Mother’s Day is Sunday, and if you’re still in the market for a gift for Mom, we’ve got ideas. From trinkets crafted on the local arts scene to a wine subscription that keeps on giving to (air-conditioned) activities, here are some ways to show Mom you care.
A trip to the movies
What do moms say most often when you are fishing for gift ideas? “I just want time with you, honey.”
A day out at the movies has changed in recent years as theaters upped their amenities. There is St. Petersburg’s CMX Cinemas Tyrone LUX 10, with its reserved reclining seats and a full-service bar, and the Studio Movie Grill in Seminole, where with the push of a button you can place an order from your seat and have your food and beverages delivered before and during the show.
But these modern cinemas have nothing on Tampa Theatre, built in 1926 when movie houses were palatial. And this one was more palatial than most, with its statutes of gargoyles and exotic birds and a realistic night sky above, plus twinkling stars and ornate architecture designed to make you feel like you are in a moonlit courtyard.
It has a playlist of both first-run and classic films. You can also take a tour. The 90-minute Balcony to Backstage tours held two or three times a month reveal the secrets, stories, art and architecture of this historic gem. The tours kick off in the lobby at 11:30 a.m. and include a demonstration of the Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Organ, which rises from the floor of the stage. Tours cost $10 and often sell out.
Tampa Theater: The theater built in 1926 offers historic tours, gift cards and an eclectic movie and live show lineup. 711 N Franklin St., Tampa. 813-274-8286. tampatheater.org
CMX Cinemas Tyrone LUX 10: Formerly Cobb Theaters, the lobby offers a full-service restaurant and bar along with concession stand classics. 2998 Tyrone Blvd. N, St. Petersburg. 727-209-1950. cmxcinemas.com.
Studio Movie Grill: With more than 1,200 luxury lounge chairs and recliners in 12 auditoriums, it also has a full-service bar and a full menu you can have delivered to your seats. 7718 113th St. N, Seminole. 727-894-2200. studiomoviegrill.com.
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— Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer
Tea with a favorite author
If Mom enjoys historical fiction, she may already be a fan of St. Petersburg native Kristin Harmelwhose novels, many of them set during World War II, are regulars on the bestseller lists.
The Oxford Exchange has the perfect gift for that mom: a Champagne tea with Harmel on Mother’s Day. She’ll talk about her latest book, The Forest of Vanishing Stars, the suspenseful story of a kidnapping victim who uses her survival skills to help Jews fleeing the Nazis. The event also includes a buffet of tea sandwiches and desserts, a selection of hot and cold teas, a glass of Champagne and a signed paperback copy of the novel. It takes place at 3 pm May 8 at the Oxford Exchange, 420 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. Tickets are $72 at oxfordexchange.com/pages/calendar.
— Colette Bancroft, Times book editor
A book and wine subscription
Give Mom the gift of literature and fine wine this Mother’s Day with a Book + Bottle subscription.
The St. Petersburg wine shop and bookstore features monthly and quarterly deals including the Readers and Drinkers Circle, a quarterly membership that comes with three bottles of wine plus the subscriber’s pick of one ($90), two ($100) or three ($110) books per quarter.
Subscribers pick up their orders at the beginning of the quarter and receive emails and blog posts about the book and wine pairings throughout the next few months. At the end of the quarter, an in-person event at the store gives folks the chance to meet other readers, sample the wines and chat about the books.
If Mom is more of an oenophile than a reader, the 17 Club is a great bet. Every month, a curated selection of wines is featured and club members get first dibs on the bottles. Imbibers can choose from memberships with two ($50), three ($70) or six ($130) bottles, which are always available for pickup on the 17th of each month.
Membership comes with some serious perks, too: Every quarter, the cafe hosts a private wine tasting where members can learn more about the wines selected. Members get free bottle service (no corkage fees) on any bottle purchased and consumed at the store as well as 10 percent off any future store purchases (books, pastries, wine) and 17 percent off any bottle of wine previously included in the 17 Club’s collection. 17 Sixth St. N, St. Petersburg. 727-240-7448. bookandbottlestpete.com.
— Helen Freund, Times food and dining critic
A mom-made Tampa Bay shirt or print
Does your mother love grabbing coffee at Buddy Brew, strolling Bayshore Boulevard or catching a Lightning game? Local artist Abbigayle Warner has something special for her.
The Birmingham, UK, native moved to Tampa in 2018 and started her online boutique, Abbicreates Studio, in 2021. She quickly gained a following with her dreamy drawings of local landmarks, which feature bold pops of hot pink, orange and turquoise. Warner, a mom herself as well as an immigrant minority women business owner, has plenty of Mother’s Day gifts to choose from: hyperlocal-themed T-shirts ($30-$40), sweatshirts ($50-$55) and prints (starting at $25) , as well as stickers and key chains. Designs range from Tampa classics like the city skyline, the Stanley Cup and Gasparilla, to coffee shops like Bandit and Spaddy’s, breweries like 3 Daughters and Cigar City, and restaurants like Luv Child and Pickford’s Counter.
Apparel takes one to two weeks for processing and shipping, so it’s too late to order clothing from the online store for Sunday, but you can shop in person at Hazel + Dot (3714 Henderson Blvd., Tampa). Or order Mom an 8-by-11-inch print of her favorite local spot — Warner has over 50 to choose from. abbicreaatesstudio.com
— Gabrielle Calise, Offbeat Florida and nostalgia reporter
A visit to a museum
If Mom loves art and design, consider bringing her to the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement in St. Petersburg. Take in the museum’s impressive architecture, stroll around the courtyard and pose for a photo at the fountain from the movement. Marvel at the handcrafted pottery, furniture, lighting, ceramic tiles and architectural faience, installations of entire rooms and a boat house floor in the collection. Download the app on a mobile device and get access to information.
Visit the special exhibition, “Designing the New: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style.” The exhibition reveals the history of Scotland’s Glasgow School of Art, Mackintosh, who was an architect, designer and artist, and The Four, the group of creatives he ran with.
Take Mom through the lovely museum gift shop and let her pick out her own gift. She could get a commemorative T-shirt ($19.95), bag ($7.25) or mug made by One Acre Ceramics ($31).
Perhaps she’d like a more traditional gift, such as a rose-patterned purse made by Signare ($45).
If Mom is always hosting parties, a three-piece bar set ($62) is a cool option.
Or if this Mother’s Day is particularly special, consider these stained glass lamps made by Bill Kuczmanski ($420-$750).
Keep the day going at the Arts Café, just across the atrium. Choose from soups, sandwiches, flatbreads and baked goods. Enjoy wine, beer, mimosas, Bellinis, sangria or cocktails. 355 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. 727-440-4859. museumaacm.org.
— Maggie Duffy, arts and music reporter
A concert under the stars
If Mom loves music, grab a blanket and take her out to Pops in the Park with The Florida Orchestra at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park in Tampa on Mother’s Day. It’s free, so you can splurge on a fancy picnic selection to bring with you. Daniel Black conducts the program that features film scores, Broadway hits and symphonic favorites. Bring canned goods for Tampa Bay Harvest’s annual food drive. 7:30 pm May 8. 1001 N Boulevard, Tampa. floridaorchestra.org.
— Maggie Duffy, arts and music reporter