As mothers, we often struggle finding time for date nights with our significant others. Work schedules, extracurriculars, finances, childcare and all kinds of other factors seem to creep in and next thing you know, the date night has been postponed yet AGAIN for the third night/week/month in a row. Eventually, it works out and we promise ourselves we aren’t going to let it go that long in between our next dates.
But what about time for our friends? Not only do we need that designated time with our significant other, but our best friends need us and we most definitely need them too. I’m a big advocate for treating yourself to a MNO or a BFF date night every now and then. The time is refreshing and makes for a better mother and wife upon return with a rejuvenated sense of self, after a mini therapy session if you will. It allows you time to think through a thought without being interrupted, have a little non-child-friendly fun, and reconnect with quite possibly your first “other half,” your best friend. It’s not so much important as to what you choose to do together, but what is important is that you are doing it with someone who gets you and your place in life. Get out your planner and make the call, text, email, whatever it is you have to do, and make some time for you and your BFF!
So without further ado, some ideas for your next BFF date around Knoxville…
Try a fun new restaurant! Who doesn’t love a good meal with good company that you don’t have to prepare or clean up? Below you’ll find just a few personal faves with some others that come highly recommended that I’m eager to try…
Babalu Tacos and Tapas (Lunch or Dinner)
Balter Beerworks (Just opened 2/8/16, Lunch or Dinner)
Cru Bistro & Wine Bar (Lunch, Dinner, or Sunday brunch)
The Stock & Barrel (Lunch or Dinner)
Nama Sushi Bar (Lunch or Dinner)
Drink. (Midtown lounge, Dinner)
Outdoor patio area at Lakeside Tavern (Lunch or Dinner)
Shuck Raw Bar at Homberg Place (Lunch or Dinner)
Old City Wine Bar (Just opened 2/8/16)
Can’t do lunch or dinner? That’s ok! When you only have a couple hours to get away, perhaps during a MDO or half-day at school, or maybe you’re trying to squeeze in a get together before a Saturday full of the kids’ games, try meeting for breakfast! I love a good breakfast date! A few recommendations below…
The Tomato Head (only open for breakfast hours on Saturday and Sunday)
First Watch (open for breakfast and lunch 7 days a week)
Pete’s Coffee Shop (open for breakfast and lunch Monday-Saturday)
Tupelo Honey Cafe (only open for breakfast hours on Saturday and Sunday)
Looking for something different? Festivals, outdoor activities, day trips, fancy outings. Several places around town have designated “Ladies’ Night” and we don’t just mean happy hour drink specials, although there are lots of those around town too! See below for details of each…
Bring a friend and check out one of our very own MNO events or neighborhood community group events with Knoxville Moms.
The Melting Pot – Every couple months, the fondue restaurant puts together a fun soiree for the ladies with a four-course fondue meal and drinks at a discounted price. The night also includes vendors and a photo booth to add a fun way to document the night! One of my personal faves!
Whole Foods Market – The grocery store puts on several events each month, some specifically for Ladies’ Night, for a fun and different way to get together. For example, this month these events include a cheese night and a cupcake decorating night!
River Sports Outfitters Climbing Center – The first Monday of the month is Ladies’ Night in the Climbing Center. Enjoy a fun night at the gym for $12, which includes the gear.
Downtown Knoxville Dinner and a Movie – Head to Downtown Knoxville and choose from a variety of restaurants in Market Square, down Gay Street or in the Old City and then head to the historic Regal Riviera theatre for a good chick flick.
We are big fans of Market Square around here and there’s nothing better than enjoying a warm spring day wandering the Farmer’s Market (beginning in May through November) or summer evening at First Friday (a gathering of art, food, wine, and special sales in the square shops held on the first Friday of each month all year). Although you can always take children to these events, try going with a girlfriend and you’ll find it so much more relaxing!
Get fancied up and head to High Tea! – Several places around town offer high tea including Crescent Bend (select dates in March and April), The Paris Apartment Boutique and Tea Room, and Apple Cake Tea Room.
Catch up over a mani/pedi date! There are numerous nail salons all over town no matter which area you live in. Do some research as some even serve your selection of wine, hot tea, or soda while you chat.
Plan a relaxing get together for a day at the spa! Some spas offer special offers for spa parties or grab your closest friend and schedule a day of pampering together. My personal fave around town is Pure Luxe Spa, an elegant spa that allows you to spend the entire day if you choose with lunch, a post-massage sauna, a deluxe rain shower experience, and a salon for a blowout before you return home.
Meet up for a hot cup of coffee at one of Knoxville’s finest coffeehouses! Check out our post featuring the local coffee shops in town. Please note Remedy Coffee has since relocated to Downtown North and can be found at 800 Tyson Street Monday through Saturday, 7AM-7PM, right next door to their new doughnut shop, Makers Donuts at 804 Tyson Street.
If you love music, Knoxville certainly has no shortage of music venues. Grab a friend for a headliner at Thompson Boling Arena and the Civic Coliseum/Auditorium, or see a performance at one of many smaller venues such as The International, the Bijou Theatre, The Square Room, Open Chord Brewhouse and Stage, or Clayton Center for the Arts.
Grab a bestie and head out shopping! Like real live shopping! Not online, not for the children or the hubby, or for the sports uniforms. Go to places YOU love to shop and with a bestie. You’ll have someone on hand to offer their advice instead of the usual, sending fitting room selfies while littles are climbing under the doors.
One of my most favorite things to do with friends is going to a local festival! Knoxville has tons of festivals all year long, with a surge of festivals beginning in the spring, and when the weather is nice, festivals with friends are fantastic! This Knoxville Festival Fun post is from last year but gives you a little taste of all the festivals offered around town! Our personal favorites for the adults are the International Biscuit Festival (May), Knoxville Brew Fest (June) and Feast with the Beasts (August).
Watch a theatre performance or Broadway show at our historic Tennessee Theatre. We have seen a variety of shows from a concert, to a Broadway performance, to a children’s show, and all are fantastic! Check the calendar on their website to find one that best suits your and your friends’ interests!
If you have a little more time to spend, head east for the day to the Biltmore in Asheville, NC for a tour of the mansion and perusing around the gardens. Eat lunch on the property at one of their famous restaurants and sample a local beer or try a wine tasting! Maybe spend the night and allow time for browsing little shops downtown and enjoying other fabulous eateries around the Asheville area. Chattanooga is great for a day trip too! And of course, Nashville and Atlanta always have a packed schedule of events and are perfect for overnight trips! Be on the look out for your favorite music artist as odds are they will make a tour stop in one of the two cities, if not both!