8 mother-daughter dates for every budget, from drinks on the town to dinner and a movie

First Watch acai bowl. Photo by Deanna Drogan.

I don’t know about you, but my mom is not like a regular mom, she’s a cool mom. She is my best friend and I actually don’t mind being seen with her in public (though I often hope she keeps her 80s dance moves to herself).

Here are 8 fun mother/daughter date ideas for you to enjoy with your bestie for every budget:

(1) Mani/pedi

On a budget: Creative Nails (1730 E. Woodlawn Road, Suite I)

For a splurge: The Spa at Ballantyne (10000 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy.)

Ladies, nothing says treat yo’ self like a relaxing spa day. Whether on a budget or looking to splurge, you can’t go wrong with a mani/pedi with your mama. Check out Creative Nails, which offers a sophisticated feminine atmosphere with reasonable prices for services ($11 for a manicure, $20 for a pedicure).

If you are looking to splurge, take a visit to the Ballantyne Hotel and Spa, cozy up in one of their soft, velvety robes and be treated like royalty. Maybe try out something new, like their Carolina Lavender Signature Nail Therapy that includes a custom Carolina Lavender cocktail during your service (50 min manicure is $65, 80 min pedicure is $95).

(2) Dinner and a movie

On a budget: Ginbu (401 Providence Rd) + Manor Theater (609 Providence Rd)

For a splurge: Upstream (6902 Phillips Place)Phillips Place Theater (6911 Phillips Pl Ct)

Keep it classic with dinner and a movie. Put on some athleisure clothes and grab some sushi at Ginbu 401 (the California Roll is 6-8 pieces for $5). If you are feeling fancy maybe pull out the wedges and enjoy some upscale seafood at Upstream (the salmon is $22). There is nothing like watching a chick flick with your main girl, so maybe go see Mama Mia 2 and keep your mom from singing every word to all of the ABBA songs she knows and loves.

(3) Drinks on the town

On a budget: $3 local beers at Hyde on select days (2911 Griffith St B)

For a splurge: Cocktails at Merchant & Trade (303 S Church St)

Cheers to the weekend at Hyde Brewing located in Suffolk Punch. Hyde offers $3 local beers on Thursdays and Sundays, as well as a selection of wine, cocktails, coffee and tea. Or make it a night on the town and enjoy the stars on top of the luxurious rooftop of Merchant and Trade. Try out one of their creative cocktails like the “Beet It!” made with Deep Eddy Vodka, Domaine de Canton and Lenny Boy Beet/Ginger Kombucha ($13).

It never gets old.

A post shared by Merchant & Trade (@merchantandtrade) on

(4) Something sweet

On a budget: Mr. K’s soft serve (2107 South Blvd)

For a splurge: Crave Dessert Bar (500 W 5th St #120)

My mom and I have sweet tooths that are sometimes untamable. That being said, occasionally it’s time to cheat on that keto diet and enjoy a treat. Check out Mr. K’s soft serve and don’t judge it by the outside. Typically the more humble-looking the place, the better the ice cream. Try one of their classic sundaes with flavor options such as blueberry, butterscotch, caramel and hot fudge (small $3.50, large $4.75). And what you are saving on ice cream you can go spend across the street at Anthro or Free People at Atherton Mill. For a splurge, visit Crave Dessert Bar and try out a unique treat like the red velvet waffles with white chocolate fondue ($10). Any item whose menu description is “yasss girl” is worth trying.

(5) Fitness experience

On a budget:  Jog/walk on the Four Mile Creek Greenway (1631 Pleasant Plains Road)

For a splurge: Take a spin class at First Wind in South End (1930 Camden Rd #120)

Get your steps in with your best girl, with a relaxing jog or walk along a local greenway. Four Mile Creek Greenway features an asphalt trail with a boardwalk and links downtown Matthews with Squirrel Lake Park and connect neighborhoods from E. John Street to S. Trade Street. I suggest going around sunset to enjoy cooler weather and a beautiful Carolina sky. If you are looking for a more intense workout, try out a spin class at First Wind in South End (A drop-in class in $20, but your first month unlimited offer is $30). Then reward your hard work with refreshing juices from Nekter Juice Bar down the road.

(6) Brunch and a boutique

On a budget: First Watch (6311 Providence Farm Lane)+ Ivy and Leo (7315 Waverly Walk Avenue)

For a splurge: Cafe Monte (6700 Fairview Rd)+ Luna (6809 Phillips Pl Ct)

When it comes to shopping, often my mom is my best stylist. Pick a Saturday, sleep in and go grab some brunch at the new First Watch in Waverly. I strongly recommend their acai bowl with almond butter toast, which was both beautifully presented and delicious (meal prices range from $6.79- $11.49). Then make your way over to Ivy and Leo and shop adorable dresses and rompers galore at one of Charlotte’s more reasonably priced boutiques (general range between $19.99-$49.99).

Looking to splurge? Head over to Cafe Monte and enjoy some French fare in a comfortable atmosphere. I recommend either one of their quiches (breakfast and lunch prices range from $7-$27). After your meal, go check out Luna Boutique and look through their wide variety of trendy accessories (the general range is between $50-$350).

(7) Arts and crafts

On a budget: Dish it Out (7828 Rea Rd # C)

For a splurge: Painting with a Twist (4724 Sharon Rd #J)

Even if art isn’t your strong suit (like me) there is no better person to make an absolute fool out of yourself with than your mom. Get your creative juices flowing with some paint on pottery at Dish it Out (pottery prices ranging from $10-$20). Most likely you won’t end up keeping whatever you paint, but it is all about the experience. If you are looking for more guidance in your art-making process, attend a Painting with a Twist party and sip on your favorite beverages as you are led step by step by a local artist in making your canvas masterpiece (with parties ranging from $25-$55).

(8) Culinary class

On a budget: Cake decorating class at JOANN Fabric (9523 South Blvd)

For a splurge: Chef Alyssa cooking class (4001-C Yancey Rd)

My mom and I watch the Food Network religiously, so maybe it’s time to take it to the next level and try the real thing. Cake decorating is a great skill for any lady to have, so maybe try out a cake decorating class at your nearest JOANN Fabric ($17.50). Or if you are looking to sharpen up your skills in the kitchen attend one of Chef Alyssa’s classes. Alyssa offers classes such as basic knife skills, light summer paleo cooking and game day favorites (prices ranging from $55-$65).


  1. What a terrific post! Although I don’t have my own daughter, I do have a niece that is coming to stay with me for a few weeks and I think the spa idea is the perfect way to kick it off. Thanks so much for the information.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here