By Mary Heyl

Treat Mom to a fun Mother’s Day weekend by taking part in one (or more!) of the special events taking place throughout the weekend of May 13 and 14 in Erie County. Take in a live performance of Steel Magnolias in Springville, enjoy an invigorating hike in Zoar Valley, or drive up to Buffalo for special events at the Buffalo Zoo and the Botanical Gardens. No matter which activity you choose for Mother’s Day weekend, the best gift of all is a memorable experience with Mom.

The Springville Center for the Arts, located at 37 North Buffalo Street, invites you to enjoy a live performance of Steel Magnolias, the classic story of Truvy’s beauty salon and the tried and true female friendships that started there. There are several opportunities to see this great show during Mother’s Day weekend: take in an evening performance on Friday and Saturday, May 12 and 13 at 8 p.m. or enjoy a Mother’s Day matinee at 2 p.m. on May 14. Tickets are $12 or $10 for students and seniors. Call the SCA at (716)592-9038 for more details.

Explore the great outdoors with Mom at Zoar Valley! Covering over 3,000 acres along the border of Cattaraugus and Erie counties, Zoar Valley is one of the most beautiful and ecologically diverse environmental areas in the state. The valley is well-known for its breathtaking views, deep gorges, cliffs, waterfalls and excellent hiking trails. Lace up your hiking boots and enjoy a Wild Flower Hike on Saturday, May 13 starting at 1 p.m. This two and a half hour guided tour meets at 12:50 p.m. in the Zoar Valley parking lot located at 10112 Valentine Flats Road in Gowanda. Pre-registration is required: call (716)868-2975 to reserve your spot.

The whole family will enjoy Mother’s Day at the Buffalo Zoo, which is hosting a Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday, May 14. This catered brunch is the perfect way to treat Mom on her special day, and there are two seatings to choose from: 9:30 to 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children; children under age 2 are free. In addition to a delicious meal, tickets include zoo admission, crafts and a gift for each mother. Due to limited seating, pre-paid, non-refundable, non-transferable tickets are required. Get your tickets now by visiting!

Celebrate Mother’s Day weekend by enjoying the beautiful tropical oasis of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens! During Mother’s Day weekend, the Botanical Gardens will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and a small café will be set up inside from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. At the café, guests can enjoy fresh, portable snacks and sweet treats, as well as delicious drinks from Chef Avi Altman of Obviously Avi Catering (dishes, treats and drinks will be priced individually).

Find a unique gift for Mom at the Botanical Gardens’ Gift Shop, which will also be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Give Mom a gift she’ll enjoy year ‘round by purchasing her a membership to the gardens! The Botanical Gardens is running a Mother’s Day Membership special: now through May 14, all individual memberships are 20 percent off. In addition to free year ‘round admission to the gardens, membership includes discounts on selected classes, shows and exhibits, plus a 10 percent discount in the gift shop and on plant sales. Membership includes reciprocal admission benefits to almost 300 gardens and arboretums across the United States, Canada and Mexico. Purchase Mom a membership at the Botanical Gardens’ gift shop or online at

The Botanical Gardens is located at 2655 South Park Avenue in Buffalo. Admission during Mother’s Day weekend is $11 for adults, $10 for seniors 62 and older, $9 for students ages 13 and older, $6 for children ages 3 to 12, and free for children ages 2 and younger. To learn more, call the Botanical Gardens at (716)827-1584 or visit