Last-Minute Mother's Day Gifts for All Types

PHOTO: What mom wouldnt smile at floral cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery?
Magnolia Bakery

The 48-hour countdown to Mother’s Day has started. Tick, tick, tock. If you haven’t done your gifting, though, there are many quick, (mostly) online-enabled gifts that’ll show mom that you love her – and that you know how to shop for her. Here’s our tip sheet of last-minute gifts for moms of all personality types:


Harry & David is known for its gift baskets and holiday themed goodie “Towers,” but if you didn’t have time to get one delivered, here’s the beauty of an e-certificate: Mom can choose exactly what she wants, whether it’s a picnic basket, a mini rose garden or a tower of chocolate.

Perfectly Coiffed

For moms who like to be closeup-ready, a twist on the Mother’s Day brunch is the “Beauty Brunch” that includes a spa or salon treatment. The old-school way to set it up was to make back-to-back beautification and brunch ressies. But some places are packaging the experience themselves. Examples: Manhattan-based beauty bar Pucker in partnership with Magpies, Nordstrom at The Grove in Los Angeles, and Hotel Vitale in San Francisco (paired with high tea, not brunch).

Media Junkie

Moms of the smartphone generation are savvy with social media, photo-uploading and the wonderful world of viral video. But that doesn’t mean they won’t occasionally drop their device off a countertop, into the bathtub. Gift her an Otterbox case: It’s stylish, practical, super-sturdy (the Preserver Series is waterproof to 6.6 feet for up to 30 minutes) and it comes in pink (Commuter series only). Available at BestBuy, AT&T stores and other major retailers.

Sweet Tooth

It’s almost too easy to send a sweets lover into a “nom nom” spiral with a box of gourmet cupcakes, but why doubt something that so obviously works? Crumbs Bakeshop, Sprinkles, Georgetown Cupcake and every other self-respecting cupcake bakery has Mother’s Day boxes ready to go. And if you want something slightly different, Magnolia Bakery does old-fashioned icebox pies and cakes, just like mom’s mom’s mom used to make.


Private tennis lessons are a great gift. A private weekend clinic from Andre Agassi in Las Vegas is on a whole different level. And now, it’s available via -- a startup that provides extraordinary experiences in several leisure categories, with a “luminary” expert guiding or curating the experience. If you can’t afford Agassi, other instructors include Brad Gilbert and Gene Mayer. With any IfOnly transaction, a portion of the purchase price goes to charity.


With so many Mother’s Day brunches serving buffet-style to accommodate crowds, people who prefer a fine dining experience might want to skip this tradition in favor of a less rushed, more elaborate Mother’s Day dinner. BLT’s “Mother’s Day Blackboard” menu varies by location, with a la carte or a prix-fixe dining available. In Las Vegas, STK wins the prize for Mother’s Day celebration with the bawdiest name: the MILF Dinner. For “The Mom I’d Like to Filet Mignon,” this is a four-course steak dinner with sides and a cocktail pairing option.


Pampered or put through the cardio wringer: It’ll be mother’s choice if you spring for a gift certificate from Exhale Spa. Now in nine states and one Caribbean location, Exhale is known for its rigorous Core Fusion barre program – and on the flip side, for its holistic spa offerings including acupuncture and vibrational therapy. Offerings vary by location, and gift cards can be for packages or for a specific amount she can spend how and where she likes.


If mom’s fashionable and has definite taste, you can’t go wrong with a virtual shopping spree at industry-leading fashion flash sale site It always has an impressive number of designer labels (Zac Posen, Marni, Balenciaga) mixed with not-so-famous brands that may be just as flattering. Always excellent at guiding the user experience, Gilt has its own Mother’s Day Gift Guide posted and ready for Sunday shopping – with even more mom-personalities than we just covered here. Buy E-Gift Cards.

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