40 Mother Daughter Activities to Bond Over

March 9, 2024

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Family dynamics can be very complicated and will vary significantly from one family to the next. These interpersonal relationships are essential for every member of the family. While father-son bonding activities can get a lot of attention, it is just as important for mothers and daughters to spend quality time together too. Here are 40 mother-daughter activities that can help increase the family bond.

Best Outdoor Mother-Daughter Activities

The great outdoors is an excellent starting point for mother-daughter activities. Of course, this doesn't have to mean hiking the Appalachian Trail. Some fresh air and sunshine from your own neighborhood is the perfect place to start!

Go for a walk

There are many benefits to enjoy from taking a nice walk together. This is a great time for mothers and daughters to spend some time together without a lot of pressure or stress.

If there is a park nearby, then it is easy to work this mother-daughter time into your busy schedule. If no convenient or easy walking trails or parks are nearby, you also have the option of simply walking around the neighborhood together. The daughter and mother can get exercise, get out in the fresh air, and spend quality time in each other's company.

Walk along the beach

If you are lucky enough to live near a beach, whether on the ocean or a lake, then this is a perfect chance to spend quality time together.

Doing mother-daughter activities does not have to be complex or involve a lot of planning and preparation. It can be something as simple as going out and taking a walk along the water's edge, looking for shells, watching animals, and talking about life.

You can take pictures, do a quick sketch in a journal, or just sit and watch the world go by while enjoying the sun and fresh air outdoors.

Plant a garden together

Outdoor activities are always fun, and starting up a backyard garden is a perfect example of fun daughter and mother bonding activities you can try. Whether it is a colorful flower bed, an elegant rock garden, a relaxing water feature, or a practical vegetable garden, the options and possibilities are near limitless.

Daughters of all ages can help plant and tend to the gardens, and everyone gets to benefit from them as well. Gardening really can be a win-win situation for the entire family, but especially for the mother and daughter.

Have a picnic

Simple pleasures are often missing in life, especially with all the hustle and bustle most families experience day in and day out. Slowing down and enjoying the simple things in life is a perfect way to reconnect with your daughter.

A picnic in the backyard or at the local park is a low-stress activity that is easy to plan. Packing a lunch, bringing along some books or a list of things to talk about can make for a relaxing and memorable time together.

Ideas to Hit the Open Road

road trip

Sometimes cabin fever sets in. That's your sign to get out! If you want to keep it spontaneous, you don't have to plan these trips. But you do want to consider setting up a sinking fund so that you can seize the staycation…without debt!

Day-long road trip

Traveling has long been a classic family activity that has created memories that will last a lifetime for families everywhere. However, even a simple day trip somewhere can be a great example of easy mother-daughter activities that really do work.

You can travel for a day, see the sights, and maybe even stay over for one night. This is an activity that can be crafted in any way you please.

Overnight staycation

Along these same lines, travel is not even needed to make some special time for mother-daughter activities. Staycations are becoming more and more common and are a chance to stay home, relax and make memories together.

An at-home spa day, movie marathon, cooking party, or something else… there is no limit to what you can turn into a fun day hanging around the house together.

Be creative, share ideas, and let the planning aspect be part of the fun of the entire mother-daughter staycation.

Visit a museum

Local venues also present a wonderful opportunity for daughters and mothers to spend quality time together. Options can vary depending on what is in your area and how far you want to go but they can include things like art galleries, museums, zoos, aquariums, and performance centers.

Catching a play, looking at exhibits, and sharing ideas are perfect ways for daughters to bond with their moms. You can make it a spur-of-the-moment outing or something you plan.

Start the conversation with your daughter by checking out Travel & Leisure's top museums in the USA!

“A Night In” Mother-Daughter Activities

women taking selfie

You don't have to do anything fancy to make it a memorable mother-daughter activity. A night in might be exactly what you both need. Also, don't forget that many of these activities are frugal or even free. That's a big win in our book!

Girls' movie night

Mother-daughter activities can also make use of the things that are already on hand or readily accessible to you. A movie night can be a wonderful way to spend time in each other's company and relax and unwind.

Bbinge-watching your favorite show together is a perfect way for mothers and daughters of all ages to really connect. Popcorn (our favorite is air-popped), drinks, takeout, and fuzzy blankets can make movie night absolutely perfect.

Puzzles and board games

A fun game session together is another often-overlooked activity that moms and daughters of any age can enjoy. While classics like Monopoly or Ticket to Ride can be simple fun, choosing a game like HerStory could be a nice way to celebrate incredible women in history with your daughter.

And working on a puzzle is a perfect way to enjoy an afternoon together, making something beautiful. There are plenty of options to consider and choose from. Buffalo Games has top-quality puzzles that make the mother-daughter bonding time fun and interesting.

