MNO. It’s secret mom code for “Moms Night Out.”
Most moms understand the beauty of MNOs – those kid-less nights when we seek sanity by escaping kids, husbands, work, dogs and whatever else occasionally drives us nuts.
We gather to gossip, complain, brag, catch up and just hang out.
While dishing with fellow moms over dinner and drinks always is a good time, Chicago offers countless opportunities for mom bonding. I snagged some mom friends and diligently researched some fun and different options for mom fun in the city and suburbs – plus some do-it-yourself ideas sure to bring on the giggles.
-By Kristy MacKaben
The kids aren’t the only ones who need a break with friends. We have 10 fun ideas for a “Moms Night Out” in Chicago.
The wine was flowing as much as the creative juices at a wine and artparty at Bottle & Bottega in Chicago’s Lakeviewneighborhood. With the guidance of an expert, we each created a
masterpiece using the same subject matter: a vase of flowers. The
best part of the night was painting a portrait of a friend and then
revealing it later in the night. Bottle & Bottega is just one
of many art studios that encourage amateurs to bring their own
drinks and food.
A few other BYOB art studios are Arts n Spirits in Chicago’s Bucktownneighborhood, Wine & Canvas in Chicago, Tipsy Paint
in Glenview and Artist @ Heart in Libertyville. Paint-your-own
pottery studios also offer special ladies nights.
Now I know how to properly dice a green pepper, stuff anempanada and perfectly flavor grilled shrimp. Thanks to Amazing Edibles on14th Street in Chicago, my mom friends and I were real chefs
for a night-white aprons and all.
We guzzled sangria overflowing with fruit and noshed onappetizers while preparing and cooking an elaborate meal of tapas.On the menu: paella, potatoes in a spicy tomato sauce, stuffedmushrooms, bacon-wrapped dates and my personal favorite-garlictoast topped with goat cheese and saffron marina dip. AmazingEdibles is mostly a catering business, but once a month is open forcooking classes.
Grab a group of girlfriends and host a fashion show at a localboutique. I chose Bevello in Deer Park for our fashion night.
While sipping on white wine, my mommy friends and I tried on slews
of outfits. We helped each other pick great getups and also got
some expert advice from the store’s fashion consultants. Check with
your favorite local shop to see whether fashion nights are
What better way to bond than to take center stage and belt out”Call Me Maybe”? Scores of restaurants and dive bars in the Chicagoarea have karaoke nights, or find a mom with a karaoke machine.There’s got to be at least one.
This theme could go a number ofdirections. Some options? Wear prom dresses and play musicbefitting the era of your high school days. Or wear your veils (orwedding dresses if they still fit!) and share your wedding albums,videos or just tell stories. Another fun take on the wedding themecould be a “Bad Bridesmaid Night” wheremoms wear their ugliest bridesmaid dresses.
The idea: Each mom shares their favorite Pinterestpin – whether it’s a craft, an appetizer, a cocktail, a fun outfitor something else entirely different – and then explains how to doit.
There aren’t many better ways to relax and unwindthan with manicures, pedicures, facials, massages or the works.Contact a local spa to set up a party for your group or meet atsomeone’s house and give each other treatments.
Running long miles with a friend is akin to therapy.If running’s not your thing, though, take a dance class or organizeinformal games of volleyball, tennis, kickball or whatever sportinterests you and your friends. Bowling, roller blading and iceskating are some other fun options.
Break a sweat
Reading a book and discussing it isa great way to get to know moms on a deeper level … especially ifyou decide to read the Fifty Shades ofGrey series. Make it even more fun byadding a bottle of wine or two.
Most moms’ groups organize at least one serviceproject each year. Not only can you spend time with friends, butyou also can feel good about giving back to the community. Planningand organizing a major project is bound to bring moms together, andit also shows your children the benefits of helping otherpeople.
Do some good