Your next Mom's Night Out

Toddler Mom, the time has come to get out of the house. 

Wait. Let’s reorganize that thought: Out of the house, without child, showered and off to a destination other than Target, the gym, the indoor playground or work. 

Though you may have previously dabbled in the tradition of a good old Mom’s Night Out — MNO, as the increasingly acronym-obsessed parenting crowd calls it — the toddler years usher in a new opportunity and a new need for such an occasion. You have a little more time, a little more flexibility and a little less patience. You need this.

Here are some atypical, Toddler Mom-defusing picks for a winter MNO.

Bliss, Zen and relaxation. 

Still sticking to New Year’s Resolutions? Feel like greasy breakfast food, sweets or booze might just add to your stress, rather than give you the real relief you need from the demands of parenthood? 

How about meeting for green juice and yoga?

Bliss in St. Paul has a monthly New Moon Practice for women only.

Blooma is — of course — a well-known mama mecca.

Other cool options are a spa day, a simple pedicure or a visit to The Salt Cave in Minneapolis.

Mediate, practice, whisper and recharge. Fun with friends is important — and so is health and wellbeing. 

Embrace winter.

Try ice-skating, snow tubing, sledding or even a good old snowball fight. ENJOY the season without wiping runny noses and keeping track of little mittens.

Skate FAST, for yourself, because it’s fun. Go down the BIG hill without the mama-bear worry. 

Outside-the-big-box shopping. 

Check out the Facebook page for Niche MN — a dreamy pop-up that favors a pro-woman, pro-friendship shopping experience.

Niche events are lined with sweets, treats, wine-brandy punch and bubbly, plus comfy couches and cozy lighting. 

It’s like a party with unique clothes, cool accessories AND amazingly affordable merchandise. 

Their typical locale is St. Paul — University and Highway 280, but they may branch out.

Keep in touch to hear about the next event, coming this spring.

Follow Niche with cocoa and milling one of St. Paul’s cute shopping nooks — try St. Anthony Park, Grand Avenue, Highland Avenue or Selby and Snelling.

And practice complete shopping honesty, of course! If a sweater looks weird, it’s OK to say so!

Brunch it.

Sometimes Mama’s just DONE by sundown. 

Though the idea of a night out is appealing, so is staying awake through the adult conversation. Make it a long, lingering Sunday brunch — mimosas, hot coffee, eggs benedict … the works! 

My fave spots for lingering with my ladies include Colossal Cafe, Rudy’s Redeye Grill, Finnish Bistro, Aster Cafe and Signature Cafe.

For a more relaxed, come-in-your-PJs, diner-type meal, I love Grandview Grill and The Egg and I. 

Or you can send the kids — with Grandma, a partner/spouse or a sitter — to the zoo while you potluck-brunch at home with your favorite gals. 

Get your juices flowing.

Both the creative kind and the grownup-grape kind, I mean. 

There are oodles of opportunities in the Twin Cities to wax creative while also enjoying a drink, including Wine & Canvas, Pinot’s Palette, Bottle & Bottega and The Paint Pub (just a few to get you started).

Happy bonding! Dads these ideas are for you!

Jen Wittes is a freelance writer and mother of two who lives in St. Paul. Learn more about her work at Send questions or comments to