Mother’s Day is kind of a funny little thing, do you agree? Since becoming a mother nearly nine years ago, I’ve always had mixed feelings about it. Being treated to fancy brunch is a nice idea, but definitely not my thing. (Partly because bottomless mimosas lead to a 3 p.m. nap, which leaves me disoriented and cranky. Not the best disposition on a day that everyone’s supposed to be nice to me.)
Some moms I know humbly request having the day to themselves—to shop, take yoga, hang with girlfriends, whatever. I tend to treat it as any other Sunday, but with a bit more psychological sunshine (and an extra-long sauna sesh). Yet even I will admit, it’s fun to do something out of the ordinary. So, I’m eyeing these five North Shore activities that are low-key enough for this laidback mom, but still a fun way to spend the day that’s just for us. Happy Mother’s Day!
We’re all queen bees, am I right, so let’s learn about, well, queen bees. Bring your kiddos ages 6 and older to spend an afternoon in bee suits while checking out a few hives, up close and personal. Afterward, make a natural lotion or beeswax candle (the perfect gift for another mom in your life). All participants must wear closed shoes and tall socks to visit the hives. Register by May 11.
Where: Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Road, Highland Park
When: 1-3 p.m. Sunday, May 13
Cost: $20 per person
I’m terrible at arranging flowers in any way that resembles art, but it’s definitely fun to try. Take your little ones and enjoy a hands-on introduction to floral design with Nancy Chase, owner of Nancy Chase Arrangements. What’s in it for you? A vase, flowers and personalized direction for your stunning bouquet (which would make a great Mother’s Day gift for grandma). Reservations recommended.
Where: Maze Home, 735 Elm St., Winnetka
When: Thursday, May 10
Cost: $45 per person
An afternoon of shopping vintage, handmade and upcycled? Now that’s a Mother’s Day well weekend spent. Stroll the beautiful, historic grounds of The Grove and browse more than 50 merchants offering a variety of treasures with that Etsy feel. Live music and food trucks amp up the party vibe.
Where: The Grove, 1421 Milwaukee Ave., Glenview
When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, May 12
Cost: $5 in advance/$8 cash only at the door
Well, if this doesn’t sound like a peaceful, active and free way to enjoy the day, I don’t know what does. Take a short spin with your kiddos around the Arboretum Club before stopping at Dairy Queen for a frozen treat. (Mother’s Day is a quasi-holiday. Calories quasi-count.) All types of bikes and all skill levels are welcome. Remember to bring money for ice cream and helmets for each rider.
Where: M & M Cyclery, 312 W. Half Day Road, Buffalo Grove
When: 2:15 p.m. Sunday, May 13
No matter which of the above activities I end up doing, I will, ultimately, land at Your Pie for free pizza. Want to know why? Three words: peach prosciutto pie.
Where: Your Pie, 2085 Tower Drive, Glenview
When: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday, May 13
Cost: Free for moms