OWhy should kids have fun?
Moms also want (need?) to go out, to climb rock walls, to eat desserts at dinner, to break inanimate objects. And seriously, no one needs a break more than us. We juggle careers, kids, lunches at home, dinner prep, chores, travel itineraries, planning birthday parties, taxes (OMG TAXES!) – we might as well add “drinks with other overwhelmed moms” on the list, too.
I asked my group of mom friends – a combination of working moms, full-time moms, single moms, a mom with triplets – for ideas on what they would like to do if they were dating their girlfriends. (Yeah, and a month-long stay in Italy was out of the question.)
So grab the nearest football/classroom/carpool moms and get going!
Brunch—Preferably with mimosas
I haven’t met a mom who doesn’t brunch, especially if it’s a boozy brunch. Many restaurants allow you to relax and take your time—two things we desperately need—while indulging in all things carb-related. Some of our favorites include brunch at High tree (have the avocado toast or the ricotta and lemon pancakes) and a late breakfast at Mahina & Sun’s (pair the morning burrito with a mimosa). We are also fans of Waioli cooking and baking in Mānoa, with its relaxed patio seating and scones to die for. Make reservations in advance, as brunch tends to be popular with more than moms.
Take a cooking/pastry class and eat too
Even if your idea of relaxing rarely involves cooking, taking a cooking class with your girlfriends can be a lot of fun, especially if you can eat what you make too. (Bonus if you replicate the dish at home for your family later.) You can sign up for a class together or hire a private chef to teach your friends a class at your house.
The Moana Surfrider in Waikīkī welcomes Afternoon tea desserts and tea time lunch this Saturday (April 9), as part of her Moana Masters cooking class series. The hotel’s pastry chef, Carmen Monetejo, will give a step-by-step demonstration on how to make afternoon tea desserts like macaroons. And the event will include a teatime-inspired lunch with drink pairings. (Class runs from noon to 2 p.m. on April 9 at the Moana Surfrider. Cost is $110 per person. Register here.)
The obvious choice for a moms night out: spa treatments, ideally at the most luxurious spa you can book. Our choice is Laniwai at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in KoʻOlina. Not only is this spa the epitome of luxury with dozens of treatment options, it features a 5,000 square foot outdoor hydrotherapy garden that includes private vitality pools, a reflexology path, six rain effect, whirlpool jet spas and more. Spend an hour here before your lomilomi massage or revitalizing facial. You don’t have to be a guest to book services here (and unfortunately there are no kamaʻāina discounts). But our favorite part? Knowing that you appreciate Aulani without your children. Small victory.
Train and chat in between in an indoor climbing gym. Our choice is HiClimb Hawaii at Kakaʻako, a 14,000 square foot semi-open gym that opened last summer. Conquer the 35-foot climbing tower or climb the rock-climbing walls that line the perimeter of the gym. You’ll burn the calories you consumed eating your kids’ leftovers and won’t feel guilty about the huge açaí bowl and latte you can inhale at Café Villamor, located just outside the gym. sport.
SEE ALSO: 🧗 We Tried It: Indoor Climbing at HiClimb in Kaka’ako
dance dance dance
Sometimes you just want to shake it. If you don’t feel like dressing up and going out to clubs (are there still clubs…?) or attending a stranger’s wedding, sign up for group dance lessons . Our favorite, for various reasons, is the Jamz Werkout Street, a dance-focused fitness class led by famed local choreographer (and literally the world’s most hilarious instructor) Mara Bacon-Chang. Classes – held at the Windward Mall in the 24-VII Danceforce Studio – are walk-in classes; you can just sign up whenever you feel like it. The music is just our beat, a mix of old-school hip-hop and Top 40. And the best part? The one hour lesson is only $5!
SEE ALSO: 💃🏻 Open for Fitness: So you think you can dance? Discover Street Jamz Werkout
This suggestion came from one of the sweetest, sweetest moms in our group. She added “rage room” to a list that also included a wine tasting, dumpling party and pedicure. (And it’s not the first time she’s suggested it.) What is a rage room? “Rage room is where you can destroy everything in the room with a given tool,” she replied via text message. (She obviously did some research.) Honolulu has a rage room, it turns out. It’s called Break’N Angerand you can crush your frustrations in one of its Smash Labs. A child who responds? Boss on edge? Your husband booked a fishing trip with his friends and forgot to tell you? Take a baseball bat or a golf club, a crowbar or a sledgehammer and destroy something! For the more creative, it also offers a Splatter Art Studio, where you can throw paint on walls or each other. (You also get a canvas that you can take home.) The cost starts at $60 per person, but gets cheaper the larger your group gets.
SEE ALSO: 🔨 Aftermath: Forget Meditation, Give Me Destruction in Honolulu’s Only Rage Room
To take a walk
Sometimes just a bit of fresh air in nature – without anyone calling your name 3,000 times – is just what we need. (Plus, you get a workout, too.) Oʻahu has dozens of trails for all types of hikers, from the easy hike to Makapuʻu Lighthouse to the more strenuous climb to the top of Mount Kaʻala. We suggest choosing a fairly easy trail where you can still chat. (Is not it really why we are here?) Search for hikes in the state Nā Ala Hele Trails and Access Program, because these are public, signposted and relatively safe. We are fans of the Puʻu Pia Trail in Mānoa, the Waʻahila Ridge Trail in St. Louis Heights, and the ʻAiea Loop Trail in ʻAiea.
Arts and crafts aren’t just for kids
Learn how to make a poʻo lei or sign up for a pottery class. There are plenty of arts and crafts options for moms who want a distraction from potty training or private school applications. We love Island Bungalow’s indigo shibori workshop in Kakaʻako. Learn how to fold and tie fabric for indigo dyeing and walk away with your very own dyed cotton pareo! You need at least four people to book a private workshop; the cost is $260 and includes all supplies. It’s also BYOB!
Raise a toast to the sunset, without children!
Our benchmark MNO? Dinner with drinks somewhere we wouldn’t want to take our kids. Moku Kitchen in Kakaʻako lets you linger outside and the cream pies are a must. Chez Kenzo Bar & Grill offers sharing plates, a full bar and free parking. Another fun option is Sunset Lounge at Mariposa at the Ala Moana center. Open 4-6:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday (last call for food is 7 p.m. and drinks 7:30 p.m.), the lounge, with great sunset views, offers live music and easy-to-savor dishes like mini lobster rolls, ʻahi poke, kushi oysters on a half shell and truffle fries. Plus, you can combine your dinner with some shopping (shopping therapy, anyone?) or wrap up early and still have enough time to go to bed by 8 p.m.