You know the feeling. It hits you every year around about this time. That gut-wrenching feeling when you realise that Mother’s Day is just around the corner and you’ve not made any arrangements. Don’t panic, we’ve got your back with ideas that are guaranteed to put a smile on the face of the most important woman in your life.

Image from Radisson Blu Edwardian

 Get your scone on

There’s no way we can start an article like this without covering off afternoon tea. Is there any better way of showing your love than through a combination of scones, cake, tiny sandwiches and bubbles?

If you’re mum’s a traditionalist we reckon you can’t go wrong with The Midland Hotel where billowing scones have been a fixed staple since the hotel opening its doors in 1903. The offerings at The Lowry Hotel, Radisson Blu Edwardian, Great John Street Hotel and The Sculpture Hall at Manchester Town Hall also fall into a similar fancy/traditional category.

But there are also many non-traditional options. Yang Sing’s afternoon tea is based around signature dim sum and beautiful Chinese teas; Cloud 23 at The Hilton is known to mix things up with special themes such as their experimental science-inspired offering during Manchester’s year as European City of Science; you can be served it aboard a historical steam train on the East Lancashire Railway; and unsurprisingly, the main feature of afternoon tea at Hey Little Cupcake! is cupcakes!

For more afternoon tea ideas, take a look at our dedicated section.

Oklahoma

Stop and shop

Feelings about this one might vary between sexes, but if there’s one guaranteed way to make mum happy it’s a combination of spending quality time with you and getting a gift at the end. How you want to tackle this though will largely depend on budget…

Big spenders need look no further than the clusters of designer stores between Exchange Square and King Street. Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and House of Fraser all make good starting points for what could be a very long day navigating the streets of central Manchester, whilst out of town options Cheshire Oaks Designer Village and intu Trafford Centre put everything in one place with just as much choice.

Those with less to spend can still impress by heading to the Manchester Craft and Design Centre. Here mum can deliberate over thousands of unique, hand-made items that she is guarantee to cherish and if you take her to lunch at the centre’s onsite Oak Street Café, she’ll be treated to free cake. Whilst in the area we also recommend popping in to Fred Aldous or Oklahoma. Alternatively, The Makers Market will rock up to the area on Stevenson Square on Sunday 11 March where you can treat mum to locally grown and baked foods, original artworks and creative gifts.

For more shopping ideas, take a look at our dedicated section.

Image from the Midland Hotel

Pamper up

Let’s face it, as rewarding and fulfilling as it is, being mum is hard work and a little pamper power will go a long way to alleviate the stress and strain that have built up in since Mother’s Day 2017.

Traditionalists should look to the region’s hotels for some of the best spa experiences. The Lowry Hotel, Midland Hotel, Radisson Blu Edwardian, Malmaison Manchester and Macdonald Manchester Hotel and Spa offer every type of treatment you can think of…

…That is except for cryotherapy. This innovative, and frankly terrifying-sounding treatment, utilises liquid nitrogen-based freezing technology to trigger a physiological reaction to cold temperatures. The treatment – which is only available at The Ainscow Hotel and Spa (the first of its kind in the UK) – promises everything from weight loss to pain reduction and an unrivalled feeling of euphoria.  

That’s not one for everyone’s mum we’ll admit, so if you think she’d prefer something in between it’s worth taking a look at the high-tech offering at Mottram Hall Club and Spa which includes an alfresco ‘thermospace’ and innovative Brechelbath and Stonebath thermal rooms.

For more spa ideas take a look at our dedicated section.

Bramhall Hall

We’re not saying your mum’s nosey, but who wouldn’t want to spend a day having a rummage around someone else’s house? Greater Manchester is full of old stately homes and manors to explore with mum and many of them have great cafes and farm shops which means: cake for everyone.

Our perfect day starts with brunch at Altrincham Market (hint: the food at Little Window is everything) before jumping in a taxi to Dunham Massey where you can spot deer and see the beautiful 18th Century House.

If that sounds a bit heavy make a beeline for Bramhall Hall in Stockport. It recently reopened after an extensive £1.6 million restoration to its historic rooms and architecture. Or what about Hall i' th' Wood Museum, a Grade I listed, 16th century half-timbered hall in Bolton? A little further afield, of course, is Tatton Park, one of the most complete historic estates in the country packed with plenty to keep mum happy including the Gardener's Cottage tea room.

For more stately home ideas take a look at our dedicated section.

Throw it forward

God forbid a scenario where you‘re not actually around to celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday 11 March. Luckily, as spring turns to summer, some of the best events take place in the region, so bagging a pair of tickets now will come good later in the year.

For musical theatre mum’s the ever-popular Singin’ In The Rain dances its way to The Lowry theatre for just four nights from 6 June, and the bright pink smash hit Legally Blonde The Musical is dazzling audiences at The Palace Theatre from 25 June. Looking ahead to 2019, The Band featuring mum-loved music by Take That, returns to Manchester after its successful opening run in 2017.

You can’t go wrong with tickets to see mum favourite heartthrob Sam Smith – he’s playing two nights at Manchester Arena in March. Or what about showing her the newly opened Stoller Hall? Part of Chethams School of Music, it has a fantastic season planned. And if you simply can’t decide, theatre vouchers are available at most venues throughout the region.

For more what’s on ideas take a look at our dedicated section.

And for something completely different…

We’re big fans of doing things differently here in Manchester, so you’ll notice that we’ve missed out the traditional lunch suggestions – if you want those, take a look at our jam-packed food and drink section for inspiration. But if you want something especially memorable maybe take a look at our list of Unmissable Things to do in Manchester this March – which includes exciting theatre, exhibitions as part of the Wonder Women Festival 2018, and funky concerts and new music.

For adrenaline junkie (or easily coerced) mum’s, try being adventurous at iFly indoor skydiving. What could be more exhilarating than freefalling and relaxing on a smooth cushion of air? It’s certainly a quirky alternative to Mother’s Day and is suitable for all ages and abilities.

And if you’re bringing mum to Manchester for the weekend, you’re going to need a place to stay – take a look at our What’s New in Greater Manchester for 2018 guide to see the hottest new hotel openings in the region. We’re pretty sure your mum will love spending a weekend with you in the beautiful former textiles warehouse that is now Cow Hollow Hotel in the trendy Northern Quarter, or at Haigh Hall Hotel surrounded by 250 acres of beautiful woodland. Whatever you do with mum, make it fun and enjoy it in Greater Manchester!

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