Read together

Sometimes mother-daughter activities can be the most basic of things and still be impactful and meaningful. When both mom and daughter are bookworms, sitting together and reading can be a simple way to spend time together.

There is also the option of reading the same book and then discussing the story and what you thought of it chapter by chapter. You could also work on writing your own stories, compare notes, and let each other read what you come up with at the end of a session.

Make videos to share

Many families enjoy pulling out the old videotapes and watching family videos together. Mothers and daughters can add to this tradition by making videos together that can be added to the collection and shared with the family at a later time.

Whether serious or funny or just totally random, making videos with and of each other is a fun impromptu activity that moms and daughters of any age can enjoy together. The possibilities are endless and can fill up an afternoon or an entire day, depending on what you want to do.

Look through old photos

See if Mom or Grandma has any old photos that they've stashed away. You can make it a fun afternoon by going through them and learn a thing or two about your family history.

Additionally, you can offer to put them in an album or even add captions to the photos. That way, the story behind the photographs will last a lot longer.

Ideas to Enjoy a Night (or Day) Out Together

Are you stuck in a rut of only spending time together at your house? Then we've got a plan for you. Scoop up one of these ideas for a change of scenery–day or night!

Go to a concert

Sometimes mothers and daughters end up sharing similar tastes in music. A concert or music event is a fun way to bond and enjoy each other's company.

In some cases, Mom needs to compromise and go to the teenager's concert. Other times mom can introduce her daughter to a brand new group or musician. This is a cool way to learn some things about each other, get out of the house and enjoy wonderful music together.

Who knows? You might not even have to go that far to find the perfect concert either.

Visit a market/craft show

Most areas have something they are known for or have become famous for. It might be a yearly event or something that has come to be associated with that town, state, or region.

Visiting shows dedicated to these sorts of attractions and events is another option for mothers and daughters to consider. A quick road trip can lead to discovering amazing things you otherwise would not have seen before. It's a wonderful chance to make memories together as a daughter and mother. 

Check out amusement parks

If a short drive is in your day's plans, then a trip to an amusement park can be a good activity to share together. It is a way to add some thrills and excitement to the boredom of a stagnant routine and helps to shake things up!

You and your daughter can enjoy all the excitement and make some memories together. Getting passes to a local amusement park can make it easier to work such outings into your routine and give you ample opportunities to enjoy mother-daughter activities like this.

Check out US News & World Reports' list of top amusement parks.

Try out thrift shopping

Visit your local thrift shop or scout out a garage sale. You can make a day out of looking for treasures. Bonus points if you snap silly photos or stock up on upcoming gifts you need!

Find a hidden gem

Fire up TripAdvisor, Yelp, or good ol' Google to find a hidden gem that you've never tried. Maybe it's a new restaurant that you've been meaning to get to or maybe it's a local dive bar. Wherever you're headed, make sure it's somewhere you've never been. Hopefully, the reviews won't lead you astray. Even if they do, you'll end up with a new memory–and some stories to tell!

Mother-Daughter Hobbies You Might Enjoy

Taking photos

Hobbies matter! But it's sometimes hard for people to justify having a hobby. We get it!

When you're surrounded by hustle culture, hobbies aren't always talked about enough. Check out this list of hobbies you might enjoy. Then, think about how doing it as a mother-daughter duo might make it even more fun!

Learning a new hobby

As daughters grow up, their interests often change. This can be a challenge at times as moms try to find ways to bond with and connect with their daughters as they mature.

Setting aside time to learn a new hobby together can help keep mother-daughter activities on the table at any age. It is a conscious effort to do something special together and to keep those special shared moments a part of life, no matter what changes occur elsewhere.

Any hobby can work, so use this as a chance to connect.


Looking for a sit-down activity that can easily be done at the kitchen counter or dinner table? If you love photos and talking about memories, then scrapbooking might be a perfect activity to start doing.

Choosing photos, decorating pages, laying out the photos, and talking about the memories preserved on the pages can be a great bonding opportunity. Older girls can make their own pages, and younger girls can work with their mom to make special photo pages.

Photography class

Whether you are already pretty good with a camera or you are looking to learn a new skill and start a new hobby, taking a photography class is a perfect example of a mother-daughter activity. It is easy to schedule into any routine and offers a unique chance to learn something together.

And then, after class, there is another way you two can spend more time together- taking what you learn and putting it into practice by taking photos. You can even put on a family slide show to show off your favorite photos with everyone.

Painting class

There are some crafts and hobbies that might not be for everyone. But most people can learn to paint, and one of the great things is you don't even have to be overly good at it.

