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Celebrate Mother’s Day in Chicago – Any Day

This weekend’s Wisch List newspaper column from The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Ill.) and The Times (Ottawa, Ill.) …

The WISCH LIST

By Dave Wischnowsky

Outside the main entrance of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art just off the Magnificent Mile stands an enormous iron sculpture that measures 48 feet wide and more than 20 feet tall. Rotating a full 360 degrees it boasts white neon letters that spell out a single word.

“MOTHERS.”

This eccentric piece of public artwork – officially named “Work No. 1357, MOTHERS” – was unveiled last August, so it wasn’t designed specifically for Mother’s Day. But it might as well have been.

After all, Martin Creed, the London-based artist behind the project, said the sculpture had to be so large, “because mothers always have to be bigger than you are” and “it feels like mothers are the most important people in the world.”

His artwork also proves that you can actually celebrate Mother’s Day on any day, not just this Sunday. And with that in mind, the following are some great ways to celebrate your mom in Chicagoland this summer.

Since I’m assuming you already have plans for this weekend.

(If not, you’re grounded.)

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum & North Pond

Throughout Chicago, there are few better places for a summertime stroll than through the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (2430 N. Cannon Dr.). And there are few more scenic settings for lunch than North Pond.

Situated on the edge of a pond north of the nature museum, the restaurant – located inside a structure originally built in 1912 as a warm shelter for ice skaters – overlooks the skyline and offers one of the prettiest views in the city.

For more information, visit naturemuseum.org and northpondrestaurant.com.

Millennium Park & The Plaza at Park Grill

It can become crowded during the summertime but along with such energy, Millennium Park still features plenty of serenity on its grounds.

And Chicago’s best park during its warmer months also offers one of its finest options for outdoor dining. Located at the gateway to Millennium Park, the Plaza at Park Grill (11 N. Michigan Ave.) is the city’s largest al fresco dining venue and bills itself as “the ultimate room with a view.” It also offers brunch until 2:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.

For more information, visit parkgrillchicago.com.

Art Institute & Piano Terra

Located in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago, you won’t find a more artistic dining experience in the Windy City than Terzo Piano (158 E. Monroe St.).

But during the summer, this unique restaurant offers an even more unique option with Piano Terra, a dining venue located outdoors in the serene North Garden. Serving lighter fare sourced from local farms, Piano Terra is open daily, but only from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day.

For more information, visit terzopianochicago.com.

Chicago Botanic Garden & Wine

Located 20 miles north of Chicago at 1000 Lake Cook Road in Glencoe, the breathtaking Chicago Botanic Garden is worth the trip north – especially when the weather is nice.

And there’s a great chance it will be on May 30, when from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Botanic Garden will be hosting “Grapevines & Wines,” its first tasting event of the year. Tickets are $20 in advance or $23 the day-of.

For more information, visit chicagobotanic.org/wines.

Chicago Riverwalk & Cyrano’s Café & Wine Bar

In Chicago, Lake Michigan’s waters get most of the love. But the Chicago River’s beauty can hold its own too, and there’s no better view of it than from Cyrano’s Café & Wine Bar (223. E. Lower Wacker Dr.).

Framed by trees, foliage and an explosion of flowers designed to resemble Claude Monet’s summer gardens in Giverny, France, Cyrano’s is oasis in the heart of the city that Mom would love.

For more information, visit cyranoscafeontheriver.com.