Mother's Day brunch and flowers are nice, but this year, why not think a little bigger?

Mother's Day brunch and flowers are nice, but this year, why not think a little bigger?

Make a weekend of it, either with the kids or as a girls' retreat. No need to break the bank. Plenty of destinations within Ohio can provide a memorable weekend and a fine tribute to thank Mom for all she's done in the last year.

An hour and a half drive will bring you to the Hocking Hills to be dazzled by picturesque gorges and waterfalls. The Inn at Cedar Falls is a popular destination in the Hocking Hills with its spa and acclaimed restaurant.

Ellen Grinsfelder and her husband have been running the Inn at Cedar Falls (www.inatcedarfalls.com) for the last 25 years. She said that although the inn is a popular romantic getaway destination, she also frequently hosts girlfriends for weekend getaways and two or three generations of women for mother/daughter/grandmother weekends. The inn's spa has only three treatment rooms, so women can essentially take over the spa, making it their own private pampering space with views of the woods.

Whether your idea of a dream getaway is filled with energetic hikes or involves pampering at the hands of a skilled masseuse, the Inn at Cedar Falls will deliver. The spa's massage tables are set up within view of the woods, and you can hike directly from the inn into 75 acres of wilderness.

Guests can elect to stay in an inn room, a romantic cottage, or an 1840s log cabin. The cabins are a popular choice for girls' weekends. "We've had moms come down to breakfast in their robes and slippers, all ready to be pampered for the day," Grinsfelder said.

The inn's delicious food also is a powerful draw. On Mother's Day weekend, the inn will serve a Mother's Day brunch ($21 for adults and $12 for kids under 10) giving visitors an option to go just for the day to enjoy some memorable eating and hiking.

A two-hour drive northeast will bring you into Amish Country (http://visitamishcountry.com). In the spring, there's plenty to do for families and adults. Holmes County, Ohio, is considered the bed and breakfast capital of the world according to BedandBreakfast.com because of the large number of such establishments operating in the area.

Last year, the Barn Inn was voted one of the top 10 bed and breakfasts in the country by BedandBreakfast.com. Its owners, Paul and Loreta Coblentz, refurbished a country barn inhabited only by sparrows to open this distinctive inn. Guests now enjoy Loreta's breakfasts of stuffed pancakes, creamy scrambled eggs, a breakfast meat and three juices, and can view her quilts hung throughout the inn. Although well-behaved children are welcome, this is probably a better destination for couples or girlfriends with an interest in quilting or antiquing. In May, rooms range between $119 and $199 on the weekends.

Families interested in traveling to Amish Country should head to the Guggisberg Swiss Inn (http://www.guggisbergswissinn.com) in Charm, Ohio. This motel-style establishment is surrounded by acres of rolling hills filled with beautiful horses that roam freely. Ducks and swans also waddle around, building nests around a lake. There's plenty of room for children to run and explore, provided they steer clear of the horses. Children older than 7 can go on trail rides with their parents.

On Friday nights, entertainers play in the Swiss-themed lobby, and on Sunday evenings, the innkeepers host a popular weenie roast. In May, weekend room rates begin at $109.95.

Closer to home, the Cherry Valley Lodge offers a great weekend option for either the entire family or just the girls. The room rate includes four two-day passes to the adjoining Coco Key waterpark whose 50,000 gallons of water, three giant waterslides, and adventure river are sure to keep the kids entertained throughout the weekend. The lodge also offers a full-service spa where moms can receive massages, manicures and pedicures. Girlfriends can make a day of it at the Banyon Spa by ordering food and drink to enjoy between treatments. After the spa, adults might enjoy antiquing and shopping in nearby Granville before taking in a show at the historic Midland Theatre. Room rates start at $139 and do not include meals at the resort's three restaurants.

With so many exciting options within a few hours' drive, why limit yourself to just brunch this Mother's Day? Whether your dream getaway consists of a weekend with the family or a night away with some girlfriends, there's plenty to choose from right here in Ohio. All you need to do is circle the appealing parts of this article and leave them in a prominent place for Dad to get the hint and start planning your well-deserved getaway weekend.

Vanessa Druckman is a freelance writer and mom of three living in the suburbs of Columbus. She writes about cooking and parenting at www.chefdruck.com.