If you're wondering what to get your mother for her special day this year, how about some Solenocentrum? Or a little Lepanthopsis? No, these aren't the latest prescription drugs from Canada. These are orchids, and you can pick one out at OrchidMania's 16th Annual Mother's Day Sale. Billed as the "World's Largest Orchid Garage Sale," the event offers a huge hodgepodge of flowering plants as well as presentations on how to get new plants going, repot old ones, and ward off pests. Proceeds go to OrchidMania's HIV prevention and relief efforts. Start Mom on her new hobby (so she'll stop asking you when you're going to get married) at 10 a.m. both days at the Fort Mason Center, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is free; call 841-1678 or visit www.orchids.org.
-- Jack Karp
Ice Ice Baby
The frigid north has given the world many gifts -- baby polar bears, summer's midnight sun, and Björk's yips and yelps. Pay tribute to the polar lifestyle at the Run for Arctic Awareness, a race open to hoofers of all levels. Wannabe marathoners take a two-loop 10K course through Crissy Field, and toddlers ride shotgun in the 5K stroller walk. Post-race, athletes can restore themselves with traditional Norwegian foods at the Norway Day Festival, which is sponsoring the race. The sprint begins at 8 a.m. at the Presidio's Glass Palace, Building 924, Crissy Field, Halleck & Mason, S.F. Registration is $25-30; visit www.norwayday.org.
-- Jane Tunks
The painting on the wall
As kids, we all got stopped when we drew on the walls of our rooms. Now Precita Eyes Mural Arts and Visitors Center is encouraging us to do just that at its Mural Awareness Festival. Famous for its sprawling, kaleidoscopic designs scattered throughout the Mission District, Precita Eyes stages this carnival of creativity each May to celebrate and support the mural arts. Children can get their hands dirty in an art booth, while kids trapped in adult bodies can join the community "paint-in." Live mural competitions, music, food, and a very colorful mess complete the picture, and no one will hold back your artistic efforts (though you should probably still wash your hands before dinner). Let your inner Picasso out to play at 1 p.m. in Precita Park, Precita & Folsom, S.F. Admission is free; call 285-2287 or visit www.precitaeyes.org.
-- Jack Karp