All about the experience

Are you looking for some new gift ideas to share with your children for Mother’s Day? Perhaps you’re tired of the same gift certificates and you’re looking for new experiences. Consider these five “out of the box” Mother’s Day gifts that you might intrigue you. Invite your mother or daughter to come along to share the experience with you.

Garden Party 

Enjoy a day at Sarah and Chef Craig Cyr’s farm just 12 minutes from downtown Columbia. You’ll spend the morning outdoors with the Wine Cellar and Bistro owners, learning the finer points of kitchen gardening before indulging in a luscious lunch prepared by Chef Craig Cyr, with a seasonal, organic wine pairing selected by Sommelier Sarah Cyr. The Wine Cellar Gardening Project — a partnership between the Wine Cellar and Bistro and the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture — offers several classes throughout the growing season for moms to choose from.

“The herb class and the flower class are the most popular, but every class is a wonderful experience,” Sarah Cyr says. “They can customize the experience by letting moms choose the class that is best for her and what she would like to learn about.”

More information is available at To sign up for a class, pick a date and email Sarah Cyr at

Perfect Pairing 

Painting classes and sipping wine or cocktails from glasses sound like a memorable Mother’s Day pairing whether you’re a closet Mary Cassatt or you’ve never picked up a paintbrush before. Moms with a creative bent will enjoy Columbia venues that offer step-by-step instructions along with a relaxed vibe where chatting over a glass of wine and dancing when inspired are encouraged. Arrange a group event to enjoy a night out with friends or involve the whole family in creating this year’s masterpiece.

“It’s a wonderful escape, a chance to get away from it all while meeting new friends, learning new things or stretching your artistic abilities,” says Monty Murphy, “The Talent” and owner of Paint the Town.

To reserve seats at Paint the Town, call 573-777-7795, or visit the website at

The Canvas on Broadway offers online reservations through its calendar page at

Up, Up and Away

Get above the frenzy for a day, literally. Ask your children for a balloon ride from BalloonStormers. Passengers experience balloon flight from beginning to end, starting with inflating the balloon and ending with a champagne or sparkling juice toast upon landing. In between, moms will fly both high and low — so low they will be able to pick leaves off trees.

“I personally love everything about ballooning, from the inflation to the toast at the end. So, we do our best to share the entire experience with our passengers,” says Jan Sines of BalloonStormers. Families can participate in this experience, too. They can help with the inflation, chase the balloon during the hour-long flight that will depart from the Boone County fairgrounds, and join in the toast at the end.

To schedule a balloon ride, contact Jan at 573-814-4000, or email

Culinary Classes

With culinary classes from the Columbia Area Career Center, you can step out of your comfort zones to cultivate new skills within the camaraderie of a cooking class. Elizabeth Tate, program manager of professional and community education, says she sees the classes as an opportunity to “invest in yourself so that you can invest in others.” Tried-and-true courses, open to the public and fee-based, teach basics like knife skills, but new classes are offered each semester. This Mother’s Day, learn how to make cheese, bagels, pretzels, pies and much more. It’s especially fun signing up as a couple or a make it a mother-daughter activity.

To register, go to and click on “Course Catalog.” Classes resume for the fall semester in September, but to ensure mom gets a spot in whichever class she wants, purchase a gift certificate now to present to her on Mother’s Day.

Mom, You Rock!

Why should your kids have all the fun? For those mothers who are looking for a memorable experience, consider The Bouldering Garden. This humble storefront is the portal to a topnotch professional rock climbing and bouldering gym. The sport of bouldering, which owner Marcus Floyd and his team will introduce you to, offers creative, individualized workouts in a family-friendly atmosphere. Climbing maneuvers combine the stretching and balance of yoga with building strength, dexterity and endurance. Afraid of heights? All climbing structures, caves, walls, stalactites, pillars, slack lines and tread-wall offer novelty without the need for ropes or high climbs.

A $25 introductory class helps first-timers learn basics. One-on-one coaching sessions are also available. If you want to learn more about climbing, Floyd offers outdoor, guided instruction. As a side benefit, gym members can rent kayaks and other boats to try out, too.

To find out more information, visit or call 573-474-4997.