The parent-baby playdate is an opportunity to get out of the house, play with your little one and meet other new parents that are just like you! Find friends that are going through the same triumphs, challenges and memorable moments as you are by checking out these eight playdate spots in Portland. Read on to find out more!
photo: Megan C. via Yelp
This national franchise has several chapters in Portland and offers new and expecting moms and their families different ways of getting fit while playing with their children. Classes meet outdoors in local parks when the weather is warm, and indoors at churches and community centers during the colder months. Choose from Stroller Strides, a full-body group workout moms can do with children of all ages in strollers or carriers; Body Back, an 8-week HIIT postpartum group fitness program; and Fit4Baby, a prenatal group fitness class. Outside of fitness classes, you can take part in a range of Village events on the calendar, including free family fitness days, playdates and moms night out events.
Missing adult company and culture during the all-consuming first year of your baby’s life? Join other arts-minded caregivers and their children under one on the first Thursday of every month at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. for a slow, guided tour of exhibits that will appeal to baby too. Each tour is followed by playtime, conversation and coffee. Sign up ahead of time and check the website for current schedule and fees.
1219 SW Park Ave
Though the word preschooler is in the title, this faith-based group is geared toward moms with children of all ages: from birth through school age. Groups meet on a weekly, bimonthly or monthly basis in a wide range of settings, from churches and homes to coffee shops and hospitals. This group has a specifically Christian orientation, but mothers from all faiths are welcome. Each meeting includes refreshments and a discussion topic, and some chapters provide childcare.
photo: Jennifer via Flickr
If you’re the outdoorsy type (and even if you’re not), Hike it Baby is the perfect way to combine a good workout and adult conversation with a kid-centered activity. HIB members gather in parks, at trailheads, and in neighborhoods all over Portland to walk with their children while connecting with each other. Whether you want a casual stroll at a toddler’s pace, or several miles of trail with baby nestled in the Ergo, there’s bound to be something right for you. For a sliding-scale fee (including scholarship options), you get access to the calendar of events and the Facebook page— a fantastic resource for questions about choosing the right gear for baby-wearing, camping, and hiking. Don’t see a hike that meets your needs, location, or schedule? You can sign up to host one yourself.
Portland is home to a huge range of indoor park options, thanks to our long rainy season. That means your chances of making new parenting friends just got a little better. Check the schedule for your local community center for low-commitment, affordable weekly options. Or check out these other drop-in options for under $5.
Several locations of this popular health food store offer free, drop-in support circles for new parents. Whether you’re breastfeeding or not, join other parents for an informal circle where you can share resources and get advice on everything from bottles and carriers to back-to-work strategies. These groups are often facilitated by experienced doulas and lactation specialists. Check the calendar at your local store.
Moms Offering Moms Support is a national group with several local chapters, open to all moms and offering a monthly calendar chock-full of playgroups, outings and monthly new member meet-ups. They even organize meal deliveries for parents of new babies and moms night out events.
If you are looking for options, you can find a full list of Portland moms groups here.
Though the vast majority of parent/baby playgroups are oriented toward mothers, fathers’ groups are becoming more and more popular, and Portland is at the head of the pack. Check out the events calendar at Seahorses, a retailer-turned-nonprofit community center, which hosts a New Dads Group as well as Dads After Hours, both monthly. The community just at the start of the year is expanding to include caregivers of all kinds as well as kids of all ages. Meetup is another great option for finding likeminded fathers through father-child playgroups.
Check Meet-up for even more playdate options, or start your own! Get the numbers for a few moms or dads you meet at library storytime or the park, and invite them to a playdate at your house. Set out snacks and beverages for the parents, a few blankets and toys for the babes. Then settle in for a few hours to connect while you play with your babies. Who knows? You might just make a friend for life.