For many people, Mother's Day brings out the very best. Families pig out at brunch, enjoy breakfast in bed, post some lovely new springtime Facebook pictures.
For others, those who don't have traditional mothers around, or those without children, the holiday experience can range from awkward to painful. In this issue, you'll find suggestions for ways to take all kinds of moms on the town, whether to a local attraction offering free admission or .
Still, it's as good a time as any to celebrate the non-moms in our lives who inspire and lead us. Here are some ideas for paying tribute to the folks on the fringes.
Pack a picnic and take your dog-loving pal to a poochy play area, like the Enterprise Dog Park in Clearwater, a fenced-in dog playland where Mr. Bojangles can try an agility course. Dog dates also abound in hot spots like the Dog Bar in St. Petersburg (check dogbarstpete.com for rules) or Topgolf in Tampa, where pups are allowed on leash. Check bringfido.com for a list of dog-friendly places in your city. And don't forget about cats. Getting out with a feline might not work if you want to maintain your eyeballs, but settle in to celebrate your favorite cat lady with some lap-curling TV time.
There's something to be said for a family of choice. If you're without a biological mom on this day, take solace in your tribe. For an A-plus friendship date this weekend, take in the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, a spooky Safety Harbor ghost tour or American Stage in the Park's Hairspray. Or, since we're talking about family love on the fringes, check out the Tampa International Fringe Festival — we have all the details .
Grandmas, aunts, cousins, sisters...
You get it. There are lots of female hero figures in your life who could use a shoutout Sunday. Dig up those fascinators you bought for the Royal Wedding and gather the ladies together for a high tea. Food critic Laura Reiley has a list of local tea rooms right here, for a party filled with scones, Devonshire cream and Regency chicken salad sandwiches. Bonus: Champagne.
Male or female, teachers play such an integral role in our lives. Whether they're teaching your kids in grade school or teaching you in grad school, it's never too late to show some love. Teacher Appreciation Week ends Friday, so now is the time to bring an apple, or better yet, something more useful. Ask any teacher what she might find most appealing as the hectic school year comes to a close. We're thinking handmade notes of appreciation, gift cards and, yep, the good, old-fashioned bottle of vino.