Celebrating Mother’s Day with Mother Nature


Mother’s Day is on Sunday, May 14. This year, instead of candy or flowers, treat your mom to an unusual gift or a unique experience. Here are some ideas!

Combining Nature and Art

Located about one hour’s drive east of Phoenix on the Superstition Freeway near milepost #223 is Boyce Thompson Arboretum. This oasis in Superior brings together plants from varied deserts and dry lands and displays them alongside native Sonoran Desert vegetation.

On Mother’s Day, a “Paint & Wine” class is being taught from noon to 2 pm by Carla Keaton, owner of the Keaton Fine Art Gallery in Superior. For $47.50 a person ($35 for members) Carla will coach participants through painting simplified scenes from their garden surroundings, taking home a masterpiece when they are finished.

Call the Arboretum for reservations at 520-689-2723 or visit arboretum.ag.arizona.edu/events.

Cactomania Mother’s Day Tribute

The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix has a unique gift idea if your mom is a “cactomaniac.”

For a donation, starting at $35, the garden will send the special mother, mentor, aunt or friend in your life a notecard featuring a photo of a plant from the garden along with a personalized message of up to 200 characters. The contribution made will help foster the growth of plants for generations to come.

Complete the form located at dbg.org/mothers-day-tribute and make your donation before May 7 to make sure that your mom receives her personalized card before Mother’s Day. Contact the membership helpline at 480-941-3517 if you need assistance.

Brunch in the Garden

Give mom the beautiful and relaxing day she deserves at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Café Botanica will be serving a special Mother’s Day Brunch from 9 am to 3 pm. Reservations are highly recommended. Contact the Café Botanica office directly at 520-884-5033.

After brunch, visit the exhibit “Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life.” This exhibit examines Kahlo’s work, life and influence through the lens of the plants and nature that surrounded her. Tucson Botanical Gardens was selected as the only institution to receive this extraordinary exhibition designed by one of the world’s premier botanical gardens, the New York Botanical Garden.

The centerpiece of the exhibit is the re-creation of the gardens that Frida Kahlo maintained in her home in Mexico City: La Casa Azul.  Included in the installation is the Meso-American-inspired pyramid that Diego Rivera built in the central courtyard of La Casa Azul. This replica is used to showcase a diverse collection of cacti and succulents native to the deserts of Mexico and the Southwestern United States.

If you want to visit the exhibit another day, it runs through May 31 and is included with garden admission: $13 adults, $12 students/seniors/military, $7.50 ages 4-17, free for members and ages 3 and under.

Butterfly Kisses

We all know mom’s like to give kisses, including the one’s called butterfly kisses where you flutter your eyelashes on someone’s skin, so they just feel the tickling sensation.

This Mother’s Day treat your mom to real butterflies – around 3,000 of them in the largest indoor rainforest conservatory in the United States!

Butterfly Wonderland at 9500 E. Via de Ventura in Scottsdale is offering moms $2 off admission and a special gift for the first 200 to arrive. The whole family can also enjoy a guided tour around the conservatory to learn more about the butterflies from the curatorial specialists (times for the tours vary so inquire upon arrival).

Butterfly Wonderland is open from 9 am to 6 pm and admission prices are $19.95 adults, $12.95 ages 3-12, $17.95 students and seniors, ages 2 & under free. Visit butterflywonderland.com for more information.

Member Mother’s Breakfast

The Phoenix Zoo, located in scenic Papago Park at 455 N. Galvin Parkway in Phoenix is the largest privately owned, nonprofit zoo in the United States. They are celebrating moms with a delicious breakfast in the zoo’s scenic Stone House Pavilion. Afterward, enjoy exclusive animal encounters. This breakfast is for members only, but you can sign up for membership before the event. Membership packages range from $69-$269 depending on the number of people and offerings.

Two seating times are available for the breakfast: 9-10 am or 10:30-11:30 am. Tickets are $18 adults, $14 ages 3-13, free for those 2 and under. Seating is limited so get your tickets early by visiting phoenixzoo.org or calling 602-914-4393.

Give Mom a Zoo Animal

Treat your Mom to a special day at the Reid Park Zoo at 3400 Zoo Court in Tucson. Start off the morning with a delicious breakfast (including a mimosa) from 8:30 to 10 am, then take a stroll through the zoo and watch the zoo’s animal moms get special treats to celebrate Mother’s Day. Stop at the Mother’s Day card station to make a card for your mom (or your favorite zoo animal mom). Tickets for breakfast are $40 adults ($35 zoo members), $15 ages 2-14 and free for those under 2.

If you need a gift for mom, you can “adopt” a zoo animal for her! At the event, she will receive a certificate of adoption, an information sheet, her name on the animal’s web page and a mini plush animal. Adoption fees are regularly $60, but for Mother’s Day, the fee is only $30.

For more information, call 520-791-3204 or visit reidparkzoo.org.

Celebrate Other Mammal Moms

Bring mom out to the Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary at 1403 Heritage Park Road in Prescott for a day themed around mothers in the animal kingdom. Celebrate with special animal presentations and feedings throughout the day. And the best part, mom gets in free! Bring her out and show her all of your favorite animals!

The zoo is open from 9 am to 5 pm on Mother’s Day, and admission is $10 adults, $8 seniors/students/military, $6 ages 3-12 and free for those under 3. For more information, call 928-778-4242 (toll free 877-778-6008) or visit heritageparkzoo.org.

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