How to make an indoor picnic for Mom this Mother’s Day

An indoor picnic setup for Mother's Day, with a black and white striped blanket on the floor; sitting on the blanket is a round wooden serving tray with a tall, round cake decorated with pale icing and a banner on top that reads,

It’s not always a picnic trying to find the perfect gift for Mother’s Day, but creating an indoor picnic can be! With a little inspiration and creativity, there are many ways to surprise your mom, stepmom, grandma, aunt, sister or someone who’s been a role model in your life…and make it memorable!

Indoor picnics are not only adorable, but they’re convenient and affordable, too. And since we’re all for celebrating the mom types in our lives, we’ve compiled all our favorite ideas…just for you!

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An indoor picnic setup for Mother's Day, with a black and white striped blanket on the floor; sitting on the blanket is a round wooden serving tray with a tall, round cake decorated with pale icing and a banner on top that reads,

Reasons to host an indoor picnic on Mother’s Day  

From convenience to putting on a properly whimsical gathering, you can find almost any excuse to throw a picnic inside. And if you’d like to start a new Mother’s Day tradition, indoor picnicking could be for you! Here’s why:

  • Unpredictable weather. Rain, cold temps or even a heat wave can put a damper on a Mother’s Day celebration. If you’re a weather worrier, it’s always sunny at an indoor picnic!
  • Bugs and allergens. Maybe ants have an affinity for your banana pudding, mosquitoes have a thing for you or someone on your guest list has severe outdoor allergies. In that case, breathe in the fresh indoor air!
  • Babies, seniors and those with medical conditions. If the people you love can’t be outside for too long or have trouble getting around in an outdoor environment, remember this: Everyone can have a picnic when it’s inside!
  • More opportunities to decorate. Lugging the party outside is a lot of work! Why not spruce up your space with fluffy floor pillows, colorful china and a few twinkle lights instead?
  • Cost savings. By skipping the park, you save on gas money and renting a pavilion. Keep the extra cash and create a more sustainable celebration by staying home and using supplies you already have.
  • Last-minute food prep. Because you don’t have to pack up everything in your stylish little basket or cooler, you can pop that casserole in the oven while you entertain the guest of honor. And there are no sticky, grimy containers to carry back home. Load the dishwasher or rinse as you go!
  • The fun factor! It’s simply delightful to picnic indoors—you can add tons of special touches without getting stuck in the mud or chased by a bee. It’s a Mother’s Day win-win!


A black and white striped blanket with a basket of fruity breakfast cereal marshmallow squares sitting in it;a round wooden serving tray with a tall, round cake decorated with pastel icing in shades of orange, yellow, pink, blue and white, with a banner on top that reads,

Fun foods to serve at an indoor picnic  

Because you don’t have to transport dishes from one location to the next, you can serve anything when your picnic’s at home—either baked from scratch or ordered in! Here are some easy ideas for your indoor picnic menu:

  • Cereal bars. Use your favorite cereal to make delicious bars for your guests. Just swap it in for crisped rice cereal. It’s a kid-friendly recipe, too, so bring in the little chefs!
  • A fancy cake. Add a fun cake topper to personalize.
  • Cupcakes! Pop in little flags that have short quotes complimenting Mom. For example: Mom is the sweetest. or Grandma gives the best hugs! or Best Bonus Mom in the World.
  • Fruit salad. To save time, buy pre-cut fruit that you can quickly transform into a colorful masterpiece.
  • Sliders or English tea sandwiches. Mini delicacies are not only cute, but easy to eat!
  • Macaroni and cheese bites. Sophisticated for adults and tasty for kids, this is a crowd-pleaser for all.
  • Cake pops or homemade popsicles. There’s something summery about food on a stick!
  • Pasta salad. Just prep before the party, chill and serve.
  • Quiche. A comfort food that’s also chic, try vegetarian for a healthier, meat-free alternative. If pie crust is outside your comfort zone, there are plenty of crustless quiche ideas out there!
  • Deviled eggs. These are the perfect picnic food! If kids are at the party, save a batch that’s slightly simpler with less ingredients. Here are four fun takes, plus a classic recipe.
  • All brunch foods. Make Mom her favorite brunch items, complete with a mimosa or Bloody Mary.
  • Summer soup. If it’s already warm outside, opt for a chilled soup like gazpacho.
  • Watermelon slices. This is about as picnic-y as you can get! And it’s so easy if you buy them pre-sliced.
A wall decorated with several pictures hand-drawn by children in crayon; one is a colorful portrait of the child's mother, another shows an ice cream cone with multiple scoops of colorful ice cream, and a cloud that is raining a rainbow; among the drawings are also two photos, including a family photo with a mom and dad, a little girl of about 4 years, a little boy about 2 years, and a baby of about 6 months; the other photo is in black and white, and shows the mother smiling as she holds her 4 year old daughter in her arms.

