Summer is upon How do you plan on showing your appreciation this Mother’s Day? Celebrate the person who has always had your best interests at heart by enjoying time together. Whether you’ll be honoring your mom, grandmother, mentor or friend, here are the best Mother’s Day activities and events going on around town:

Explore

Tour the lush, tropical plants on display at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens as part of the “Gauguin: Voyage to Paradise” exhibit. In fact, if you visit on May 12, there will be a special Mother’s Day Brunch at Michael’s On East featuring made to order omelets, carving stations and dessert bar. Be sure to register in advance, as this exclusive event is always a hit!

If you’re seeking adventure, enjoy holding a snake, posing with a parrot or feeding flamingos at Sarasota Jungle Gardens. Revel in the tropical gardens, visit and interact with various animals and take in a live, interactive show. Mothers and grandmothers receive free admission the weekend of Mother’s Day!

Complimentary admission is also available on Mother’s Day at Historic Spanish Point in Osprey. This living history museum features an archaeological site with prehistoric mounds, pioneer homesteads, nature trails, boat tours, gardens and more!

Shamrock Park and Nature Center is another option with paved and unpaved trails that allow visitors to walk, bike or roller blade. Additionally, the park offers picnic shelters for patrons to enjoy lunch while taking in the sights and sounds of Mother Nature. Don’t miss the Butterfly Garden demonstration, it is a must-see!

Dine

If you prefer to commemorate Mother’s Day by wining and dining the woman who always offers unconditional love, you are in luck! Several local restaurants will be offering special brunch and dinner menus, drink specials and promotions. Here are some local eateries to check out: Boca Royale, Blu Island Bistro, Chaz 51 Bistro, or Pop’s Sunset Grille. If you’re interested in driving to Sarasota, Lemon Tree Cafe and Boca are not to be missed!

Pamper

Nobody deserves to be treated to a relaxing day more than all the hard-working moms (and mother figures) out there! Want to give the gift of ultimate indulgence? Then try one of the spa packages at Venice Day Spa. The “relax” package includes a facial, massage, manicure, pedicure, blow-dry hairstyle, lunch with champagne and even a gift to take home from the spa! Venture over to L. Spa in Sarasota for the best in skincare, nails, waxing, massage and more. Choose from several spa packages that include lunch, mimosas, a make-up lesson, and a personal wardrobe consultation and shopping spree at L. Boutique.

Is your Mom into fashion? If so, take her to the Mall at University Town Center for a day of shopping and lunch. With over 150 stores and restaurants, there’s truly something for everyone.

No matter how you choose to celebrate the day, the important thing is to recognize the power of love. Quality time and expressing your appreciation truly is the best gift of all!