I love nothing more than going out with my mummy friends and spending a night off from the usual family obligations. However, a “Mummies’ Night Out” doesn’t always need to equate to outdated dance moves on a sticky nightclub dance floor. With many businesses operating until 10pm each night, the options for a night out with friends are endless in Indonesia. Here are a few of my favourite alternatives for non-clubbing mums:
WINE AND PAINT SESSIONS
Bartega Studio in Jakarta holds fun art sessions where you don’t need to be Picasso to participate. The painting theme changes weekly and the participants can drink wine at the same time. Indonesia is filled with many talented and creative artists who can offer private classes. You can easily find one by asking around in online forums, or approaching art schools, or even the art teacher at your kids’ school. Why not ask an artist if they could hold a group class for you and your friends? You can take turns posing in front of each other and do life drawings. Other ideas include pottery or Batik printing classes.
GROUP SPA AND BEAUTY TREATMENTS
Indonesia is overwhelmed with spa and massage parlours. Martha Tilaar Spa and many others are found in many locations and can accommodate large groups. They have many bridal packages designed for weddings where the bride and bridesmaids can have beauty treatments before the big occasion. Bring a bottle of champagne to share with your friends and spend the night being pampered together.
One of my favourite social activities is playing poker. If poker isn’t your thing, organise a games night where you play cards, celebrity heads, charades or board games. It will ignite the youth inside of you and you’ll be surprised by how much fun you’ll have together playing your favourite childhood games.
Who doesn’t love belting out their favourite song on a microphone in front of friends? Karaoke is a must do while living in Indonesia. You can hire your own private room here and torment your friends with bad Whitney Houston and Spice Girl tunes all night while eating and drinking. Make it more fun by doing an “American Idol” theme where you can have turns rotating as judges and critiquing each performer. Bring a bag of popcorn to throw and boo the singer off the stage when she is doing a terrible job.
Your kids aren’t the only ones who can enjoy your pool! Mummies, tuck your children into bed and invite your girlfriends over for a pool party! Imagine you are 20 again, irresponsible, and don’t have to wake up the next morning to feed your kids. Parties are a good excuse to play drinking games such as “Have you ever?” where each person takes their turn asking a question about something cheeky they have done in their past. Anyone who has done this scandalous activity has to take a shot of their drink.
I also love the American game “Beer Pong.” It’s easily set up. All you need is a table, ping pong balls and some plastic cups. Every American knows how to play this game so just ask around for instructions.
BAR HOPPING CAR TOUR
I am so pleasantly surprised by the number of hip bars in Jakarta. Many expats have their own private cars and drivers here so organising your own bar hopping tour with your friends is easy. You can squeeze everyone into your Toyota Kijang, turn up the 90s song on the radio and drive around the city, exploring the array of bars on offer. My favourite bars for a Mummies’ night out are any Irish or British pub, beer gardens and open rooftops.
BOOK, PODCAST, CRAFT, MOVIE CLUB
For a more quiet and civilised night in, hobby clubs are a great way to get together to discuss a common interest. I am a part of a book club that meets monthly. Each person in the club has a turn of hosting in their home (or by the condo pool). The host selects a book that everyone in the club has to read prior to the meeting. The host provides food, drinks and a list of questions to lead the group into a discussion of the book. I thoroughly enjoy this club because it encourages me to read books that I would normally wouldn’t choose for myself. It also makes me feel intellectual and sophisticated!
Dance lessons are a fun way to spend time with your friends without having to deal with loud nightclubs or getting dressed up in a dress and high heel. There are many dance studios located around Indonesia and the sessions are held at convenient times. This activity also doubles as a work out so you can get fit and have fun at the same time.
If going out at night isn’t appealing to you at all and you prefer a night watching Netflix, here are a few morning activities you can do with your mummy friends while your kids are at school:
- Having high Tea or brunches at fancy hotels
- Going to the cinema
- Attending cooking classes or hosting your own cooking session at each other’s homes
- Going on shopping tours such as furniture, pasar, fabric shops or bazaars
- Visiting museums and galleries
- Engaging in any kind of sport activity that you can participate in as a group, such as a golfing driving range, archery, badminton, tennis, billiards, trampolining or running
- Going on walking or short hiking trips around the zoo, or a hike in a nearby rice field
- Joining an association such as ANZA, BWA, AWA and attending their regular activities and gatherings
The best part about living in Indonesia as an expat is that there are so many resources available. You just need to be a little organised, have the motivation and the desire to get out and do something other than the usual routine centred around your children. Socialising and meeting friends significantly lift your morale and can make your time here so much more enjoyable.
For more information on things to do in Jakarta, follow Rinka Perez’ IG @theExpatHousewifeofJakarta #aMillionThingsToDoInJakarta