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Celebrating moms virtually in this week’s ‘Things To Do’

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(Leonardo Wong/Unsplash)

(Leonardo Wong/Unsplash)

Mother’s Day is nearly here and this year’s celebration will certainly be different.

Whether you’re quarantining with your mother or haven’t seen her at all due to the coronavirus, we have some ideas to help her enjoy her day. Mother’s Day is particularly special in Philadelphia, as Anna Jarvis, a Philadelphia resident, created the holiday to commemorate her own late mother. We’ll just ignore that she later regretted doing so, as she took issue with the holiday’s commercialization. No commercials here — just some ideas you can do for, or with, mom.

Hot Ten

This week, I’m choosing my own idiosyncratic playlist of great mom movies – some that make you laugh, some that make you cry (or both) – and some that just make you shake your head. Not a Hallmark movie among them, so if glossy sentimentalism is what you want, this list may not be for you.

“In Her Shoes” (2005)

Written by former Philadelphia Inquirer writer turned novelist Jennifer Weiner, the film is about a mother whose death impacts her daughters’ lives years into the future and the grandmother who helps them finally come to terms with it. Cameron Diaz and the always great Toni Collette play dueling sisters who find solace in their estranged grandmother, Shirley MacLaine.

“Crooklyn” (1994)

“The Fighter” (2010)

Melissa Leo won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her portrayal of boxer Mickey Ward’s mother – and when you see this film, you’ll understand why.

“Baby Mama” (2008)

“Mildred Pierce” (1945)

“Grey Gardens” (2009)

A dramatization of the true story of Jackie Kennedy’s eccentric aunt and cousin, “Big Edie” and “Little Edie” Beale, played respectively by Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore.

“Imitation of Life” (1959)

“Otherhood” (2019)

A Netflix movie about the mothers of grown sons trying to reconnect with them starring powerhouse actresses Angela Bassett, Felicity Huffman and Patricia Arquette. So yes, it’s good.

“Stepmom” (1998)

Despite the misleadingly cheerful trailer, this is a tearjerker about the rivalry between an ex, played by Susan Sarandon, and a new girlfriend, played by Julia Roberts. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

“Mommie Dearest” (1981) C’mon, it’s a classic! It’s also a disturbing view of toxic motherhood by Faye Dunaway channeling actress Joan Crawford, whose adopted daughter shared her childhood of horrors in a memoir-turned-movie.

Air activities

Pre-corona world, Airbnb didn’t just provide options for places to stay while traveling, it provided experiences in the city or country you were staying as well. Now those experiences have moved online. Taking even a casual glance at what’s offered, you’ll find a plethora of live experiences from all over the globe. There’s a flamenco class taught by a Spanish dancer and a pasta-making and opera class offered from Florence, Italy. You can even partake in ‘Sangria and Secrets’ with drag queens from Portugal, an experience highly touted by the New York Times. Experiences range from less than $20 to over $100 and you can take classes depending on what makes the most sense for your time zone. You’ll be joined by others from around the world which should help forge the sense of community we all need more of right now

The Revolution is online

The revolution may not be televised as in the Gil Scott-Heron chestnut, but it will be online. The Museum of the American Revolution has several virtual programs, including a field trip and museum tour. But on Sunday, May 10 at 10 a.m., there will be a live presentation on the museum’s Facebook page about the Baroness von Riedesel, a German wife and mother who followed her husband, a military general, to these shores. The baroness became an American prisoner of war and kept a diary about her experiences. She and her husband are credited by historians as instrumental in bringing the German tradition of Christmas trees to the United States. The event is hosted by Hannah Boettcher, the museum’s manager of special programs.

Battle of the divas

Get ready to rumble! North Philly native Jill Scott and Dallas’ own Erykah Badu will become the first female combatants in the popular online Verzuz battles. The contests are music face-offs created by hip-hop and R&B super-producers Swizz Beats and Timbaland that are providing virtual live entertainment during the quarantine. Previous competitions have included Scott Storch, who spent part of his formative years growing up in and around Philadelphia, and a highly anticipated battle between Teddy Riley and Babyface that drew 500,000 viewers with millions more trying to watch. Expect those kinds of numbers for this battle, which happens on Saturday, May 9 at 7 p.m.

Cocktail hour

Not every mom drinks of course, but for those who do, we know you can appreciate a great cocktail. If you’re fortunate enough to be quarantined with folks over the age of 21, you can always celebrate with a new drink recipe, or share it via a virtual Mother’s Day Zoom chat. Chester county blogger and former bartender Monica Muesham has a few suggestions via her blog, Thirsty Gals Corner. Here’s one easy-to-make cocktail recipe.

Pomegranate Margarita-tini

2 oz. tequila

1 oz. triple sec

2 oz. sweet and sour mix

2 oz. pomegranate juice

Juice of half a lime

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Shake and strain into a martini glass rimmed in salt or sugar.

Mother’s Day meals

Hawthorne’s Café at 11th and Fitzwater streets is offering a Mother’s Day takeaway brunch menu with options – specialty drinks including ingredients for DIY mimosas, savory and sweet menu items including breakfast enchiladas, baked French toast and side options including bacon and home fries. The meals can be pre-ordered through Friday, May 8 before 5 p.m. 

In Wayne, At the Table BYOB is selling brunch and dinner for four that can be picked up on Saturday and Sunday if you order by noon on Friday. Brunch is a la carte and dinner is $150. And even luxury steakhouse Barclay Prime offers a menu for delivery via Caviar, among other restaurants on the app. But for Mother’s Day orders, you should expect longer wait times than usual.

Keep checking in with “Things To Do” as we continue to provide our picks for entertainment during the industry’s COVID-19 hiatus. Please consult our COVID-19 updates to keep up with the latest information regionally.  

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