeding America from those who enjoy the game.
For the mom with a sweet tooth
A virtual chocolate tasting
Give Ma a box of chocolates — plus a tutorial to help her learn about where they came from and how they’re made. On Mother’s Day, Chantilly, Va.-based River-Sea Chocolates is offering an hourlong class, which comes with a tasting kit of goodies that can be mailed to any home address in the US. Available for $25.99 via Eventbrite, there are three separate Zoom sessions available on May 10.
Helmed by the husband-and-wife team of Mariano and Krissee D’Aguiar, River-Sea sources its cacao beans from Brazil, Peru, Tanzania, Grenada and Vietnam. Mariano will lead the virtual Mother’s Day classes with a story behind each piece and why it tastes the way it does.
Sign up by Sunday, May 3, to ensure that the tasting kit of six minibars in different flavors, palate-cleansing crackers and a bag of butterscotch chocolate black tea arrives in time for the class. After registering on Eventbrite, email [email protected] the address to mail the kit. The Zoom code will be provided in the tasting kit.
For the mom who would ordinarily see a Broadway show
A musical or a play, streamed
Have tickets to “West Side Story” or “Company” that are yellowing while stuck to the fridge? Stages aren’t dark on BroadwayHD, a subscription streaming service for aficionados of the Great White Way. My own mother is excited to tune in to “Gypsy” with Bette Midler, but there are a range of Shakespeare options, too, for the dramatists out there, including Patrick Stewart’s 2010 turn in “Macbeth.”
On the site’s homepage, click Give a Gift to purchase a subscription ($8.99/month or $99.99/year). Then pick a performance out of the more than 300 on offer to stream.
For the feminist mom
A visit to the National Women’s History Museum
In-person museum jaunts are out of the question this Mother’s Day. But on the plus side, there are ample chances to visit a cultural institution hundreds of miles from home that might not have even been a blip on your radar before. Celebrate America’s women with the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM), in Alexandria, Va., which has 29 online exhibits with vivid images and easy-to-digest captions on topics ranging from the women of NASA and a history of home sewing, to Harriet Tubman and female athletes.
The museum has also launched [email protected], a roster of free online activities each weekday that are also uploaded to the museum’s YouTube channel. “Cooking with the First Ladies,” in which museum staffers make recipes from a cookbook of favorite dishes of all the presidents, will kick off on May 8. (Buy the cookbook for your first lady while you’re at it.)