“This heart, my own dear mother, bends,
With love’s true instinct, back to thee!”
– Thomas Moore
Mom deserves a memorable day. Besides the flowers and cards, take her on an outing that will bring a smile to her face. Here are some suggestions for spending the day with mom nearby that she is sure to cherish.
Old Westbury Gardens
Mom will certainly enjoy a Mother’s Day weekend visit to Old Westbury Gardens. Stroll the glorious acres of wooded walks and amazing gardens that are displaying their first signs of vibrant spring color. Explore Westbury House, the estate’s grand Charles II-style mansion, which is filled with art and furnishings, and you might even want to bring a lunch for a delightful picnic among the spring colors. Especially this year, as we emerge from the harsh winter that seems to have lingered into spring, some time among the blooms is particularly appealing and uplifting — not just for mom, but for everyone.
“This year’s unseasonably cold early to mid-spring was has been driving a lot of people crazy here, most particularly our horticulture staff,” says Gardens’ spokesman Vince Kish. “But ironically, the wacky weather will yield beneficial circumstances for visitors on Mother’s Day weeekend in that a number of flowers that would normally be on their way out by the second weekend in May will still be cooking along.”
“I’m especially excited by the tulips. My mom is from Holland, and growing up, we always had tulips in the backyard. Even just a few tulips in a bouquet on a table helps put me in a really nostalgic mood. Seeing the tulips here, by the many hundreds, in the Walled Garden and Thatched Cottage Gardens, in myriad varieties and in a rainbow of colors, is almost overwhelming.”
Bring the kids on Saturday, May 10, for a floral design workshop. They’ll learn the art of floral arranging and can create a special arrangement for mom or Grandma using fresh flowers and modern design techniques, at noon. On Sunday, make sure to stop by the Plant Shop, where mom — actually all female visitors 18 and older — will receive a free lavender plant.
“More people visit Old Westbury Gardens on the second Sunday of May than on any other of the year not featuring a special event,” says Kish. “For over 50 years, the Gardens has continued to be the perfect Mother’s Day destination. Surrounded by family and flowers, strolling the 200 acres of the grounds of one of the most amazing places in the world, it’s about as beautiful and non-commercial a day as any mom could ask for. Just remember to also send a card, preferably one that you made yourself!”
Registration is required for the children’s floral workshop. Old Westbury Gardens is located at 71 Old Westbury Rd., Westbury. For further information, contact (516) 333-0048 or www.oldwestburygardens.org.
Nassau County Museum of Art
Those moms among us who are art lovers will find a visit to Nassau County Museum of Art a delightful treat. NCMA is also in bloom this weekend, with its current exhibit, “Garden Party.”
This exhibition explores the imagery of fête champêtre — outdoor entertainments and garden parties — through paintings, sculpture, costume, fabrics and decorative arts and designs. The guest curators, Franklin Hill Perrell, the Museum’s former senior curator, and JoAnne Olian, curator emeritus at the Museum of the City of New York, have assembled a bouquet of paintings and objects illustrating the appeal of flowers in every season. Works by a range of artists emerging from many different traditions are included, among them Louis Comfort Tiffany, Marc Chagall, Larry Rivers, James Rosenquist, Maurice Prendergast, David Hockney, Janet Fish, Jane Freilicher, Robert Mapplethorpe and Georgia O’Keeffe.
The exhibit also takes advantage of the museum’s 154-acre property, richly embellished with gardens and sculpture.
NCMA’s Contemporary Gallery offers “AftermodernisM Spring 2014.” The work of Michael Bevilacqua, James Busby and Ridley Howard broadens the AftermodernisM concept of fractured asymmetry. This exhibition illustrates the broad range of styles spanning non-objective abstraction through sharp focused realism.
For those visiting on Saturday, actress and local television personality Shirley Romaine celebrates Long Island’s vibrant literary community in her one-woman show, “That Place, Those Times,” at 3 p.m. Romaine reads from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” and from works of other writers, including Ring Lardner, Walt Whitman, William Cullen Bryant, Herman Wouk, Lila Zeiger, Norbert Krapf, George Bogin and Muriel Spanier.
Or bring the family for a Mother’s Day visit on Family Sunday, May 11. The museum offers a 1 p.m. docent-led family walk-through of the exhibition and supervised art activities for the whole family, , beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Also, spend some time in NCMA’s sculpture park or stroll through the many nature trails through the woods on the museum’s grounds, ideal for family hikes.
Registration is required for “That Place, Those Times,” which costs $15 and includes museum admission.
Nassau County Museum of Art is at One Museum Dr., off Northern Blvd., in Roslyn Harbor. For information, contact (516) 484-9337 or www.nassaumuseum.com.