As much as mothers enjoy being showered with gifts and attention on Mother’s Day, they also can appreciate some time away from the responsibilities of everyday life, like a moms’ night out. “Our chapters often do monthly moms’ night out with their members,” says Mary James, founder of MOMS Clubs. “They can range from something simple like meeting up at a member’s home for dessert and games or going to a restaurant, to something more elaborate, like a photo scavenger hunt or spa night.”

Whether you’re a new mom or a seasoned veteran, here are some suggestions for getting together with your gal pals—sans kids—and making the most of your evening.

Wine and Watercolors

You don’t have to be a promising Picasso to try your hand at painting, but getting a group of friends together can certainly help get those creative juices flowing. Painting parties, where moms enjoy a glass or two of wine as they create their own masterpieces, are a big hit nationwide, from California to New York.

Creative Art Studio, in Northport, N.Y. (www.facebook.com/KathyIoanidisCreativeArtStudio) , hosts a twice-monthly Art & Wine class, which lasts for two hours and includes all materials, complimentary wine and snacks. Owner and artist Kathy Ioanidis says it’s an ideal class for moms to take. “It’s a wonderful way to share stories, encourage one another and meet new friends in a fun atmosphere,” she says.

For art and wine classes in your area, check with your local art league.

Get a Move On

If you’re looking for some a bit more physical, getting fit with friends is a fun alternative to a night spent channel surfing. One of the latest fitness/dance sensations, Zumba, is gaining popularity with women looking to de-stress, burn some calories and enjoy the company of friends. Mother of two Kate Werwa signed up for Zumba classes at a local kids’ gym and, much to her surprise, really enjoyed it. “The music is great (club-like Latin music) and it’s like dancing, but with a great work-out,” she enthused.   

To find a zumba class near you, visit www.zumba.com for a list of instructors across the country.

Let’s Go to the Movies

Even though you may reserve movies for date nights with your hubby, there’s something to be said for seeing a chick flick—or any movie, for that matter—with your girlfriends. Christine Giacobbe, a physician and mother of two, enjoys taking in indie movies with her mom friends. “It’s easier to share the emotional, maternal stuff with another woman,” she says. “It’s also OK to cry and smear your mascara when you’re with them, too.”

Whether you see a blockbuster or an art house flick, movie nights with friends can make for a memorable get-together that’s not terribly expensive. For moms looking for the perfect girlfriend movie this spring, the aptly named “Moms’ Night Out,” a comedy from Sony Pictures about motherhood starring Patricia Heaton, Sean Astin and many others, is due out May 9th—just in time for Mother’s Day. 

Facials With Friends

A recent health and wellness survey from SpaFinder Wellness 365 reported that 77 percent of moms would welcome a spa visit as a Mother’s Day gift. A healthy way to de-stress and feel good, spa treatments range from facials and pedicures, to massages and blow-outs.

In New York, the Red Door in Union Square has a blow dry bar and full-service spa downstairs, while Los Angeles’ Olympic Day Spa in Koreatown specialized in Asian treatments  and is usually open late for large parties.

“Many spas are opened late and/or can offer group settings and specials,” says Betsy Isroelit of SpaFinder Wellness. “Almost any spa is pleased to provide a moms’ night out experience.” To locate a participating spa near you, visit www.spafinder.com .

Cooking With Friends

If you enjoy spending time in the kitchen, minus the harried pace of weeknight cooking, consider taking a cooking class to perfect your culinary skills. Places like Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table offer themed in-store cooking classes, as well as group classes of your choosing that include private instruction. For more information, visit www.surlatable.com or www.williams-sonoma.com.