Here’s some ideas for not your usual Mother’s Day in McHenry County

McHenry County moms can go axe-throwing, on trail rides or just get time to themselves

Nadine Perez plays listen to instructions before playing laser tag with her daughters and their friends Friday, May 12, 2023, at Twisted Limits Laser Tag and Nerf Arena in McHenry.

McHenry County women know how to throw an ax, one area ax-throwing venue owner said.

Twisted Limits Ax Throwing Lounge in McHenry owner Keith Desmet said some husbands “get mad” when they see their wives outshine them in ax throwing. “Sometimes [wives] do these crazy, baseball wind up throws” that hit the board just right, Desmet said.

“We have had 78-year-old women hitting [bull’s-eye],” Desmet said. “Don’t underestimate the women.”

It is an activity for all ages and genders that families can do on Mother’s Day weekend.

Not all moms want to do something for their day, however.

“We have had 78 year old women hitting (bullseyes). Don’t underestimate the women.”

—  Twisted Limits Ax Throwing Lounge owner Keith Desmet

Richmond mom and Village President Toni Wardanian said she doesn’t look for things to do on Mother’s Day. She prefers it when her two sons buy her the flowers she asked for and does not like going out to brunch or breakfast as some families like to do.

“I stay away from stores and bars and restaurants; they are too crowded. I plant the plants my sons buy me,” Wardanian said.

She prefers to eat breakfast at home on Sunday morning, made by her sons, ages 17 and 21.

For anyone else looking for family-friendly activities, Wardanian suggested a day in Richmond wandering around downtown, kayaking on Nippersink Creek or biking the Prairie Trail path.

Jaki Berggren, president of Naturally McHenry County, said kayaking or hiking are her preferred Mother’s Day activities.

“I go somewhere and go hiking or kayaking. My family likes to come with me,” Berggren said, adding that the outdoor activities keep her young sons from fighting too much.

There is plenty of opportunity to do those things, along with fishing, either Saturday or Sunday at the McHenry County Conservation District parks, Marketing Manager Caitlynn Martinez-McWhorter said.

Martinez-McWhorter also suggested families with older mothers or grandparents look into the Trail Rides for Seniors. Offered most Saturdays through the summer by Cycling Without Age McHenry County, early registration is required. The ride allows two people – one who must be age 55 or older – ride in the back of a trishaw peddled by a volunteer.

The 45-minute rides allow riders to feel the wind in their hair and experience bicycling in the outdoors without having to pedal themselves, Martinez-McWhorter said.

With rain in the forecast for Sunday, however, Berggren suggested moms might want to find an indoor activity just in case.

That could be embarking on the Craft Beverage Trail.

Those who attempt the challenge must download the Naturally McHenry County app. After stopping at all of the 10 locations – there is no time limit to how many months it can take to complete – those who finish the trail receive a free T-shirt to note the accomplishment, Berggren said.

“It is a nice indoor opportunity” that can start this weekend, she said.

Her own outdoor plans might get washed out, Berggren said. “If it’s not raining, I would be ... at the conservation district. Now it is potentially raining, so we are probably going out to eat somewhere and spending time with my family that way.”

Another indoor, rainy-day option is sending the spouse and children to the Volo Auto Museum while moms go antique shopping nearby – or going with the family to get a massage.

On Saturday and Sunday, the museum will offer chair or table massages and paraffin wax treatments for the price of admission between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. both days. Mom-mosas (prosecco and orange juice) can also be purchased.

If moms rather have a day at home to themselves, Berggren suggested sending the family to indoor adventure parks, a bowling alley or rollerskating rink.

Dads can take the kids if “mom wants to go have mimosas with friends,” Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park General Manager Karol Brown said. The McHenry park is also offering moms a free ticket with the purchase of a child’s ticket.

“Mom can play for free” or hang out while the kids do, Brown said.

With high school graduations on Sunday, Mother’s Day usually isn’t busy for them and reservations won’t be required, Brown said.

Desmet’s ax throwing location – another indoor option – is open Saturday but closed this Sunday. His other McHenry venues, Twisted Limits Escape Rooms and Twisted Limits Laser Tag, have slots available for families on both days. Reservations can be made online.

Berggren also suggested anyone looking for more ideas goes to the website for its Things To Do and Calendar pages, many of which are free.

“That is one of the best resources for things to do, whether it is Mother’s Day weekend or any other time,” Berggren said.

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