Mother's Day is Sunday. If you're looking to celebrate mom with an experience instead of (or, better yet, in addition to) the usual brunch, flowers and homemade cards, we have some ideas for you.
Roll over to Marbles Kids Museum. The downtown Raleigh museum honors moms all weekend with its Moms Rock activities from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Make your own Mother's Day presents, get tips and tricks for making mom breakfast in bed and more. It's all free with admission, which is $5 per person. And, while it's not mom-related, I'll point out that the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences' fun Rainforest Adventure exhibit, best for kids 3 to 12 and their adults, is now open. Visitors learn about the rainforest as they walk through a maze.
Take a hike at any number of gardens and parks around here. Explore a spot that you've never visited before. Some of my favorites: JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, Duke Gardens in Durham; the N.C. Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill; Durant Nature Park in Raleigh; Crowder District Park in Apex; the Raleigh Rose Garden; Joyner Park in Wake Forest; Eno River State Park in Durham; Hemlock Bluffs in Cary; Prairie Ridge Ecostation in Raleigh; and Umstead State Park in Wake County.
Take in some art at the N.C. Museum of Art, which has opened a new exhibit called Sacred Motherhood: Mother-and-Child Representations from the museum's permanent collection. The free exhibit features 13 works from ancient Egypt to the 21st century and examines multiple facets of motherhood. Check out the exhibit and then walk around the rest of the museum to find other pieces with a motherhood theme. Then head outside for a picnic and walk in the museum's beautiful park. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Also worth a visit: The museum's exhibit featuring children's book illustrations by Raul Colon.
Go for a run. We have two Mother's Day-themed runs this weekend. Run Like a Mother is Sunday morning at the Kerr Family YMCA in Raleigh's Wakefield. The event includes a 5K and one-mile run for kids. And the Mother of All Races, a 10K and 5K, is Sunday, also in Wakefield, to benefit the Pretty in Pink Foundation, a local breast cancer organization. The route runs mostly along the greenway. I'm told it's great for kids.
Head to a ball game. The Durham Bulls and Carolina Mudcats are out of town this weekend, but you can still catch a baseball game. Carolina will play Florida State at 1 p.m. at Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill. From noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, Two Men and a Truck will be accepting gently used and new items as part of its Movers for Moms campaign. Donations will go to Support Durham Rescue Mission, Family Abuse Services of Alamance County and Raleigh-based Interact. Tickets are $7 to $10.
See the animals. Noah's Landing in Coats has its Mother's Day weekend family days from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $8 per person. Explore the collection of animals on your own and take part in some special activities.
Pick strawberries and then make mom some shortcake. Head out to one of the many strawberry farms across the region to pick a bucket of strawberries and make a homemade treat for mom. Or go to one of the farmers markets around here. From 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, the Cary Downtown Farmers Market will have its Cary Gallery of Artists out to market to help make a special Mother's Day card. Bring your mom to the information table and get a flower to give to her.
Pack up a picnic and enjoy a free concert. Wake Forest's Six Sundays in Spring features a free concert starting at 5 p.m., Sunday, at Joyner Park. In Cary, Chapel Hill-based Mipso plays its music, rooted in the sounds of the North Carolina mountains and Piedmont, at 5 p.m., Saturday, at the Sertoma Amphitheatre inside Bond Park. Check WRAL.com's Out & About calendar for many other free concerts across the region.
Happy Mother's Day!