The best gift for moms is your time and attention. Several attractions in the area are offering freebies and free admission for moms with any paid admission from their admiring family.
Florida Aquarium: Moms get free admission both Saturday and Sunday. Can check out the galleries of more than 20,000 sea creatures, from stingrays to close encounters with penguins and ring-tailed lemurs. The aquarium is open 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at 701 Channelside Drive. Regular admission is $24.95, $22.95 seniors, $19.95 ages 3-12, 2 and younger free. Prices are generally about $2 cheaper online. (813) 273-4000. flaquarium.org.
Tampa Museum of Art: Free admission for moms and it's the last week to see Jaume Plensa: Human Landscape featuring the large-scale sculptures by the Spanish artist, running through May 15. Open 11a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday at 120 Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. Admission: $15; $7.50 seniors, groups; $5 students; university, college and higher education students with valid IDs and children ages 6 and under free.
MOSI: Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry welcomes moms free with each child's admission both Saturday and Sunday. It can take half a day to see more than 450 hands-on activities, including the visiting Dinosaurs in Motion exhibit. This is the last weekend to see this collection of 14 metal sculptures inspired by actual fossils, equipped with modern tools like pulleys, springs, gears and gaskets to make the dinosaurs move. Other MOSI highlights include the live science demonstrations with the S.T.E.A.M. punks, a comedy troupe, the Kids In Charge! play area and the Bio Works Butterfly Garden. Regular admission is $26.95, $25.95, $20.95 ages 3-12; 2 and younger free. Parking is $5 at 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 987-6000. mosi.org.
Dinosaur World: Moms are free Sunday to roar with their tots in this Plant City favorite of fossil fans. With more than 20 acres, there's plenty of space to run around among the 200 life-size dinosaurs, as well as a playground and the Fossil Dig, where kids can get a sifter and a cup and dig for shark's teeth and stingray barbs. Pack a picnic lunch. Leashed dogs are welcome at 5145 Harvey Tew Road, Plant City. Regular admission is $16.95, $14.95 seniors, $11.95 ages 3-12; 2 and younger free. (813) 717-9865. dinosaurworld.com/florida.
Tampa Bay History Center: Moms get in free on Sunday with one paid adult admission from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. And the center will offer arts and crafts for kids and a 10 percent discount in the Museum Store that day. The center features three floors of exhibits on the colorful history of the Tampa Bay area, including cutting-edge technology that digs beneath the surface of downtown Tampa to uncover the history of Fort Brooke, established near present-day downtown Tampa in 1824. Regular admission is $12.95, $10.95 seniors/students with ID, $7.95 ages 4-12; 3 and younger free. 801 Old Water St. in Tampa's Channelside area. (813) 228-0097. tampabayhistorycenter.org.
GameTime: Mom eats free on Sunday. Play in the mega arcade with more than 120 games and four lanes of mini bowling. There's also a restaurant and a new sports bar with dozens of TVs. Mom will receive one entree or appetizer free with the purchase of one entree, appetizer or kids meal Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. (813) 241-9675. gametimeplayers.com.
Mother's Day at the Morean: Art-loving moms get free admission to all four of the Morean's facilities: Chihuly Collection, Morean Center for Clay, Morean Arts Center and the Morean Glass Studio and Hot Shop on Sunday. Admission for Chihuly at 400 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg is $15, $14 seniors, $11 students and children over 5. Hot shop admission is $9, $7 seniors, $5 students at 719 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Others are free. (727) 822-7872. moreanartscenter.org.
Glazer Children's Museum: Moms get in free Sunday, and the museum will have a Mother's Day Lounge to let moms relax in style while Dad and the kids explore the museum. The museum has more than 27,000 square feet of play space, letting kids get hands-on lessons in becoming tug boat captains and working on a cruise ship to following the journey of water and "working" as an engineer. Admission is $15, $12.50 military/seniors, $9.50 children, under 1 free. 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. (813) 443-3861. glazermuseum.org.
Great Explorations: Moms get free admission and children can make her crowns, necklaces, bouquets and other gifts fit for a queen. Free with at least one paid admission. Regular admission: $10, $9 seniors, one and younger free. Great Explorations Children's Museum, 1925 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 821-8992. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.
Wine Madonna: Moms can stop in the downtown St. Petersburg wine shop for a free glass of "bubbly" on Mother's Day at 111 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 289-7257. winemadonna.com.
Astro Skate Family Fun Center: At the Mother's Day Hip-Hop Skate at the Pinellas Park location, moms skate free and family members skate for only $3, plus the cost of skate rental. 10001 66th St. N, Pinellas Park. (727) 546-0018. astroskatingcenter.com.
Museum of Fine Arts: Moms get in free to enjoy multiple exhibitions, including Vanessa Diaz's installation, "Beginning at the Cornice, Not the Foundation," and the photographic exhibition "Harold Edgerton: What the Eye Can't See," which features a talk about the photographer at 3 p.m. followed by a reception. Mom may want to check out the Museum Store's jewelry sale and the MFA Cafe's special Mother's Day Brunch ($39, $17 children) from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Reservations are strongly encouraged at (727) 822-1032. Admission is $17, $15 seniors and military, $10 students with college ID, kids 6 and younger free. 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. mfastpete.org.
Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected]abay.com. Follow @SharonKWn.