Love Mom

This Mother’s Day, give your mom what she really wants.



We’ve all done the spa gift certificates, the fancy brunches, the standard items of jewelry. Ho-hum. Ditch those gifts in favor of something that Mom doesn’t expect—but really wants. Bonus: these gifts don’t require dusting, and don’t take up space on a shelf or in a closet.

This Mother’s Day—May 8 if you’re a horrible child and don’t know that already—give your mom…

…a chance to rumba. Take your mom to see Los Munequitos de Matanzas at the Performing Arts Center (914-251-6200; artscenter.org). She may not recognize them by name—though the band is regarded as one of the most important musical groups in Cuba—but it won’t matter once she hears those Afro-Cuban rhythms.

…a chance to bond with children—that aren’t hers. Don’t get jealous—we’re talking about baby animals. Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture (914-366-6200; stonebarns center.org) offers a “Mothers and Babies” tour where Mom can admire the adorable chicks and piglets. There’s also always a good chance to spot baby animals at Muscoot Farm (914-864-7282; muscoot farm.org), which will be holding its annual sheep-shearing day.

…some peace and quiet. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation (914-864-7317) is perfect for a moment of quiet contemplation. Pack a lunch and head off into the woods for a nice, stress-erasing walk in nature. On the way out, stop by the WPA Gallery to see the Land Used photographic exhibition, which opens on May 7.

…a walk in a garden (that she didn’t have to plant, weed, or water herself). To celebrate the grand opening of its Azalea Garden, the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx (718-817-8700; nybg.org) is throwing a garden party. It’ll be a very refined affair, with croquet and other lawn games, lemonade, and kite-flying. Picnics are available for purchase, and little ones can make their own Victorian Mother’s Day cards.

…some good tunes. No, we’re not talking about a new iPod pre-loaded with songs (though we’re sure she’d appreciate that, too). We’re talking about music that can’t be downloaded, shared, or repeated: live music. Two world-class singer/songwriters—Leo Kottke and Steve Forbert—share a bill at the Tarrytown Music Hall (914-631-3390; tarry townmusichall.org). Afterward, cross the street and end the night by treating Mom to a dessert from Chiboust.

…a night off from cooking. On May 7, CuisineArts in Mamaroneck (914-698-7250; cuisine artsllc.com) hosts a special cooking class geared toward mothers and teens. “Cucinare—Cooking Together” goes through the basics of making Caesar salad, bruschetta, homemade grilled pizza, eggplant Parmesan sticks, chicken cutlet Milanese, and even chocolate biscotti. Teens can then put the skills they’ve learned into practice on Mother’s Day and take over the kitchen responsibilities for the day.

A note to mothers: you might want to clip this list, circle your favorites, and leave it on your son’s or daughter’s pillow. Sometimes they need a strong hint.