If you have not yet finalized (or even thought about) your plans for Mother's Day 2014, have no fear. There are still plenty of last-minute options for those who want to go beyond the usual family breakfast.
Here are a half dozen ideas to consider:
1. Make it a musical (and early) Mother's Day.
The Montrose Room hosts Hats off to Moms contests during two Mother's Day weekend concerts at the InterContinental Chicago, 5300 N. River Road, Rosemont. Gift certificates will be given to the most eccentric hat selections. And if mom's not really the hat type, well, she can still enjoy shows by jazz group Special EFX and jazz trumpeter Rick Braun.
Special EFX with guitar virtuoso Chieli Minucci perform at 8 p.m. Friday, May 9. Rick Braun headlines at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 10. Tickets, ranging from $59-$69, are available at (312) 725-0740 or smoothchicago.com.
2. Take her to the track.
Arlington International Racecourse makes the most of the day for moms and their families with races, a petting zoo, pony rides, a magician and more. Staff from the Schaumburg Boomers baseball team and the Shedd Aquarium will join in the festivities. The first 5,000 mothers who pass through the admission gate receive a red rose. So mom wins even if her horse comes in last.
Gates open at 11:15 a.m. Sunday, May 11, at Arlington International Racecourse, 2200 W. Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights. First post begins at 1 p.m. Family Day events run from 1 to 5 p.m. $12 for adults; $2 children. Visit arlingtonpark.com.
3. Spend the day with Meryl.
Streep, of course. See her in the 2008 musical comedy film "Mamma Mia!" at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago and sing along to the hits of ABBA. The film, rated PG-13, also stars Colin Firth and Pierce Brosnan. Dick O'Day hosts a live preshow event. And guests are invited to wear their 1970s clothing for a '70s fashion contest. A boxed brunch containing a frittata, fruit, yogurt, a croissant and a ticket for a mimosa can be preordered.
Noon Sunday, May 11, at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. $12.50 for the film; $25 for film and boxed brunch. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. For information, call (773) 871-6607 or visit musicboxtheatre.com.
4. Appeal to her sweet tooth.
Treat mom to an ice cream cone and a potted petunia in a cone at Capannari Ice Cream in Mount Prospect. The petunia is placed inside of a cake cone that can be planted right in the garden, said Capannari's owner Katie Dolan Dix. "We think it's a sweet way to celebrate Mother's Day," Dolan Dix said. "It's spring time, and we like the idea of flowers. And of course, we love all of our mothers!"
And what mother doesn't love springtime ice cream flavors like carrot cake?
Noon to 9 p.m. Sunday, May 11, at Capannari Ice Cream, 10 S. Pine St., Mount Prospect. (847) 392-2277 or capannaris.com.
5. Laugh at family life.
The Fox Valley Repertory and its Performing Arts Academy present the play "Cheaper By the Dozen" at the Pheasant Run Resort's main stage theater in St. Charles. The comedy offers a lighthearted look at an efficiency expert, his wife and their 12 children as they navigate the ups and downs of family life in the 1920s.
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 9-10, or 2 p.m. Sunday, May 11, at Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles. For tickets, call (630) 584-6342 or visit ticketmaster.com. For information, visit foxvalleyrep.org.
6. Have brunch at the zoo.
Brookfield Zoo hosts its annual Mother's Day Brunch in its Discovery Center. Guests can fill their plates with fare from a made-to-order omelet station, a meat-carving station and a sweets table. Other menu items include Caesar salad, fresh breads and unlimited champagne service. After brunch, guests can tour the zoo to see its animal residents including the new mother Koola, a western lowland gorilla, and her 5-month-old daughter, Nora.
11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 11, at Brookfield Zoo, First Avenue and 31st Street, Brookfield. Member adults $39.95; children $29.95. Nonmember adults $49.95; children $35.95. Children younger than 3 eat for free. Includes general admission to the zoo and parking. Visit czs.org.