No Mom Left Behind: Make Mother’s Day Special for Every Mom Type

Mother’s Day is coming! Sunday, May 14 whether you’re ready or not.

Honestly, I’m terrible at Mother’s Day. If my mom was a blog reader, she would deny this but that’s because she is my mom. Deep down, she knows it’s true. I fail miserably at gift-giving and haven’t seen my mom on Mother’s Day in 3 years…despite living just 45 minutes away. But I’m not a hopeless cause! I am turning over a new leaf this year. I promise!!

So in an effort to turn that leaf, I’ve been brainstorming how we can celebrate mom in a way that is uniquely Knoxville and uniquely mom. Here are just a few ideas for Knoxville moms (BTWs, this is shareable so you can drop a hint to the planning committee for your own Mother’s Day celebration. You’re welcome):


The Treasure Hunter (Frugal, brilliant, creative, and with an eye for potential)

Start with brunch at the Plaid Apron (Sunday alternative – First Watch in Bearden). The Plaid Apron is a delightful find in the middle of Sequoyah Hills. The food is farm to table fresh with unique twists for the season. Great outdoor seating if the weather is nice! Your treasure-finder will love this one-of-a-kind, hidden gem in the heart of one of Knoxville’s oldest neighborhoods. You’ll love the endless cup of coffee.

Walk off brunch at the vintage shops in Bearden. Four Seasons Vintage and Nostalgia are excellent for treasure hunting and they are a close drive from your brunch spot.


The Cinephile (Trust me, it means she loves movies)

Treat her right with dinner and a movie. If your mom loves to celebrate the classic film industry and the magic of the movie-going experience, start her off with a fun dinner at Hot Rods 50’s Diner. They have burgers, fries, and shakes, naturally, and even GF and vegetarian options.

Now for the fun part, a drive-in movie theater! Maryville is home to the Parkway Drive-In which hosts a double-feature on Friday and Saturday only. For some moms, this will be a blast from the past and for younger moms, it’s a peek into the history of cinema and the glory days of movies.

A variation for the more modern, movie mom, is small plates and sushi at Cru Bistro and Wine Bar and a showing of a movie in her favorite genre at the Regal Pinnacle in Turkey Creek. This Mother’s Day weekend you have some great choices: The Circle (she’ll think twice about sleeping with her phone), Born in China (she’ll feel smart), Gifted (she’ll probably cry), or The Zookeepers Wife (she’ll definitely cry), or Kong: Skull Island (she’ll scream). She’ll love the modern conveniences of the Regal Pinnacle and you’ll love the comfy seats.


The Outward Bound (The active, outdoorsy type with a FitBit)

Few things get you ready for a day of nature appreciation like brunch. Take mom to the Tomato Head for brunch and watch her eyes cross with the sheer variety of yummy options. The great news is that the Tomato Head has two locations that are conducive to fun, outdoorsy adventures.

If you opt to manger au restaurant downtown, walk off your brunch at Ijams Nature Center with over 12 miles of trails or soak up the early May rays on Meads Quarry with a rental canoe from River Sports Outfitters.

If you choose to eat at the Tomato Head West, near West Town Mall, head down Sutherland and burn around 500 calories at the River Sports Climbing Center. Your mom doesn’t have to be an expert, just a good sport. The climbing center has something for everyone. Belay on!


The Downtownie (She can probably name all of the Dewhirst properties for you)

If she loves the hustle and bustle of the big city, give her a walking tour of downtown tailored to her interests. Start off with breakfast at Olibea, a cute little spot on S. Central that nails breakfast tacos, oh, and also lemon and Cruze Farm buttermilk pancakes. If she/you despise big crowds and tiny spaces, a great alternative is the French Market Creperie – home of the Monte Cristo and the blueberries with lemon curd crepes.

Take the short walk to Market Square and pop in Bliss and Bliss Home. Trust me. If your fitness tracker says you have 154 steps left in the hour, round the corner on Union Avenue to Nothing Too Fancy and treat mom to some uniquely Knoxville gifts.


The Kathleen Kelly (“When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.”)

Take your bookworm to the Empty Cup (I’ve written about them before) for the biggest latte one woman can handle. With a foamstache still in place, head on over to Barnes and Noble for a day an hour of book smelling browsing. You don’t have to buy anything but if she spots a winner, skip the gift wrap and let her flip a few pages in the reading nooks scattered throughout the store.


The Designer (Her pupils dilate for accent walls and Architect)

A designer deserves to eat in a beautiful space and shop in a beautiful space. Start with breakfast and coffee at Wild Love Bakehouse off N. Central. Sunlit room + latte art + buttery croissant + photo filter = Instragrammable moment. #blessed

Take your time at breakfast because you’re next stop is across the parking lot at Mid Mod Collective. She’ll love the open concept show room and inspirational collection. You’ll love that she loves it.


There are so many ways to make us moms feel celebrated and they don’t have to break the bank. I’m speaking for most of us when I say we want to feel loved, noticed, and appreciated every day. On Mother’s Day, we’re OK with sloppy breakfast in bed that our littles helped prepare, snuggles, handmade cards, macaroni necklaces, and family photos. And remember, no mom left behind (step moms, birth moms, adoptive moms, mothers-in-law, grandmothers, godmothers, et al).

I know I haven’t captured everything, the post would take days to write, so what would be the winning combination for you? Or what have you done for your mom (or MIL) that really #nailedit?


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