Painting can be anything you want it to be, so it's a great opportunity to be creative and to learn a new hobby. Classes are fairly easy to find and provide a chance to be creative, spend time together, socialize with others, and enjoy a couple of hours out of the house and away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life for daughters and mothers. 

Do arts and crafts

Crafts are another activity that really can be anything you want it to be.

  • Painting
  • Sewing
  • Photos
  • Clay work
  • Carving
  • Jewelry
  • Beadwork
  • And anything in between can be turned into a fun afternoon activity.

There is not a lot required for many crafts. It can be easy to find a project, gather supplies, and get creative together. Making gifts for each other, or for family and friends, can be the spark of creativity you both are looking for.

It is a fun way to break up the busy and stressful activities that often take over our lives today. 

Sewing projects

Crafty families often enjoy working on special projects together. Sewing is a popular option for many mother-daughter activities today.

Pulling out the sewing machine and working on a quilt together or learning how to mend clothes or even getting a one-on-one knitting lesson from mom can be a wonderful change for any young girl to learn important skills. Many sewing skills can be taught at a young age, and older daughters can learn to make their own amazing pieces of fabric and threaded art to share with friends and family. 

Volunteer somewhere

Sometimes the best mother-daughter activities are those that also help others and make an impact on the community. Volunteering is a great way to spend a day together, do something good, and share your skills and talents with others.

Everything from the local humane shelter to the nursing homes in the area to a charity in the neighborhood presents great opportunities to make daughter and mother activities genuinely impactful. There likely is no shortage of places that could use a couple of extra pairs of hands.

Start by looking locally or look at partners like VolunteerMatch to seek out specific opportunities around the country.

Mother Daughter Self Care Ideas

Finding it tough to carve out time to take care of yourself? Then, consider this your chance to take care of yourself and make memories with someone special.

Do each other's makeup

This can be a fun activity to do with a daughter of any age. Young girls love learning to do their makeup from their moms. That's why a fun afternoon practicing with each other can lead to great memories.

Older girls can learn beauty tips and tricks to get ready for those big milestone events in their lives.

Makeup and hair are something seemingly innate in most girls. But what if it isn't? There's a YouTube video for that!

Whether you're a natural or need a tutorial from a pro, this can be an easy way to spend a few hours together just being girls. It can be as simple or involved as you want, which is part of the beauty of a makeup day.

Visit the salon

For a more professional activity that puts the mother-daughter activities focused on getting out of the house, a self-care day can be a great option to consider. Maybe you are going to the salon for a professional haircut and color.

You might also want to swing by the nail place for a pedicure or manicure. Another option would be enjoying a relaxing facial or massage. The chance to talk can be a welcomed change from a busy and stressful life.

This can be especially helpful for mothers of older daughters and teenagers who are under a lot of pressure in their lives.

Go to a local spa

Local spa trips are also high on the list of activities that mothers and daughters can do together to carve out some special time together. Skincare treatments, makeup sessions, or something similar can also make for some fun and memorable activities.

The beauty of these kinds of sessions is that they can be as simple or as complex, as you wish. This makes it a great way to customize some good daughter and mother time together, regardless of what you do on your spa day.

Play dress up

Still have young kids? Or maybe you're a kid at heart! Younger daughters often enjoy a fun afternoon of dressing up and getting to try on mom's clothes. Or maybe even use some of Mom's makeup for the first time.

Even older daughters can enjoy an impromptu fashion shop and have fun learning some new tips from their mothers. Not much planning is needed for this sort of activity which is ideal for busy families.

A couple of hours learning fashion tips and ideas can be a great way to spend time together.

Have a dance party

Sometimes you need to just shake off the stress and have fun and be a little silly. An excellent example of mother-daughter activities that help relieve stress is a good old-fashioned dance party.

Find your favorite CDs or make up a playlist and then hold a dance party right there at home. You can just dance or yourselves, or you can rehearse and put on a show for the rest of the family. Being silly and dancing can get you both active and having something to do, makes you coordinate and work together, and can just be a lot of fun too.

Host a clothing swap

Did you always raid your mom's closet growing up? Does she try to get her hands on yours now? Make a day (or evening of it!) and host a clothing swap.

Not the same size? No worries. You can also swap jewelry, handbags, shoes, or other accessories. It's even more fun if you invite other family, friends, and neighbors in on it.

Declutter together

Do you have a room in your house where clutter keeps creeping back in? Recruit Mom to help you weed through the items. Then, you can make a trip to donate it or find another home for the items through your local Buy Nothing group.

We know you can declutter on your own, but it's often easier, more effective, and more fun to work as a team. When you're done with a room in your house, offer to return the favor for Mom!