How to get kids to help with your Mother’s Day picnic  

If there ever was a great time to teach kids responsible party planning, this is it! Let them take some ownership in the celebration (and give yourself some much needed assistance) with these tips:

  • Artwork: Have the kids draw pictures for Mom or Grandma that can be displayed on the wall or as place settings. If you have extra picture frames, pop in some of the artwork and gift it to the guest of honor.
  • Menu: Ask the kids to write a list of food items that Mom loves, including those that they can help make, too.
  • Decorations: Supply the blankets, floor pillows, streamers, balloons, signs, flowers and other decorative elements and leave the kids to the overall design.
  • Playlist: Let’s be real. Kids know how to work the tech better than all of us. Let them put the tunes together.
  • Hats and other accessories: Help the kids with the base of the hats (so that they fit everyone’s heads!), then let them go wild with crowns, tiaras, English fascinators or other curious fashions.
  • Presents: Have the kids wrap Mom’s gifts with newspaper or magazine pages, old scarves or reusable gift bags.
  • Mother’s Day card: Let the kids use colorful markers or crayons to make cards for Mom OR write a message in a family card. Need some inspiration on what to write? Here you go!
An indoor picnic setup for Mother's Day, with a black and white striped blanket on the floor; sitting on the blanket is a round wooden serving tray with a tall, round cake decorated with pale icing and a banner on top that reads,

How to add special touches to your indoor picnic  

  • Use your flower powers. If you have your own floral garden or a bouquet from the market, divide into smaller arrangements and tuck in to baby food jars, watering cans, teacups, glass votives, vintage pitchers or a Best Mom Ever mug! (Pssst…we have fun ways to gift mugs here!) Find out how to pick the right blooms with this guide on the language of flowers.
  • Spoil the plant Mom. Use seed packets as placeholders by writing a guest’s name on each one. Or purchase a new plant for her sunny window seat. Bonus tip: Drop it in a colorful new planter.
  • Personalize your picnic throw. Get the kids to use fabric markers to illustrate a new picnic blanket for Mom or Grandma. Or make a rag rug or quilt from old fabrics.
  • Offer takeaway snacks. Decorate a picnic basket with ribbons or line it with a tea towel. Add snack bags as parting gifts. Anything from popcorn to candy is fun!
  • Play nature sounds in the background. If you have a sound machine or a continuous ambient noise stream, set it to thunderstorms, rainfall or ocean waves. Instant nature! (But inside!)
  • Top it off with a loving card. Mother’s Day is about telling Mom, Grandma, your stepmom or other caring women in your life how much they mean. Here are some things you can say in a Mother’s Day card and here are some prompts for kids to help them say it in their own unique voice.

Now that you’re jam-packed with indoor picnic ideas, roll out the red-carpet spread and enjoy those mamas in your life.

 Happy Mother’s Day to every woman who cares for others, lifts spirits and nurtures little and big hearts. We care for you, too! Cheers, Ladies!


Looking for more Mother’s Day inspiration? We’ve got it here: