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The Perfect Moms Night Out

Summer fun isn't just for the kids: Moms need time with their girlfriends, too. Here are some ideas for an awesome Moms' Night Out

Mom, it probably wasn't too long ago that you were driving down the road listening to Cyndi Lauper belt out the lyrics, "When the working day is done, oh, girls, they wanna have fu-un." Time has, nonetheless, marched on since then. We may no longer be "girls" by the true definition of the word, but the girl in each of us still enjoys a break and a night of fun with her chick friends. And summer fun isn't just for the kids, you know? Check out these ideas, gather a couple of girlfriends, and enjoy some good times together this summer.

Watch a chick flick

If there's something "girlie" playing at your local cinema, by all means, hit the theater. Don't forget to buy some Junior Mints and popcorn at the snack bar and remember, tonight, you don't have to share.

But, if nothing looks good on the silver screen, don't hesitate to make it a movie night at home. Sequester your hubby and kids elsewhere, or better yet, head to an empty nest where you can cozy up on the couch for a tear-jerker. Obviously, Jane Austen films rank at the top of the list. But, will you choose the two-hour version of Pride and Prejudice or the marathon six-hour rendition with Colin Firth? Tough call.

Get crafty

A night of exercising your artistic talents can be a relaxing outlet and a great way to hang out with the girls. Ceramics studios are fun shops where you choose a pottery item to paint. There is usually a studio fee to pay as well as the price of the piece. When you are done painting, the staff will glaze and fire it for you, usually for a later pickup date. Many studios offer group rates and/or special features for ladies' nights.

Mosaic shops are also gaining in popularity. Using bits of glass, tile, mirrors and stone, you can create a unique piece of art to display at home. Again, for a studio fee and the price of the project, you have a fun task to complete in the company of friends. Usually these shops encourage parties as well as refreshments that you provide. 

Or you might choose to get together for an evening of scrapbooks, snacks and socializing, While the at-home version of this is great, you might also want to visit your local scrapbook shop. Many stores boast a huge selection of supplies as well as a workroom to use. Call around to see what is available in your area.

Enjoy dinner at a real restaurant

Oh, to enjoy something besides chicken nuggets and hamburgers when dining out! Spend an evening at a nice "frou-frou" restaurant with the girls. Be adventurous! Consider trying someplace your hubby or kids might be hesitant to visit, like tapas or sushi. Or, make it a regular and special occasion by organizing a monthly or bi-monthly birthday club. Gather a group of friends together to enjoy a good meal and some conversation and split the check of the birthday girl or girls that month.

Get cookin'

One of my funniest evenings away from home was helping a friend prepare for a wine party. I distinctly remember being able to chop vegetables and prepare platters without having to put my knife down and wash my hands 100 times in order to get something for a little one barking at my heels, or break up a fight. It was a peaceful meal prep rather than the normal nightly frantic one. Try spending an evening preparing good food with girlfriends. If not at someone's home, try visiting one of the growing number of meal prep kitchens.

Have a slumber party

OK, so you may not do this every month, but why not consider a weekend away with the girls. Perhaps there is a special occasion (someone's 40th birthday perhaps) where friends from around the country can meet up at a Las Vegas resort. Even a twice-a-year sleepover at a family cabin is a great respite from the day-to-day challenges of family life. Or, if you don't have a cabin and hotels aren't in the budget, arrange a time when the kids and your husband can go to Grandma's or on a camping trip and plan a sleepover at home. Stay up all night, eat "chick food," and have a blast.

Make it a priority

Getting out and about with the girls is such good fun for moms. It's important to work that into your schedule. Making it a regular priority ensures you stick with it instead of letting life get in the way. Spending time with other adults whose company you enjoy - away from the kids can be really invigorating and make you a better parent. It's a chance to renew yourself and it gives you time to process things, slow down and just "be." So check out your calendar, call a few friends, and make a moms' night out a definite "to do" on your list. Girls, go have fun!

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