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. 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.

Creative expression
is good for the soul

Whether your mom is a novice or a seasoned expert, she’d love an art class from Evanston Art Center — something that will bring out her imaginative side and provide an opportunity for her to bump shoulders with a new artistic social group.

“An art class or workshop at the Evanston Art Center can be a perfect antidote to a hectic life,” said Norah Diedrich, executive director at the Evanston Art Center. “Set in a former private mansion on the shore of Lake Michigan, the Art Center facility offers moms the opportunity to create a work of art, learn a new skill and socialize with like-minded students. Busy moms can connect with their creative sides and spend a few hours working in an art studio under the guidance of an experienced teaching artist.”

Talented and acclaimed instructors teach classes in painting, photography, printmaking, ceramics, jewelry, drawing and sculpture. While there, your mom can visit the three exhibition galleries and who knows, maybe her work will be featured in the Studio Gallery, which houses art by current students.

Visit www.evanstonartcenter.org/school 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 Northbrook 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 of 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 the-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.