Kids aren't the only ones who look forward to playdates! Interacting with other NYC parents is a great way to harness the city's best family resources and to remind yourself that you're not alone in your struggles (we all have them—these parenting fails are proof!) There are some amazing meetup groups in NYC that hook parents up with awesome playdate ideas, get them access to discounted parenting classes and provide an opportunity to meet fellow moms and dads. Browse a few of our top picks below to get started!
Meetup groups for NYC parents
This social group doesn't mess around with their gatherings for parents. Fun and educational events include Sitter Social mixers, lectures from trained professionals in various fields, and a massive baby shower expo where future parents can get pampered and browse a wide variety of baby products. Moms-to-be can mine the network for crucial advice and recommendations, while moms and dads get in on CPR and First Aid classes or just enjoy meeting fellow parents at the top-notch workshops and family events.
Dads of all varieties, including stay-at-home dads, freelancers and working fathers unite in this group, which organizes meet ups several times per week. Parents easily connect and explore new spots around the city, often with the kids in tow, but sometimes for a relaxing, adults-only hang. Members might link up for playtime at NYC parks, playgrounds or museums, take in educational webinars or catch up over a beer at happy hour events. Sponsors including 92Y, The Brooklyn Baby Expo and New York Kids Club help coordinate activities regularly and a connected blog keeps dads updated on upcoming events. First-time dads even get access to hands-on workshops in the group's New Dad Boot Camp. $25 suggested annual donation.
Judging from the size of this group (over 4,000 members!), new moms are trending on the Upper West Side. Though the focus of this group is first-time mothers, veteran parents (dads, too!) are more than welcome to attend the playdates and share their expertise. For just $10 per year, families get access to a wide range of meetups in locations from midtown to Harlem, hosting music classes, museum and zoo trips, parenting presentations and book clubs. Members get regular updates from the network via a list serve, including recommendations on doctors, nannies and preschools.
Navigating life as a single parent in NYC is made much easier with a supportive network at your disposal. The meetups take place at favorite institutions throughout the city, including the New York Hall of Science and the Children's Museum of the Arts, inviting parents and kids to jump in on fun workshops. This group has a particularly strong following, making it easy for parents and the peanut gallery to maintain new relationships. Large picnics are a frequent occurrence, giving everyone a chance to relax and catch up.
Moms deserve some free fun, too! This social bunch, hailing from hoods throughout NYC, coordinate free meetups for parents and their growing youngsters. With multiple events on offer each week, ranging from stroller workouts to story times at local bookstores, moms know just how to spend what little free time they can find. The cheap get-togethers give little ones a chance to make new friends, while letting city moms bond and plan family-friendly activities within the community. Just like the events it lists, the group is free to join!
Brooklyn families settled in such neighborhoods as Williamsburg, Park Slope and Bed-Stuy can reference this active parent hub when they're in need of things to do, parenting advice and childcare resources. Events like babysitter meet-and-greets with UrbanSitter provide a chance to mingle with caretakers before hiring, while the online calendar suggests several fun upcoming happenings for the whole clan. Don't miss out on the group's annual Brooklyn Baby & Family Expo—families can enjoy a full day of product demos, seminars, concerts, snacks and more.
Started by two professionals in the pre- and post-natal fitness and nutrition fields, this support groups helps pregnant women and moms keep themselves and their kids happy and healthy as they navigate parenthood. Fitmomease' welcoming environment motivates moms to lose their "mummy tummy," plus stay dedicated to their family's fitness and nutrition through regular events. Kickboxing & Body Sculpt classes or Hoopdance sessions—an activity that's safe and fun for pregnant women—are just a few of the offerings, in addition to shared nutrition tips and healthy recipes for growing kids.