Not your average mother; not your average gift

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Flowers, perfume and jewelry are fine for some moms, but not yours. Your mom is exceptional — brilliant even — and she deserves a gift that reflects your adulation for her and something that she wants most of all: time spent with you. Here are some Mother’s Day gift ideas for your family’s woman of the hour.

Rejuvenate with nature

Nothing is better for the soul and the psyche than being surrounded by the natural world. Take mom outside, to revel in the trees and fresh air, at the Morton Arboretum. Established in 1922 and open every day of the year, Morton Arboretum encompasses 16 miles of trails, 500 acres of plant collections and specialty gardens and 900 acres of woodlands, prairies, meadows, lakes and streams. Trees, shrubs and other plants (190,000 specimens) from around the globe are collected and studied. Moms are able to take part in the great outdoors as well as contribute to a non-profit science, research and conservation organization that plants and protects trees for a healthier world.

“Mom and dad can get ideas about gardening while the kids are playing,” said Hannah Rennard, manager of curriculum and instruction. “My favorite part is that there is something for everyone.”

Public relations manager, Mary Beth Sammons said, “One thing that is kind of interesting is that you see lots of moms, dads and grandparents here everyday so it’s a multigenerational kind of experience.”

Spend the day with your mom — appreciating and being inspired by nature — while also supporting an organization that is doing good things for our environment.

Visit www.mortonarb.org for more information.

Good smells in the kitchen

Has your mom ever wanted to learn how to make hand-churned gelato, French soufflés or authentic Italian pasta from scratch? Sur La Table in Naperville offers a variety of cooking classes in their teaching kitchens that are certain to challenge and thrill any participant. As they say, great cooking is more than just following a recipe-it’s about techniques.

“Sur La Table offers a couple of Mother’s Day cooking classes, which include: Mother’s Day Macaroons and Mother’s Day Dinner in Italy,” said a Sur La Table representative. “These classes let you explore a world of cuisines and disciplines.”

Visit www.surlatable.com/category/Web-Cooking-Root/Cooking-Classes for more information.

Take mom on a mini-vacation

Your mom works hard and maybe the Mother’s Day present she needs most is a vacation away from it all. Take her to the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. She can recharge her batteries at a destination that is close to home, without taking extended time off work, pulling kids out of school or breaking the bank — no expensive airfare required.

“Kalahari is great for families looking to get away-they offer an authentic experience unlike any other in the surrounding areas,” said Travis Nelson, Kalahari spokesperson. “Due to Kalahari’s unique attractions, family fun activities, outstanding accommodations, unmatched customer service and reasonable prices, families can create memories without opening their wallets too wide.”

Everything your mom needs for an easy, exhilarating and enjoyable stay is available at the resort; there is no need to leave the property or go on a hunt for food or provisions. She is sure to be satiated at one of the nine different dining options.

“Experience exciting Las Vegas-style dining and entertainment at Kahunaville Restaurant & Bar, take in the fun and comfortable atmosphere of Great Karoo Food & Spirits or enjoy a relaxing cocktail at Ivory Coast Lounge,” said Nelson. “For coffee lovers, savor a hot cup of cappuccino along with favorite breakfast treats at Java Maniaro. Moms can also tempt their sweet tooth at the Sweet Hut or grab a quick snack at one of the many water park dining locations.”

She will love the indoor theme park-1,000 square feet of multi-generational fun-complete with bumper boats, ropes courses, laser tag, a six-story Ferris wheel, an African-themed carousel, bowling, go carts, mini golf, arcade games and much more. The biggest attraction, however, is Kalahari’s indoor water park — the largest in Wisconsin.

“Guests can take a ride on America’s first indoor super-loop waterslide,” said Nelson. “Visitors can also enjoy the 570 foot, 35 second thrill-ride called, The Master Blaster, relax in America’s longest 920 foot lazy river, and learn to surf on the popular FlowRider. For little kids, the indoor water park also features a state-of-the-art kid’s play zone called, Tiko’s Watering Hole.”

Visit www.kalahariresorts.com for more information.