More Mother-Daughter Activities to Bond Over

women cooking together

Still looking for more ideas? Then you're in luck! We've got more suggestions to strengthen your mother-daughter bond.

Shopping trip

When a mother and daughter both enjoy walking around, window shopping, trying on clothes, seeing the newest gadgets, and buying things together, there is no better bonding opportunity than a shopping trip.

Visiting a local mall or favorite store, or driving out to that special outlet mall or place that isn't right next door, is a great way to take a simple and everyday activity and elevate it to a special bonding opportunity.

Shopping in and of itself can be a fun way to spend a few hours or a whole jam-packed afternoon together.

Baking a cake

The mother and daughter that bake together, love spending time together. Taking some time in the kitchen making a cake is a perfect way to work in some good bonding under your belt.

Whether it is making a cake for a special occasion or just for the sake of having a nice dessert for dinner, this is a fun and easy way to spend time together. Teamwork, collaboration, communication, and planning are all important aspects of baking that can strengthen the mother-daughter bond.

Cooking dinner

Everyone has to eat, and many families try to get at least a few family dinners into the busy family schedule each week. Mothers and daughters can turn this into an important bonding opportunity.

Planning a big meal, shopping and budgeting for ingredients, preparing the meal, serving the family, and enjoying the fruits of that labor can be a very rewarding way to spend some time together. Whether a simple meal or an extravagant feast, cooking dinner together is something many moms and daughters enjoy doing.

Just sit and talk

The final way for mothers and daughters to spend more meaningful time together is just to set aside time to talk.

Catch up on the day or week prior. Sit and enjoy some tea and a snack and be mindful of the moment you have together.

Share thoughts and dreams, and talk about the good and bad things you are thinking and feeling. Being there for each other can really go a long way in strengthening bonds and making mother-daughter activities truly special.

Trip Down Memory Lane Activities

There's no doubt that your relationship with your mom changes as you both get older. These activities will help you get to know Mom better, celebrate her, and have a lot of nostalgic fun!

Have Professional Portraits Done

These photos could head in several directions. You might simply want to have your mother sit for professional photos as part of your extended family. Grandparent photo shoots are always really heartwarming and fun.

However, if you have a sense of humor, you could also try to recreate some of the best photos of you and your mom from your childhood. You can snag an inexpensive Groupon and head to a mall photo studio to have some fun.

Makeover Your Room

If your childhood room still looks the way it always did, help your mom turn it into usable space. Maybe it becomes a den or an office. Perhaps it turns into a puzzle room or a play space for a grandchild. Offering to pitch with the process will be appreciated. Plus, you'll take a trip down memory lane.

Pass on Recipes

Spend some time sitting with your mom recalling your favorite meals. Mom wasn't a big cook? Maybe she always served hot cocoa a certain way after you got done playing in the snow. Take time to discuss whatever food or beverage you remember most vividly from your childhood. Then, make sure you write down the recipe. Bonus points if you try it out together until you can perfect it! You may also want to share these recipes with other family members. They make thoughtful gifts!

Visit Mom's Childhood Home

If your mom grew up nearby, take time to drive past her childhood home. It can be fun to hear some of the stories and then actually see the setting of them with your own eyes.

Do a Favorite Day

Have your mom brainstorm some of her favorite things to do. Then, you can write them out on notecards, letting her pick one of two choices as the day goes on.

For some added nostalgia, you could also ask your mom to share her childhood favorites and try to incorporate those places. If the store or restaurant is no longer open, see if you can find a dupe nearby!

No matter how this day unfolds, it is a great way to connect with your mom on a different level.

Final Thoughts on Finding the Best Mother-Daughter Activities 

Remember, the smallest of gestures and the simplest of moments can go a long way in building a strong mother-daughter bond. Look for ways every day to show the love and gratitude you share through words and actions.  Life is hard, but a robust support system and strong bonds can make all the difference in the world.

Use these mother-daughter activities as a starting point and find the things you both love doing together! Many of these activities are naturally frugal or even free. However, there's nothing wrong with spending on what matters to you. If spending is involved, be sure to plan ahead with one of our best budget apps for families so you always have enough money to invite more fun into your life.

Which of these mother-daughter activities will you try? What else would you add to the list?

Please let us know in the comments below.

Andy Hill

Andy Hill, AFC® is the award-winning family finance coach behind Marriage Kids and Money - a platform dedicated to helping families build wealth and happiness. With millions of podcast downloads and video views, Andy’s message of family financial empowerment has resonated with listeners, readers and viewers across the world. When he's not "talking money", Andy enjoys being a Soccer Dad, singing karaoke with his wife and relaxing on his hammock.

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