25 activities to add to your mother-daughter bucket list

The mother-daughter connection is special. But until I had my own girls, I never realized how powerful the bond feels and how it changes you. My girls are now 19 and 15. One has gone out on her own and the other is racing to keep up with her older sister. Yet I feel like we’re just starting to get to the really fun stuff with the things we do together.

If you’re a mom looking to make special memories with her “little girl,” or a daughter looking to bond with mom, we have 25 ideas to consider adding to your mother-daughter bucket list. No matter the scale of the activity, each of these have the potential to lead to incredible moments.

1. Surprise Skip Day

This takes some advanced planning, but it’s worth it. Figure out a good day to take your daughter out of school early (no big tests, quizzes or projects due). Then, send her in with a note dismissing her at lunchtime. Over lunch, decide which fun things to do on your surprise skip day. Maybe you’ll go to a movie, try bowling or hit the mall. It doesn’t matter. Missing one day of school won’t hurt, but the memory will last forever.

2. Learn A Craft Together

These days, you can find all sorts of introductory craft classes at libraries, shops or even online. Take some time together to learn something creative as a team. Maybe you can learn to knit or crochet a new blanket together. After all, the needle arts aren’t just for grandmas any more. Or you could try scrapbooking, which combines both creativity and nostalgia. Or maybe you both always wanted to learn how to draw or paint. Sign up together and make something beautiful!


3. Volunteer Together

Helping others not only brings you closer to your community, but can also tighten those mother-daughter bonds. Sit down and brainstorm a couple of causes that pull at your spirit. Then set up a time to serve others. Love animals? Head to a local shelter to spend time with the cuddly critters. Want to help others? Talk to a local food bank or soup kitchen and offer your time. Whatever you choose, you’ll add some light to others’ lives while spending quality time with each other.

4. Go To A Concert Together

I confess this is one of my favorite things to do with my daughters. Live music brings me so much happiness. Even if you don’t share similar tastes in music, you can still have fun. My 19-year-old daughter adores Ed Sheeran and, while I think he’s OK, I wouldn’t call myself a big fan. But when my girl asked me to go with her to a concert, I said yes. And I’m so glad I did. We had nosebleed seats, but I loved seeing her have a great time.

concert photo
Flickr | Julie, Dave & Family

5. Read A Book Together

Remember the days when you would read bedtime stories together? Just because your little one is growing up doesn’t mean it has to stop. Choose a book to read at the same time and create your own book club.

6. Start A Mother-Daughter Journal

For those not into scrapbooking, consider starting a mother-daughter journal. The Peaceful Mom blog has everything you need to get started, from writing prompts to design ideas. A journal can help keep communication going, especially during those difficult teen years!

7. Do Something Daring

Do either one of you have a more adventurous side? Think about going ziplining, skydiving, jet skiing or parasailing together. You can support one another as you get out of your comfort zone.

8. Prepare A Holiday Meal Together

Cooking together can start at a young age. Even the littlest ones can help mix a cake. But as the years go by, mom and daughter can work together to create a memorable meal for the whole family. Mom appreciates the help and daughter gets to learn some of mom’s best holiday feast traditions. Break out those holiday recipes!

thanksgiving dinner photo
Flickr | Stacy Spensley

9. Schedule Or Create A Photo Shoot

Many moms are too busy taking pictures to get into a lot of shots with their kids. Make some time to be in those photos with your daughter. She’ll want those memories captured so she can look back on them later. Make a special day of it by going to your favorite places and snapping some selfies. Or let a professional handle it and get special shots done.

10. Visit A Place From Your Childhood

Connect with your daughter by taking her to visit someplace special from your childhood. It’s one thing to talk about your youth, but bringing her back to where it happened adds a whole other dimension. It makes the whole thing real for them. So whether it’s your hometown, your college or where you got married, pick a place and make a special trip.

11. Go Through Old Pictures Together

Remember the kind of pictures you actually held in your hand? You probably have boxes or drawers full of them. Take some time as mother and daughter going through them together. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll relive some wonderful times together.


12. Have Ice Cream For Dinner

Have dessert first! Grab your girl and head out to the best ice cream place in town. Then order the biggest sundae you can with all your favorite toppings. Get two spoons and go to town!

13. Plan A Road Trip

Remember: Road trips are all about the actual trip and less about the final destination. Brainstorm ideas for a theme trip. Flea markets? Tourist traps? Museums? Totally up to you.

14. Have A Spa Day

Yeah, it sounds a little cliché. But who doesn’t love a little pampering? If you have the budget, find a spa where you can both go for your favorite treatments: massage, facial, mani/pedi. Looking for a less expensive option? DIY your spa day from the comfort of home.


15. Visit A Farmer’s Market

If you’ve never been to a farmer’s market, you’re missing out. It’s an inexpensive shopping day for mom and daughter, plus you can find interesting items you wouldn’t find at the mall. Delicious seasonal fruits, fresh baked goods, handmade crafts and gorgeous flowers are just a few things you can snag on your shopping trip.

16. Plan A Picnic

Classic. Simple. Find a basket, load it up with your favorite lunch or dinner items and get outside. Maybe bring a kite or a Frisbee and enjoy some quiet time together. And don’t forget the camera!

17. Get Active Together

Ever try yoga? What about water aerobics? Staying active together helps mom and daughter look great, feel fabulous and keep each other accountable. Looking for a bigger adventure? Think about training for a 5K walk or run together!

yoga photo
Getty Images | Tim P. Whitby

18. Plant A Garden

Another great way to get outside and get your hands dirty. Find a spot in your yard to plant a garden. You can plant flowers so as to attract butterflies, or you can plant veggies for future family meals. Prefer the indoors? What about planting seeds for an herb garden?

19. Surprise Grandma With A Day Out

Why limit it to a mom-daughter date when all three of you can go out on the town? She’ll love spending time with her favorite girls and you’ll totally make her day.

20. Get A Free Makeover

Head to your favorite department store and get a free makeover. Try a different shade of lipstick or a sparkly shadow. Experiment a little and have fun. Then go out for dinner to show off your new looks!

makeup counter photo
Getty Images | Gabriela Maj

21. Have A Movie Night

Is there a double-feature showing at your local theater? Want to stream your favorites at home? It doesn’t matter. Get your hands on your favorite snacks, pick a movie each and have a good laugh, cry or scare together.

22. Make Playlists For Each Other

It’s the modern equivalent of making a mixed tape—you remember those, right? Pick your favorite streaming music service and make a playlist together. Mom can make one for her little girl. Daughter can make one for mom. Or you can make one together containing special songs for the both of you.

23. Make A Time Capsule

Gather photos and other mementos to mark a special time in your lives. Put them all into a box or other container and then set it aside (or bury it) to open at a later date. This can be done when daughters are small or even older. Then you can pull it out 10 years later and reminisce. Just make sure you remember where you put it.

time capsule photo
Flickr | woodleywonderworks

24. Do Karaoke Together

You don’t have to be ready for “America’s Got Talent” to enjoy a night of singing. Throw caution to the wind and go out for a little karaoke as mom and daughter. You may surprise everyone with your incredible mother-daughter duet. Can’t stand the idea of singing in public? Rent a karaoke machine and throw your own party at home.

25. Take A Dance Class

Is singing outside of your comfort zone? Maybe the music wants to move through your body instead. Dance classes aren’t just for couples. Learn line dancing. Belly dancing. Hip-hop. Zumba, even. The next time you’re both at a wedding, you’ll have the freshest moves on the dance floor.