Be Well Family: The 20 Best Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for 2017

Please, God, no more picture frames. Here’s what moms really want.

All images via respective retailers

All images via respective retailers

With Mother’s Day fast approaching (May 14!), it’s high time to start brainstorming some non-lame gift ideas for the moms in your life. (Or, moms: It’s time to start dropping hints — or just flat-out creating Amazon wishlists — for the gift-givers in yours.) Let us help. We polled real moms on the things they want for Mother’s Day, and culled that list to offer up the year’s best gift ideas — from state-of-the-art technology to family portrait mini-sessions to an Hermes dream bag. No matter what type of mom you’ve got (or what type of mom you are), there’s something here to delight. (Which means there’s no excuse for showing up with another vase.)

  • The Olloclip iPhone camera lens
    2017’s answer to the digital camera. ($100 for the core lens set.) As one mom said: “I already have a nice camera for special occasions, but generally find it even more difficult to be uploading from different devices. I would love the Olloclip iPhone camera lens to have on hand for daily use since I’m always snapping photos of the kids at the most random moments.”
Photo via

Photo via

  • Professional family portraits
    Speaking of photos: This idea comes up a lot. There is no mom (or grandma) alive who wouldn’t appreciate a session — even a mini-session! — with a professional photographer who can capture that fleeting moment when everyone looks cute, clean and relatively happy. (Prices vary by photographer.)
  • The Hermes Evelyne crossbody bag.
    “I know that this will NEVER happen in a million years,” one mom sighs. (Evelyne bag, $3,300.) “So I’d also take a crossbody bag that is more affordable and fits a diaper. Just one diaper, because I’m a slacker now … or a pro. You could look at it either way.” Other, less lofty options? The
     Rebecca Minkoff saddle bag ($152, Nordstrom) or the Marc Jacobs Trooper ($78, Saks Fifth Avenue).
Photo via

Photo via

  • Quality family time
    You know … something like an outing to Longwood Gardens ($23 for adult tickets; $12 for kids 5 to 18; free for kids under 5), a picnic in Fairmount Park, or a day trip to the Shore planned by someone who’s not Mom. “I’m of an age where I really don’t want more STUFF,” says one mother of two grown children. “In recent years, for Mother’s Day, I bring a lot of little six-packs of plants (Lowe’s six-pack petunias, $2) to my daughter’s house; the boys dig up the dirt, and my daughter and I plant and water. I pay for the plants, so it’s not really a gift for me, except it is, because I’m passing gardening down to another generation, and hopefully she’ll keep it going.” [Note to the gift-giver: Please buy the plants, or make the reservations, or arrange the picnic …]
  • Quality non-family time
    For the busy mom who’s constantly driving, wiping, feeding, minding, or just generally busy with one family member or another, there is nothing more luxurious than a few hours to drop it all. The gifts of time and solitude came up time and again in our poll:
    “I want a trip to KOP by myself to wander around and shop.”
    “A massage at Massage Bella Vista, or a facial at Rescue Spa — where my husband makes the appointment for me, so all I have to do is show up.” ($88 for one-hour Swedish massage at Massage Bella Vista; $110 for the Classic facial at Rescue.)
    “Brunch with friends.”
    A plane ticket to visit one of my girlfriends in Texas, because it’s been way too long.”
  • The Amazon Echo
    Hands-free technology for women who always have their hands full. This thing — with music, weather, calendars, traffic, audiobooks, temperature control, phone numbers and more, all available immediately via voice command —  was invented for mothers. (Pictured in photo at top, $180.)
Photo via

Photo via

  • A furniture makeover
    “I’d like to get a vintage sofa I scored a few years ago reupholstered by the amazing people at Chairloom in Ardmore,” says one mom-to-be. “I’m deciding between funky animal print (because I secretly am dying for the sofa owned by Carole Radziwill on Real Housewives of New York) or salmon velvet … neither of which I would confess to my husband because then he’d REALLY never get me this.”
  • A cool water bottle
    “Anything that helps me drink more water is a good thing,” offers one mom. We like Klean Kanteen’s insulated 20-ouncer ($31; stainless steel, keeps drinks cold for ages); S’well’s 17- or 25-ounce bottles ($35 and $45, respectively; keeps drinks cold for ages and doesn’t sweat all over your purse); and the very cool Citrus Zinger sport bottle ($19 on Amazon), which easily infuses water with fresh fruit.
Photos via,, and

Photos via,, and

  • Thoughtful jewelry.
    Always a safe bet: anything from Egan Day. “Literally, anything — especially if it’s Gabriella Kiss,” suggested one mom. (Gabriella Kiss’s oval blue chalcedony ring pictured in top photo, $1,225 at Egan Day.) Another favorite: “Maybe a delicate little gold initial necklace from Town Home, with my kid’s initials.” (Prices vary by piece.)
  • Sonos speakers
    The discreet, wireless, incredibly easy-to-use speaker system ($199 for the Sonos Play:1) means more music — or podcasts, or NPR — around the house. “I’d love a Sonos speaker for our bedroom,” one mom said. “We got two for our downstairs last year, and we’ve basically spoiled ourselves with such an easy-to-operate speaker system. So now I basically want our entire house synced up. Bonus points for one in the bathroom and one in the office.”


Be Well Family is a collaboration with Wee Wander, a site dedicated to helping Philadelphia parents navigate their city. See more in this series here, or keep up with all of  Wee Wander’s tips, guides and Philly related parenting help on Facebook

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