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Art&Seek Jr: Mom-Tastic Events For The Whole Family 10

Mother’s Day is coming up, and that means moms everywhere can expect dandelion bouquets, macaroni necklaces, and breakfast in bed this Sunday. As lovely as all that sounds, I decided to deviate from the plan this year and use the day as an excuse to encourage my daughter to step out of her comfort zone and challenge herself. Put another way, I’m guilting her into doing something she doesn’t want to do.

This all started a month ago when I heard Rose in her room practicing her ukulele. Like scores of other tweens across the country, Rose became a superfan of ukulele phenom Grace Vanderwaal when she won ‘America’s Got Talent’ last fall. In fact, she was so taken with the quirky 12-year-old, she decided to give the ukulele a whirl herself. Since Christmas, she’s taught herself to play, and pick out a number of recognizable tunes. True, most of them are Grace Vanderwaal songs, but ‘You Are My Sunshine,’ ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight,’ and a Jason Mraz ditty are in there, too.

It was beginning to look like Rose had found her wheelhouse. There was only one small problem. Rose refuses to play in front of anyone. That’s right. If you want to hear the silky strummings of my daughter you’ll have to listen through a closed door. Apparently, if you’re a 12-year-old girl there’s nothing worse in the world than people looking at you. I tried with no luck for even a tiny concert and I was beginning to give up hope. That’s when I remembered my ace in the hole — Mother’s Day. I quickly leaped into action and put my order in for a Mother’s Day ukulele concert with both her grandmother and me in attendance. She protested at first, but she knew she was beaten. Just like Don Vito Corleone, Mother’s Day requests can’t be refused.

Celebrate mom, being a mom, or your exceptional children with one of these family-friendly activities.

If you can’t get your kids to perform for you on Mother’s Day, head out to the Texas Discovery Gardens in Fair Park for a special concert just for moms. The hour-long concert features a performance by the Women’s Chorus of Dallas followed by a  live butterfly release in the Conservatory. This event sells out every year so be sure to grab your tickets early.

Get a butterfly fix at the annual Kiwanis' Butterfly Festival. Photo: The Shops at Willow Bend

Get a butterfly fix at the annual Kiwanis’ Butterfly Festival. Photo: The Shops at Willow Bend

Speaking of butterflies, the 16th Annual Greater Plano Kiwanis Butterfly Festival at the Shops at Willow Bend is going on right now. You and mom can stroll through a conservatory filled with flowering plants and loads of butterflies. While on the tour you can see butterflies hatch from the chrysalis and also get a chance to feed them. For the littlest flutter-flies there will be an interactive reading of Eric Carle’s children’s book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” followed by a caterpillar craft.

Is your picnic basket a winner? Photo: A.W. Perry Homestead Museum

Is your picnic basket a winner? Photo: A.W. Perry Homestead Museum

The Annual Mother’s Day Concert and Picnic this Sunday at the A.W. Perry Homestead Museum in Carrollton is the perfect opportunity for you and yours to do some quality bonding. Bring a picnic basket and a blanket and listen to bluegrass, traditional acoustic, and swing music from the front porch of the historic home. And if you’re feeling particularly proud of your picnic lunch, enter it in the annual picnic contest. You could win a prize in one of three categories: Best Family, Most Elegant, or Most Creative. There will be free ice cream and lemonade and the kiddies can make an old-fashioned handmade gift for mom.

Take a ride down the boulevard this Mother's Day. Photo: Swiss Avenue

Take a ride down the boulevard this Mother’s Day. Photo: Swiss Avenue Historic District

If you really want to show mom a good time take her to the 44th Annual Swiss Avenue Historic District Mother’s Day Home Tour this Mother’s Day weekend. In addition to the seven early 20th century homes on the tour, there will also be music, refreshments, and a children’s play area in the shady oasis of Savage Park. If the littles get tired from all the walking, hop on a complimentary mini-coach staffed by neighborhood tour guides who will share all sorts of interesting facts and stories about The District. If you really want to go vintage, hop one of the horse-drawn carriages for transportation between tour homes.

Come play with the kids this Mother's Day. Photo: Latte Da Dairy

Come play with the kids this Mother’s Day. Photo: Latte Da Dairy

If you’re looking for something REALLY different to do on for Mother’s Day stop by Latte Da Dairy in Flower Mound for their open house. This peek inside the dairy, which is home to Nubian and Lamancha dairy goats, is extra special because it only happens twice a year. You and mom can meet the goats called the ‘dairy divas,’ see how goat cheese is made, and best of all — pet baby goats! They’ll also be holding a mini-market where you can buy locally produced items like jam, free range eggs, local honey, and of course, goat cheese. And because goats produce more than just milk, you’ll also have the opportunity to purchase Nanny Berry organic compost for just $5 a barrel. Just make sure the container you bring has a TIGHT lid.