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Eight ways to celebrate Mother’s Day in the County Parks

From birding to wildflower walks, the Milwaukee County Parks are offering a variety of relaxing activities with Mom in mind on Mother’s Day May 13.

1. Dinos Under Glass

Families can step back in time — way back — when they enter Dinos Under Glass, a prehistoric exhibit in the Tropical and Desert domes of the Mitchell Park Domes. Nestled among the plants will be seven dinosaur models, ranging in length from 9 to 16 feet, and as tall as 13 feet. Alosaurus, Dromaeosaurus, a “baby” Minmi, a flying Pteranodon, Protoceratops, Stegosaurus, and Triceratops will be easily viewed from the walking paths.

“We looked at the juxtaposition, on Mother’s Day weekend, of the dinosaur exhibit and the pastel-tinted Shakespeare in Love display in the Show Dome and thought ‘what a hoot,'” said Sandy Folaron, Director of The Domes. “Then we considered how many kids we’ve seen playing with their little plastic dinosaurs when they visit us, and we thought up a twist on an old expression: ‘When the kids are happy, mama’s happy, and when mama’s happy, everybody’s happy.'”

2. Shopping at the Mother’s Day Native Plant Sale

Helping children to grow. Helping plants to grow. It’s all about nurturing and all about Mom.

Naturalists at Wehr Nature Center will be on hand to offer advice on proper plant selection, at the annual Mother’s Day Native Plant Sale. By matching plants to the conditions of a site, moms will spend less time maintaining the garden and more time enjoying it.

Whether full sun or dense shade, wet or dry, site conditions will be the guide for choosing specific spring ephemerals, prairie plants, woodland plants, and wetland plant species — all grown by a local nursery. Shoppers should arrive early for the best selection.

3. Practicing Yoga at a Spring Festival

While celebrating spring, moms are reminded to take care of themselves too.

Friends of Lincoln Park and community partners will kick off the weekend with SpringFest. Amid the activity, moms and families will have the chance to practice yoga in the park and to take part in healthy living screenings and activities. Other offerings include paddling and water safety information, arts and crafts for kids of all ages, honey bees, games, and additional family-friendly activities.

4. Going on the Mother’s Day Wildflower Walk

Mom’s appreciation of family, tiny wildflowers, and The Parks come together in this guided walk through Milwaukee’s expertly designed Lake Park.

Lake Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the same person who designed Central Park in New York City. The main attraction will be the free Mother’s Day Wildflower Walk. Mary Schley and other members of the Lake Park Friends will point out to families the reemergence of wildflowers and newly planted spring wildflowers. Because the park is a hot spot for birding, families might also see some warblers along the way. The walk will start at the warming house in the northern part of the park.

5. Seeking the Warbling Warbler

Whether Mom is a beginning backyard birder or has a Life List of bird species that’s in the hundreds, a stop along the Lake Michigan flyway could give her a special view—or song—that makes her day. On Mother’s Day, Betsy Abert and Rita Wiskowski of Friends of Grant Park will guide all levels of birders on a free Migratory Bird Walk, weather permitting. Grant Park is an e-bird hot spot, attracting over 200 documented bird species.

6. Exploring Gardens & Making Gifts for Mom

Wildflowers, daffodils, tulips, forsythias, and flowering trees will greet families at Boerner Botanical Gardens, and hand-made gifts from the little ones will be precious mementos of the day. he free activities offered through The Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens take place in the Education and Visitor Center and do not include admission to the Botanical Gardens.

7. Raising a Mimosa to Mom

Families now have a new location to raise their mimosas to honor Mom — South Shore Terrace Kitchen & Beer Garden. The venue offers stunning views of Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee skyline, and the menu features local ingredients. Mimosas will be added to the menu beginning Saturday. The site is ideal for a relaxed lunch or dinner. This year’s kitchen highlights include the new vegan Impossible Burger and crab cake sliders, as well as the returning gourmet burgers, carrot fries, Miller High Life battered Clock Shadow Creamery cheese curds, Milwaukee Pretzel Co. pretzels, and Usinger’s famous sausages.

8. Golfing with Mom

Connecting with Mom will be more important than the score, but as an extra enticement to golf, ten Golf Courses are offering a free round and golf-car special, for moms accompanied by a paid golfer.

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