Jodi Jacobs is a freelance travel journalist contributing to Chicago Tribune (IL; 768,073), Suburban Woman (IL; 25,000) and others.
Instead of just going out for brunch, turn Mother's Day into a day or weekend event. Here are three beyond-brunch destinations that range from close-at-hand to a real getaway.
A yummy brunch is just part of the reason to spend Mother's Day weekend at Osthoff Resort
in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Photo credit: Jodie Jacobs
Think Chicago Botanic Garden as a Mother's Day destination if Mom loves flowers.
The woods are filled with trilliums and wild geraniums. Rhododendrons look gorgeous in the Landscape Garden as do annuals and tulips in the Enabling and Sensory Garden. Camass lilies, iris and primroses sit picture perfect at the base of the Waterfall Garden. Shooting stars look lovely in the Native Plant Garden.
For a break, do lunch in the Garden Café but be sure to include the Model Railroad Garden if youngsters have come along.
The summer Railroad Garden (as opposed to the winter holiday exhibit) has "Landmarks of America," a combination of railroads and famous sights across the United States. It opens for the summer season on May 12.
A bonus is that the Botanic Garden's 385 acres are filled with picture possibilities. Snap a few family photos for mom to choose as a Mother's Day present. Among the places you can print your digital picture and pick up a frame is your local Walgreens.
The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Road in Glencoe, Ill., east of the Edens Expressway. Admission is free. Parking is $20 a car. For more information visit Chicago Botanic Garden and call 847-835-5440.
Consider Lake Geneva if the family wants to spend the day together instead of just doing brunch.
About 90 minutes north of Chicago over the Illinois border into Wisconsin, you can have your sightseeing and eat your brunch, too. See the mansions that line Geneva Lake by boat. Yes, the body of water is the reverse name of the town. Take time to browse the shops, a collection of gift, art and food emporiums.
Schedule in the buffet brunch offered by the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa. Held in the resort's Geneva Chophouse and in its Grand Ballroom, the brunch includes breakfast dishes, salads and carving stations. Cost is $42 age 13 and older, $21 age 6-12, $6 age 2-5, and free to children under 2. Reservations are necessary.
Grand Geneva resort & Spa is on the edge of downtown Lake Geneva at 7036 Grand Geneva Way in Lake Geneva, Wis. For brunch information visit Grand Geneva and call 262-249-4788. For Lake Geneva attractions visit Lake Geneva.
Go up to Osthoff Resort in Wisconsin at Elkhart Lake if Mom loves jazz and getaways.
Only a 2 hour 30 minute drive from Chicago, the resort's turn-of- the-last-century retreat atmosphere makes this weekend north feel like a vacation. However, don't worry about old accommodations. The resort was built late 20th century and recently remodeled with 21st century baths updated by the nearby Kholer Company.
For Mother's Day Weekend, Osthoff holds a popular annual "Jazz on the Vine" festival. This year's festival features White Hot Summer Groove with Peter White and Euge Groove, Nick Colionne, the music of Grover, and Down to the Bone plus several other musicians.
Jazz weekend requires a Friday and Saturday night stay and concert ticket purchase. The popular weekend sells out but cancelations happen so try to free-up the weekend and snag a room. In addition to the jazz concerts, the resort's good food, scenic lake views and Aspira Spa turn the weekend into a Mother's Day vacation gift. Buffets here are terrific so also check if brunch reservations are still available for Mother's Day.
For information and reservations call 888-330-5664 and visit Osthoff Resort. The Osthoff Resort is on the edge of the village's downtown at 101 Osthoff Ave., Elkhart Lake, Wis.