Gifts for mom

Soon I’ll be heading to the local nursery, searching for colorful blooms to freshen up flower pots my mother-in-law keeps on her front patio. I lost my own mom to cancer many years ago, but try to do justice to her love of nature.

Time is fleeting, and moms aren’t forever. What most moms wish for today is time. Time with family. Time with fellow moms. Time with hobbies too often sacrificed to the demands of family. Maybe even time alone.

If you’re running a little late in the gifts for mom department, forget about waiting for the mall to open — and consider gifts with an arts and culture twist instead. Because the best gifts are those that kindle or create fond memories.

Membership with a museum that features something your mom loves. Maybe modern art. Maybe nature and wildlife. Maybe music. Maybe history or science.

Season tickets for a music, dance or theater company your mom loves. Maybe a classical music series. Maybe ballet or modern dance. Maybe musical theater. (Most season tickets, like museum memberships, can be purchased online.)

Don't even think about getting mom a kitchen utensil for Mother's Day unless, of course, it comes from the Phoenix Art Museum gift shop

Most moms feel like they have plenty of stuff. For the moms who insist that gifts really aren’t necessary, or moms who hate the clutter that things can bring, consider making a donation in mom’s name.

To the arts program at her alma mater. Her favorite museum. Her favorite theater company. Her favorite performing arts venue. Her favorite art gallery.

If you must shop, think local. Hit the charming arts districts in Phoenix, Glendale, Mesa and other parts of the Valley where local artisans create and sell works as original as your mom.

Or take mom with you to pick out a special piece of jewelry at one of the Valley’s many museum gift shops. Maybe Phoenix Art Museum. Maybe the Heard Museum. Maybe the Musical Instrument Museum. All have unique, high quality items your mom will love to brag about you buying for her.

If your mom enjoys celebrating over Sunday brunch, consider a cafe located at or close to one of the Valley’s many cultural hubs. Maybe “Arcadia Farms” at the Phoenix Art Museum. Maybe the cafe at the Musical Instrument Museum of Phoenix.

And don’t forget the power of play. If you’re a dad still mulling over fun ways for mom and kids to spend time together today, Valley museums and performing arts venues offer lots of good options.

Think the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix. The Arizona Museum for Youth in Mesa. The Children’s Museum of Phoenix. The Great Arizona Puppet Theater in Phoenix.

I’ll be heading out later to enjoy a play with my youngest daughter. I know that someday, when I’m no longer around, what seem now like merely simple outings will become the stuff that memories are made of.

— Lynn

Note: Please call ahead to check dates/hours these venues are open (and to ask about Mother’s Day specials). Remember that you can always find fun ways to spend family time by checking the Raising Arizona Kids calendar online.

Coming up: Take mom to the movies

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