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Cultural Stuff to Do with Mom on Mother's Day

This time of year, we all want to dazzle our mothers by planning something fun for her special day. And no matter where you live, there’s bound to be something more than just brunch going on — like brunch on a 444-acre estate with an archeological preserve perhaps? How about an exhibit by the Degenerative Art Ensemble, a walk through a Kara Walker show with the artist and a New Yorker art critic, or an interactive screening of Mommie Dearest? For puckish mothers who like that extra special effort, we have some suggestions for things to do in each of the Flavorpill cities.

New York, NY – Kara Walker at New York Gallery Week

This year, NYC mothers are lucky that Mother’s Day coincides with New York Gallery Week. Take a walk through Kara Walker’s new exhibits in Chelsea, Dust Jackets for the Niggerati and a video presentation, Fall Frum Grace. As her work explores issues of race, gender, sexuality, violence, and identity, this is a special treat for the mom who likes a thought-provoking outing. Afterward, stick around Chelsea and check out the new Donald Judd exhibit or head to the Mandarin Oriental for a special Mother’s Day Talk + Taste, (part of the LUCKYRICE Festival) where you and your mother can watch culinary demonstrations by star chefs while sampling food and beverage pairings.

Chicago, IL – Mommie Dearest Interactive Screening

There is no better time to enjoy the heart-rending camp classic Mommie Dearest than on Mother’s Day. The Music Box presents its annual interactive screening of the film, which has endured in no small part thanks to Faye Dunaway’s keen performance as the psychopathic, competitive, utterly fear-mongering mother. The pre-show, hosted by Dick O’Day, features a mother/daughter costume contest, prizes, and a video by the Crawford-obsessed new-wave quartet, the Joans.

Los Angeles, CA – Rodarte: States of Matter

Also known as the Black Swan exhibit, Rodarte: States of Matter at the MOCA is the first solo West Coast exhibition of the work of cutting edge fashion designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the duo behind Rodarte. The exhibit showcases designs from several recent runway shows, as well as the ballet costumes from Black Swan. If you’re feeling more classic Hollywood on Sunday, head to the Egyptian Theatre for a special Mother’s Day Historic Tour of this Sid Grauman movie palace, which includes a tour of areas not normally open to patrons.

Dallas, TX – Brunch by Wolfgang Puck, Nasher Sculpture Center


Aaron Curry, Horned Head Trip (reclining), 2010. Courtesy the artist and Michael Werner Gallery, New York

Treating your mother to a lavish brunch is always appreciated. But treat her to brunch by one of the world’s most renowned chefs within a garden peppered with exquisite sculptures, and get many extra brownie points. Wolfgang Puck comes to the Nasher Sculpture Center for a special Mother’s Day Brunch during the run of the great new exhibit Statuesque. Along with tantalizing menu items like Maryland crab cakes topped with miso cod, slow roasted chicken and waffles, and open faced steak sandwiches, there’s live musical performances while you take in the work of six international artists who reinvent the language of figurative sculpture for the twenty-first century. This event satisfies even the most puckish moms.

San Francisco, CA – Wicked Plants, Conservatory of Flowers

Mother Nature should not be left out of celebrations on a day devoted to mothers. At Wicked Plants, an exhibit at the Conservatory of Flowers inspired by Amy Stewart’s 2009 New York Times best seller by the same name, you learn that Abraham Lincoln’s mother died from drinking the milk of a cow that had been snacking on snakeroot. Featuring stories of strangulation, paralysis, and derangement, the special exhibits gallery has been transformed into a creepy Victorian garden teeming with Mother Nature’s blood-curdling creations. This is for the mom with a green thumb and a ghastly good sense of humor. If that doesn’t fly, take your mother to see the film Atomic Mom at the Roxie about two mothers with very different experiences with the atom bomb.

Seattle, WA – Degenerate Art Ensemble Exhibition, Frye Art Museum

For mothers interested in performance art of the kind that is inspired by punk, political protest, and cartoons, this retrospective look at local avant-garde performance art troupe Degenerate Art Ensemble is the ticket. The troupe, known for creating original adventurous productions and otherworldly landscapes with live music, physical theater, and the language of butoh dance has been presented at festivals and museums across the country and abroad. This would also be an opportune time to give your mother tickets to the upcoming site specific performance of DEA’s Red Shoes, which is presented four days later, and is an adaptation of the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale that she might have read tp you as a kid.

Miami, FL – Deering Estate at Cutler: Mother’s Day Brunch

If you’re going the brunch route in Miami, we suggest dining at an estate, preferably one that houses an environmental, archeological, and historic preserve, and is located on 444 acres of property abutting Biscayne Bay. For Mother’s Day Brunch at the Deering Estate, the sister to Vizcaya, brunch on Grand Marnier-infused French toast, deconstructed tiramisu, and custom-made omelets, then take a tour of Richmond Cottage. And for those with intrepid moms, take an early morning sunrise canoe trip to Chicken Key (only offered two Sundays each month) that departs from Charles Deering’s boat turning basin.

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