Have a heart for Mom + Dad

Karen Coney Coplinby Karen Coney Coplin

This is a multiple month issue of Life in Naples. It’s time to enjoy a slower pace as summer approaches. Keep in mind other ‘red letter days’ are around the corner too: Mother’s Day is May 8 and Father’s Day is June 19.


A is for Art: the United Arts Council helps publicize local events with a “Best Bets” email – sign Mom and Dad up at CollierArts.

B is for Breakfast in Bed: Usually a Mother’s Day staple, but Dad’s hungry, too. Brunch options abound – what’s your favorite

C is for Coffee (or caffeine). Does Mom or Dad have a favorite place for a cup o’ joe? Many local favorites hold their own against
the national powerhouses.

D is for Dog Park – Big dogs, little dogs and every dog in between can run, sniff and play at 99 Riverside Circle, opposite Central Ave. at Goodlette Road. Visit NaplesDogPark.com or call 239.213.7120. Pets are very much a part of family life – let them enjoy some ‘pack’ time!

E is for (Mother) Earth – The Conservancy of Southwest Florida suggests many innovative (and cost-free) ways to help protect our natural resources – visit in person or www.conservancy.org (I found “14 Simple Steps To Avoid Harming Wildlife” an invaluable guide – please share!)

F is for Friends – Maybe someone you know doesn’t have a mom or dad. Maybe you know someone who’s been like a mom or dad to you! Whatever the circumstances, a little cheer and kindness might be just what this person needs for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or any day.

G is for Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples – Treat your kids to an outing at this world-class facility on 15080 Livingston Road. Visit online at www.CMON.org, or call 239.514.0084.

H is for Happy – This one is directed at both Mom and Dad – what makes you tick? Is there a part of your daily routine you can’t
live without, or, maybe it is time for some changes? Take stock.

I is for Invent – Ah, they said necessity was the mother of invention. Let’s not forget the fathers of invention, too. The City of Palms (Fort Myers) is home to the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. www.edisonforwintersestates.org.

J is for Jungle Larry’s – now known as the Naples Zoo. Local resident specials and many other educational and fun opportunities for family time await you: www.NaplesZoo.org.

K is for Kids – “Every day is children’s day,” my mom once opined, when I asked her why there wasn’t a “Kid’s Day.” It is a good reminder that Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are special for very dear reasons: give those reasons a hug, play a game, ride bikes, or, if they’re grown and away – why not break with tradition and call them first?

L is for Laughter, the best medicine – A study revealed that kids laugh more than 300 times a day, whereas adults laugh less than 20 times, on average. Comedy club anyone?

M is for Muscle (or, for aching muscles, massage) – Give stand up paddleboarding a whirl if you haven’t; or, maybe aerial yoga is for you? Maybe kite boarding?! Treat Mom or Dad to a massage afterward.

N is for NaplesOriginals.com (locally owned dining options in Naples) – The new “hot spots” are always popular; but, keep those time-tested restaurants in mind, too. Visit the website for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day specials, cooking classes, or discounted gift certificates.

O is for the great Outdoors –It’s getting warmer, but, still time to enjoy many activities outdoors: early morning walkers, runners,
cyclists, are in abundance (some with dogs or strollers – or both – in tow). Have you been to the Garden of Hope and Courage at NCH downtown? www.Gardenofhopeandcourage.org.

P is for Play – Many live stage performances can be found at the Norris Center (www.GulfshorePlayhouse.org), the Sugden
Community Theatre (www.NaplesPlayers.com) and the Community School of Naples (www.TheatreZone-Florida.com).

Q is for Queen (and King) for a day – Readers, let me hear your suggestions to show Mom and Dad the royal treatment. Here’s a
chance to be inventive and creative with your gift-giving ideas.

R is for Radiant – Is there any other way to describe the vivid beauty of the Brazilian Garden at the Naples Botanical Garden?
A visit to the charming Children’s Garden is in order too. www.NaplesGarden.org. Dogs welcome too, on some “dog days.”

S is for Splash – if not a day at any of our great beaches, then why not Sun-N-Fun Lagoon? This water park is a C’MON neighbor
at 15000 Livingston Road, with an enticing array of slides, water features, and lazy river. www.Napleswaterpark.com

T is for Thoroughbreds – The most exciting two minutes in sports happens May 7 at Churchill Downs in Kentucky. Get Mom a
hat; she and Dad can make a friendly wager (or a real one – www.NaplesFortMyersDogs.com has simulcast racing and betting
options) – or opt for the more genteel tradition of a mint julep. The premier Kentucky Derby party in Naples, the Naples Junior
Women’s Club’s ‘Derby Dash,’ is held at Ridgway Bar and Grill.

U is for Understanding – Moms and Dads need this in abundance, plus kindness, empathy, patience, humor, + hands-on involvement.

V is for von Liebig Art Center – something arty is always afoot, so visit NaplesArt.org to learn about local upcoming summer camps and more.

W is for Wishes (and Wine) – The Naples Winter Wine Festival has raised millions of dollars to benefit local children in need through grants. The ‘wish’ is that every child is loved, nurtured, comforted, challenged, and cared for as if they were your own!

X is for Kisses and Hugs – For Mom and Dad, of course – let’s not forget their moms and dads – grandparents have earned their
parenthood stripes and can be celebrated, anytime, in my book! Let’s share a hug with these special folks.

Y is for Young at Heart – the heart of it all is the irreverence and innocence of children – embracing this spirit for a day (or more)
can do wonders.

Z – or zzzz – time for bed – but beforehand, take in a sunset. The Naples Pier is an iconic spot to gather (be sure to linger after the sun drops below the horizon) to enjoy the stunning collaboration of soft waves, color, and beach breezes.

Karen can be reached via email at: NaplesKCC@gmail.com with responses posed by her questions, or, to suggest a charitable organization to be profiled here in a future issue.

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