The new year is the perfect time to refresh, renew

Remember when there was time in your schedule for your own interests or hobbies? Yeah me neither. But it’s important for mama to spend time AWAY from the kids and focus on something other than dinner, laundry and homework.

Gather your mama friends for a MNO—Mom’s Night Out— or even just an activity for just yourself. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Let your creativity flow

Instead of just a basic art class, Bottle & Bottega is the place for art parties and an ideal spot for mamas to gather for a night out. Based on the Italian phrase, bottega, which means a studio in which students create under the direction of a master artist, it offers more than just paint and canvases. With locations in Lakeview, La Grange and Park Ridge, Bottle & Bottega expands its art options to include painting on glass, wood signs, wood pallets and mosaics. It provides all the necessary art supplies, as well as glasses, bottle openers and ice buckets, plus the staff does all the clean-up. All you need to provide are your drinks of choice and then uncork your creativity!

Breathe with the butterflies

Get your downward dogs ready and start your weekends off right with Butterfly Haven Yoga at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Held 8:30-9:45 a.m. every Saturday, this yoga class is in the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven where the butterflies literally fly all around you. Advance online registration is required for the $15 class. Bring your own mat. You’ll connect with nature while getting a rejuvenating yoga class like no other. Then head out for a delicious post-yoga brunch at a local spot like Cafe Vienna, Mortar & Pestle, Toast or Nookies. Namaste.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago

Chop chop chop

Whether you like it or not, part of being a mother involves cooking and getting dinner on the table. So you might as well make it fun and learn something new! The Chopping Block, with locations at the Merchandise Mart and Lincoln Square, intends to teach you to enjoy cooking at home. It offers tons of classes such as knife skills, family night meals, date nights and pasta boot camps. So pick your preference and grab some mamas to come cook along.  It also offers private cooking events if you want your group to select your own menu, cooking level and get hands-on instructions before enjoying the fruits of your labor together.

Chopping Block Merchandise Mart, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza #107, Chicago, Chopping Block Lincoln Square, 4747 N. Lincoln, Chicago

Stitch and sew away

Sometimes the best therapy is a new skill or talent. Whether you want to take time for yourself to learn something new or gather with friends, try either a basic knitting or sewing class that has you walking out the door with something to show. Nina Chicago is an adorable knitting shop in Wicker Park. It offers beginner classes or private lessons start at $25 per session where you can learn to knit or crochet. If your interest is sewing, head to Sew Crafty Studio in Lincoln Park. While it offers classes for kids, it also has adult classes and adult parties that can be customized for groups.

Nina Chicago, 1655 W. Division St., Chicago

Sew Crafty Studio, 2340 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago

Relax, rejuvenate and shop

Gather your girlfriends and make it the ultimate girls’ night out at Team Blonde salon in Forest Park. In addition to luxurious spa treatments, Team Blonde offers jewelry making and shopping for your group in its private space. Pick your personal spa treatment options such as manicure, pedicure, massage, waxing, facials and hair treatments. Then make jewelry in between your spa treatments and kick back and relax with the ladies. Plus you get 15 percent off any purchases, including the jewelry you design. You deserve it.

Team Blonde, 7442 W. Madison St., Forest Park

Sunday Funday, mom-style

Is there a better trio that wine, cheese and chocolate? Nope. Skip the Sunday football and get to ENO Chicago’s ENOversity to become wiser about wine in classes that are interactive and unpretentious. Offered on Sundays for $55 per person, ENO’s wine tasting education pros will teach you the basics and more about wine, cheese and chocolate tasting. If you already are a wine pro, ENO Chicago also offers blind tastings, where you are given a flight of three wines and you get points based on guessing the correct variety, region and year.

ENO Chicago, 505 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago

Take in the view

Often it’s the change of scenery that rejuvenates moms and gives them a break from their day-to-day life. Make a reservation for lunch or dinner at Cindy’s Rooftop on the top level of the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel on Michigan Avenue. The views cannot be beat, overlooking Grant Park, Millennium Park and beautiful Lake Michigan. With delicious seasonal menus and cocktails, Cindy’s Rooftop open-terrace and glass ceiling transports you to a happy place. So get there with your favorite mama friends to toast to each other and the new year!

Cindy’s Rooftop, 12 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago

This article originally appeared in the January 2019 issue of Chicago Parent. Read the rest of the issue.

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