By Camisha Jones
May 13th is a day set aside to slow down from our busy schedules and show appreciation for the women who gave us life or have been mother figures for us. Chances are if you spend time with mom doing something she loves, this Mother’s Day will be one worth remembering. Here are some ideas:
If your mom is an art enthusiast, a visit to the Virginia Museum of Fine Art’s exhibit “Making History: 20th Century African American Art” may be a treat for her. With over 50 works by 23 African American artists, this free exhibit includes paintings, sculptures and works on paper that were once a part of the pioneering Barnett Aden Gallery (1943 – 1969). There is a special emphasis on the art of internationally acclaimed Elizabeth Catlett. The museum is open from 10 am until 5 pm on both Saturday and Sunday. You can also have lunch with mom at Amuse Restaurant or Best Café while you are there.
Does your mom enjoy nature? The Mother’s Day Tea at Maymont Park may put a smile on her face. Enjoy a cup of tea and delicious treats surrounded by the beauty of Maymont’s Japanese Garden. The afternoon will include a demonstration of Japanese tea customs and a tour of the Maymont Mansion. The event is Sunday from 2 pm until 4 pm and costs $25 ($20 for Maymont members). To participate, register by May 11th by calling 804-358-7166 ext. 329.
If mom likes to stop to smell the roses, visit the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden where she will be surrounded by “A Million Blooms” of orchids and other flower exhibits. The gardens are open from 9 am until 5 pm and food will be available at the Garden Café and the Bloemendaal House. From 1 pm until 4 pm, there will be a free jazz concert by Glennroy and Company at the Bloemendaal House. Seats and tables will be limited but guests are welcome to bring chairs and blankets. Admission is $11 for adults, $10 for seniors age 55 and over, $7 for children ages 3 to 12, and free for kids under 3.
Does your mother like the theatre? Take her to see “Dessa Rose” presented by CenterStage and Firehouse Theatre Project. This play is the imagined story of two real women whose unlikely friendship and pursuit of freedom for themselves and their children illustrates the power of transcending racial barriers. You can catch the show at 8 pm any day during Mother’s Day weekend. Tickets are $26 for adults, $23 for seniors ages 65 and older, and $12 for students. If you make a 6 pm dinner reservation at The Empress and tell your server you’re attending “Dessa Rose,” you’ll receive a 10% discount on your meal. To reserve your ticket to the play, visit http://www.firehousetheatre.org/.
If your mom is a performer or enjoys talent shows, Current Restaurant hosts a weekly open mic called “Sunday Expressions.” Held from 6 pm until 9 pm, the show features poets, singers, lyricists and whatever other talented folks show up to perform. The cost is $8. The restaurant is situated near the scenic canal at 140 Virginia Street and also offers a menu specializing in burgers and other American fare.
If mom likes to travel, there are many day trip options to consider. For instance, you could take a trip to Sugarleaf Vineyards. Just south of Charlottesville, this Black-owned vineyard will host a Mother’s Day Weekend Chocolate and Wine Pairing. Enjoy the peaceful setting while savoring delicious hors d’oeuvres, wine and a personal box of wine infused chocolate truffles for $20 per person. Learn more by visiting www.SugarleafVineyards.com.
You might also stop in Charlottesville for the Tom Tom Founders’ Festival Closing Gala. The Gala includes a full schedule of various music, public art, children’s games, field day activities and food supplied by street vendors. The free musical offerings will include original hip hop by youth, gospel, jazz, rock and bluegrass. The Gala will be held from 1 pm until 8 pm at The IX Project located at 955 2nd Street Southeast. For more information, visit: http://www.tomtomfest.com/events/evententry/closing-gala-field-day-at-the-ix.
Head east if mom likes the water. You could enjoy the ocean at Virginia Beach or take a cruise aboard the Spirit of Norfolk. The cruise will include an all-you-can-eat buffet, a DJ, dancing, a complimentary corsage for mom, and the scenic views of the Hampton Roads harbor. There are two cruises to choose from. The brunch cruise costs $49.90, boards at 11 am and returns at 1:30 pm. The dinner cruise costs $57.90, boards at 4:30 pm and returns at 8 pm. Read more at http://www.spiritofnorfolk.com/Norfolk/mothersday.
A trip to Washington, DC offers options for socially conscious mothers. Visit the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial on the National Mall to reflect on the contributions of one of our country’s most influential civil rights leaders. While there you can grab a meal and continue to focus on the themes of justice, peace and community by stopping by Busboys and Poets at 24th & V Streets for their free monthly “Focus In!” film series. Beginning at 8 pm, the film for the evening will be “Harvest of Empire,” a documentary focused on U.S. intervention in Latin America and the modern day immigration crisis. For more information, visit http://www.busboysandpoets.com/.
If mom enjoys neo-soul , jazz or other live music, consider starting your celebration of mom on Friday, May 11th when local favorite Nickey McMullen will host Music Fusion at the Canal Club. The show will feature jazz keyboardist Bee Boisseau and The Bee Boisseau Project, reggae artist Meagan Simone and lyricist Tamir Rock. Songtress Nickey McMullen will also add her own powerful vocal stylings. The show is $10 in advance and $12 at the door. For tickets or to reserve tickets, email email@example.com. Tickets can also be ordered online with an additional $3 service charge at http://www.thecanalclub.com/.
Another show on Friday is RVA Grooves presents Maestro J at the Hippodrome Theatre. A talented violinist who has performed with the likes of Marsha Ambrosius, George Duke, Ledisi and Lalah Hathaway, Maestro J recently released a neo-soul jazz album titled “So Far.” The show starts at 7 pm and costs $20. You can make a night of it by enjoying a delicious meal right next door at Mansion Five26. To order show tickets, visit http://www.rvagrooves.com/.